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Mandafofanda Reads Lots

The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no?

And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?
Doesn't that make life a story?

- Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Going Under - S. Walden This book contains one of the most terrifying scenes that I've ever read, and would never want to reread again, ever. But I'm glad that the author decided to include it in this book, and write it in a realistic and respectful way.

Just had to put that up there because that's something that really hit me painfully after reading this book. But while this book doesn't shy away from grittiness, there is also an uncovering of a mystery, a sweet romance and a story of self-redemption that balances the darkness.

There is a lot of this book that I fell in love with. The not-always-so-slick sleuthing. The protagonist's determination and drive. The multi-dimensional cast of secondary characters (Terry! Gretchen! Her father! Lucy!) The totally swoon-worthy love interest Ryan whom I would've been devastated to discover was one of the rapists (I had this tension for half the book dreading that reveal). The funny banter between friends.

I liked that the villains of this book never felt flat. They were evil, yes, but humanly evil (ultimately scarier). They can also all die slow and painful deaths.

I felt that Walden took a very difficult subject and made a thoughtful, respectful, emotionally realistic and well-written story. I couldn't put it down and I'm glad that I read it, but it's one of those books where I loathe to recommend because of the pain and terror I felt while reading it that I'd want to spare people I care about.