New Fiction Friday: Undertow

9780544348257_p0_v3_s192x300Can you handle another teen/vampire/mythical creature romance? The cover of Undertow caught my eye, and only a chapter or two in did I realize that this book was just that. Sigh. I’m so over this genre – and although this book was a little different from some of the many that I’ve read, it still followed a similar formula, and I was disappointed.

Lyric is a high school senior living in Staten Island, NY. She and her parents have lived there her whole life, even after the town was “invaded” by the Alpha. The Alpha are some sort of sea creature, who have escaped the sea and are now living on land. And, just as there are many different creatures living under the sea, there are several different types of Alpha. They have been living there for a while at the point when the book begins, and the young Alpha are attempting to enter into her school, which is when Lyric first meets some of them.

“Over time, people sculpt their miserable experiences into something more aesthetically pleasing, stretching the interesting moments and kneading the uncomfortable facts. What they end up with is no longer a memory but a story, and the two rarely resemble one another. The story of the Alpha’s arrival is just as sculpted. Some still call it an invasion, an act of war, even a sign of the end of days. I can’t say that my story is any less convoluted, but I was there when it happened. I saw it firsthand, not on television and not on some Internet site.”

Following the formula for teen drama with mythical creatures (and/or vampires), Lyric falls in love with one of the Alphas, Fathom. They both reject each other, and their developing relationship.  She had been chosen by her principle to set an example for her fellow students, in accepting and perhaps befriending some of these new students. In attempting to bridge the gap between these two cultures, these two worlds, she learns acceptance and shows her fellow students (and the rest of the community) that they can live peacefully together.

Apparently this is meant to be the beginning of a trilogy. The book ends with kind of a cliffhanger. I honestly wasn’t interested or impressed enough to read the rest of the trilogy though. I was kind of into it – and kept waiting for it to get good, and it just never did.  I am, however, interested in reading Michael Buckley’s other books, which seem to get much better reviews.  This might just be the last book I ever read in this genre (or I’ll at least take a long break!!).


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