“Going Underground” is a new book by Susan Vaught. It is one of the best books I’ve read in some time because its pacing creates real tension and it sends an excellent, timely message about our culture and legal process. I also have a few observations that might improve it.
“Going Underground” is a story told in a series flashbacks. Writers who choose this format have to keep a close eye on how they reveal the story and be sure that it intensifies the message or reaction in the reader. It’s harder than it sounds. Vaught does it really well.
“Going Underground” also sends an excellent message for all of us to hear. In the story a young man is convicted of distributing child pornography when he and his young girlfriend text message pictures of themselves to each other. This is more real than many may think. It has happened in many states. For those of us who grew up before texting pictures was the norm, this is a little like being arrested for playing, “I’ll show you mine if…”
The dialogue of this book was a bit of a let down. Many of the characters use the same words, making them difficult to tell apart. And the main character sounds more like a 20-something year old woman than a 17-year old straight boy. His best friend doesn’t dress very well and, at one point, the main character wonders why his friend won’t accept his offer to go through his closet and pick something out. If the main character was gay, this would be more believable.
If you would like to win a copy of “Going Underground” tell me what you think of the application of child pornography laws to underage kids who send pictures of themselves to people. Why do you think this was an issue for some areas? What does it say about our culture? Don't forget to tell me your email.