May 11, 2010

Tween Tuesday: The Underneath

You know how sometimes you read a book that just is perfect? That's how I felt about The Underneath. It transports you, it sings to you, it just feels right and when you finish it, you give a contented sigh and then have a hard time letting it go. It just sits in your brain and turns around and around.

This is basically three stories that are wrapped up in one and come together in a most amazing way. There is the story of Gar-Face, such an awful man. Then there is Ranger, Gar-Face's dog that has been wounded and shot and subsequently chained up under Gar-Face's house. Ranger's story is intertwined with a small, lonely, pregnant cat who finds Ranger and decides to move in next to him--despite Ranger's warnings of her being killed if she is discovered by Gar-Face. The last story is of Grandmother Mocassin--a snake that lies in wait after hundreds of years trapped in a bowl in the swamp. Sounds bizarre right? Well, it may be, but the way this story weaves together is wonderful.

As I was set up to do Tween Tuesday today I read some other reviews about this book. One of them talks about how dark it is. I guess she's right, but I didn't think that when I was reading it. All I could think of was how beautifully written it was, almost lyrical. The way Kathi Appelt writes this book transports you to a swamp in East Texas and when you put it down and realize you are not there, it is a disappointment.

Now, the few people I have recommended this to have had differing reactions. Some have loved it, some have liked it, one didn't finish it. That's okay with me. I want everyone to love it as much as I did, to have the same amazing experiences when reading it. But I am okay being one of the ones who knows how this book can make you feel. It's like I am part of a secret club that not everyone can join, but everyone can try!

Tween Tuesday is hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen. Check her out!!


  1. I'll admit it-I refuse to read this book because I can't take animal stories with animals dying-and I just know it's not going to end well in this one-and the mean man will hurt the animals-I just can't take it!! But I've heard really things.

  2. My 11 year old daughter read this and really liked it. The three different stories didn't phase her at all. She was completely taken with it. It does - tho - sound like a book that could be difficult for some readers. Thanks for the review!

  3. I am not sure if I'll get to this anytime soon with my growing 'to read' list. But I have to say, I loved the way you wrote this review. Especially the first paragraph. Sounded like the back of a book. It was very descriptive. Loved. It!

  4. I read this last year and did not love it. It did seem dark to me and I didn't really know what students to recommend it to in my library. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much though!

  5. Have you read her new book Keeper? I loved that one too. I didn't review it on my blog but I reviewed it on Amazon and on Goodreads. Put it on your list....