Book Reviews of Going Under

Going Under
Going Under
Author: Kathe Koja
ISBN-13: 9780374303938
ISBN-10: 0374303932
Publication Date: 9/5/2006
Pages: 128
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.

2.8 stars, based on 2 ratings
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Book Type: Hardcover
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Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for

GOING UNDER by Kathe Koja explores the psychological angles of a faltering brother/sister relationship. Hilly and Ivan have always been close. Raised by what Hilly calls "semi-useless" parents, both brother and sister would probably argue they raised themselves.

Hilly is sent to a therapist to help her work her way through the emotional aftermath of a friend's suicide. The first therapist is unsuccessful in reaching Hilly, so her older brother helps to find a new doctor. But does the new doctor have Hilly's best interests in mind--or his own?

Kathe Koja uses the myths of Peresephone and Narcissus to illustrate the siblings relationship. Hilly's brother Ivan tells his parents and his sister he is attempting to save Hilly from being dragged into the darkness. At the same time Ivan's own warped self-image causes him to become entangled with the therapist's scheme to use Hilly's journal writings as material for his own book.

Readers with a knowledge of the ancient myths will be treated to an interesting twist on the meanings of the old tales. Koja's book would work well and provide fuel for discussion in a high school lit class focusing on different interpretations of these classical stories.