Sara’s Review of Undertow by Callie Kingston + Giveaway!


Published: February 17th 2012 by Carolwood Press

To Purchase: See Author’s Webpage

Goodreads Description:

Reality is slipping away as Marissa sinks deeper into an abyss. Only truth and love can bring her back from the edge.

While she slept on a desolate beach on the wild Oregon coast, a rogue wave pulled her out to sea. Now Marissa dreams each night of a merman who rescued her. Obsessed, she risks her life once again in the frigid ocean. Will Marissa recover or remain forever lost in the eddies inside her mind?

Sometimes, the deadliest dangers lie within.


This is one of those books that is not what you originally expect it to be. To say I was a bit disappointed is an understatement. I’m warning you now, I’m usually not one to give away spoilers, but in this one case I am making an exception. If you are looking for a book that is about a romance between a girl and a merman, then this is not the book for you. Instead, it’s about a girl dealing with some serious mental issues.

For the first time I find myself at a loss on what to really say. On the one paw I wasn’t expecting to read a story like this one at all, so it came as a bit of a shock. But on the other paw, it was an interesting read once I got into it. Kingston does a really good job at depicting Marissa’s spiral into mental instability. It’s hard to figure out what is real and what is false in the beginning. As the mysteries surrounding Marissa’s life are explained, the answers do not paint a pretty picture.

Honestly my heart went out to Marissa. Once I got past my initial dislike for her, she actually was quite irritating at first, and started to understand what was going on, it was hard not to feel sympathetic towards her. I wanted her to overcome everything and find happiness in the end. It was easy to get caught up in her struggles as she battled with her breakdown.

The biggest issue that I had with this book was Kingston’s writing style. The flow of events is just too abrupt for my taste and there are times where I felt like details were being left out. One particular example is when Jim first appears and Marissa’s relationship with him. It’s so sudden that I actually had to go back and reread a few sections in order to make sure I hadn’t skipped a page or two. Meanwhile, I couldn’t form a strong connection with him because there was very little detail given on who he was. Now I’m not saying that I need a full background summary and lead up on every character in every book I read, but some explanation would be nice.

Despite this though, the book has its moments where it shines. Not bad for a debut novel. Murr!

Author Bio:

Callie Kingston’s home is in the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with many furry creatures (including her husband). She holds a masters degree in psychology and has worked in schools for many years. When not writing, she likes to explore the outdoors, especially the forests and beaches along the Oregon coast. She also enjoys a great cup of cappuccino, which happily is easily found in her part of the world.

You can find her by visiting her on Twitter, Website, Book Page, and Goodreads!

We felines would like to thank AToMR Book Tours for letting us participate in this tour event! For a full list of all the blogs involved in the tour, please visit HERE!


And now for the Giveaway! Kingston has kindly offered to give one lucky winner an ebook copy of Undertow in a format of their choice. Murr! Simply fill out the form below to be entered. Event runs June 4- 9, 2012 (ends at 11:59 Pacific Time). Winner will be announced June 10, 2012 using Also be sure to visit AToMR Book Tours at the end of the tour for an opportunity to be entered into a giveaway for a signed print copy and a $20 Gift Card!

Winner is Laura deLuca!!

Posted on June 4, 2012, in Book Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I appreciate your review, and for hosting Undertow on the ATOMR blog tour.