Going Under by S. Walden Review

Going Under by S. Walden
Release Date: March 14, 2013
Publisher: Penny Press
Age: New Adult, 17+
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Drama, Suspense, Abuse, High School, Love, Rape
Format: ebook
Source: purchased
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
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.
(This is a New Adult fiction book with mature themes. It contains graphic sex and language and a description of sexual violence.)
I give Going Under 5 huge, larger than life stars and I need a drink, like a really big one (with an umbrella or something) but like straight vodka. Yeah. But, before I indulge..

Every now and then I read a book that strikes a cord so deep that I have to get my review out as soon as the last word is read. Going Under was one of those books. I cannot eat, sleep, or pay my dogs any attention until I address what an AMAZING and thought provoking book this is. It has the power to change the way you look at books and S. Walden has the ability to make the outside world disappear and allow only her fictional story exist. I have to share this read with all of you before I can move on with my life. Truthfully. So here goes.

From the very beginning I knew this book would be emotional and raw. I knew from the heavy subject matter that things were about the get crazy. Brooke approaches her plan for revenge head-on and as a reader it was an unforgettable journey through her approach and her self discovery. The shift in beginning Brooke to end Brooke is massive. So much happens between the pages, some of which I still can't wrap my head around, it's jarring and heartbreaking but at the same time it was kind of perfect, especially in the end. It's the kind of book you find yourself mad at, screaming at and rereading to make sure you got it right; then you find yourself shell shocked and numb. I was a lunatic throughout this book, looney I tell you. Totally murmuring to myself and stuff. Yeah. It'll do that to you.

The complexity of the characters and their well thought through (on the authors part) their lives, flaws, and everything in between is what kept me going back in for more. I couldn't get enough of Ryan, I was intrigued and disgusted by the swimmers, and fascinated with this mission that Brooke was on. She was a firecracker determined to set things right. Her plight was a redeeming quality, even when in the beginning she didn't have many of those to me. Her strength and pure force was something I never saw coming. I liked Brooke, throughout the entire book I liked her (even when I didn't) but she really transforms before your eyes. What was sometimes a juvenile story becomes a lot more.

Ryan was without a doubt my favorite part of this book. He's mysterious and oh so adorable; he was this complicated puzzle that I tried desperately to figure out before Brooke had the chance but I had nothing, I was stumped. And, I'm so happy for that. The relationship he builds with Brooke is intense and they become cute and comfortable together. I was lost in the passion I had for this book, which ranged from every feeling known to man S. Walden's writing elicited them all. Her twisting and turning events also kept me focused on this book (and nothing else, no really, I don't think I've done anything around the house since I started reading it).
""You don't know me from Adam," I said to her. She reached for a paper towel. "But that guy you're with is bad news."
"That guy you're with is-"
"No no," she interuped. "What you said before. What does that mean?"
"What are you talking about?"
"That thing you said about Adam. Does Adam like me?" she asked, her face flushing a rosy pink.
Dear God.
S. Walden is kind of hilarious, even in a non-hilarious setting. This book is drama-filled. But, it's well rounded in that we have plenty of opportunities to giggle and grin at her writing as we're allowing our tears to dry. I'd say she's an equal opportunity writer, in that she gives us all a reason to love her; so whether you want to laugh or become emotionally spent, she's your girl. And really, while the entire book has a serious undertone most of the actual suspense and drama occurs more towards the end, there's some deeply seeded things throughout but I fell apart at the end. :) Just sayin.

An emotionally jarring, discussion starting, thought provoking, tear jerking book that I believe is a must read. It will sucker punch and blind you, no lie, but in its craziness and brutal force it will open your eyes while breaking your heart. Here's my prediction, this book will rock the charts. It will be big, huge, gi-freaking-normous and you're all going to enjoy it, every bleeping second!

While I loved this book, I loved the tears I shed and the emotionally draining yet satisfying story; it is not a story for everyone. It is dark and rough, and it is a topic that not everyone is comfortable reading about. There are plenty of happy moments and some cute and hilarious ones but it handles some intense subjects. I do believe it sheds light in dark places and is overall a story of survival and standing up for oneself. It's a ray of sunshine in a dark corner, and S. Walden did a remarkable job!


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