Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

Title: In Too Deep
Author: Amanda Grace
Publisher: Flux 
Release date: February 8th 2012
Pages: 228
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Bought
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I never meant for anyone to get hurt. All I wanted to do that night was make a play for Carter Wellesley. His heartless rejection was mortifying, but people got the wrong idea when they saw me leaving his bedroom, crying. That’s how rumors of rape started.
Now girls at school are pouring out their sympathy to me. Guys too. But not everyone’s on my side. The school has become a war zone and the threats are getting scary. What began as poetic justice has morphed into something bigger—forcing me to make a terrible choice.
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I loved Amanda Grace/Mandy Hubbard's But I Love Him, so I was expecting the same emotional intensity in In Too Deep. And while In Too Deep isn't a bad book, it just didn't measure up to how amazing But I Love Him is, and I found myself a little disappointed.

I really like the whole idea for In Too Deep. I've read plenty of books about girls who were raped and don't know whether or not to speak up, but this shows us the other side of the story - what if you didn't get raped, but everyone thinks you did? I liked thinking about how I would feel if something like that happened to me, and whether I would be strong enough to tell the truth. The plot of In Too Deep is great - you know what's going to happen, but I loved seeing the drama unfurl, and that's what kept the pages turning, for me.

My main problem with this novel is that I just don't get why Sam didn't tell the truth. When she first walks out of Carter's bedroom and a girl asks whether what she thinks happened happened, okay - she was drunk and had no idea what she was talking about. But the first day back at school, I no longer understood. Lots of people come up to her and ask whether it's true, tell her they're sorry, that kind of thing, and she just nods. I just don't get why she doesn't ask what these people mean - she acts like she's emotionally scarred or something like that, but she just had the best weeked ever. And then, when she does find out what people think, she doesn't do anything. I get why she doesn't say anything later on, when the lies have already gotten out of control, but right then? I just didn't see it.

On the back of the book, it says "suddenly new friends are rushing to my side, telling me that Carter hurt them, too." That made me think Carter actually did rape someone and got away with it, and just didn't rape Sam. But really, these girls only tell her that Carter's an ass - and being an ass and being a rapist are so completely not the same thing. I could have seen Sam not telling the truth if she were doing it for other girls, knowing he really did rape someone, but the way it is, I didn't find that argument convincing, either.

Really, that's the main thing that didn't work for me in In Too Deep. Sam is an okay character - the quiet, bookish type - but I couldn't feel for her because her passive ways frustrated me. She keeps thinking it will all work out, that this rumor will just go away, and that made me want to shake her. Just... ugh. Her behavior frustrated me to no end.

One storyline I did like is the romance between Sam and Nick.Their relationship is not all that original - it's the classic story of a girl liking her best friend but thinking he'd never see her that way, and him finally confessing his love to her - but that kind of story just gets me every time. These two are adorable together!

I think the storyline with Sam's dad had a lot of potential. I really liked the set-up, but I wanted more depth to their relationship in order to really feel for their problems.

I loved the idea for this novel, but the main character's passive ways frustrated me, and I didn't find her reasons for not speaking up strong enough. Therefore, In Too Deep turned out to be only an okay read for me. I wouldn't discourage you from reading it, but I don't think it's anywhere near as good as But I Love Him.


  1. I wrote a review of this one a while back, and like you, it sort of felt a little flat. I didn't like Sam as a character though, and I really really didn't like how thin the book was. There was so much going on, and even just in a few days like the book was set over, there were so many layers to what was going on. I didn't like But I Love Him for the same reasons really.

    Part of me doesn't get *the point* of In Too Deep, I guess. Maybe there was something I missed, you know?

  2. I've had this on my to-read list for a while but it didn't stand out to me so I haven't got a copy yet. The problems you listed would annoy me too, I find it frustrating when characters don't communicate and in this situation it's quite series as she's letting people think he committed a crime. I do have But I Love Him on my to-read list so I think I'll go for that instead!


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