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Whalefall by Daniel Kraus

This was not the book I expected it to be! Angsty teen Jay Gardiner wants to find his deceased father’s remains in the Pacific Ocean, where the two would scuba dive. Jay’s father died by suicide and Jay has a lot of unresolved guilt and trauma from their relationship. He hopes that by finding his father’s bones, he can bring peace back to his family. But what he doesn’t realize is that where he is diving there is a rare giant squid that is being pursued as a meal for a sperm whale. Somehow, Jay is caught in the tentacles and swallowed by the whale. While in the first of the whale’s four stomachs, Jay realizes he has only one hour of oxygen left and has decide if he is going to fight to survive or give in like his father did. There is a lot of surprising gore as Jay deals with various injuries inside the whale. The science in this book reminded me of The Martian, but ultimately, it’s a tale about how we struggle to grieve. I read this book in an afternoon.

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