Monday, July 15, 2013

Below by Meg McKinlay

The day 12 year old Cassie was born is a memorable one in the history of her hometown. It is the day that Old Lower Grange was purposely flooded by the town's mayor, in order to provide access to water for surrounding areas. Every building in the town was replicated in great detail and renamed "New Lower Grange." For Cassie, the mystery of the original town which now lies beneath a large lake, is irresistible, even though the town's inhabitants are repeatedly warned to steer clear of the area of the lake beneath which Old Lower Grange resides.

Despite not being a strong swimmer, Cassie decides to swim out to the forbidden area, just barely being rescued by a boy named Liam who also seems drawn to the mysterious waters. Together they unlock a secret that lies beneath the lake that provides some much needed answers for Liam's family and the true nature behind the mayor's seemingly friendly behavior.

While the story starts off seeming a bit like a futuristic type of novel, it is actually more of a mystery/suspense  story. The "big reveal", however, doesn't quite live up to the level up suspense that builds throughout story and leaves the reader wishing for more details behind the decision to "flood" the original town.

P.Sassoon. 2013.

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