Why Are There All These Blank Spaces?

You may notice that in some of my posts there are blank spaces in the reviews. These are spoilers that I've written so I can remember important details of the books when I want to read the sequel. I've made the text a beige color to blend in with the background so you won't accidentally see something you don't want to. If you want to read it, just highlight the section to make the text appear - although you should really just read the book yourself! :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008


by Neal Shusterman

I found this book at a used book store in California over Thanksgiving vacation. I've read a number of summaries of Neal Shusterman's books and I've been wanting to read something of his for a while. So when I came across a slightly-battered copy of Downsiders, I decided it would be my first Shusterman.

The book was interesting, and while it reminded me of other novels I've read, it was unique enough that the similarities were fun to ponder instead of annoying. The Downsiders was about two kids - Talon and Lindsay who come from very different worlds. Talon is a Downsider - that is, he lives beneath the streets and subways of New York City in a secret underground civilization. One day, he meets Lindsay, a girl from the "Topside". The two form a friendship that is against the rules of the Downside, and threatens to destroy their civilization - possibly forever.

It was almost like reading a mash-up of Tunnels (by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams) and The City of Ember (by Jeanne DuPrau), although it is older than both of these books - I just happened to read them first.

Hmmm....let's see how it would rate on Dani's rating system!

1st star (butt-kicking) - alas, not much butt-kicking...more scheming and plotting and such...perhaps it can have half a star for that +.5

2nd star (romantic touch) - ah yes, romantic touch it does have that +1

3rd star (some wacky fantasy) - I think an underground society qualifies +1

4th star (love triangle) - kinda, yes, there is something of the sort - I'll give it a star for that +1

5th star -(delectable male co-protagonist) - I don't think I'd use the word "delectable" but he was charming so another half star for this one! +.5

6th star - (scene that is truly tear-jerking) - the end was kinda bittersweet, but that does not earn it a star in my opinion! +0

7th star (expertise with a bow and arrow) - the most difficult 7th star, unfortunately, this book does not earn +0

So we're up to 4 stars! And I think I'm going to tack on an extra .5 for the funny socks, feather hat, chain mail made of pop can tabs, and watches worn on ankles! Because that's just funny!

So 4.5 stars - funny, but it seems that Dani's rating system does give a fairly good rating! I should not have mocked it! In short, this book was good, entertaining, not the awesomest thing I've ever read, but I liked it.

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