I must begin this review by saying that this story is both incredibly unique and highly addictive. I had no clue what I was getting myself into when I started reading, but it became clear after the first chapter that I was not going to be able to stop reading until I finished the entire book. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning…
Undertow popped up on my Netgalley dash, along with it’s sequel, Stormfront. I was immediately intrigued by the beautiful cover and after reading the synopsis I was certain that I needed to read this book. Before I started reading I did what I always do upon discovering a new author… I checked out the goodreads reviews. I was surprised to see that nearly all the reviews were 4 & 5 stars. How was it possible that I had not heard of this series when everyone who read it loved it? Then I discovered that the author is self published and things started to make sense. Unfortunately, the publishing world is a bit of a beast. This series hooked me from the first page and had me on it’s line til the very last word. I decided that I wanted to do all I could to help get this book into the hands of more readers, so that more people could enjoy it, so I made it the October Book of the Month on my blog. Now, my blog is a small one- I don’t have sponsors and my follower count is relatively low, but the followers I do have are valued and I truly enjoy interacting with them. I wanted them to know about this story, I wanted them to read it and talk with me about it. Also, I firmly believe that this author deserves to be recognized by as many readers as any of the top sellers.
Undertow is fiercely original- unlike anything I’ve read before. The characters are interesting and relatable and their banter is adorably charming. Within these pages I found everything from mystery to romance to laugh-out-loud wit. I found myself wishing I knew the characters and got to exchange laughs or sassy remarks with them. I may have even swooned one or two (or twenty) times, but hey who’s counting? I think what I appreciate most about this story though, has to be the originality of it. It’s refreshing to read something that I’ve yet to come across in my many years of avid reading. I fell madly in love with this series and dove straight into the second book, unable to wait for even a day between books. It’s THAT good. Obviously, I highly recommend you all read this book… and then come back and tell me what you thought!" http://shereadssheblogs.com/2014/11/02/book-review-undertow-by-k-r-conway/comment-page-1/#comment-837
Hundreds of reviews for UNDERTOW can be found on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22924235-undertow
"I signed up for this review 3 months ago. I knew I had to read it since my time was up but I really wasn't feeling it. For this, I want to kick myself. Once I even got 10 pages in, I just couldn't stop reading. I wasn't able to fully function until this book was done.
Eila is a girl who doesn't see herself well. She was picked on at her old school and she doesn't start out on the greatest foot in her new school either, but things end up turning around for her. I really liked Eila. She uses her "confidence jeans" to keep her going and to not give up. I like it about her, she had to pull strength to keep going sometimes but she always does. She is an inspiration for many girls in that aspect. She feels like a real person, not some made up one, which made it even more enjoyable to keep reading.
Raef seems like a sweetheart. Raef is a big reason why I kept reading, I had to know what he was going to do next. He keeps you hanging through most of the book and then you finally get answers toward the end of the book. He is a character that comes across of the body build of a football player, yet he doesn't fall for any of the other girls tricks. I know most of it is from his maturity, but I still really liked that about him.
There is also Anna, MJ, and Kian that are big characters in the book as well. They start off kind of slow in the character department, but they all end up blossoming as well. You find out so much about them that could have your mouth hanging open if you aren't careful. There are so many twists within the book that you can't do anything else but keep reading on.
I haven't read much paranormal, but after this, I think it definitely has a new fan. I would like to tell you more about the paranormal side, but I can't without giving out major spoilers for the book, but know it is fantastic.
The character development is so detailed and well written, the writing itself is breath taking, the romantic side of it is so sweet, and the story itself has wonderful plot. The book is about 400 pages, but I didn't feel like length of the book like I do with most books. I read on and wanted more. I love when a book can make you forget about how long it is and you can just enjoy it.
There is two different romances that blossom as you read, but it isn't over done. It is a big part of the book but also doesn't change what is going on in the book. It is just a nice little treat on the side. I have to say that there were times when I was like "Come on Raef!!!" but everything was well worth the wait!
I think the best thing that I have done for myself this year is to read this book. I can't wait to get ahold of the second book in this series! I need some more Eila and Raef!!" https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1068561211?book_show_action=false&ref=ru_lihp_up_rv_5_mclk-exp59cell126-up1967748687
Since October 8th, UNDERTOW and STORMFRONT have been riding the Amazon bestseller lists.
I am pleased to announce that STORMFRONT climbed to #1 in YA myths and Legends and #2 in Paranormal Fantasy, with an overall rank of #231 in Teen Fiction
UNDERTOW, has been riding the top of the bestseller list on and off the entire year, but hit #7 this past week as well.
I am humbled by all the fans of the story. MANY THANKS!
Announcement from librarian, Laurie Carah:
"I would like to introduce, KR Conway, West's Writer In Residence for this school year! Kate is the author of the highly popular Young Adult fiction series, Undertow. which is unique to this area as it is set in historic Cape Cod, but that is where the similarities end as KR's characters have highly evolved abilities and bloodlines.
With 20 years of professional journalism, Kate is not only an adept author, she has the uncanny ability to ignite passion for her craft with humor and grace in the many venues at West she has visited and share her ideas. A favorite presenter in the Library during 2013-14, this year, Kate is co-sponsor of the Story Rebels Advisory and Club, which meets in the library on Thursdays at lunch. Students have been provided with high octane presos on character development using an Astrological Wheel to pull and match traits. We will be sharing snippets of our work on the new site KR setup, as well:http://storyrebels.com/
Our visiting author has also been busy working with Seniors in Abby Rhode's English classes in the past week, helping them to write their college essays as if they are "main characters" in their own life stories, and using writing craft to help reveal their own uniqueness.
The school has been given a light in the form of KR Conway, whose literary gifts will only ignite more passion in our students for all that is literature. Thank you, Kate!"
On November 19th, Conway will be one of six authors on a Fall Fest Panel at the Historic Sturgis library in West Barnstable. Conway was invited to join as the only self-pubbed author.
Trisha Leaver (Flux, Llewellyn)
Hillary Monahan (Disney / Hyperion)
Scott Blagden (HMH Books)
Lauren Roy (ACE)
Mick Carlon (Leapfrog Press)
UNDERTOW will be featured in Girl's Life Magazine this holiday season!
UNDERTOW was nominated for an Indie Recon Live award in the following categories:
Best First Line
Best Book Boyfriend
Best New YA
Many thanks to NPR for inviting me on their show to talk about book marketing and STORMFRONT (the second book in the UNDERTOW series).
I am crazy pleased to announce that UNDERTOW has been nominated by the Sandwich HS librarian to be added to the high school's summer reading list. Students will be tasked with making a book trailer for UNDERTOW, rather than a book report!
Undertow was named one of Barnes and Noble's Seven YAs that will make you terrified of the ocean just in time for summer. UNDERTOW was the only self-pubbed title on the list. More details can be found here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/teen/7-yas-thatll-make-you-terrified-of-the-ocean-just-in-time-for-summer/