Book Reviews of Downsiders

Author: Neal Shusterman
PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780689839696
ISBN-10: 0689839693
Publication Date: 2/1/2001
Pages: 256
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 25 ratings
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

3 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Downsiders on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
An engaging story about two worlds and how traditional thought may change our perspectives of reality.
reviewed Downsiders on + 2412 more book reviews
I have had this book on my shelf to read for years. I really enjoyed Shustermans Skinjacker trilogy and had picked up some of his older books to read. This was an okay read, it reminded a bit of a young adult version of Gaimans Neverwhere...but not as magical.

Talon lives under the streets of New Yorks city in a secret community called Downsiders. Lindsey is forced to move to New York City to live with her dad, who is working on a project to create a new aqueduct for the city. Lindsey is lonely and incredibly curious when she spies a boy, Talon, down in the sewers. Talon and Lindsey meet and Talon breaks the greatest rule of Downsider society...he reveals their existence to Lindsey. Now Talon faces a sentence of death but as Lindseys dad breeches part of the Downsiders territory bigger problems face New York City.

This book was well written and engaging. Its a pretty straight-forward and simple story. I enjoy the idea of a secret society under the streets of New York City, as I mentioned is reminded a bit of a simpler, less magical, young adult version of Gaimans Neverwhere.

Talon and Lindsey are both well done characters. They are each driven by fairly simple motives. Talon is eternally curious and wants to be part of the world above. Lindsey is lonely and looking for a mystery to solve. They are fairly simple but engaging characters and younger readers should be able to easily relate to them.

I loved the mystery behind why and when the society of Downsiders was formed, this was probably the most interesting part of the book. There are some good lessons in here about friendship and community. I do think the idea of secret societies forming underneath cities and the surface of the Earth in general has been a bit overdone, so its not all that creative...still Shusterman does a good job with this.

Overall a good book. Its a pretty simple story with simple yet engaging characters. I enjoyed the mystery of how Downside came into existence and loved the idea of a city underneath New York City. The whole book was a bit too simplistic for me to absolutely love, but I think younger readers will find the ideas here intriguing and enjoy it even more than I did.
reviewed Downsiders on
From the Publisher
"When fourteen-year-old Lindsay meets Talon, who lives in the secret Downsider community that evolved in the subterranean passages of the subway built in New York in 1867, she and her new friend try to bridge the differences between their two cultures."