Above

Above

by Leah Bobet

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545296700
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 04/01/2012
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 1,256,932
Product dimensions: 8.46(w) x 5.60(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author


Leah Bobet’s short fiction and poetry have appeared in Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy for Teens, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award. She received a 2008 emerging writers’ development grant from the Toronto Arts Council. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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Above 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
EverAfterEsther More than 1 year ago
Consider yourself warned: Above is like nothing else out there in YA. Above is a truly original and utterly engrossing read, one that is sure to leave a distinct impression on its readers. And frankly, this isn't a book that every reader will love because it's a very tricky one to read and doesn't make for light reading. However, I think it's one that most readers should at least give a chance because if it's one that you will enjoy, it will have a great impact on you. Reasons to Read: 1.Thoughtful details: Leah Bobet clearly put a lot of thought into this book, and it is so rich in meaningful topics that I'm not even sure I picked up on all of the ideas and questions it raises. The story comes across as being so detailed and curious, with a very particular story to share. I'm not really sure how to explain it, but overall the details all seemed very conscientious that actually blended together very well and added to the story. 2.Prose-like writing: I know some people who reviewed Above mentioned that they struggled with the writing; and yes, it definitely isn't written in the same style that the majority of books are written. But the way Leah writes Above just rolls off the tongue, with gorgeous phrasing and imagery that just flows off the page to meet with your imagination. It's stunning, really. But I can also see how this wouldn't be enjoyable for every reader (it all depends on taste). But it also captures the perspective of the narrator very well, and gives him a distinct voice. 3.An intelligent read: Above is one YA book that really stood out to me as an intelligent book. It's one that makes you question norms and expectations, and re-evaluate things we readily take for granted. And the way it's written can be confusing at times (and yes, a bit convoluted in some phrases) but you really need to adapt your mind to it and be willing to embrace these differences to appreciate Above. And THAT is something I thoroughly enjoyed about it. Above deals with a lot of notions and ideas, most of which fit in quite well with contemporary society. This urban fantasy portrays a remarkable story of a group of people just trying to fit in - somewhere, wherever that may be. And whether that may be with each other or not. And there isn't any easy answer to this, as Leah shows with Above, and each of the characters has a lesson to learn that will truly change their life. But moreso, the story is tragic. I'm not sure if this was intended at all, but it seemed to me that Above did a good job tackling issues of equality among people and accepting the differences and flaws of others. And it took this a step further by highlighting the dangers of rejecting others and the hurt that can stem from that. Yet I can also see how this would not be a book for every reader; it's beautiful, yes, but it requires a bit of patience to get used to the style and flow of the writing and really absorb yourself in the story. But once you do, here's a book that won't easily be forgotten. Review copy received from Scholastic Canada for review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book! It had weird names for the characters but it really made their characters come together. Loved this book, and would definetly recommend this to anyone who likes fantasy and mystery, with very littke romance. Overall great book!
MelyMoore82 More than 1 year ago
Review: Above is a story of monsters and whitecoats. But it is the whitecoats who are the monsters and the "monsters" are really the normal ones with some serious defects. The cover of the book is incredibly gorgeous. You would think the person on the cover is the main character, but this isn't so. The book is told in the POV of Matthew the teller. The characters are shaped well, but I found them to be more akward then they were relatable. The story-line was very complex and pace were slow in some areas, that I felt needed to be more action. The world setting is much like our own. Just add in shape shifters and a few people stuck in between. The writing style I had difficulty with. The dialects and wording made it hard to read the book at my normal pace. I can see that the author was probably trying to get across the lack of schooling and human interaction. It made it a challenge to read. Overall it seems more set towards the younger adult, rather then adult readers. Perhaps they may find it more appealing then myself. Don't get ne wrong It's not a bad book. It just wasn't the book for me. I do urge you to read it, it definitely brings something new to the table. I'd like to thank leah and her publicist at Scholastic for sending me the ARC for review. Visit WereVampsRomance for Giveaways, Reviews and more
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting from Above, but it wasn't this. I wanted to like this book, I really did. The cover is compelling, the blurb is filled with all kinds of promise...but the book just didn't deliver or feel completely right. The issue didn't have anything to do with the plot or the characters, but the writing style.Above is written from the first person prospective of Matthew, an uneducated mutant who has lived much of his life in the isolated underground community known as Safe. And the writing style fully reflects Matthew's thought process. Written in an almost stream-of-consciousness style, Above's style reads like a broken translation of another language from a not-well-versed translator. It's incredibly difficult to read or fully comprehend, and there is so much slang used here (without much of an explanation) that's it hard to understand what's going on for the first 50 or so pages of the book. I found myself re-reading several passages just to get a sense of what the slang meant based on the context. There were some things that I didn't fully understand for the duration of the entire novel.This really affected the setting as well. It was impossible for me to get any sense of where the characters were, or what they world they lived in was like. I got that they were different, which was bad, but there didn't seem to be any more depth beyond that. It just really bugged me that I couldn't see the world or the characters at all.Which brings me to some of the redeeming qualities of this book: the characters and the unique storytelling. (Reading this book wasn't a complete waste, by the way, but really frustrating and confusing.) This book is set up in a unique way. Instead of just following a singular plot line, the protagonist shares the stories of the other characters, which made them come alive and made this story about each character's individual struggles for acceptance, rather than the overarching plot. I found this approach refreshing, though somewhat disjointed.Above certainly wins points for originally and for excellent characters, but really lost me with the style. Try at your own risk, but be warned...
mountie9 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
The Good Stuff Absolutely stunning cover Canadian author (yup that be Toronto on the cover folks) The writing is wonderfully poetic, expressive and intense and oh so very visual Has an X-Men feel to it which I really enjoyed Truly unique, unusual and dark Well developed characters who grow and change which give it a realistic feel Truly unique premise/plot - I can honestly say I have never read anything like it This isn't for everyone, but the right reader will LOVE this and I think this could very well be an award winner as the language is just so beautiful and haunting Mentions locations I know -- hee hee Queen and BathurstThe Not So Good Stuff The writing style took me a while to get into as I am easily distracted and a bit of speed reader. These character flaws of mine made it a harder story to get into (Just an FYI for others like me, but don't give up this is good) Matthew is a little too EMO for me (This may turn off male readers, but YA girls will probably totally dig)Favorite Quotes/Passages"What Atticus calls emergency money, in case you have an emergency; he says, but really it's if you use it, it had better have been an emergency.""That's why we work together. Because even if we're strange and Cursed and Beasts, the people Above are monsters.""It's just foolishness to go 'round wanting not to have a Curse, my pa's voice whispers inside, in the dark.""I whisper before I can help it, knowing that deal or not, it's a gift; knowing there's nothing less wise than to question a gift lest it go right back to the giver,"Who Should/Shouldn't Read I would say for the more mature YA reader as the language/writing style might be a little difficult for the general reader This is not for those who need a fast paced story, this is to be savored and for you to lose yourself in the language For fans of Urban fantasy definitely High school Librarians/Teachers there is some swearing so you may have complaints from repressed parents who cringe if their precious angels hear a bad word4 Dewey'sI picked up a copy at the 2012 OLA Super-conference and its signed by the author
DarkFaerieTales on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: Unfortunately, disjointed exposition distracts from the potential of a beautiful story.Opening Sentence: My last supply duty before Sanctuary Night, I get home and Atticus is waiting.The Review:Safe is an underground sanctuary where people who can¿t fit in Above go to feel Safe. Everyone who lives in Safe has an ability of some kind or another. Matthew is a Teller, he has the ability to remember the stories of those who come to Safe and can create artwork with the tales. Matthew is also ¿different¿ but he can fit in Above. He was born in Safe and has only ventured Above a few times in his life. He has been taught to be afraid of the world and the people that inhabit Above.Matthew finds Ariel hiding in the tunnels on one of his ventures to go above ground. He takes it upon himself to take care of her and make sure she stays safe. When Ariel is upset she grows bee¿s wings and she gets upset a lot. There are a lot of discarded wings decorating their room in Safe. She can also shrink into the size of a bee. Matthew is in love with Ariel but she has been severely hurt in her life and is very skittish and shy towards people. Ariel runs away and when Matthew goes to find her he is confronted by Corner, an exiled member who once lived in Safe.Sanctuary Night is the night where everyone who lives in Safe swears fealty and pitches in to the well-being of Safe. Right before the festivity is to begin, Matthew goes to find the leader Atticus. Atticus is killed by Corner when he decides to take over Safe and attacks everyone within its¿ shadow army. Matthew, Ariel and a few survivors are forced Above to get away from the Shadows. Matthew and Ariel make it to one of the Safe houses that have been pre-arranged in case Safe was attacked. Matthew has to learn to Pass Above while trying to find other survivors of Safe all the while trying to make sure Ariel stays out of trouble. While Above Matthew learns the history of Safe and its inhabitants along with Ariel¿s past.Above is told purely from Matthews¿ viewpoint. He mentions that this is his memoire of what happened with Safe and his love of Ariel. Matthew is uneducated and the story reflects this. The writing style is perfect for Matthew but it is very distracting and at times it is difficult to follow. There are words that are missing and words that are made into proper nouns that are just used over and over again in one sentence. I like artistic writing sometimes but I had a hard time following along with the story. I kept having to reread sentences and paragraphs trying to figure out what the author meant by using a certain word.Some examples of the writing style:*¿That¿s when you saw her change,¿ I say, because I know that look from Tales, the kind where people stare five feet into the distance for the Telling and you need to help to Tell them, like a hand light on the curve of the back.*I made it to the bathroom before I sick up.*I can¿t tell if he¿s breathing, if he¿s going to ghosts.*My heart¿s going like a subway train, and I understand for the first time, real down deep, why Whisper¿s pa and the Whitecoats and the girls in General Population were so sore scared of ghosts.Matthew is a sympathetic character. I had the hardest time caring for him in the beginning of the book but by the ending I did sympathize with his situation. This potentially beautiful story did come out to a degree in the end but I was a bit saddened by the closure of the story.Above is one of those novels that you are either going to love or hate. If you enjoy a book that really makes you decipher the words then you will enjoy Above, unfortunately for me it was a bit off putting. In the end, Above, has elements of a beautiful heartbreaking story about the loss of love and home and the fight to regain a semblance of safety.Notable Scene:The first knock is quiet. It¿s a knock like someone who¿s little, who don¿t belong. Who¿s Freak? Her dead hand and that¿s all yo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book and all i can say is wow. I cant say I loved it or even say I liked it. The writing style got on my nerves because I was getting confused. The story line though is beautiful and well thought out. The characters were good, except sometimes I got super angry at the Teller. I mean, if you are looking for a lovey dovey teen book then dont get this book. This book was for people who enjoy twisted-ness and sad stories. Because personally, my thought throughout this book was, " Wow, thats really sad" I cried more then i wanted to.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
I honestly didn’t know where to start with this review. Do I start with the completely diverse and unforgettable characters that Leah Bobet has created? Perhaps the world building that Bobet did when creating the two worlds, Safe and Above? Or maybe I could start with just how unique ABOVE is, and the way in which the story was told? To me, Above was like this in depth campfire story. All eyes and ears are on the storyteller. What makes a good campfire story? The weaving of the tale…And that is exactly what you will find when you read Above. The intricate ways in which Bobet has her main character, Teller aka Matthew, weave the tales of the different characters in the story was done to perfection. Bobet gives us the opportunity to read how each character managed to make their way into Safe, by telling us their backstory in the way of a tale within a tale. I felt a closer connection to many of the characters, and it seemed as though they were coming to life after every page turn. The love story between Teller and Ari was heartbreaking. It was emotional and deep, and not like any love story that I have read in a long time. It pretty much broke down to “Would you sacrifice love for everything you’ve ever known?” Gah! Just thinking about the ending again is pulling at the heart strings. I will admit that it did take me a bit to get into the book. I was getting easily confused with capitalization of the “A” in Above and the “S” in Safe. I wasn’t quite grasping the concept that they were actual places. I also had to start getting used to the different vocabulary used in the book. Because the residents of Safe fear the people/whitejackets from Above, they used different words to describe things, or didn’t have a word for something, but understood the meaning of the word somehow. I didn’t quite understand what the deal with the shadows and with Corner were as things were happening in the beginning. It took me a while into the book to get a firm grasp and understanding of them. But if you can power through the first half, and get through the nitty gritty, you will find hidden under all of that a beautiful story of perseverance, survivability, and love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KimberlySouza More than 1 year ago
“Above” by, Leah Bobet Matthew and Ariel live in an underground sanctuary called safe. They live with a group of people who are sick or disfigured in some way and because of being different they have to hide from the people above ground. When safe is attacked by shadow people Matthew and Ariel have to run above to find shelter. With only each other and a handfull of friends, they have to find a way to take safe back from the shadows.   Let me start out by saying that I can usually find something I like in every book I read and “Above” was no exception. First, Beatrice and Marybeth are my favorite characters in this story. Beatrice is tough, fearless, and extremely loyal to those she chooses to protect. Marybeth is nuturing, kind, and always wants to do the right thing. Second, I did like the messages of love, loyalty, compassion, understanding, friendship, family, and emotional growth. (I also really loved the beautiful cover)  While all of the above is true, I did not care for the story as a whole. I found that by the end of the book all I felt was disconnected and sad. I had a very hard time understanding the writing style and couldn’t seem to get use to it. (It was like trying to get a good grip on jello) The basic storyline is a good one but because of the writing style I really couldn’t appreciate it the way I would have liked to. I also didn’t understand the “romance” between Matthew and Ariel. I saw where the author was trying to go with it but it just didn’t get there for me. I felt so dictracted and confused while reading that I couldn’t really even connect with the characters. (Except for the two I mentioned above) I really, really wanted to love this book but sadly I didn’t.  Just because it wasn’t for me doesn’t mean that I consider it to be a bad story, (I don’t) I think that many readers will love this book and this unique writing style. 
BookSakeBlogspot More than 1 year ago
Book Review (ARC) This is definitely one of those books that you will either love or hate. It just didn’t work for me. It was really hard for me to follow along with the style of writing. Matthew is telling the story, as that’s what he does, and he uses a broken down form of English, which made it time consuming and irritating to wade through. Had it been presented in normal-everyday English I probably would have liked the story a lot better, and as I write this review, the 3/5 rating that I gave the book is feeling pretty generous. What I did like about the story was the separate chapters in which we hear the story of all of the other characters in the book. Their individual stories were more interesting than the major storyline. In the beginning I couldn’t tell if Matthew was feeling love as a father figure for Ariel, or what was going on. I didn’t have a grasp of what their age ranges were or what the author was trying to express with their feelings. I really, really, really wanted to like this story, but it just didn’t work for me. Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.