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It starts as a seemingly perfect day for a scuba dive trip. Julie Sims, the protagonist in the book Deep Water by Watt Key, is in charge of two of her father’s clients after he falls sick. One of the clients happens to be her childhood enemy. After an action-packed turn of events, the three of them (one is already injured) are left to find a way to survive in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. A fun, recreational activity turns into a fight for survival.
When both clients ignore Julie’s instructions to retreat back onto the boat since the anchor is barely holding onto the ground, the boat that is their only hope of returning home as it drifts away along the current, leaving Julie and others stranded. Using her knowledge of what to do in an emergency situation and in the dangers of the open waters, Julie manages to get them floating on the surface alive and assure them that the boat will arrive soon. But, she secretly knows that there are bigger problems.
Sea lice are crawling and stinging their bodies inside their wet skins, and what’s worse, they encounter a school of sharks. Even if they get past the sharks, they still have to deal with hunger, thirst, freezing water, and more. As the long days pass slowly, they start to lose hope that they will ever return to their normal lives.
Along this journey, Julie and her childhood enemy drop their disagreements and work together as a team for the greater goal. Every page triggered me to read the next one, and before I knew it, a touching story about teamwork, friendship, family, and survival was unwrapped. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to all book lovers.
Deep Water by Watt Key, Square Fish; Reprint edition (April 16, 2019), 288 pp.
Age Range: 10 and 14
Grade Level: 4 and 8