Alisha Kodibagkar's Reviews > Downsiders

Downsiders by Neal Shusterman
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Aug 24, 2011

really liked it

Recently, I read Downsiders for my seventh grade school assignment. When I first opened it I thought, "okay, this book is for a school assignment, it probably stinks." However, when I read it, I realized it's actually a brilliant book. This contributes to the fact that Neal Shusterman's writing is very descriptive and entertaining. I found it especially interesting that one thing leads to another in a very unusual manner, but after you've read it, you really understand it. For example, the story starts with an innocent snowflake that seems to have little importance to the rest of the book. But the snowflake leads to a dying man who tries to commit suicide, which leads to Talon and his friends, which leads to the Downside (I'm sorry I spoiled it if you haven't read the book, but this is only the first chapter anyways.) How Shusterman can make a tiny snowflake important to the existance of the Downside is amazing. The idea of a Topside and a Downside was very creative. It was one I'd have never thought of. I also admire the style of writing. It's a rare talent to posess the ability to pack so much detail into one chapter, but make it interesting enough that one doesn't get bored out of their mind. Many authors will try to imitate this style but it usually turns out poorly because you need the perfect dose of action and the perfect dose of description to lure a reader in and keep them interested. My favorite character was The Champ. You didn't really know about where he was going or where he came from, and that gave him an air of mystery. He gave Talon and Lindsay a lot of advice, and that made him seem to have a wise personality. I got the impression that he'd been through a lot and was old. The only issue I had in the book was that, honestly, Neal Shusterman is a terrible love story writer. The first signs of blooming love were very subtle, but not the kind of subtle that makes you think "ooh! I wonder if so-and-so likes so-and-so." They were the kind of subtle hints you don't notice are subtle hints. I'd thought that the subtle hints were mere signs of curiousity about the Downside and Topside people. That's why, when I found they (I'm not going to say who, that would be a major spoiler!) were in love, I was surprised. If the love had been omitted from the book, I'd have thought it to be a perfect book. I really do reccomend this book to be read, however, because even though the love part isn't that great, the rest is truly worth spending your time reading!
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