First I need to say that you do not have to read the prequel novella to this book, but it's free, so why not?
So, I read Rebecca Berto's first full novel (Drowning in You) earlier in the year and I had some issues with it, but this one completely convinced me.
I knew she was a good writer - there's this almost lyrical quality about the way she expresses herself, but in Pulling Me Under it takes a whole new level.
It's so well crafted - there are twists and turns at every corner, and I absolutely loved and felt for Katie and everything she's been through. Her pain from losing Paul omg... it broke me. I understood her and I just wanted her to get better :( it was heartbreaking.
I found myself really invested in the story. At times I wanted to scream at Katie's questionable choices, or just to wake up already and see what she's missing right in front of her - Ella, her mother who seemed to really be trying to make amends, and of course, Liam.
The book is not really so much a romance, but there is romance in the background and it's slow building (just the way I like it) and sweet. Liam is definitely swoon-worthy.
Now, writing. I could gush, but I won't. She creates realistic, well-developed characters that really feel like you actually know them by the end of the story.
The big twist - I had my suspicions, but I thought it was really smart and well done.
My only complaint - the ending felt sort of rushed.
Ah, for those wondering - no graphic sex scenes but I'd put a trigger warning for this one:
It's not really that graphic, but it's there so I think it matters to mention it just in case.
So, beautifully written, intense and heartbreaking story with characters you will fall in love with and root for until the very end. What's not to recommend there? Can't wait for Rebecca Berto's next book :).