ARC Review: Sunrise Underground

About the book:


Title: Sunrise Underground

Author: Kayla Bulster

Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, sci-fi, young adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

For Tilly White, ballet is her only escape from life, from her grief over her mother’s and brother’s deaths, and from her abusive stepfather, Fletcher. Late one evening as she leaves the studio, someone throws her into a van. But before they can carry out their plan, a mysterious boy rescues her… and steals her necklace?

Desperate to reclaim the last item she has of her family, Tilly chases her rescuer into the sewers where she discovers a secret society of ninjas. Through training with them, she learns to have real faith, which she’ll need when the job gets all too personal. The ninjas investigate a local mob boss to find Tilly’s best friend caught up in the mess. Fletcher might be involved, too! Her only allies are these ninjas she barely knows. Tilly will need to rely on her faith and her colleagues to save her friend.

Source: Thanks so much to Anaiah Press for providing me with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley!

How I Found Out About It: Netgalley


When I came across Sunrise Underground on Netgalley, the intriguing synopsis definitely drew me in. A ballerina turned ninja? I’m down!🙋

Unfortunately, I just didn’t loooove this book. It had so much potential, but I just don’t think it was the one for me.

Sunrise Underground is basically about a ballerina named Tilly, who had just lost her mom and brother, and has an abusive stepdad as well. One day after her relatives’ deaths, she gets thrown into a car and is rescued by an anonymous, mysterious boy, who ends up stealing her precious necklace. As this is the one thing that reminds Tilly of her family, she chases after the boy to retrieve it, until she is eventually introduced to a secret ninja society. These ninjas make her much stronger after having so much grief. But a situation finds Tilly’s closest friend and possibly her stepdad at risk… will she be able to live up to her ninja standards and help them out?

I really enjoyed reading about Tilly, as she was adventurous and brave, and she wasn’t at all afraid to take risks. I honestly felt terrible for her after having gone through all those losses, but in my opinion, she seemed able to move on pretty quickly and still live her life to the fullest, which I admire. Those are capabilities that not a ton of people have! I was also quite fascinated by how quickly she adjusted to the ways of being a ninja! Before this book, I had not read too much about ninjas, and now I really want to pick up more stories about them!

Characters aside, I just found the plot to be a little bit ‘meh’, and at times, it seemed to be flying all over the place. First Tilly is rescued, her necklace is stolen and she strives to track down the culprit, and then… a mob boss? Honestly, I just found that the author could’ve gone into more detail about these events, and woven them together a little more clearly. This is not to say that I wasn’t captivated- I definitely was! But making the plot flow a bit more could’ve made me all the more interested, if you know what I mean.

All in all, this was an okay book, but I expected a little bit more out of it. I’d recommend it to any teen looking for a fast, adventurous read featuring a pack of ninjas, because you will definitely devour Sunrise Underground! It wasn’t really my book, but I can absolutely picture so many other people adoring and raving over it.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

*I received a digital ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

4 thoughts on “ARC Review: Sunrise Underground

  1. ” A ballerina turned ninja?” That is really all I need to know to read a book! That’s disappointing to hear that it had so much potential but didn’t live up to it. I’ll be sure not to dismiss it though. Is this a part of a series? I could see the next book build off of an okay book 1 and really come into its own.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s exactly how I felt about Spindle: it was a good book, but just not for me. I totally feel the frustration that comes with reading one thing and expecting another.
    Least it was free, right…? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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