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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Above by Leah Bobet

Title: Above
Author: Leah Bobet
ISBN: 9780545296700
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Released: April 1, 2012
Series: N/A
Page #: 358
Source: ARC from the publisher

"Matthew has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her blond hair shining and her bee's wings falling away. They lived together in Safe, a refuge deep underground for those fleeing the harsh city Above - as does Whisper, who speaks to ghosts, and Atticus, who has thick claws for hands, and Jack Flash, who can shoot lightning from his fingertips.

But one terrifying night, an old enemy invades Safe with an army of shadows, and only Matthew, Ariel, and a few friends escape Above. Forced to survive in the most dangerous place her can imagine, Matthew strives to unravel the mystery of the shadows' powers and Safe's own secret history. For he must find a way to remake Safe - not just for himself and his friends, but for Ariel, who's again faced with a life she fled, and who needs him more than ever before."
First Lines:

"My last supply duty before Sanctuary Night, I get home and Atticus is waiting.
It's half past three already, and nobody awake except for Hide and  Mack and Mercy and  Me, unloading our week's ration of scuffed-up bottles and tins into the broadwide kitchen cabinets."
Page 1

Bee girl. Boy with lion feet and scales on his back. And a mismatched family of freaks. They all live together underground to stay away from ridicule. Very interesting premise.

Matthew found Ariel in an abandoned alleyway. She seemed lost and scared, so he took her underground with him. But she is used to being Above, so he constantly has to go after her to bring her back. Until one day their Sanctuary is attacked by a previous tenant. She/He/It kills their leader and all of the inhabitants scatter. Matthew and Ariel have to find their way Above now and find out how to take back their home underground.

Okay, you guys... I had a hard time with this one. It's not often that I really dislike a book, but there was something about the way this book was written that made it really hard for me. I thought the whole idea of freaks living undergound (a little x-men-like) seemed like a fun idea. And the fact that some of these people could pass for normal and go scouting for supplies.

I think what really held me up on this book was the language. There was something very awkward and stilted about the structure. I had a hard time following things - and sometimes realizing I didn't read something right and having to go back. I do think it was partially because the writing was meant to sound like Matthew - who is mostly uneducated and speaks the language of the Sanctuary. But for my reading, it felt very difficult and awkward.

Honestly, I wanted to love this book. But it was just too hard - and it took me a long time to wade through. I do think that it will find its readers. It's a very specific style of story and I know some people love that. It just wasn't for me. I did find several bloggers who loved it, so I know there's a niche for it somewhere! :)
Other Blog Reviews:

Justin's Book Blog
Black Gate
Coffee and Wizards
Diary of a Book Addict
Hooked on Books
The Literature Lion
Literary Exploration
Maji Bookshelf
Carina's Books

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