From Goodreads: Annie Fleet, master scuba diver and history buff, knows she can’t fight her nerd status as a freshman at her Los Angeles private school. And she doesn’t care—except for the fact that her crush, Josh, thinks she’s more adorable than desirable. Annie is determined to set him straight on their school trip to Mexico. But her teacher has other plans: he needs Annie to help him find Cortez’s lost-long treasure.
Suddenly, Annie finds herself scuba diving in pitch-black waters, jetting to Hawaii with Josh, and hunting for the priceless Golden Jaguar. But Annie and Josh aren’t the only ones lured by the possibility of finding the greatest treasure ever lost at sea. Someone else wants the gold—and needs Annie dead. In deeper danger than she ever imagined, can Annie get the boy and find the Jaguar, or is she in over her head?
Critically-acclaimed author Coert Voorhees delivers breathtaking romance and non-stop action in his newest novel, the spirited and captivating In Too Deep.
The beginning of this novel was a bit slow for me. Voorhees spends much time setting up the scene and the characters, so there isn’t much action until about 35% into the novel, when the treasure hunting actually begins. From here, it’s a whirlwind of stop and go action as Annie and Josh embark on a mission to find Cortez’s treasure before those out to kill her succeed. I’m not interested in the specifics of diving, so the details explaining exactly how to do so were a little overbearing for me, but the thrill of the adventure was great once it really got started.
Voorhees has done a great job making the entire story work, since our main characters are high school students. The story begins in California, and our characters, Josh, Annie, and the rest of the gang, attend a private school for the “rich and famous.” There’s a school trip to Mexico for a humanitarian experience, and Annie is an expert diver. Honestly, the set up is perfect because the characters need money, the know-how, and the ability to travel. The family set up is perfect, too, making it so that everything works together, from the high school humanitarian trip to the Hawaii one. Like I said, Annie is an expert diver, her father a history teacher at the private school who loves the treasure hunt, her mother a dive shop owner. Who better suited to hunt for treasure than Annie? Josh is the son of an actress, the golden child, able to make things happen on a whim, such as travel to Hawaii, which is why the story itself is able to flow in a believable manner.
Annie is a bit more naïve than I’d like her to be, though. A freshman in high school, she tends to follow the crowd in order to be close to Josh, and her inability to tell her parents the truth about the people chasing her irked me a bit. I know teenagers don’t tell their parents everything, but I like a good story in which the teens trust their parents, and I’d especially like to see that when a life is on the line. But to make the story work, Annie did need to keep the secret, and it all worked out in the end. Three stars.
Disney Book Group has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on July 9, 2013.