I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Undertow is the first book in a YA paranormal romance series. I love the fact that Ms. Conway chose to give us a transitional ending to Undertow. It seems I've reached the end of my tolerance for cliffhanger endings. In fact, I have to say I'm more anxious to read the next book in this series since I was left feeling satisfied after finishing Undertow.
Eila is given a house in Cape Cod by a mysterious stranger who claims it should be kept within the family. She has nothing to lose, so she and her guardian Mae make the move to the East Coast. Unfortunately she has no idea about her ancestry and the paranormal aspect present in some of the Cape residents. Eila is a strong willed character. I love the way she stands up for others and doesn't bow to peer pressure (in the form of a downright scary cheerleader.) Even though she is bombarded with amazing and unbelievable information, she manages to soak it all in and continue to move forward.
Raef isn't what he seems. From the first time Eila sees him in class, she's both drawn to and frightened of him. He's another one of those overprotective males that keeps secrets from the girl that she probably should know. He's somewhat of a martyr, and frankly I found him a bit annoying at times (especially the end).
Ms. Conway did an excellent job on the pacing for this novel. There is really never a dull moment nor a lull in the story. Even when presented with an 'info dump' situation, it's done through some humorous dialogue. I really liked Eila's friends, Ana and MJ, who are also not quite human. All right, I admit it, MJ was my favorite. I will say that I never completely connected with the characters, never really felt the emotion. I enjoyed the plot, the pacing, the character interactions, so I'm not sure why.
I recommend Undertow to everyone high school and up looking for something a bit different in paranormal romance. According to the book's Goodreads page, book two, Storm Front, will be out in Summer 2014. It will be interesting to see what Ms. Conway has in store for Eila and Raef (especially since it appears crazy cheerleader Nikki will play an important part).