Breathing Underwater (Hardcover)

Breathing Underwater By Abbey Lee Nash Cover Image

Breathing Underwater (Hardcover)


Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
With one word, Tess’s world could be completely undone:

Tess lives for swimming: the feel of the pool's rough edge on her toes, the snap of cold water on her skin, and the push of her limbs ever forward. In the water, she’s truly alive. 

Until tragedy strikes. And Tess is left navigating a summer of doctor visits, missed swim practices, a newly distant best friend, and a job stuck behind a counter—not sitting high in the lifeguard chair like every season before.

Instead, her spot goes to new guy Charlie. Although his messy hair and laid-back demeanor catch Tess’s attention, this isn’t really the time. She’s got to focus on getting back in the pool—and on getting back to herself.

Lyrically and sensitively written, Breathing Underwater is a slice-of-life story with depth, exploring topics like epilepsy, inclusivity in student athletics, changing friendships, and the power of love and community. With warmth and wit, Abbey Lee Nash has crafted a moving portrait of a teen girl’s journey to self-acceptance and life on her own terms.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
Abbey Nash holds an MA in English from Arcadia University. She lives with her husband and two daughters outside of Philadelphia, where she works as a senior marketing writer in the healthcare industry. A former writing teacher, she enjoys leading creative writing workshops, and has presented at SCBWI events, the National Council of Teachers of English, as well as schools and universities. When she’s not writing, or talking about writing, you can find her reading, spending time with her family, or walking her highly opinionated Australian Shepherd. Breathing Underwater is her second novel. You can learn more about her work at
Product Details ISBN: 9780823453863
ISBN-10: 0823453863
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 224
Language: English
★ "Nash’s characters, flawed and human, grapple with income inequality, divorce, and disability."—Booklist, Starred Review

"A sincere story of approaching a new reality with a competitive edge."—Kirkus Reviews

"Romance adds tension to watertight plotting in this fast-paced, compelling novel from Nash . . . sensitive explorations of life with an invisible disability that anchor this empathetic story."—Publishers Weekly

"Tess’s story is compelling. Her medical visits, uncertainty, and eventual epilepsy diagnosis offer a realistic look at this hidden condition that is both enigmatic and common. The added fact that one in 26 people have epilepsy should make this a must-have for school and public libraries."—School Library Journal

"Breathing Underwater is a compelling story of a perfectionist learning to take life as it comes, all the challenges and the opportunities. A must read for anyone who's had a life-long plan they had to adapt."—Molly Horan, author of Epically Earnest

"An honest, heartfelt portrait of a young athlete willing to put everything on the line to achieve her dreams. But even more, Breathing Underwater is an unflinching look at the courage it takes to forge new paths when everything’s stripped away—and, ultimately, discovering what matters most. I loved it."—Jared Reck, author of A Short History of the Girl Next Door and Donuts and Other Proclamations of Love