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Downsiders (Downsiders #1)

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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  3,573 Ratings  ·  356 Reviews
Talon lives Downside, that is, underneath New York City. There is a strict code of secrecy among the Downsiders. However, when Talon accidentally meets a young woman named Lindsay, who is a Topsider (from above the ground), the two worlds inevitably collide. They become friends and love blossoms. The punishment for Talon's lack of discretion could be death. What will happe ...more
Hardcover, 244 pages
Published February 1st 2001 by Perfection Learning (first published June 1st 1999)
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Kayla
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun story about this book. I read this back in high school and really liked it. I then in college got the urge to read it again because I had never run across another book with the same theme and I couldn't remember what it was called. Throughout the years I have tried to google "book about kids living under New York City" or "society underground in New York City" and never got any results. Extremely saddened I had given up. I am now reading Unwind by none other than Neal Shusterman. I have been ...more
Mary JL
Dec 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any fan of sf, fantasy or adventure
I have finished Downsiders. It is an unusual mix--not quite science fiction; more an urban fantasy. Reminded me not a little of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.

The clash between the Downside and Topside cultures is well well described in the book. Although meant for younger readers, I feel it could be enjoyed as a quick, easy read for an adult.

I don't do spoilers--but--I really liked the way it ended!
Duffy Pratt
Shusterman imagines that a part of the underclass really become an underclass - living in deep tunnels underneath the subways of New York. To preserve themselves, the Downsiders minimize their contact with Topsiders. Of course, this delicate situation threatens to blow up when the main character gets too curious about life above, and falls for a Topside girl.

While good, this lacked both the depth of character and the cleverness of either his Skinjacker or Unwind books. In general, this felt like
...more
Mrs.Morgan
Maybe I should have read this before Scythe; it paled in comparison. Downsiders is almost a typical dystopian novel. It is about people who live Topside, as we do, and people who live Downside, as moles do. The story focuses mostly on the Downsiders and their hatred and misunderstanding of the Topsiders. They also don't truly know their own history and how they came to be, which taints their feelings towards the people who live above ground. Likewise, the Topsiders don't even know that the Dow ...more
Reign Warner [Last Words for The Rogue Bookwolf]
In every depths of reading, there are always some things that lurk around every paragraph and the system of words does not undermine how Downsiders exemplify its storyline without stymied content.

I would rate this book a 4-star review. It’s reeling with a simple gain on the plot. Hence, exploration and discovery was the main attraction of the book. The articles and research that was put into the book made it more comprehending with relation to what happened to Lindsay and Talon’s world colliding
...more
Alisha Kodibagkar
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Tracy
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suyash  Gupta
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is like a breeze of fresh air,very different from rest of Shusterman's book.Relatively less intense but funnier.This is a kind of book that you can read again and again but never get bored.The world created by Shusterman is very realistic and believable without a single loophole.The characters are so endearing and vivacious that i could almost feel what the protagonist was going through,his angst,his dilemmas and how he felt upon realizing that everything he believed in has been a lie. ...more
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Jul 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ppl who liked everlost, unwind, etc.
yay!!! neal shusterman has done it again! he is starting to become one of my favorite authors at this point! :) he definitely has a talent for creating believable worlds, interesting characters, realistic dialogue, and a truly original plot. i would probably give downsiders five stars if i hadn't read unwind--but comparing it to his other books, i have to give it four stars. but those four stars mean more than the usual four stars, if that makes sense. downsiders was not quite as compelling as u ...more
Rebecca
I didn't particularly like the way it was written. It had a very "removed" narrator with an almost historical voice, and the narrative voice was continually misleading in a very disingenuous way that I didn't care for.

However, the story was interesting, and my daughter (11) is enjoying it. And whlie it's quite far-fetched, as much sci-fi/fantasy is, it does show how small choices can lead to big consequences, and how one person can make a difference. An interesting read.
Luciana
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Downsiders, by Neal Shusterman, is a novel about Talon and Lindsay, two teenagers from different communities who meet for the first time in present-day New York City. The conflict concentrates on the Downside community, and on the fact that they don’t want any contact with the Topside community, but that all changes when Talon brings Lindsay into his world. Overall, I thought that this book was excellent since it was interesting and thought-provoking.

An interesting aspect of the novel were t
...more
Sofia
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paloma
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Downsiders by Neal Shusterman concentrates on two teenagers, Talon and Lindsay, two people from different worlds who want to explore each other's society. As the story progresses, their friendship grows and love was born. But, their relationship and curiosity risks Talon’s world, the Downside, to its discovery and demolition. This book is memorable due to its characters which are well developed and detailed. The setting is described incredibly and creatively. And, the plot is unique and engaging ...more
Gunne
Makes me laugh that I STILL haven't finished The Lovely Bones.

Anyway, for some reason I've avoided borrowing this book for a long time. I think it might be because I thought I'd read it before, what being a Neal Shusterman fan, but apparently not. Thank god they republished it with another cover, or I would never have read it. Yes, I'm a horrible person, I judge books by their covers. And the new cover looked intriguing, so ... BUT mostly it was because I thought I'd read it, really.

I'm betting
...more
Alex Murphy
May 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the lovesick and fantasy fans
Downsiders is probably my favorite Neal Shusterman to date. To be honest, I'm a sucker for a cute romance, and that's what really got me about this one. But additionally, Neal Shusterman has created yet another fantasy world and infused it with enough real-life history and character to make it not only believable, but fascinating.

I've found that Neal Shusterman's endings to his books can be unsatisfying or muddled (not that it distracts TOO much from the rest of the gold mine). The ending to Dow
...more
KWinks
I wanted to love this. I would say that I liked it, I just wanted...more. I think the potential for some storytelling magic was here, I just didn't find it. I found the under world to be creative and wonderful and even wish some of the "history" presented here was true. Talon was hard to get a read on and because of that I couldn't figure out what he was going to do next-or cheer him on. Lindsey also seemed to have giant disconnect because her family issues were so prevalent. The Champ was, by f ...more
Colten
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fiction and Sci-fi Lovers
Recommended to Colten by: My Teacher
Colten
Downsiders By: Neil Shusterman; Book Review
Downsiders, is a book that is placed on both the surface and beneath the surface, of New York City.The people who live beneath the surface, are known as the Downsiders, who hold a great deal of secrecy in their laws, and the people living on the surface being known as the topsiders, who the downsiders should never come in contact with. The main characters are, Talon, Lindsay, Railborn, and Gutta. Well, one night, on New Year's Eve, Talon goes up
...more
Eduardo
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The semi-futuristic fiction tale Downsiders by Neal Shusterman takes you on a swinging adventure with its main character Talon, a teen from the downside who falls in love with a topsider named Lindsay. The plot of the book is basically that, they can't be together even though they really want to. This book is definitely worth it, even though it has some critical flaws that don't help much with the logic.

One of my favorite things about the book is the author`s style. Meaning, the author has a v
...more
Honya
Shusterman is one of my favorite authors. His books have such a different way of viewing things; they’ve very unique. Downsiders is true to his norm in that it’s quite different from anything I’ve ever read, but it’s also pretty different from any of Shusterman’s other writing. While there are aspects that are similar, I’m not sure I could have picked him out as the author if I hadn’t known. The pacing, while great for this story, is slower than in a lot of his books, and there just isn’t quite ...more
Katherine Arbuckle
Title: Downsiders

Author: Neal Shusterman

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division

Year:1999

Place:New York, New York 10020

Binding:Hardback

Number of pages: 256

Price: $6.99

ISBN:0689839693

Edition Language: English, 1st Edition

Downsiders is an interesting story with a lot of twists and turns in the plot. My impression of the Downsiders, at first, was it was the story of a boy, Talon Angler, who wanted desperately to get medicine for his dying sister. It ended up being the most thr
...more
Diane
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
Lindsay has just been shipped off to New York City to live with her father and creepy half brother. Her mother warned her about the dangers, but she has no idea. From a hole in her brownstone wall, she sees eyes peering in at her. Then, on New Year's Eve, a boy breaks into her room. His name is Talon and he's very odd ... referring to her as "you people". Talon is a Downsider, living underground in abandoned subway tunnels. At first, Lindsay pities him. But then she sees that it is a whole socie ...more
Lynne
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
One of my favorite books of all time.
Melissa
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The idea of time being of low importance has stuck with me.
Camilla
Nov 27, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Shusterman has yet to disappoint, the ideas he comes up with for his books are mind-blowing and so captivating. We have his Skinjacker series, where he has created a world between life and death, His novel Unwind, where parents can have their children literally taken apart, body part by body part. And now, his novel, Downsiders where beneath New York a whole other world exists, and where they hang earrings that have fallen down the sewer grates and live in their own world that will amaze any Top ...more
Josiah
Jul 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are few authors working today who are as good as Neal Shusterman at making a story idea rise to its absolute potential, and that is exactly what he has done in the creation of Downsiders.

Deep beneath the throbbing heart of New York city, under the constant swarming of a metropolis that expels enough energy to rival Las Vegas, lives an entire civilization on its own, apart from anything set up by the regular world that we know. The mysteries of this "Downside" world are constant and impos
...more
Rebecca
This review is also on my blog

Actual Rating: 3.5

Downsiders, as one of Neal Shusterman’s earlier novels, is as intriguing and well-written as his other books. I’m a big fan of the Unwind series, as well as one of his stand-alone novels Bruiser, and the summary alone for this book drew me in. While it’s evident that this book is one of his first, it still possesses sparks of what made his other books such great reads for me.

In terms of genre, it’s very difficult to cast. I’d say it’s a mix between
...more
Cindy
Jun 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cindy by: Sarah
Shelves: teen, 2011
Themes: Hidden worlds, family, social order, loyalty
Setting: Topside and Downside New York City

Talon is a Downsider; Lindsay is a Topsider. The two are sworn enemies. Then Talon's best friend kills her cousin and the two can never be together. There's singing and dancing and dueling and wait - maybe I'm a little mixed up. So I guess it's kind of like Romeo and Juliet, but not as much as I expected from the beginning. One reviewer compared it to The Outsiders, which is thankfully all wrong, becau
...more
Heather Mcgrath
Summary:

In the book "Downsiders" the main character is Talon. He is a teenager who lives in a hidden world underneath New York City. His family and friends and a whole community live in chambers and tunnels long forgotten by the world above the ground, the Topsiders. He and his friends explore the world just beneath the streets and Talon sees a young girl named Lindsay. When Talon's sister is sick, he has heard stories about how the Topsiders have medicine and do beat death, he sneaks into Linds
...more
Julie S.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debbie
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great middle school book which adults csn enjoy as well.
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Award-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movi ...more
More about Neal Shusterman...

Other Books in the Series

Downsiders (2 books)
  • Downside Up (Downsiders, #2)

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“Cities are never random.
No matter how chaotic they might seem, everything about them grows out of a need to solve a problem. In fact, a city is nothing more than a solution to a problem, that in turn creates more problems that need more solutions, until towers rise, roads widen, bridges are built, and millions of people are caught up in a mad race to feed the problem-solving, problem-creating frenzy.”
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