(Goodreads) Del is a good kid who's been caught in horrible circumstances. At seventeen, he's trying to put his life together after an incident in his past that made him a social outcast-and a felon. As a result, he can't get into college; the only job he can find is digging graves; and when he finally meets a girl he might fall in love with, there's a sea of complications that threatens to bring the world crashing down around him again. But what has Del done? In flashbacks to Del's fourteenth year, we slowly learn the truth: his girlfriend texted him a revealing photo of herself, a teacher confiscated his phone, and soon the police were involved.
Basing her story on real-life cases of teens in trouble with the law for texting explicit photos, Susan Vaught has created a moving portrait of an immensely likable character caught in a highly controversial legal scenario.
The Short Story? - I'm completely floored by this bittersweet YA contemporary. Vaught has created this highly controversial scenario that deals with a very authentic teenager and his problems with the law. Firstly, the male POV is a real highlight and treat, Del is such an aspiring character. Beautifully written, deeply moving and thoroughly enjoyable. Going Underground is a very unique YA contemporary!
The Long Story? - When I first started Going Underground I wasn't too keen because I was in the middle of exam preparation, I was in a reading slump and I just wasn't in the mood for a serius contemporary read. So I put the book down and read something else. When I picked up Going Underground, my whole perspective of the novel changed. I really enjoyed, it's not really in my comfort zone but I enjoyed it. Vaught explores some deep issues in Going Underground including trouble with the law, sexting, child pornography and rape (heavy - I know). The plot is incredibly bittersweet, Del really has coped the worst of life and Going Underground is kind of a moving-on story and teaching readers that there is always hope. We follow Del through his everyday life and it's a very aspiring story. I don't want to get too deep into the plot and spoil it but contemporary fans would definitely dig this one.
One of the best things I like about this book was the protagonist - Del. Going Underground told from a males POV (perk) and Del was brilliant ( another perk). He's such an aspiring character, he's so so so strong. Life has really given him lemons yet he soldiers on. The turning point for Del was really his meeting with Livia, who is the love interest. This novel definitely doesn't focus of romance, in fact it plays a really minor part. The majority of the novel was about Del moving with his life, choosing what's best for him and fighting for it. I felt a real connection to Del as a character because he's a really sweet but completely misunderstood boy and his troubled past really does haunt him everyday. I really, REALLY though Del was a very well developed character :)
Overall, Going Underground wasn't my favourite contemporary read of the year ( that honour goes to The Fault in Our Stars by John Green) but it's definitely one of the better ones I've read. The male POV is refreshing and Del is a very authentic character. It's a very realistic scenario and covers some difficult topics that are usually unexplored in YA fiction. I'll definitely recommend Going Underground to YA readers who enjoys contemporary fiction about second chances and teen issues!
What's it Worth? - Squeeze into the Budget/ Hand Over the Paycheck
Badass Bookie xx