Rummanah Aasi
Description: Pat O'Toole has always idolized his older brother, Coop, right up until the day Coop ran away from their home just outside Washington, D.C. Now, a year later, he has received a package containing a digital voice recorder and a cryptic message from his brother, which will lead Pat on a strange and dangerous journey to the mysterious Community living beneath the streets of New York.

Review: Beneath is a fast-paced, action packed, and a tightly plotted mystery that incorporates themes of nonconformity and social rebellion. Pat is not surprised when his older brother and best friend, Coop, disappears. Coop has always been quirky: he is an avid tap dancer, collects flashlights, can't drive, won't email, and once dug a tunnel more than a mile long in their Virginia neighborhood before a gas line explosion nearly killed the two of them. After having a one-sided discussion with his parents about his future, Coop decides to leave without saying goodbye to Pat.
   Pat's parents are preoccupied with their breakup, careers, and new romances, so when Pat begins receiving digital voice recordings from Coop, he sneaks away to New York City to find his brother. Clues lead Pat to an alternative society that exists underground, but he soon discovers Coop has been drawn into an exclusive and dangerous group called the Pod. 
  Beneath is a great pick for reluctant readers. Short chapters and the unique narrative style of incorporating digital audio recordings drive both the plot and character development. I also really loved the relationship between Pat and Coop. There are hints of a romance between the charismatic Kate and Coop that is alluded to in the book. The book ends with lots of open ended questions, but I am glad to find out that is the first book in a duology. I do plan on finding on what happens to Pat and Coop in the next book since their safety is not guaranteed.  

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is mention of murder and terrorist activities in the book. Recommended for Grades 6 and up.

If you like this book try: Above by Roland Smith, Downsiders by Neal Shusterman
2 Responses
  1. This sounds perfect for reluctant readers--intrigue, living beyond the "normal" society, and a mystery

  2. Kindlemom Says:

    Sometimes open endings drive me crazy but it sounds like this wasn't so bad, so that's good. Wonderful honest review!

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