Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Going Under by S. Walden

Going Under by S. Walden 4.5 Stars

Going Under

GoodReads Synopsis Brooke Wright has only two goals her senior year at Charity Run High School: stay out of trouble and learn to forgive herself for the past. Forgiveness proves elusive, and trouble finds her anyway when she discovers a secret club at school connected to the death of her best friend. She learns that swim team members participate in a “Fantasy Slut League,” scoring points for their sexual acts with unsuspecting girls.

Brooke, wracked with guilt over her friend’s death, decides to infiltrate the league by becoming one of the “unsuspecting girls,” and exact revenge on the boys who stole away her best friend. An unexpected romance complicates her plans, and her dogged pursuit of justice turns her reckless as she underestimates just how far the boys will go to keep their sex club a secret. NOTE: There is a graphic rape scene in the novel, do not read if you cannot handle. 

Overall Review- There are really no words to describe this amazing book. It was raw, beautiful, scary, sad, painful and so much more all mixed up into one crazy whirlwind, unforgettable, inescapable journey for Brooke. It is true that no summary or review out there can give this book the justice it deserves. This book is an experience. Theres no other word for it. Unfortunately this book hits home for many women, and is incredibly honest and real on subject many try so hard to avoid. S. Walden is an amazing writer, controversial yet well written. This book with leave an impact. So be warned. 

Cover: Seductive and intriguing
Rating: R 
Page Turner:  Yes
Series Cont.? No
Recommend:  YES
Book Boyfriend: Ryan
Genre: New Adult Novel
Characters: Brooke and Ryan 
Sex Scenes: Yes (Please note- there is also a rape scene)
Setting: High School in North Carolina

Oh my goodness. Where do I even begin. This book. Wow. I am so blown away I cant even write, thats how amazing this book was.
This book is absolutely amazing, and fantastic. Totally got my out of my book funk. It is a rollercoaster. It is not your typical love story or romance novel. Its not your page turner in a crime novel either, where you need to find out what happens or who did it. Going Under is truly different. If you have read Almost by Anne Elliot, its similar to that novel, but more gritty like Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts. Its a passionate, thoughtful but dark romance.

The book is like a tornado you cant hide from!
I could not have predicted what happened in this book. Even when Brooke sets out on her mission, as you get to know the characters, I still hold out hope that she's wrong, but I never quite saw the ending coming which is unusual. One of the things I loved about this book, is the authors writing style. She wrote so genuine and so easy. Some books are overly descriptive, and drag out through the book, but this book moved easily. The book flowed in an easy way, I followed the heroine unsuspectingly, learning with her and intrigued to figure out how the end would turn out. It was brillant really. I plan to read the authors other works to see if they are just a awesome!

The Plot--I would say this plot is a strange one, in the the wake of her best friends suicide, Brooke sets out on a plan to take down her best friends rapist, and uncovers a sex game far more sinister, all the while, falling in love. I wasnt sure about the plot at first, but all the reviews were so good that I decided to read the sample. (I ALWAYS do this) I read the sample and I wasnt "convinced" but I was enjoying the book nonetheless, mainly because the plot was so damn intriguing, so I bought the book and I was not disappointed. I was taken on a self discovery journey, a quest, and an incredible story about love and loss. I think most of what occurs also felt raw, real and sincere. (Well almost see below for dislikes) Really the book moved a good pace (not too slow or too fast) with the story line moving at a good rate, meaning the timing of everything felt accurate, and the storyline moved appropriately with the events occurring at a normal pace. The rape scene is graphic and disturbing. There is no doubt about it, and I will not lie, I cried frequently during these chapters.( I dont want to say much about it as to not give away the book, but it was emotional, and the author did an incredible job of making the scene emotional and raw, not sexually explicit and erotic.) In the end this book is quite moving, emotional, and wonderful, everything about this book was great, but its not for anyone who cannot handle the sexual nature of the topic within this book.

The Characters--Wow. Brooke is tough and strong and brave and so many things. Like most teens, she is coping with figuring out how to forgive herself for the mistakes shes made which is not easy for anyone but especially during our teen years. While I couldnt personally relate to the situation, I could most definitely relate to her personality and her emotions, and thats what made Brooke a great character. She was genuine, raw, but strong and brave, though I dont think she always knew that she was so strong. In the end I think she was brave and yet weak (which lets be honest, most of us are. Forgiveness is always the most difficult emotion to give and get) However, I was glad to see she overcame her fears and decided to take the high road. Cal, wow what a character. I think the author was extremely well written when it came to Cal and the swim team boys. Especially Brookes description of a predator. A predator is not one you notice from far away, they arent the ones you think they would be, they are the ones who truly "prey" because they act nice at first, and attack when you least expect it. I think Cal was exceptionally written, his evil ego often covered by a facade, had Brooke not known going into the book he was the bad guy, she may have seen him differently, and I think thats the point the author was trying to convey.

Last minute thoughts---
Cal and the Swim Team
The Swimming pool scene was intense. It kept me on edge and I was SOOOO nervous...little did I know what was coming...
The rape scene- I have to admit while crying through this one, why the boys were so careless.
Parker- Why did he hate Brooke so much, since the moment they met he hated her, but it wasnt explained.
The ending- I felt the the last chapters were a little rushed, and left a little to be desired. After the slow build up and the crazy climax, the actual ending left me wanting a little more, not a lot, maybe even a chapter or a couple of pages more, instead it felt like it was rushed to conclude.

There were a couple of things I didnt like....specifically I didnt like that Brooke was reckless in her crusading. I thought that why her heart was in the right place, she was making an error in judgment. Then again, there is a lot to be said if I thought that was her only error in judgment throughout the book. To be honest, she makes a lot of them! But thats what makes her character so great. She is not flawless. The negative of this specific portion of the book that Im referring to, it just seemed a bit too unbelieveable that she would do this part, though many of the other parts did in fact seem genuine, though reckless and I think there is a difference, which is important to note. Also, as my as I liked Ryan. I didnt love him like I thought I was supposed to. I did like that their relationship built over time, and I liked how it grew, but some of the scenes which we sexual in nature, didnt seem "normal" Im not sure how else to say that I didnt agree with parts of his personality. Okay so thats about where my dislikes end. :-)

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