Downsiders by Neal Shusterman
What is it about:
Meticulous 14-year-old Lindsay isn't exactly thrilled about moving to the chaos that she believes is New York City. Her flighty "career college student" mom, now divorced, has dumped her on her city engineer dad, "a man who lived his life twenty minutes behind schedule and in a perpetual state of apology." Lindsay is certain that nothing better awaits her than prep school boredom and constant battles with her evil stepbrother Todd. But she is wrong. Quite by accident, Lindsay discovers an unusual boy named Talon who resides in a secret city beneath New York--a kind of underground Oz called the Downside. Talon and Lindsey are fascinated by the differences in their dual worlds and soon grow equally fascinated with each other. But when Lindsay's dad's construction project hits a snag that reveals the Downside, it is not only the blooming relationship that hangs in the balance, but the entire future of the Downside as well.
What did I think of it:
I must say that I did start this book with some reservations. Even though the story sounded intriguing I was a bit suspicious of it after reading 'Neverwhere' by Neil Gaiman and 'Mind the Gap' by C. Golden and T. Lebbon, both books that also feature a sort of hidden world below a city, but that failed to make those worlds feel real to me. I was afraid Downsiders would fail to deliver as well.
And I was so wrong!!
This book is brilliant!! I love it with a passion! The whole Downside world, the characters, the use of language: they're all absolutely amazing. The Downside and it's inhabitants feel so real I would almost keep an eye out for people watching me from a drainpipe from now on. The book is so well written I felt myself pacing myself in my reading to enjoy not just the story, but also the flow of writing. At the end of the book I felt so connected to several of the characters I wanted there to be more and I will most certainly read more books by Shusterman besides rereading this one regularly from now on.
Why should you read it:
It's a brilliant YA read!
* I won this book at Shredded Cheddar and want to say a big THANKS to Enbrethiliel for recommending this book!