Underneath by Sarah Jamila Stevenson
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 Sunny learns what her so-called friends really think of her. Feeling more comfortable with the Emo crowd, she tells them about her strange talent and uses it to help cute, troubled Cody. But when his true motives are revealed, she isn’t sure whom to trust anymore. Sunny hopes to find answers in Shiri’s journal. Was her cousin also cursed with this “gift”? Will Sunny end up like Shiri?
Publishes in US: June 8th 2013 by Flux
Genre: YA paranormal
Source: Flux via Netgalley
Buy it: amazon | indiebound | Barnes & Noble
Find Sarah online: ~site ~twitter ~facebook ~blog
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. Through Shiri's journal we see her descent into depression and from Sunny's looking back seeing the light flicker on and off with Shiri's emotions and moods. It was handled with realism and tact.
-Sunny's anger as a stage of grief. This is a very important and normal stage in grieving a suicide. I know this personally.
-The "emoville" group, they were nice and welcoming if crude at times
-I really connected with Sunny in her insecurities, even if they are founded... I dread what others think about me, and nightmare that they are negative.
-It showed that everyone has imperfections and that you had to learn to accept that as well as your own
-The focus on family, that it was so important.
-That Sunny dropped swimming along with old friends, which was something she loved.
-While the premise drew me in and made me want to read it, the beginning of the book doesn't suck me in. I skimmed quite a bit until 10% then after about 60% it slowed again.
What I didn't like:
-That I didn't get to know Shiri personally and I had to hear it all from being told in flashbacks or stream of thought from Sunny felt like if there would have been a few chapters with them together, that the book would have had more of an emotional punch, because as was, I felt disconnected from her grief.
-The love story: It was subtle, because other plot lines were driving. I was good with that.
-World building: not quite sure. sometimes it is okay for supernatural stuff to happen and not be explained, just the way it is. I feel like I wanted more answers as to why she heard others' thoughts.
-The ending: a little messy but it wrapped things up okay
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Would you want to hear others thoughts in bursts?