arc book review: below

BelowBelow by Meg McKinlay (publication date May 14, 2013)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a wonderful story! I read it all in one sitting; once having started, I wasn’t able to stop reading until I got to the end. It was extremely easy to settle into the charming narrative; I loved the way Meg McKinlay wrote. The writing was so readable- descriptive parts, dialogue and the thoughts of the narrator were all done well.

The little blurb about this book hooked me for reasons I don’t really know. I was promised some mystery from the past that would be uncovered, but I wasn’t quite sure if I would even enjoy the story. However, I soon found that Cassandra (Cassie) Romano, the twelve-year-old narrator of this book, was a really interesting character.

She was born “too early”, and as a result suffers from breathing problems, due to her lungs not having fully developed before she was born. The day she was born, the town of Old Lower Grange was drowned – flooded purposefully with water and dammed up, turning what was the town into a lake. Cassie doesn’t remember much about the Old town, but she has always been fascinated by it, and likens it to a modern-day Atlantis.

Liam, a classmate of Cassie’s, also has some shadows in his past. His twin brother died in a car accident when they were babies, and he was deemed the “miracle baby” as a result of surviving. His father, driving the car when it crashed, has never been the same since.

Together, Cassie and Liam dig into their town’s past, and discover the secrets that lie beneath its surface.

I have to admit that I did manage to figure out the big secret a bit before Cassie did, but that didn’t really lessen my enjoyment of the story, since part of the interest came from watching how Cassie puts things together. I don’t remember a lot about being twelve, but Cassie seems like a pretty smart kid! I’d have liked to hang out with her, separating leaves carefully along the middle seam (I actually remember doing this as a kid, too).

So yeah. I really loved this whole book. I’d read it again, as the writing style is so enjoyable I know I’d get more out of a re-read.

Favourite lines of the book: “”he was that kind of guy – always smiling and joking and popping up anywhere, anytime, especially if there was a chance of a party or a ceremonial sausage or two.” I know people who fit this exact desciption. There’s something enjoyable about reading a book and constantly being able to identify with it, which is probably what made me like this one so much.

Thank you to the publishers, who via NetGalley provided me with this advance e-copy for review!

PS- this book was previously published under the title “Surface Tension”.

View all my reviews


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