Under the Surface by Diana Urban

Under the Surface

An epic survival-thriller about four teens who get lost in the Paris catacombs for days—a gripping and propulsive story of love, danger, betrayal, and hope… even when all seems lost. She’ll do whatever it takes to survive. He’ll do whatever it takes to find her. Get the preorder gift here.

Aug 13 2024 | ISBN: 9780593625088



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Meet the characters

Missing! Newspaper
Ruby - Under the Surface
Sean - Under the Surface

Acclaim for Under the Surface

Under the Surface is a 2024 Junior Library Guild gold standard selection!

⭐️ “Punchy dialogue, drum-tight pacing, and tense stakes permeate this nail-biting adventure, a delight from start to finish.”

—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“An exhilarating adventure filled with twists, secrets, and nonstop tensionUnder the Surface keeps you guessing—and on the edge of your seat—until the very end. Diana Urban has crafted a page-turning survival thriller that grips you from the very first page.”

—Alex Aster, #1 NYT bestselling author of Lightlark

“A riveting read full of cagey twists and turns and featuring a spectacular setting, readers will devour this delicious story.”

—Kathleen Glasgow, NYT bestselling author of Girl In Pieces

Fast-paced and thrilling, Under the Surface has as many dangerous turns and secrets as the catacombs below Paris. Urban’s writing and use of alternating narrators keeps the tension high and the pages turning. At the heart of this dark and creepy (in the best way!) survival story is love, friendship, and hope.”

—Krystal Marquis, NYT bestselling author of The Davenports

Under The Surface is a claustrophobic, terrifying, jump-scare of a novel that will leave you breathless. Urban perfectly weaves the longing and angst of the love story with an absolutely terrifying adventure through the catacombs. Truly her most terrifying work yet.” “

—Megan Lally, NYT bestselling author of That’s Not My Name

The most propulsive book I’ve read in recent memory, Under the Surface manages to be at once nail-bitingly terrifying and potently emotional. Themes of romantic and platonic love are interwoven beautifully, adding even more depth and suspense to the story. You’ll be able to feel the claustrophobia closing in — and still you won’t be able to stop reading!”

—M.K. Lobb, Sunday Times bestselling author of Seven Faceless Saints

“Urban’s sharp banter and engaging voice pull you in, then send you through a maze of frankly terrifying twists that get darker the deeper you go. Under the Surface is a thrilling heartbreak of a journey, from start to finish.”

—Eva V. Gibson, Edgar-nominated author of Frightmares

“Diana Urban remains the queen of pulse-pounding, compulsively readable thrill rides. Under the Surface delivers a tense, expertly-paced chase, and never loses sight of the hope, humanity, and love underpinning her winning cast of characters’ fight for survival.”

—Rebecca Mahoney, author of The Valley and the Flood

“With a plot as dark and twisty as the catacombs themselves, you’ll fall hard for this thriller!”

—Keely Parrack, author of Don’t Let In The Cold

“Urban’s prose is absorbing, leading readers through frightening scenes at a breakneck pace. Ruby’s narration of her harrowing journey is fast-paced and exciting. A nonstop thrill ride.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“Plot twists, peril, and secret truths revealed come together in this satisfyingly propulsive, cinematic survival story.”


“A beautifully executed, subterranean adventure-gone-wrong set in Paris, with plenty of drama and a budding romance.

—Shelf Awareness

“Tense and fast-moving, with a unique setting and compelling characters, Under the Surface is Diana Urban’s best yet.”

—Karen M. McManus, #1 NYT bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying

“A nightmare we’ve all had: in a place we don’t know well, innocent spontaneity gone awry. Yet, a heart beats fierce throughout this book, from Diana Urban’s brilliantly rendered characters to the City of Light itself. It’s survival, yes, but more than merely physical: Under the Surface explores the survival of friendship, optimism, romance, and hope. All in the horrifying presence of the innumerable dead. Urban is magnificent.”

—Josh Malerman, NYT bestselling author of Bird Box and Incidents Around the House

“A nail-biting thriller with a paranormal edge, a high-stakes romance, and can’t-put-it-down pacing. It transported me to the Paris catacombs right alongside Ruby, where the twists and turns kept me glued to the pages until the very end.”

—C.L. Herman, NYT bestselling author of All of Us Villains

Under the Surface is a wild, twisty, romantic adventure that will leave you feeling afraid of the dark, and putting this book down before you reach the end is almost as impossible as escaping the winding catacombs of Paris.”

—Ginny Myers Sain, NYT bestselling author of Dark and Shallow Lies

“Masterfully suspenseful and with a setting I could not look away from, Under the Surface was a bingeworthy and addictive read! With characters you can’t help but root for and a dilemma that will keep you biting your nails long into the night, this is a thriller not to miss.”

—Wendy Heard, author of She’s Too Pretty to Burn

Praise for Diana Urban: “Talk about frightening page-turners!”

—R.L. Stine, author of Goosebumps and Fear Street

“Under the Surface will get right under your skin. Your heart will race as you dodge and travel through the story’s surprising twists and turns. Horror, fear, and relationships take center stage in a story that thrills and chills.”

—Aurora Dominguez, reviewer at Booklist & Book Trib

An epic survival story set in the Paris catacombs…

Ruby is terrified to cave to her feelings for Sean and risk him crushing her heart.

Sean is pumped to spend a week with Ruby in Paris on their senior class trip, and he’ll wait however long until she’s ready to take things further.

But when Ruby’s best friend sneaks out the first night to meet a mysterious French boy, Ruby goes after her with two classmates, but caves to another temptation: attending mystery boy’s exclusive party in the Paris catacombs, the intricate web of tunnels beneath the city, home to six million long-dead Parisians. Only they never reach the party.

Underground, as something sinister chases them deeper , they get lost in the endless maze of bones, uncovering dark secrets about the catacombs….and each other. And if they can’t find a way out, they’ll die in the dark beneath the City of Light.

Aboveground, Sean races to find the girl he loves as a media frenzy over the four missing teens begins.

From award-winning author and rising YA star Diana Urban comes a twisty tale of four teens lost in the dark beneath the City of Light and the race to find them.

FAQs for Under the Surface

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When will Under the Surface be released?

August 13, 2024, in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook.

How can I get an ARC for Under the Surface?

eARCs: Available to request now on Edelweiss and NetGalley.

Print ARCs for the media & trade publications: For U.S. media inquiries and publicity requests, please contact: youngreaderspublicity@us.penguingroup.com

Print ARCs for book bloggers: All requests for print ARCs must go directly through my publisher. Please email penguinyoungreaders@gmail.com and include:

  • Subject line: “Penguin Teen Influencer Request – Under the Surface”
  • Your social media handle(s)
  • Hyperlink to your account’s URL(s)
  • Relevant statistics (subscriber counts, followers, etc.)

A note from PRH: Galley quantities are limited. We reserve the right to send galleys at our discretion. To ensure our compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, we are not able to work with influencers who are below the age of 13. We only mail books domestically (within the continental U.S., Alaska, or Hawaii). If you are an international Book Influencer who is outside of the U.S. or Canada, please contact our international publicity team at internationalpublicity@penguinrandomhouse.com

Will there be a preorder incentive for Under the Surface?

You can find all the details about how to get the Under the Surface preorder gift here. I’m waiting until closer to launch to announce this widely, but if you’re clever enough to find this, you can preorder and claim your gift whenever you’re ready. 🥰

Who designed the cover of Under the Surface?

Under the Surface‘s cover was illustrated by Jeremy Enecio and designed by Kristin Boyle at Penguin Random House.

Who is the target audience for Under the Surface?

Under the Surface is a young adult novel appropriate for anyone 13+. As a survival journey with psychological thriller elements, tear-jerker moments, and a heart-wrenching love story, it has significant crossover appeal. But please keep in mind that I wrote this first and foremost for teenagers.

What are the content advisories for Under the Surface?

Under the Surface contains themes and/or mentions of death (including on-page death and a flashback of a childbirth death), violence, and blood, and there are scenes that may trigger adverse reactions for those who live with emetophobia or claustrophobia.

Does Under the Surface have a happy ending? *SPOILER ALERT*

I’ve gotten this question a lot, I think because being lost in the Paris catacombs for days is such a high-stress scenario. I think you’ll find that the book has a satisfying and hopeful conclusion. 💜

Is there any spice in Under the Surface?

It’s mild, and would you like that rare, medium, or well-done?


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