Friday, December 14, 2012

Undertow - Kiri R. Newton

Title: Undertow
Author: Kiri R. Newton
Publication information: Bookpal Australia (2012)

This book focuses on Zoe, a young Australian girl who after a tragic plane crash meets a dashing merman named Josiah. From that moment on Zoe's life changes completely, and flash eleven years forward, and we see that everything is getting very dangerous for Zoe when Josiah suddenly appears back into her life.

Undertow is quite short at only 291 pages long so I managed to read this in just a few hours. I think that for this type of young adult book, the plot was exciting and held my interest but at points became predictable as the story contains many of the typical YA themes; mermaids, love triangle, family conflicts, romance. Despite the predictable nature of the plot, I think that had I been a few years younger I would have thoroughly enjoyed this book so I would recommend it for anyone who usually enjoys young adult literature or readers who are between 14 and 18, as personally I think that readers of this age would definitely get more from the story.

Our main protagonist is Zoe. She seems to be the typical sort of YA girl; girly and hopelessly romantic but in the end tough and willing to fight. I never really connected with Zoe as a main character but I really liked the character of Josiah. I found him to be much more believable and relatable than any of the other characters, even though he is a merman. I found some of the side characters interesting and the use of history to describe the various families to the reader was an effective tool. The characters were at times slightly annoying, mostly because they did not react to strange things in the ways that I think the average person would. I can't really say much about this though as I don't want to ruin the story for anyone wishing to read this but I think that, had the reactions to things been more believable or dramatic, I would have been able to connect to the characters a lot more.

The writing was good but as I said before, this would definitely be better suited to someone a bit younger. The language used in this book is a lot more straight-forward than I am used to and not too descriptive which means that Undertow is a great little quick read with an interesting plot.

Overall, I would give Undertow by Kiri R. Newton 3.5 out of 5 stars and I would recommend this book to younger young adult literature readers and anyone who enjoys a good mermaid tale!

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