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Going Underground [Kindle Edition]

Susan Vaught
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Del is a good kid who's been caught in horrible circumstances. When we meet him, he is 17, trying to put his life together after an incident in his past that made him a social outcast - and a felon. As a result, he can't get into college; the only job he can get is digging graves; and when he finally meets a girl he might fall in love with, there's a whole sea of complications that threaten to bring the world crashing down around him again.

But what has Del done? In flashbacks to Del's 14th year, we slowly learn the truth: his girlfriend texted him a revealing photo of herself, a teacher confiscated his phone, and soon the police were involved.

Basing her story on real-life cases of teens being charged with sex crimes for texting explicit photos, Susan Vaught has created a moving portrait of an immensely likable young character caught up in a highly controversial legal scenario.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Susan Vaught is the author of My Big Fat Manifesto, Trigger, Exposed, and other novels, as well as Oathbreaker, which she coauthored with her son, JB Redmond. She is also a practicing psychologist.

Product Details

  • File Size: 584 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1 edition (September 13, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005IQ2D7E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #533,861 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of The Figment Review at Figment[dot]com September 16, 2011
By Caleb

Susan Vaught has a knack for tackling sensitive subjects in her novels; online predators, teenage depression and suicide, and now, sexting. Sexting is a crime, but Vaught's book seems to ask, how wrong is it? Is it possible for two teenagers to be in love? And when did falling in love become a crime? Going Underground centers on Del Hartwick as his life is turned completely upside down. After he becomes a convicted felon, everything changes. His girlfriend and others affected by his "crime" move away, leaving Del with nothing but a comedic parrot he didn't ask for, a job digging graves, and a goth girl who won't leave him alone. Gradually, the events leading up to his felony three years ago are revealed. In the present, Del meets someone new - someone who likes him despite everything he's done. But how long before she leaves him too?

This is the first Vaught novel I've read, but since then, I've read two others. She's a phenomenal author with a unique style that I love. Her chapter titles are based off of specific songs and I recommend listening to said song while reading each chapter. It seems hard to believe, but they make perfect sense, adding a little something to the story. The characters in the book are few, which sometimes can be a bad thing, but Susan Vaught pulls it off. The story is in first person, told through Del's eyes, during the days three years after his incident, and flashbacks to the incident are sprinkled throughout. I'm not a fan of flashbacks to be honest. I'd rather the author explain what happen in the opening chapters as a prelude to the current story, or have the past be brought up naturally throughout the book. Flashbacks make the story slightly confusing in my opinion, but that is really the only drawback to the book.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A poorly written and unrealistic cautionary tale January 4, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I honestly don't see what all the fuss is about with this one. As a YA blogger and a librarian, I've heard a lot about Going Underground in the past few months so I was pretty excited to start reading it. However, I found myself hugely disappointed.

The writing is clumsy and awkward and absolutely does not ring true to how teens actually sound today. It sounds the way an out-of-touch adult who has never actually spoken with a teenager thinks a teen would sound. For example, at one point the main character, Del, describes a creepy goth girl who is essentially stalking him as a "goofball." There are many words you might use to describe a goth stalker who likes to hang out in graveyards but "goofball" is hardly one of them. And that continued throughout the whole book. Not only was the vocabulary inauthentic and ridiculous, the sentence structure was clunky and often nonsensical. The only reason I continued reading past the first five pages was that I had heard that the story was so fantastic.

(*Warning: Here Be Spoilers*)
The story, though, was no better. It made absolutely no sense. Del is a seventeen-year-old felon on probation for taking some less than judicious pictures of himself and sending them to his girlfriend. Okay, fine. But this incident happens when he is FOURTEEN YEARS OLD. I'm sorry, even if it is a legal possibility, no jury will ever convict a fourteen year old as a felon for making out with his girlfriend and sending her a (requested) picture of his prepubescent naughty bits. Not gonna happen. The reason, as Del so pitifully demonstrates, is that a felony would completely ruin his life, making it impossible for him to apply to many colleges, get a decent job, or expect a normal life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars reads like a sequel December 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A seventeen-year-old boy struggles to get his sh¡t together three years after being convicted of sexting with his girlfriend.

Cases like this occur in real life and it's good the author wanted to highlight the gross miscarriage of justice in such cases.

Unfortunately, I found the character weak. I wanted someone who would FIGHT the injustice, while this guy just accepted it and moped. "It'll get me nothing but more trouble," he tells himself whenever he lets himself start to believe he's allowed to have normal feelings. Woe is me. I didn't buy it.

I was far more interested in the backstory, revealed in a few miserly driblets of flashback. After the final one, he says, "The story of my fourteenth year ends with Dad demanding a lawyer." Excuse me? No, it doesn't. That's where everything happens that puts him in the state-of-mind he's in three years later. It felt like I was reading a sequel to a novel that had never been published and I really would rather have read the first installment. We never even find out what happened to the girl who got him in trouble!

The book deals almost exclusively with the three-years-later story. There are some interesting developments here -- mainly dodging a girl who's too young for him and will bring him nothing but trouble, and building a relationship with a new girl, age-appropriate, who also has a dark past that has ostracized her. Even this material is marred by incessant interruptions to describe every sound or movement his pet bird makes or every nuance of a "cool" song he's thinking about.

A lot of promise here, but the real story was in the parts the author left out.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating!!!
I couldn't put this book down! It held my attention until the very end! Really makes you think! I would recommend this to anyone, whose interested in things that really happen! Read more
Published 1 month ago by MissTrish
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good reading
Published 3 months ago by Niurka M.
4.0 out of 5 stars Cautionary tale for teenagers
This is a cautionary tale for current times although I hope the example in the book is extreme. Del works at the cemetary digging graves because that is the only work he could... Read more
Published 6 months ago by TBreakiron
5.0 out of 5 stars Great characters!
This was my first Susan Vaught book, and I have come back to download others of hers after reading "Going Underground. Read more
Published 16 months ago by J.E. Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Fred
Really glad to see the way this played out. I was nervous, confused, mad and sad while reading Going Underground.
Published 16 months ago by Colette L. Coomer
4.0 out of 5 stars Topical, engrossing novel
Seventeen-year-old Del has kept to himself since getting in trouble three years ago. Big trouble. He accidentally committed a felony three years ago, but is punishing himself worse... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Pink Amy
5.0 out of 5 stars Going Underground
I saw from a review pretty early on that this book was about sexting and I thought, wow, this sounds so overblown. But that's the point, really. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Runa
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful story of teenage survival
I am not sure if this book was written for adults, but one thing l am sure of is that it is a story of how social media has affected our youth, how something seemingly innocent in... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Absolutely nothing beats these recipients&having
4.0 out of 5 stars an author with real talent and a fresh voice
I would have never noticed this book if not for the compelling artwork on the cover (kudos to whoever the illustrator/designer) was), but I'm so glad I bought it. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Russ
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise
Not award winning writing but a really interesting premise and perspective on how laws have not caught up with technology.
Published 23 months ago by Cheryl
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More About the Author

I started writing when I was eight, and I try to write a little bit every day even though I'm a psychologist, too. I love to hear from readers.

I especially love to hear from kids and young adults who enjoy writing and reading. I'm also happy to answer parent-questions about the content of my books--or to hear from grown-ups who like what I write, too!

I hope my book make people think, make them talk, and more than anything, let them escape into a well-told story.

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