Monday, 8 November 2010

Downsiders - Book Review

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!


Enbrethiliel said...


You're very welcome for the recommendation, Sully! =D

This was my first Neal Shusterman novel as well =) And now you know why I have a tag that reads "Neal Shusterman--Will You Marry Me?" (LOL!) At the time I read it--before I had a book blog--I just wondered to myself, "How can this guy be so good and so obscure???"

The Downside is one fantasy world I wish truly existed. Shusterman made me believe in it while I was reading, and I can't stop believing in it even now!

And I'm torn about whether there should be a sequel or not. On the one hand, this story is so perfect that it doesn't need a sequel. On the other hand, I'd LOVE to see the characters again.

Aleksandra said...

Great review! It sounds really amazing :) I love Neal Shusterman's books! So far I've read only Unwind, Everlost & Everwild & I loved them all & now I think I'll get this one next!

Alice Audrey said...

I'll bet he doesn't stay obscure for long. Not with recommendations like this.

Nina said...

Wow, I never heard of this book before. How come? I don't know. It sounds so good. Even looking at the cover, I want to know why the girl is under the street.. Great review.

Meghan said...

Really, I can't say I doubt you...I read Bruiser by Neal Shusterman
and it was so fun to read. The plot was amazing and the characters were so intriguing. I always forget to search his other works so thanks for this review.

By the way I've awarded you with the LIFE IS GOOD AWARD:

Sullivan McPig said...

thanks everyone!
I think I'll read Fulltilt next if I can get hold of it.
@Enbrethiliel: I wouldn't mind a sequel focused on Railborn and Gutta
@Meghan: Thanks :-D

Becky said...

Nice review. I agree with you on the really connecting to the characters. I usually end up liking whatever Shusterman writes. Full Tilt,The Shadow Club and it's sequel are great too.