Book Review: Undercurrent

By: Paul Blackwell
Published by: HarperTeen
Release date: July 23, 2013
Genre: YA thriller
320 pages
Source: ARC kindly provided by publisher

I enjoy reading a male POV once in a while, so I decided to give Undercurrent a try. I am glad I did- it was an entertaining read, and a nice change of pace from my usual girl-centered YA.

This book is all about the suspense and intrigue. This main character, Callum, wakes up in the hospital, having survived a trip over the falls. Early on he begins noticing that things don't seem right. The bulk of the book is about his journey to figure out what has happened to the life he remembers. I liked how the discovery process was done, and the plot was well-paced. The reader is given plenty of time to linger over and speculate about what has created this situation before the big reveal.

Callum, our narrator, is a winning hero. He's a nice guy who doesn't want any trouble, and the reader sympathizes with him as his world seems to crumble piece by piece. His observations are nicely detailed without becoming tedious. 

As the blurb indicates, there is a "shadowy figure" lurking throughout the book. I like that there are several possible suspects, and that I wasn't able to guess right off the bat which was the right one. I kept moving the pages mainly because I wanted to learn this person's identity.

This book is difficult to discuss without giving spoilers, and I would caution you to refrain from reading many reviews if you're interested in this title. If you're interested, go with your gut on this one- and enjoy the ride.

Summary from Goodreads:

In this suspenseful teen thriller with a touch of the otherworldly, perfect for fans of Neal Shusterman, a boy goes over a waterfall and wakes up to find himself in a twisted version of the life he knew.

A shadowy figure. An intense roar. The sensation of falling—fast.

That’s all Callum Harris remembers from his tumble over the waterfall. But when he wakes up in a hospital bed and finds his best friend trying to kill him, Callum knows something is seriously wrong. Unfortunately for him, the mysteries are just getting started.

Why are his parents acting like he’s some big sports star all of a sudden? And why are all the buildings in town more run-down than Callum remembers? Worst of all...what happened to Callum’s brother? Either Callum has gone seriously crazy or something happened when he went over the falls. Something impossible. Callum needs answers, and now. Because in this twisted new version of the life Callum knew, his former best friend isn’t the only one who wants to see him dead.

Filled with mind-bending suspense and unsettling thrills, Undercurrent is a grippingly paced teen debut that will pull you under and never let go.


  1. Great Review!! I've been wanting to read this for ages now!! Can't wait to finally read it!!


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