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3.47  ·  Rating details ·  172 ratings  ·  23 reviews
With New Agey parents and a Pakistani heritage, it might have been difficult for Sunny Pryce-Shah to fit in. Thankfully, she had her older, popular cousin Shiri to talk to—until now. Shiri’s shocking suicide brings heartwrenching pain and grief, and also seems to have triggered a new and disturbing ability in Sunny: hearing people’s thoughts.

It’s awful, especially when
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published June 1st 2013 by Flux
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Average rating 3.47  · 
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*This is a review of an uncorrected proof, and quotes/excerpts may therefore differ from the final copy.

I’m in the zone, quiet, just me and the other end of the pool beckoning me, coming inexorably closer with every stroke. My happy place. One of the reasons I swim. Really, the only reason I—

ohgod, ohgod—
NO! no. no. no. no—

It sounds like a scream, and I pop my head up, my legs floundering in the pool. Who’s dead? My hands go reflexively to my ears as I try to block out the sounds threatening to
John Clark
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sunshine Pryce-Shah, AKA Sunny, is in her zone, about to win her race at a swimming meet when it happens for the first time. She hears voices and they so disconcert her that she loses the heat. Little does she know her life has just changed forever. What she heard were thoughts emanating from her mom who was up in the bleachers on her cell phone with Sunny's aunt, learning that Shiri, Sunny's older cousin away at college killed herself.. The girls had been close and the news is devastating, ...more
Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
What I liked:
-Showing the importance of friendship, especially with family.
-The fact that Sunny was good at swimming and the part of her life the sport played.
-The intro of when she started hearing others thoughts. Her reactions finally connected me with her character and made things believeable.
-The connection that Shiri was probably going through something similar because of what Sunny reads in her journal
-The way the author, Sarah Stevenson handled the topic of depression and suicide.
Christal (Badass Book Reviews)
Underneath just did not work for me as a whole. It was a very quick and compelling read, but I felt like there was no point to the story in the end. There was too much pointless drama and the paranormal aspect just felt tacked on unnecessarily. I do think the writer has a wonderful way with words, but this story just wasn’t the best showcase for Sarah Jamila Stevenson.

Sunny is the main character and she is a rather stereotypical, preppy girl. She has popular friends, is on the swim team, and
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, netgalley
Many thanks to Flux Books for granting my request for a copy of this book on NetGalley!

Let it be known that a lengthier version of this review is posted at

I really enjoyed this book. I liked its originality, the fluidity, the attention to the more important issues -- everything, really. Well, I tend to shy away from books that deal with high school life and drama, but that's often unavoidable in YA.

The basic premise of this book hinges on the semi-supernatural,
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rounded up from 3.5

Ironically, it was the paranormal aspect of the blurb that made me decide to read Underneath and yet throughout the novel I found myself thinking that the paranormal was the least interesting part of the story. Stevenson could've easily rewritten Sunny's ability so that she simply became a lot more aware of people than she had or left it out altogether and the story wouldn't have been weakened a bit.

It's not that Sunny's new found ability to read minds sometimes is badly
Simi Sunny
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7

I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Sarah Jamila Stevenson’s Underneath is a unique contemporary novel that flirts with the idea of the paranormal, but still keeps things relatable by remaining a mostly contemporary story. Though the tone is darkened by a sad revelation, there is a glimmer of hope and redemption. We learn that sometimes, in order to save ourselves, we need to relinquish our hold on what we once
May 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'm not entirely sure why this book called to me when I was browsing on Netgalley but I think I got more of a contemporary vibe from it, which is always highly appealing to me. I couldn't read only contemporary titles but that is the genre to which I always return.

Although this book is set in the present, it does have a paranormal twist. Main character Sunny suddenly finds herself with the ability to hear people's intense
Apr 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Sunny's best friend and cousin Shiri commits suicide. Her family does not know how to cope with it. Sunny's hippy parents seem lost and the tension between her Aunt Miri and Uncle Raymond just keeps getting worse. In the wake of the tragedy, Sunny starts experiencing weird flashes where she hears voices. It turns out she is hearing the thoughts of others and she learns Shiri had the same power/affliction from her journal. With this power, Sunny learns what her friends really think of her and ...more
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love YA contemporary, especially when it’s a drama. As much as I hate how cliche it can be at times, there are rare gems amidst the typical teenage angst, boy drama, and parents divorcing.

Underneath is one of those gems. I read it in a few hours, I just couldn’t put it down. Sunshine is a girl dealing with the after effects of the death of a loved one. As the synopsis already states, a family tragedy gives her the power of being able to hear other’s thoughts. That whole plot point was very
Jun 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jen Minkman
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
I was looking forward to reading this book when I was granted the right to read an ARC from NetGalley. The author sure knows how to write; I liked her writing style (she has humour!) and the way she described the characters. I especially liked the fact that the protagonist was of mixed heritage.
However, there was an unexpected amount of drama in the book. Somehow, I was expecting an exciting tale of a girl discovering she has telepathic powers, but it wasn't exciting, it was just plain sad. The
Bèbè ✦ RANT  ✦

Underneath is a cliché YA Contemporary story about boy drama, teenage insecurities and parents divorcing. But it is also has that special something which makes this book stand out from every other YA story out there.

It is a story that makes you forget about the times and feel connected to the character. Feeling their feelings, thinking their thoughts, and living their life on the edge.

Sunny Pryce-Shah always wanted to fit in and even though it was difficult, her cousin Shiri was popular and
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
It was okay but I didn't like it very much. I thought it was very slow and dragging.

Sunny's cousin Shirin committed suicide and Sunny started to hear other people's thoughts. She also received Shirin's diary on the day she learned about Shirin's suicide, and it turned out Shirin had the same gift (even though she didn't take it that way) for over nine years. It was as though Shirin's ability to hear other people's thoughts were passed on to Sunny after her death.

Normally, I like books about
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sunny finds it difficult to fit in. Her parents are new age and she has a Pakistanian background. Sunny admired her older, popular, well-liked cousin and looked up to her. Suddenly, Sunny's cousin commits sucide, and Sunny is overcome with grief. With this tragic comes a new ability: suddenly, Sunny can hear the thoughts of other people. Sunny, who was already unsure of herself and lacked confidence, now has no friends. She can hear what her friends really thing of her and finds out that they ...more
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was rather boring. It failed as a generic YA novel and was far too scattered to make much of a supernatural story with Sunny's "under"hearing. Basically it felt like a poorly done YA love story meshed with a Lifetime Movie that someone tried to cram mind-reading aspects into.

The characters were very flat and uninteresting throughout the story despite the rather interesting potential plot points: Sunny can randomly hear people's thoughts and feel their emotions, her cousin seems to have had
Crystal ✬ Lost in Storyland
I can't conenct with Sunny. It may be in part due to Shiri's death and Sunny's emotional disconnection from everything. Nevertheless, it felt as if Sunny was telling the story instead of living it. She also dwells a lot on the past and details that I don't care about.

Did not finish.
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
Lots of pointless drama while the big issues are glossed over.
Adam Duclos
Feb 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
I didn't like this book. The main character was weak, the plot was weak, their motivations were weak, the whole thing was like a lame lifetime movie, and 'underneath' is a stupid name for telepathy.
Oct 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
I realy didn't enjoy this book that much. It seems like it tried to immitate 13 Reasons Why and failed miserably. Sorry for the negative review though, I don't like reviewing books negatively.
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Sarah Jamila Stevenson is a writer, artist, graphic designer, introvert, closet geek, enthusiastic eater, struggling blogger, lapsed piano player, household-chore-ignorer and occasional world traveler. Her previous lives include spelling bee nerd, suburban Southern California teenager, Berkeley art student, underappreciated temp, and humor columnist for a video game website. Throughout said lives, ...more
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