NetGalley Review: Her Eyes Underwater – Romona Simon

My rating: 3/5 stars

Rating: 3 out of 5.

One evening university student Julia takes a trip to a local cafe in hopes that she will meet someone. There she meets Alex and see feels that it is too good to be true. Alex is handsome, polite and mysterious and she is desperate for them to be together. They do say be careful what you wish for. Alex is a complicated individual and seems to have many sides to his personality, some that Julia has never seen. Will Julia figure the mysterious Alex out before it is too late?

My thoughts

I received a copy of Her Eyes Underwater from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have to say that this book is like no other that I have read and really is a unique read. However, for me it just didn’t quite live up to expectations after reading the synopsis.

After completing it a few hours ago I am still left confused with so many questions. This personally is something that I don’t like when I have finished a book. I much prefer for all of the lose ends to be tied up and for there to be a satisfying ending. I understand that some of the best novels may leave you with questions and the purpose of the writing is to make you think, but for me this novel didn’t quite hit that mark.

As a concept I thought this book was brilliant. It showed the flaws that people can so easily ignore when they are infatuated with someone. It also dealt with the mask that people can display for the world and how easy it can be to hid your true nature. Alex was a excellently developed character and although I didn’t like him, he wasn’t created to be a character that is liked.

The storyline largely follows Julia in her pursuit of Alex and her desire for them to be together. This may make it seem like a romance novel but for me there wasn’t really an element of romance in it. Julia’s character screamed desperation and after realising Alex’s unsavoury (to say the least) character traits, I just wanted to shake her. Julia’s actions seemed obsessive and far beyond behaviour that I could personally understand, because of this she was a character I really struggled to connect with.

The language used in this novel really was beautiful and the descriptions really brought the story to life. The setting of the woods in Montana were excellently depicted and helped create a greater understanding for some of the events that take place within the novel. The actual words used and the writing devices were flawless and really put me in two minds about the novel.

For me, the main problem with this book was the storyline. I felt like I was almost halfway through the novel before I fully understood what was happening and had a small inkling of where the story was going (even if I was wrong). The whole thing was too slow for my taste. I was frantically reading to get towards what I assumed would be a huge conclusion but as I saw the percentage on my Kindle getting very close to the 100%, I knew it wouldn’t be the ending I expected.

Overall, the plot for me seemed a bit lacklustre. Once I had finished I was left with so many questions that I had to re-read the prologue which gave me some indication of an ending, but still didn’t tie everything up. This may be a brilliantly clever novel that I just didn’t understand. If you have read this book I would love to chat with you and maybe you can help me to fully appreciate this novel.

Do you have a suggestion for the next book to add to my bookshelf? Let me know in comments.  


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