Downsiders

by Neal Shusterman | Children's Books | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 0689839693 Global Overview for this book
Registered by kanaye44 of Norwich, Connecticut USA on 3/2/2008
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by kanaye44 from Norwich, Connecticut USA on Sunday, March 2, 2008
Talon lives Downside or under New York. There is a strict code of secrecy among the Downsiders. However, when Talon accidently meets young woman named Lindsey, who is a Topsider, the two worlds inevitably collide. They become friends and love blossoms. The punishiment for Talon's lack of discretion could be death. What will happen to them? Wil the entire Downsider community be discovered?

Journal Entry 2 by yourotherleft from Danville, Pennsylvania USA on Saturday, May 24, 2008
This came in the mail yesterday. Thank you!

My review (cross-posted from my blog:

Downsiders speculates about a scenario that, though fantasy, seems that it could be altogether possible. Shusterman's New York City is populated by "Topsiders," the people you and I can see if we wander the streets of the city. However, it also encompasses a whole civilization of Downsiders, a community of people who dwell in tunnels and cast-off remnants of the top side that exist deep below the surface untouched by the topside for no less than 10 years. Topsiders live in blissful ignorance of the entire world below them, while Downsiders, for the most part, live in fear of the Topside, drawing near to it only to gather necessities and catch "fallers," those whose hope for a life worth living in the Topside has run out. The two civilizations exist happily apart and unknown to each other until the chance meeting of Talon, a Downsider, and Lindsay, a Topsider occurs with unfortunate consequences for both.

Downsiders' two main characters are believable. Both are feeling kind of disengaged from their own worlds opening the way for their encounter. Talon's overwhelming curiosity about the Topside combined with his desperation to find a cure for his little sister's illness drives him to seek medicine in Lindsay's under-renovation home. Lindsay, having just moved to New York to live with her father and step-brother who are virtually unknown to her, has no friends and a suspicion about the city that makes her all too eager to embrace Talon and his world when they have a run in. Unfortunately, the characterization stops with them. The remainder of the people populating Shusterman's story are a variety of stock characters with predictable traits and predictable outcomes to their situations like Lindsay's oh-so-typical stepfather who's so involved in his work he barely notices her and her full of himself scumbag of a stepbrother. You've seen these characters a hundred times, and little is done to set them apart from the rest of their ilk.

Luckily, Downsiders is not intended to be a character driven novel. Shusterman's alternate New York is vividly imagined, complete with its own practices like wearing watches around the ankle because "time is of low importance" as well as a variety of invented directional terms, and a few unexpected ways of surviving and making a living. In Shusterman's hands, this home for the city's once unwanted and forgotten is inventive and oddly realistic. Downsiders is a rollicking, heartfelt adventure about two worlds colliding and a coming of age story about two characters finding themselves in the context of their own worlds and beyond.

Journal Entry 3 by yourotherleft at Postal release, By Mail/Post/Courier -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, February 20, 2010

Released 11 yrs ago (2/17/2010 UTC) at Postal release, By Mail/Post/Courier -- Controlled Releases

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To Geegal who grabbed it out of the Teen VBB on BookObsessed. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 4 by Geegal on Saturday, February 27, 2010
Thank you!!

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