20 March 2013

Book Tour Review: Going Under by S. Walden

Title: Going Under
Author: S. Walden
Genre: New Adult
Date to be Published: March 19, 2013
Buy It: Amazon | Smashwords | Createspace (paperback)

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 explicit language and descriptions of sexual violence.)




I don't how else to say "mind blown" but you get my drift. Yep, this book is definitely one of my favorites now. I stayed up till 4AM reading this and if I didn't have a class in the morning I bet I would've stayed up at the crack of dawn till sleep overtakes me. Going Under is incredibly well written. It tackles sensitive and heavy issues, so be prepared. This isn't for the faint of heart.

Walden is an amazing writer. Right from the get go, the intensity was already building. Throughout the story, Brooke was having flashbacks in her dreams. With every flashback, we're given a glimpse of what happened between her and her bestfriend Beth before she committed suicide. It's like the readers are given an idea of who Brooke really is and what her intentions are with every flashback. She's a bit loony... I'm not kidding. Not that she was psychopath-loony. She just... had a lot of issues. She had to see a shrink to help her deal with her grief and guilt. Now it kind of bothered me at first when she planned on how she'll infiltrate the boys' Fantasy Slut League because it was seriously messed up to even consider it! But then again perhaps her guilt over leaving things unresolved with her bestfriend took over her sanity.

What I loved most about the book was the build up leading to the all the crazy revelations. There was so many twists and turns and what-the-hell kind of revelations that I devoured the book so quickly. The excitement never died down and I was always eager to get to the next chapter to find out more. (Ugh! It is so hard to write a review without spoilers)

Part of what made the build up so freaking amazing were the set of diverse characters. Everybody had secrets (dun dun dun) and everybody had something to contribute. Even the minor characters did. I loved how Brooke was all kickass on the outside but inside she was totally wrecked. Then we have her other bestfriend Gretchen who's so loud and fun and is basically Brooke's compliment. And then there's Ryan... oh goodness.

ALLOW ME THIS MOMENT to gush over Ryan. I love you. You nerdy loner boy who skateboards and gives nuclear......woops. Heh. I don't think I've ever gushed like this over a book boyfriend who's part of a book that's not mainly a love story.

Brooke and Ryan? Freaking. Hot. There was this one particular scene, and I'm not about to spoil it for you because it's too freaking hot, where I totally forgot what the book was about and momentarily wished Brooke would just up and leave her crack down mission so we could have more Ryan time. Let's just say it involves a game controller and Call of Duty. *wags eyebrows*

I loved, really loved, how the love story was incorporated here without having to dwell too much on it.  There were tender moments, there were hot moments, and there were WTF-is-happening moments. There was balance in the story and I really appreciated it. I especially liked the ending too. HINT: It involves Brook and Ryan. But don't go skipping to that part or you won't enjoy it as much!!! You have to read their first, erm, encounters.

Okay let's go back. Where was I... Ah yes, the sensitive issue in this book: rape. The boys playing the FSL were all very creepy in an understated way. Like, on the surface they didn't appear so much like psychos but they gave me the creeps nonetheless. It was already insanely nerve-wracking reading chapters where Brooke would find out more about their club, it was even more painful reading the climax of the story but it was beautiful in a way - the intensity was there and it really transformed the book into something else. It's like it isn't even just a story anymore. It's so. Much. More.

I had one of those moments again where I couldn't find the right words to write this review. I tried and I hope I somehow made an acceptable review. It's simply too hard to write a review of a book this amazing because words fail me. S. Walden is an amazing writer - I've said it before and I'll say it again. She took on a really sensitive issue; it's not very easy to write about but she did. I can't wait to read more from her; her stories are the kinds that stick with you for a long time.

My Rating

(Refer to rating system)

***I received an Advance Reading e-Copy of this book for review***
This review is based solely on my opinion.
About the author
S. Walden

S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she's not writing, she's thinking about it.

She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at swaldenauthor@hotmail.com and follow her blog at http://swaldenauthor.blogspot.com where you can get up-to-date information on her current projects.


Check out the rest of the reviews today and the excerpts tomorrow:


  1. I reviewed this book as well and couldn't agree more. The video game scene was one of my favorites. Hot hot hot! Loved the plot, loved the romance, loved Brooke and definitely LOVED Ryan. Rawr! :)

  2. I agree, this book was fabulous on every level. Great review and that video game was amazing.

  3. Wow, now I'm really curious. Why haven't I heard of this before? I'm definitely adding this to my TBR! (I'll have to hide the racy cover though, my mum will freak)

    Hilarious review! I laughed at the "nuclear" part :D I know what you mean ~wink wink~

    Thanks for the laugh!