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Going Underground by [Vaught, Susan]
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Going Underground Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Length: 336 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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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: 943 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1599906406
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1 edition (September 13, 2011)
  • Publication Date: September 13, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005IQ2D7E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532,114 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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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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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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