Release Date: July 2016.
Publisher: Hachette Australia.
Source: From publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Challenge: Australian Women Writers Challenge 2016.
Synopsis From Goodreads:
Nineteen minutes and eleven seconds separated us at birth. On the official documentation, he is older . . . Although it really has nothing to do with age. What it really means is that I am, and have always been, second.
Ben and Grace Walker are twins. Growing up in a sleepy coastal town it was inevitable they’d surf. Always close, they hung out more than most brothers and sisters, surfing together for hours as the sun melted into the sea. At seventeen, Ben is a rising surf star, the golden son and the boy all the girls fall in love with. Beside him, Grace feels like she is a mere reflection of his light. In their last year of school, the world beckons, full of possibility. For Grace, finishing exams and kissing Harley Matthews is just the beginning.
Then, one day, the unthinkable. The sun sets at noon and suddenly everything that was safe and predictable is lost. And everything unravels.
BREATHING UNDER WATER is a lyrical and emotionally powerful novel about life, death and learning to breathe in between.
What an emotional roller coaster!
I feel a little bit broken after reading Breathing Under Water. It was so gut wrenching, so heart wrenching. I found it a hard to breathe while reading this book, so intertwined had I become with the main characters Grace and Ben and the huge life changing event they have to go through.
From the first pages I was drawn in and could hardly put this one down. All the characters leapt off the page and sunk under my skin, making me care deeply for them. And although this is very much a story of the twins, it is told from Grace’s POV and very much about her experience.
Grace has always came second to Ben, living in his shadow. Both surf and hang out with the same people, and although Grace feels she comes second to Ben, their is no rivalry between them and they share a deep bond.
But then tragedy strikes in Grace’s life and she spirals out of control. She looses herself and has to find herself again, but it’s a hard road she has to travel in order to do so. And while she does your heart will break for her and you’ll be biting your nails, hoping she will stop all the destruction and start looking after herself again.
You will need your tissues for this one. It is not for the faint of heart. It is extremely sad and Hardcastle doesn’t shy away from the dark side of grief. But despite all the darkness and the gritty bits, this is a story of hope.
Sophie Hardcastle is a standout writer and has written a standout book. Her writing is vivid and descriptive and she paints an authentic picture of the teenage experience. If you love YA contemporary you must read this, I loved it.
You can add it to your Goodreads HERE.