Cover Image: Boy Underground

Boy Underground

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Member Reviews

Boy Underground is a wonderful story by Catherine Ryan Hyde.  Four friends, Steven, Suki , Ollie and Nick become fast friends after meeting in school.  The story takes place just before World War II,  Narrated by Stephen he tells the tale of each boy facing astronomical problems that together they try to overcome and help each other.  Each boy’s  story touched my heart.  The tale  flows perfectly, and kept me  rooting for each boy.  A great lesson of kindness, strength and loyalty.  A Must Read.  Don’t Miss This One.  
Thank You to the Author Catherine Ryan Hyde, Lake Union Publishing and Net Galley for allowing me to read this fantastic novel for my honest review.
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Catherine Ryan Hyde has published more than 30 books and <b>Boy Underground</b> is her latest offering.   In this book she does a particularly good job of replicating how it must have felt to be a young person when the world is at war and life is altering rapidly for the worse.    Not only that but she made it possible for her readers to walk a mile in the shoes of four young people, several of whom were marginalized. 

The story begins with an elderly man, Steven Katz, looking back to the time in his life when he was fourteen.    It was 1941 and he had befriended a group of new friends.   Readers followed the teenaged Steven and his new friends through the war years, learning of their individual difficulties and the lasting relationships they developed during these years.

Steven, Suki, Ollie and Nick were the four boys at the centre of Boy Underground and they each had their own rod to carry.     Steven, our narrator,  struggled with his sexuality and though he was not ashamed of his feelings for other boys, homosexuality was neither understood nor accepted in the small-town in which they lived and as a result he ended up estranged from his family.    Suki was born in America to Japanese parents but he and his family were rounded up and relocated to Manzanar concentration camp following the attack on Pearl Harbour.    The family remained there until their release at the end of the war.    Ollie, was older than the other friends and being seventeen he was afraid of being called up to fight in the war on his next birthday.     Instead, with his parents permission, he decided to take matters into his own hands and enlisted.   Last but certainly not least, Nick, a boy who was completely betrayed by his father.     His Dad had seriously injured another man in a bar fight yet he told police Nick was the perpetrator of the crime.   To avoid arrest and being sent to reform school for four years Steven helped Nick go into hiding.   During this time Nick and Steven developed an extremely close and loving relationship - not in the physical sense - but in the sense that Steven became a saviour for Nick.
 
This was a book about genuine friendships.   Friendships where acceptance of each other was not questioned despite societal attitudes and strong repercussions.    As is often the case in Catherine Ryan Hyde's novels the young people had great moral and ethical compasses despite the examples set by some of the important adults in their lives.  It was a story of love and lessons from youth to carry and remember throughout a long life.

My thanks to the author,  Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for the opportunity of reading this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review which it was my pleasure to provide.
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Thanks NetGalley, Catherine Ryan Hyde and the publisher for a copy to review. 
I simply love Catherine Ryan Hyde and anything she writes, such a talented writer and an incredible human being. 
A powerful story about friendship, acceptance, love, change. 
I absolutely loved it.
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I freaking loved loved loved this one!! 

Steven is a school boy when we first meet him who has just changed his circle of friends. 

He has a difficult childhood and so do his friends, it is shown in the book how each of their younger years are difficult. 

As he gets older his friend group end up in different parts of the country such as life except in there case these circumstances are out with their control. 

Later in the book he manages to meet up with his friends again though not in the way he thought it would be. 

Rarely I get upset over a book but this one gave me the feels and I felt soo emotional over it. 

The only thing I didn’t care for much was how quickly it came to the ending, like I actually liked the ending and thought it was appropriate but I didn’t like how quickly she got there. 

The author is a favourite of mine and I’ve read some of her other books which I love. 

Though I definitely think this has my heart now. ❤️

Please read this book or you’ll be missing out.

I was given a copy of this arc from #NetGalley #BoyUnderground and all opinions are my own
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I always enjoy Catherine Ryan Hyde's books and although this wasn't my favorite, it was still a good book.  I couldn't identify with the characters and at times they didn't seem especially realistic but the excellent writing kept me engaged and wanting to know what happened next.  There seemed to be a lot of emphasis on some of the themes at the expense of others.  I would have liked to have known more of Suki and his family's experiences.

This is a unique look at WWII and how it affected people in the United States - even those not directly affected.  

I look forward to Ryan Hyde's next book.
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Boy Underground by Catherine Ryan Hyde is another emotional read, that is both uplifting and dark at the same time. This book took me much longer to read than normal but that was due to being under the weather and struggling to read anything. Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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I haven’t a really great coming of age book in a while and this one was great. When Steven Katz gravitated towards a new group of friends after his childhood friends became too homophobic it changed the entire course of his life. Ollie, Suki & Nick became Steven’s family where his natural family was cold & seemingly uncaring. The characters were interesting. Even Nick’s evil Dad was given a chance to explain his actions to the reader & Steven. 
There were also a few difficult topics in this book such as the internment of the Japanese in camps & but the issue was presented factually. 
I think my favourite part was the end but I won’t elaborate since I don’t want to ruin this wonderful story.
Thanks to NetGalley & the publisher for the opportunity to read this book.
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Wonderful, poignant novel that follows a young man's struggle, or a few young men actually, to come to terms with themselves and the hands that they were dealt in this fickle life. A lot of worthy topics are discussed here, and I'm SO glad Catherine was the one bringing these topics to the table. She always does it so well!! Easily 10/10. 5 gold stars!

Thanks netgalley for giving me the advanced pdf so that I can share my thoughts and opinions with y'all 🧡
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Boy Underground is another great story by Catherine Ryan Hyde, I really love the way she always brings a story to life making it very down to earth with situations that are very normal in our daily lives.

Boy Underground is about finding yourself no matter if your whole family is against it, about supporting your friends and sticking and following what you believe in. about being humble, empathic, and working hard to achieve what you have been dreaming.

Steven Katz didn't have the family he wanted, they didn't support him and had many beliefs that weren't exactly what Steve felt, he was constantly chastised and criticized by his own mother, making him feel like he was never good enough in her eyes. Steven had a very kind heart and he had a true friendship with Nick, Suki, and Ollie, sons of field workers. his parents didn't approve of this friendship, especially because of the heritage some of these boys had. in his mother's eyes, they were traitors of the United States, and they didn't deserve a friendship or a second chance. 

Steven knew the real truth about what his friends were enduring and this was enough for him to forget about everything and help them in any way he could even if that meant hiding stuff from his family and even the police.

Boy Underground is the story many Japanese endure during WWll, an era they were being deported for the mistakes of others, without giving them any second chance to explain or even revoke such a terrible idea. they didn't have a home or family left and they were robbed of their citizenship, their family, their home.

I cried so much with Steven, the many times his family didn't see him or spoke so illy about his preferences and ideas. is like for them he didn't exist, it was more important what the neighbors will think of them than what Steven felt.

Steven's character was amazing, he was kind, humble and he had a heart of gold. I really love how he embrace his friend nick and helped him and the other in any way he could without caring if he would have any problems with his family.

Another great book by Catherine, I enjoy so much all of her books, and Boy Underground was not the exception it was beautiful, it was emotional it was hopeful, I enjoy it so much
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Thank to Net Galley and Lake Union Publishing for an ARC of this book in exchange for a review. 
Catherine Ryan Hyde never disappoints her readers.  This is a beautiful book, the story of Steven Katz, who is 14 in 1941, like many teenagers he isn’t quite comfortable with himself yet.   He meets a new group of friends, Suki, Ollie and Nick, they are different from his previous friends in many ways,  
The story brings Steven through his teenage years, His inward struggles with himself  as he learns about life, how difficult it can often be.   It doesn’t help that his family are cold and uncommunicative with one another., there is little love in the Katz family home.    Steven is loyal and true to his friends regardless of how difficult it makes things for himself at home, school and in the community. 
The story is emotional, sad, racist, and tragic,   It covers homosexuality in a sensitive way.  The story comes to a close with Steven being an old man and he is meeting up with Suki, which they have been doing regularly over the years,, they are visiting the Japanese interment camp, you must read this poignant beautiful book to find out why this is relevant to both of the old men.  
I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  It will stay with me for some time as this authors books often do.
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This is a good coming of age story that read to me like it belongs in a young adult genre.  The reason for only 3 stars is simply because I often find I don't get swept up in these types of stories.  However if you like them I do recommend this one.  The setting, characters and plot are unique. The writing is insightful at times, although at other times I felt the story dragged a bit. I was ready to move on and the writer still had more to say.  

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an early release in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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When I pick up a book by Catherine Ryan Hyde, I know I will not be disappointed in my choice. I've read so many of her books its difficult to choose a favorite, but this book would be near the top!   The book begins in 1941 and we are introduced to four young teen boys, Steven, Suki, Ollie and Nick.  Each boy has their own difficulties in life, which may be what draws them together in the first place.  Although Steven is the late-comer to the group, he is accepted by the others when introduced by Suki. While Ollie plays an important part in this story, his character is the one that is least expanded upon. However, the character development andstorylines for the other three boys carry throughout the book and affect each other significantly. The title, Boy Underground, can refer to each of the boys in one aspect or another, but mainly refers to Nick, which I was not expecting.  The friendship that is formed between Nick and Steven due to an accusation of assault, is intense and very confusing to Steven who is dealing with his own sexualtiy issues along with his need to protect and provide for Nick.   This is exacerbated when Suki's Japanese family is uprooted from their home and sent to an internment camp, Ollie goes off to war, and his parents make disparaging remarks about both Japanese and homosexuals.  The author is able to pull all of these storylines together in a manner that flows easily through character interactions showing their desires for a life that brings them happiness and peace.  The book shows how important and long-lasting some friendships can be.   Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this advance reader copy.  #NetGalley  #BoyUnderground
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What a beautifully written and poignant read. I throughly enjoyed this and just didn't want it to end. One of the best books I've read in a while. I have read others from this author and this latest novel does not disappoint. Its a beautiful story of love, courage and loyalty. 

Highly recommenced and absolutely deserves the 5 stars. 

Thank you Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley.
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Boy Underground, by Catherine Ryan Hyde, is the latest novel offered by a most prolific writer.  Set in California, shorty after Pearl Harbor, this book focuses on the impact of the war on the lives of four teenage boys.  After reading four other novels by this author, I confess that her compassion and insight into the human psyche just overwhelm me. As with her past work, the characters are so nuanced and authentic that their triumphs and suffering are a shared experience with readers.  Her plotting and pacing are impeccable.  She never loses direction and manages to wrap in a way that is satisfying, if not necessarily happy.  As an added plus, almost every novel features a wonderful dog.

Unquestionably, Catherine Ryan Hyde is one of my go-to authors for stories that will make me think, smile, and learn.  Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read a digital ARC.  It was truly a pleasure.
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Once again Catherine has written an amazing book. She gets right into the characters and you can’t help but connect with them. She makes you stop and think about your own behaviour and what you would do if you were in their situation 
She isn’t afraid to touch on what could be tricky topics but does so with tact and care.
Another of her books that would be a hit movie if it was tackled by the right director 

Highly recommend 
Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read
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When I first started reading this book I wasn't 100% sure I was going to enjoy it the way that I did. This book takes place in 1941 during the world war and ends up in 2019 when our main character is 92. I have always loved historical fiction books and this one definitely didn't disappoint. The accuracy of how the Japanese Americans were treated during that time period in this book was written beautifully. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed The Book Thief or any of Ruta Sepetys works.
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This is the second book I’ve read by Catherine Ryan Hyde (My Name Is Anton, being the first) and it’s safe to say she is an astoundingly good writer.

Narrated by Steven, aged 94, this book looks over a pivotal period in his life (1941-1945) which is set against the backdrop of WWII and the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Essentially a coming of age story, we follow Steven’s friendships with Nick, Ollie and Suki as he tries to make sense of the world around him, and himself.  

With dysfunctional family dynamics, prejudice, loyalty, morality, justice all strong themes there is a lot going on, but not in a crowded or confusing way.  The story flows effortlessly, and is very character driven.  My only wish is that we could have had more Gordon Cho.

Beautifully written, I felt myself fall in to this novel and honestly didn’t want to come out.  The characters are beautifully portrayed, and some very sensitive topics are handled expertly.  Emotional, without being overdone and cliched, I honestly cannot recommend this book enough.
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There is spot in my reading life that can only be satisfied with a book by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Boy Underground fit that bill for me in Winter 2021!
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A very different tale of war, love and what it means to be wanted by someone and feel the love you have been deprived of for years.

Steven Katz grew up in 1941 as the son of a landowner in California. He doesn’t realize it at the time, but he is very different than others he hangs out with. His parents don’t approve of his new friends Nick, Suki, and Ollie who are sons of field workers in town. About the time he starts to hang out with them, Steven realizes that his feelings for Nick are more than just friendship. After Pearl Harbor is bombed and the US enters the war, Suki and his family are forced into an Internment camp, Ollie leaves to enlist in the war and Nick goes into hiding after he is falsely accused of a crime actually committed by his father. Steven hides Nick and spends his time trying to take care of the boy he is falling in love with. When Nick leaves, Steven tries to find him and ends up finding more than he bargained for about life, love and what it means to be happy.

This isn’t the normal book I would pick up and read but I have been a fan of Catherine Ryan Hyde for a long time and honestly didn’t know what it was about before starting it. The story was written really well, just like all of hers are. Even though the subject matter isn’t what I agree with and doesn’t follow my views, I enjoyed the story and the way it was written. Even though this is a story about a boy finding love in an unconventional way, especially at this time, it is really more about how he finds himself and learns to move beyond his family and how they have treated him over the course of his life. Steven learns how to be his own person and help others, even if it isn’t what his parents would approve of. He knows in his heart he is doing the right thing and he sticks with it, that is what made him a great character in my eyes. Catherine Ryan Hyde has a way of crafting stories and characters in a way that others just can’t do,;she makes these stories relatable in one way or another for everyone who reads them and wants to walk away from the story feeling changed, even if what the character feels and believes doesn’t match up with the readers beliefs. 

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.
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Boy Underground is another spell-binding story by a wonderful storyteller. I fell in love with Steven and the group of misfit boys that end up becoming his life-long friends. Catherine always writes such heartwarmingly beautiful stories rich with memorable characters that stay with me for a long time. 

Her characters never seem to have an easy go of it but they somehow make it through life and become better people because of their circumstances. Steven is just trying to fit in. Being a teenager is tough, especially when you don't really conform to the mold. He befriends three other boys who accept him for who he is and who are there for each other. As the war ramps up, the turmoil in all of their lives ram up as well, with plenty of drama and trauma. 

I thoroughly enjoyed Boy Underground and highly recommend it. You can never go wrong with a Catherine Ryan Hyde story!
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