Caitlin: It’s going to be so hard to talk about this book because all I want to do is yell and scream and rant about the ENDING.

Christine: Yeah, I’m pretty much going to be huddled in the corner, sobbing, during this entire review.

So. Where to start. I guess the beginning? The Madness Underneath picks up with Rory a couple of weeks after the end of The Name of the Star. She’s holed up at her parents’ home when all she wants to do is get back to school and her friends.

Caitlin: You know, as much as I love all the ghost stuff, and all the people involved with the ghost stuff, I also just really love Jazza. I wish we got to see more of her. Mostly because she is exactly the roommate I would’ve wanted had I ever been sent off to boarding school. When Rory does arrive back at school and they run across the cafeteria toward each other.

This was almost as exciting to me as getting to see Stephen again.

Christine: Oh, god, Stephen. No, let’s focus on something else. Yeah, the dramatic running sequence was good. I always enjoy over the top entrance scenes, which is probably why I enjoy Harry Potter as much as I do since there are so many of them in the books and movies.

I honestly felt kind of bad for Rory and Jerome. I understand why they decided what they did, but I had hoped they’d give it a fighting chance, even though, clearly, they weren’t meant for each other.

Caitlin: As much as I love Stephen, I did too. I’m glad Maureen made Rory’s normal friends so likable and believable. It made Rory’s decisions about her life all the more difficult.

I liked all the new world building information we got in this. What happened to Rory at the end of The Name of the Star, was just the beginning of new information and theories and people that we got to find out about. I really thought going into this, we were just going to get a new ghost mystery. But it was so much more than that.

Christine: Yes, it did start out like, oh, here we go with another ghost murderer, but nope. An entirely new threat appeared. It’s important in the supernatural world not to forget there are actual completely human crazies out there as well.

I just liked the fact that there was this crack in the bathroom that Rory was obsessed with. I was so certain it was the hellmouth or a crack in the universe or something just as bad.

Caitlin: Well, it kind of was the hellmouth. I really liked what that could mean for the rest of the series. Though, after that ENDING I am more concerned with well…OTHER THINGS.

Christine: I guess we should talk about the ending. Heed warning, all who dislike soul crushing cliffhangers, I’d avoid reading this book for a while. Or have a box of tissue handy. And possibly a shock blanket. And alcohol, if you’re over 21, otherwise, chocolate is a necessity.

Caitlin: Or over whatever the legal drinking age is in your country. USA is the only one I know of that makes people wait so long.

But that’s neither here nor there.

But, yes. Everyone I’ve talked to who has read this (usually at my behest) has been angry at me afterward. And in a strange state of shock. IT JUST COMES OUT OF NOWHERE AND RIPS YOUR SOUL IN TWO!

I very much remember my reaction to the last couple pages being:

“YES! yesyesyesyes!…wait…what? NO! nonononononononaj;nbgjakfngfjkdgnjkd;fnsdaj”

Christine: That pretty covers my reaction. There weren’t even tears at first. I was just in such shock that my brain couldn’t wrap around what I’d just read and I had to go back and read it again to make sure I had it right. And then the tears came. Crap. I’m getting sad now, actually.

Caitlin: Sorry. Gah…the wait to find out what happens next will be horrible. Not only with that THING but with the other person and what they wanted and what is going to happen and and and…there is too much. Maureen Johnson is evil.

Christine: Yes. She feeds on our misery, which means after the release of this book she’ll probably become immortal. What a terrifying thought.

Caitlin: Yes. And thus complete her evil master plan.

If you want to contribute to Maureen Johnson’s evil immortality, The Madness Underneath comes out on February 26th. And remember, Maureen Johnson is watching you.

PS: I totally used Ashley’s awesome photoshop tutorial to guide me along in making the banner I put in this post. Hopefully there will be more fun graphics in our upcoming reviews!

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