Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: Going Under by Georgia Cates

Going Under by Georgia Cates
Published: March 2012
Available: Amazon


Jessie Boone is a self proclaimed bad boy and doesn’t march to the beat of anyone’s drum, but his own. Growing up in less than desirable circumstances has made him no stranger to the hard knock life and his determination to leave it behind is fierce. When he finds himself transferred to East Franklin High School, he sees his opportunity to use his athletic ability to snag a college football scholarship, but Forbes Henderson, the player Jessie means to replace isn’t giving up his spot willingly. In fact, Forbes is willing to go to extreme measures to retain his place as first string quarterback. When Forbes’ malicious plan to injure his replacement fails, Jessie is furious and determined to show him he messed with the wrong person; not only is he going to take the position of first string quarterback, he’s going to take his girl, too.

Claire Deveraux is perfection at it’s best. She is beautiful, intelligent and unaware she just became Jessie Boone’s conquest as revenge against her boyfriend, Forbes Henderson. Like her flawless performance as the perfect daughter and student, Claire’s production of being the perfect girlfriend has everyone fooled, except Jessie Boone, and she fears this tattooed bad boy will see her secret desire to explore his crude threats and promises to rock her perfect world. If she decides to give in to one uninhibited moment with Jessie, will she learn too late that it was all an act of vengeance or will Jessie learn the taste of first love is sweeter than that of revenge?


When I started reading Going Under I was expecting a slightly fluffier book, and I was glad that the author didn't go there. Cates grabbed me right from the start with characters that weren't 2-dimensional. Jessie is the guy from the wrong side of the tracks, who is willing to use someone for revenge, and Claire is a bit of a b***h, struggling to be the perfect girl her friends and family think she is.

Both characters start in a place where, while not perfect, they are realistic and likable. There were points where I wanted to strangle Claire and force her to make different decisions, but still I could see why she was making certain choices. I have to admit, I was cheering more for Jessie to get what he wanted more than I was cheering for Claire or even for the two of them to be together. Jessie had a tougher story, he was more sympathetic, and with more imperfections he was slightly more interesting than Claire, who sometimes fell into the whole 'my life is so perfect it's horrible' routine. They did have lots of chemistry and Cates kept things between them spicy and a their back and forth banter was fun.

There were a few twists that I wasn't expecting and Cates did a great job of leading up to them, without being obvious. The pacing was great, and I read the book within a day, not wanting to put it down. One thing that was different about the ending was that it came with an epilogue. I haven't noticed these a lot in YA books, and honestly I'm not sure Going Under needed it. If Jessie and Claire's story had ended at the end of the last chapter I would have been satisfied. The epilogue doesn't change my view of the story, but I just didn't see it as a necessary part of the story. Then again, it wraps things up, and leaves no questions about how Claire and Jessie's lives change from the beginning of the book.

Come back on May 17th to read a Going Under character interview with Jessie and enter to win a copy of Going Under during the Love in Bloom Giveaway Hop!


  1. Great review. I loved this book.

  2. I'm reading this book right now. Claire is getting on my nerves with her "gosh, it's so horrible to be perfect". But yeah, jessie is super cool... Let's see what I think about the epilogue. In general, I agree with you: in many cases, epilogues don't really add anything to the story and they sometimes make the ending totally naff (IMHO).