ARC review: How to Breathe Underwater by Vicky Skinner

How to Breathe Underwater by Vicky Skinner
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Links: AmazonTBDGoodreads
Publication Date: August 14, 2018
Source: ARC from BookCon!

Kate’s father has been pressuring her to be perfect for her whole life, pushing her to be the best swimmer she can be. But when Kate finds her dad cheating on her mom, Kate’s perfect world comes crashing down, and Kate is forced to leave home and the swim team she’s been a part of her whole life.

Now in a new home, new school, and faced with the prospect of starting over, Kate isn’t so sure that swimming is what she wants anymore. But when she decides to quit, her whole world seems to fall apart. But when Kate gets to know Michael, the cute boy that lives across the hall, she starts to think that starting over might not be so bad. There’s only one problem: Michael has a girlfriend.

As the pressures of love, family, and success press down on her, can Kate keep her head above water?

Okay, so it’s time for another BookCon ARC review! This is one that I picked up kind of randomly from Swoon Reads, but I usually love Swoon Reads books, so I was pretty excited. Unfortunately, it really fell short for me.

The problem is that the entire book is one cliche after another. The other problem is that the characters are huge cliches. The third problem is that Kate is an idiot. I was actually going to give this book two stars because it’s not like it’s the worst thing I’ve ever read, but then I couldn’t come up with a single thing I liked about it, so one star it is.

I feel like a lot of the problems I had with this book would be considered spoilers, and since this is an ARC review, I don’t want to do that, so here are some sentences about what I disliked, sorry that some of them are super vague:

  • The love interest, Michael, is a Cute Boy Who Smokes and that’s it, that’s his character. Over 362 pages, he really isn’t expanded much from that initial impression.
  • Kate calls her dad “Coach,” which is the weirdest thing and I couldn’t get over it.
  • Kate is also really dumb, like she doesn’t know what an administrative assistant is and she wonders what the “curious” orange-red pasta sauce is and it’s… wait for it… marinara, definitely the most exotic of all the pasta sauces.
  • Michael has a girlfriend, which is not a spoiler since it’s in the synopsis that I should have read before picking up this book.
  • I feel like age differences really aren’t that big of a deal once you’re a legal adult, but a six-year age difference when you’re only sixteen years old is a lot and it’s never once addressed.
  • There’s this random scene where a group of girls attack Kate for hanging out with Michael and it just doesn’t make any sense.
  • There are just really strange sentences that shouldn’t have made it past an editor.
  • Every boy is in love with Kate because why not.
  • The BIG PLOT TWIST involving Kate’s best friend from before she moved is so painfully obvious that I actually rolled my eyes at the big reveal.
  • Every character is incredibly overdramatic. (“She turned and left me there, alone with my peanut butter and my own guilt.”)

Some quotes that I actually liked so I can end this review on a semi-positive note:

  • “Patrice kept talking. She must not have realized that I was dying.”
  • I groaned, pressing the heels of my hands into my eyes. “Just leave me here. I’m such a mess.”

    “Messes aren’t so bad. People who have it all put together are overrated.”

  • “Is there a limit to how much you’re allowed to complain about something? I don’t remember them passing that law. I have a feeling people wouldn’t stand for it.”

Have you read How to Breathe Underwater? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!


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54 thoughts on “ARC review: How to Breathe Underwater by Vicky Skinner

  1. Angelica (TheBookCoverGirl) says:

    It’s too bad you didn’t like this one but now I kinda want to know how terrible it really was lol. I probably won’t read it though. If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s dumb characters and that marinara thing just seems like too much for me to handle lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. strugglingbookaholic says:

    Wow, this book sounds awful haha. I think you gave some really fair reasons for not liking it. Books packed with cliches are just not fun 😦 When I read “Kate’s perfect world comes crashing down” in the synopsis, I actually rolled my eyes. I can’t imagine how much eye rolling I would have done if I read the whole book. I also can’t stand books that focus on girls chasing after a guy with a girlfriend 😡I hope you enjoy your next read more! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dora says:

    Cool review, weirdly made me want to read it to see how bad it is and what you’re talking about, but I see it’s not only me 😅
    I’m starting a project where I make a post of the books released the current week and I’d like to include other people’s reviews of said books. Would you like to be featured? I’m posting on Monday and then I update the post during the whole week, so people who write a comment saying they have a review that meets this criteria would all have a chance to be included. If you’d like to be featured, just say so and I’ll add a link in my post to this review! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LochanReads says:

    the title sounds awesome! it’s a shame the story didn’t live up to the appeal of the title. I’m not a huge YA fan myself but it takes a bit of digging to find a few gems. Have you heard of Junk by Melvin Burgess? It’s the best YA novel I’ve read ever so far. I can’t wait to start re reading it!! XD

    Liked by 1 person

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