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Undertow Paperback – February 18, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Carolwood Press (February 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615599877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615599878
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,057,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Boy, was I unexpectedly surprised - and excitedly so! This story has so many layers that go way beyond the surface . . . the pacing was phenomenal . . ."
So Simple Sara book reviews

"The love story and family conflicts also felt very realistic and not at all contrived. . . The love story was sweet . . .Very very good story and definitely worth the read, I have high expectations for this new author!"
Goodreads reviewer

"The book has enough well-paced sub-plots and mystic elements to keep the reader turning the pages in eager anticipation of the next chapter. The characters are realistic and believable, with their histories revealed gradually as the story unfolds."
Linda H.
Amazon Reviewer

From the Author

Undertow began as an idea I had about a young woman who believes she was rescued by a mythical creature and becomes obsessed with finding him. Could she find her way back to the love waiting for her in the real world?

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
She will keep you hanging on the edge all the way to the end.
Nancy Allen (The Avid Reader)
Realistic situations, realistic characters and powerful emotions are all wrapped up in the story.
Reading By The Beach
While there are elements of fantasy in the beginning of this book, it is not a fantasy novel.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By The Book Runner on February 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is not a romance but a cry for help. Marissa has experienced a past trauma that she was never given help to overcome. Additionally, her family has a medical history of depression so that quite frankly, Marissa is mentally sick. The book spends some time flirting with the notion of whether she is crazy or in love with a mythical creature, but the reality is that she is trying to deal with her past and is not winning.

Marissa finds out her boyfriend of two years, Drake has been cheating on her and almost drowns when she falls asleep on the coast after running away from him. Her parents are divorced, her mother critical, her father ignores her emotionally and now she is betrayed by the only person she thought that loved her. She is unable to count on any one in her life they have ALL hurt her or failed to protect her and she is left trying to pick up the pieces and deal.

Thankfully (and really conveniently) Marissa meets Jim the first week of transferring to a new college. Jim is the most wonderful guy and I really hated to see him get mixed up in her drama. He is steadfast and loyal and would have made a great first boyfriend perhaps preventing her downward spiral.

Do not download this thinking it will be lighthearted. It is about pain and hurt and failure. Very Depressing.

Would I/Did I buy it? Free Download
Would I read it again? No
Would I recommend it to friends? Probably not
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Reading By The Beach on February 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
First and foremost, people will start reading this book expecting a paranormal twist, but don't be fooled, this is not paranormal in any way. Undertow is an emotional story about a girl trying to find a reason to fight to live. A gripping novel that will send the readers on an emotional roller coaster that dips so low before the rise. A brilliant, realistic story about the power of obsession and the courage to live through it.

Marissa is no doubt, a damaged seventeen year old, becoming more realistic with each struggle that weighs her down. You feel through her, which is never an easy feat for an author. Marissa has experienced countless disappointments and heartaches, some that most people will never have to face, some enevitable. Like the ocean, Marissa is deep, dark and untempered until she finds her anchor.

The ocean motif(analogies that Marissa uses to describe things or people around her) leads you to believe that there will be a paranormal aspect(mermaids, most likely), but once you dig a little deeper, you see the importance of the ocean and the power that it holds over Marissa. Undertow will make you think, it will make you take a deeper look into the story to assess the subtle clues that are strewed without. Realistic situations, realistic characters and powerful emotions are all wrapped up in the story.

Undertow is set in the scenic, coastal Oregon. Callie Kingston ferries you to each location with vivid imagery, adding a breathtaking element to her already omnipotent novel.

Exceptional writing that transports you into the story, to experience each new development as if it were your own. I cannot convey enough how emotional Undertow is. It starts out subtle then hits you full on like a rogue wave. A story that will burrow into your mind, escape impossible until you know the ending, no scratch that, way beyond the ending. This is a story that will stay with you. Recommended for ALL readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chels on April 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Marissa's life is far from perfect. She has a mother who always seems to be angry with her and a father who doesn't seem to notice her. It is interesting how the author portrayed Marissa's character. The reader will learn later on in the book that Marissa is not quite what she seems, but the author handles that problem very fluidly. Marissa is slipping and it's not just because her life is slowly becoming crazier.

Overall, the best and most interesting character was Marissa's. It is intriguing because most likely the reader won't take to her character right away. She isn't exactly a warm and friendly type, a bit prickly instead. However, her romance with the merman who saves her and her clear love for who she imagines him to be will serve to make the reader feel more compassion for her. The other characters are interesting...not all likable.

The plot itself is great. The author has a clear goal from page one and accomplishes that goal wonderfully. The ending is somewhat unexpected, but oddly perfect. This book is recommended to young adult/teen readers.

*Complimentary copy received for this review, does not affect my opinion in any way*
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Johaleesi (formerly JJiReads) on December 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was very pleased when I found out that this will be yet another Mermaid/Merman book I'd be reading this year, but I was not prepared to be so enthralled with this particular story. While reading Undertow I felt like I was speaking to a normal girl, with real problems and frustrations. Unhappy with her life, parents that don't understand her, and the seemingly perfect boyfriend that ended up cheating on her, Marissa takes an unexpected trip to the beach where she is swept away by a rogue wave and dragged out to sea. Convinced that she is surely to die Marissa doesn't remember how she actually manage to survive and ended up back at home a few days later, hair matted and full of sand.

In order to get back into some kind of normalcy and to forget her cheating ex-boyfriend, Marissa moves away to college in Portland. Little by little Marissa starts to remember little things about the incident at the beach and starts to realize that what saved her was a mysterious merman. Marissa becomes convinced that her savior is real and that she will one day go back to the sea to be with him forever. Is Marissa's merman-savior real, or is Marissa losing touch with reality?

Callie Kingston does a great job of keeping you guessing the entire time what is real and what is not real. As a likable main character, I tended to side with Callie and believe that there had to be a real fantasy merman out there that saved her. This fact kept me passionately reading to find out if Callie was right or if she was just imagining the entire incident. I loved that about that book. This was a very fast read and a great book for those that like the mystery. 4 stars.
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