Going Under by S. Walden

Going Under

(This is a New Adult fiction book with mature themes. It contains graphic sex and language and a description of sexual violence.)

From goodreads: 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.

I have no words to describe what I feel at this very moment.  When I read the blurb to this highly recommended book, I had no idea what to expect but I know this, I didn’t expect to experience so many different emotions!!!

So many topics that are covered in this story from the not-so-controversial to the absolutely controversial and it makes for a fantastic book, one that I could not put down.  I will admit, the first chapter was a struggle for me, not because it was slow but because Brooke seemed so aloof about the whole situation with Beth.  Perhaps it was the author’s intent but once I got to the second chapter, I was fully invested in Going Under.

This is a story about loss, shame, guilt, redemption and above all, hope.   Just when I didn’t think there would be any hope, there is and I was moved to tears.  And there were moments throughout this book where I was uncomfortable, disgusted and so frustrated but I believed in Brooke and her crusade.

I took me a bit to warm up to Brooke but once I did, I absolutely loved her!  She had strength and her wittiness had me chuckling out loud on more than one occasion.  I absolutely loved her conversations with her father and Terry.  And her love interest, Ryan?  I loved him and I realize that might make some people cringe but I make no apologies for thinking he was perfectly imperfect.

This was a really tough review for me to write because I don’t want to give anything away and if you’re like me and love the element of surprise, you’ll appreciate my vague commentary about this book.  I will leave you with this…

Going Under doesn’t feel YA and it’s so well written.  The characters have depth and realness to them, the subject matter is extremely disturbing but handled with dignity and I applaud S. Walden for being courageous enough to share this story with the world.

“I’m talking about the kind of indignity that changes you as a person, makes you withdraw, hide from the world because suddenly it’s turned into something frightening—full of dark corners and monsters.”

Take a gamble on this book, you won’t regret it!  ;)



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