Going Under by Kathe Koja

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Because all my life had been a chrysalis, with you, Ada and Marshall and our house; even though we did other things and saw other people, the summers at the lake, and all those homeschoolers' parties, it was still always just - us.
Hilly and her brother, Ivan, have been homeschooled by their parents. All their lives it has been just the two of them - Ivan and Hilly, brother and sister, pilot and copilot. Until Hilly breaks out of their cozy cocoon to work on the local high school literary magazine as an extracurricular activity. Ivan feels betrayed: it's no longer just the two of them. And when Hilly goes into a depression after the suicide of a friend she has made at the magazine, she drifts even further away from Ivan. Hilly's parents insist that she see a psychotherapist. Ivan steps in to help manage Hilly's recovery by taking her to and from her appointments but compounds the betrayal by establishing his own relationship with the manipulative therapist.
Through the alternating voices of Hilly and Ivan, and drawing on the myths of Persephone and Narcissus, Kathe Koja explores the souls of two teenagers caught in a world where love takes you deeper than you ever dreamed you'd go.

About Kathe Koja

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KATHE KOJA is the author of several notable books for young adults, including Buddha Boy and The Blue Mirror, both ALA Best Books for Young Adults. She lives near Detroit, Michigan.
Published September 5, 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 120 pages
Genres: Young Adult. Fiction

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This distinctively ambiguous story features Hilly and Ivan, two intelligent, home-schooled siblings, and tells how their relationship is forever changed as Hilly copes with a tragedy shortly after making the decision to work on a literary magazine at a public school.

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Publishers Weekly

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Koja's (The Blue Mirror ) novel explores the complex relationship between a teenage brother and sister, through their alternating first-person narratives. Hil

Nov 06 2006 | Read Full Review of Going Under

Publishers Weekly

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later, Hilly observes about her doctor, "Maybe telling the truth was like lying, for him"), and Hilly grows through the course of the book, emerging from her hell as the healthiest of everyone in her confused family.

Nov 06 2006 | Read Full Review of Going Under


Kathe Koja does a great job of telling the story from the two points of view, and it makes the story much better than it would have been if it were told by only Hilly or only Ivan.

Jul 20 2006 | Read Full Review of Going Under

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