^FREE ⇱ Above ✘ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

This is a beautiful, sad story.Underneath the world is a place called Safe, where anyone Sick or Freak or Beast is given Sanctuary Matthew, the Teller, was born there It is his duty to collect the tales of Safe so that they can be recorded for future generations.And then, on Sanctuary Night, the unthinkable happens Suddenly Matthew finds himself in Above with a ragtag collection of refugees from Safe He must use all the skills he has for Telling, for Passing, and for loving Safe to help reclaim his home.It has been a while since I read a book this lyrical Seeing through Matthew s eyes, thinking his thoughts I could almost believe that Safe is real The prose is lovely, round, and vivid at times it felt like poetry At other times it felt like a painting come to life Matthew s relationship with Ariel, a winged girl whom he rescued some time ago, is perhaps the true heart of the story She is broken by her past, and Matthew has spent months learning the quiet, slow ways of holding her together Their exile from Safe is anything but quiet and slow, and both Matthew and Ariel are forced to confront things that they have spent much of their lives hiding from Part DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, part MS FRISBY AND THE RATS OF NIMH, and all its own, ABOVE is a book that can t be missed. On to the examples But tonight it s not the half I need, because there s Atticus, spindly crab arms folded cross his chest, waiting outside my door His eyes glow dim shot amber not bright, so he s not mad then, just annoyed and looking to be mad Teller, he says, calling me so instead of Matthew to say it clear that I owe him my life, the food in my belly, the tin roof and plank walls and tapestry carved door of my home My Sanctuary She s your responsibility And you re responsible to Safe To keep Safe To do my best for Safe, so there s a place for people like us always.I know I ll find her, I tell him, and don t meet his eyes Atticus doesn t have to say You better find her.It takes a second to realize they re light, quiet, patter quick I straighten up I ve been half asleep, and that s stupid, dangerous stupid and squint into the dark Hello I call out quiet, knowing a second later that was also stupid and I shouldn t have said a thing It echoes hello lo lo through the tunnel, and when the echo s gone I shift my weight one foot to the other and there s no footsteps no.I m glad if you don t mind with the writing But I did have a major problem with it. That s it I give up Page 204 and I still don t know what s happening Someone played Mad Lib with my copy and I m not impressed It s written like the protagonist never learned to speak properly and although it worked for me in Blood Red Road, It s really confusing in this Random words are capitalized and sometimes he means a person, other times a thing But I never keep up on which is which It s all showing, not telling explaining and with the awkward writing style I m just not following I won t review this on the blog since it s a DNF sigh I was really hoping to love this book since it is the first print ARC I received directly from a publisher Unfortunately, it s just not for me At page 10 I knew we weren t going to get along and I was right Damn, sometimes I hate being right The writing style is way to choppy and hard to keep up with I felt like I was concentrating entirely too hard while reading That is a problem So, I put the book down thinking Above and I just needed our individual space Whenever I walked past my book shelf I d feel guilty because Above was steadily calling me saying, Read me Read me I had zero urge to pick it back up So, I know I say it takes a lot for me to not finish a book and I do believe this is the first one of 2012 for me Considering I only made it to page 25 before I threw in the towel, I won t even give it a star rating Hopefully, someone else will love it, but for now Above and I must go our separate ways. I really, really, really wanted to like this book Why A It has a beautiful cover yes, I can be shallow B I shelled out money for the hardcover, looks so pretty on my shelfC Canadian authorD Toronto is on the cover I mean, heck I hate TO most of the time but I m from Vancouver so it s my right but when was the last time a Canadian city was on a YA cover This was supposed to do me proud, y allE It sounded interestingF Some of the prose was really gorgeousI really, really, really didn t like this book Why A Some of the prose was really purplethat s right I m bringing out the images Like super purple ULTRAVIOLET PURPLE Poetic license forged, confiscated, then revoked And Everything is capitalized Well, only Some things but it s things that shouldn t Be It s Gimmicky.B Sentences are so purposely convoluted It doesn t make sense To me, anyway, and maybe you, when you read The tunnels are always dark, but I know from dark, right now they re darker than they ought to be So what you re saying is it s dark Everything under my eyelids is red Red and long fingered and slicked in blood and the curve of a broken horn So what you re saying is you have pinkeye Whisper s crying, harsh little inhales like a sock foot sliding along stone So wait, wuht A little cold hand pokes into my belly, taking away the last of the morning s quiet, the smell of mellow honey and wax that I took in from the pillow and held close to keep me warm C I didn t like a single character The MC, Matthew, I just nothere was no connection I couldn t relate He was passive and obnoxiously stubborn and ridiculously in love with Ariel who is a waste of space And oh, a bee.D And gross Ariel is always being ungrateful and whiny and trembling all over like something terrible has happened to her so you should feel sorry for her yet you don t because she s just a flat, useless character who turns into a bee when angry and attacks everyone and her wings spout out from her back and fall off and ew E I like weird This was bad weird It was bad weird because it was boring It took me months to read this There was no flow I stumbled over weird phrases and adjectives and metaphors and whatnot when simplifying it would have made it go much faster, much smoother Look, I get it It s different It s arty But if you re going to be that different and arty, don t do it with a different and arty setting and a dystopic future with zero world building Do it to something normal The weird in this book didn t need the help We already have crab men with claws and red eyes and bee girl and lionfooted scale backed dude and psycho hermaphrodites and F The book made me feel stupid Like, perhaps if I were smarter I would get the intricate prose and subtle nuances But I didn t and I m fine with that Alas, Above just didn t do it for me I d love to see what the author does with her next book She s unique She has potential to write beautiful things and make words come alive but it just needs to be toned down and put in a place where it will add to something, not subtract from it That s just my two cents, of course Obviously the Toronto Arts Council and Scholastic wouldn t quite agree with me Summary This book was not for me The end. Above is a deeply human tale Bobet takes human problems, human hates, human sadnesses and disappointments, and human hopes, and wraps them up in a jarringly sparse, backwards prose about an underground community of Freaks, who wish for nothing than to be left alone Above is a challenge, evidenced by the numerous reviewers who ve abandoned ship before they ever set sail Which is a shame, because while this may be categorized under paranormal and science fiction, it s really no than a disguise Bobet s story hits much closer to home than might be expected.The prose It is the gift and curse The dialect is disordered and requires deciphering Basic rules of grammar does not apply here Our protagonist, Matthew, is a young man born underground, in Safe A Freak built safe house for those who have gills, lion s feet, and crab claws for those who speak to ghosts, who turn into bees, and who turn into shadows The language is theirs it is for them to use, and us to understand It is specifically distinct of Matthew, who does not know above ground talk He grew up in darkness and isolation and so his words are altered he is both innocent and unrefined in the way he thinks and describes Bobet blurs the lines in speech structure, and that is why it is difficult to join her rhythm, because you are constantly re reading to re confirm if what you understood is really what was meant It isn t lyrical, but blunt short And yet, at times, it hits the point harder than anything you ve read He yells, straightens up with a swear that tells me he is the one, he s the one that broke my Ariel, broke her down made her Freak made her scared of sweet words or touching so I had to walk slow and careful, talk soft and always be patient and never just kiss her like I wanted to Took away her want to be kissed. That s an easy one The manner in which the supernatural aspect of this novel was presented is interesting No explanation is given as to how these Freaks came about There is simply the society, and in this society, some have genetic disorders This downplays the fact that these people are creatures instead of Normal It grazes over their maladies and conditions Because what Bobet focuses on is their plight It s their pain that is sad, not that they were born different The emotional crux of this story is belonging These people have been mistreated, bullied as children, cast out as adults Some were surrendered by their own family, some by their lovers They ve dug their way underground, underneath the life of Above, to find shelter and comfort When that is taken from them, they disperse into chaos and they panic because they are exposed But it isn t just characters with deformation Bobet incorporates cultural and racial prejudice, maltreatment in multiple forms towards patients of mental disorder, and the moral discussion over appropriate medical mandate Matthew may appear bland and almost like an Everyman, but only because he isn t as flavoured in ways that make other central characters entertaining or memorable He is rather a quiet hero He doesn t ask for applause or girls gushing over his noble looks He stands for himself and his principles, and that is enough in my book Matthew, or Teller as he s also known, is the Tale keeper of his people He is a living, breathing storyteller, and it is his responsibility to pass on the histories of their struggles as well as their achievements He represents duty and stalwartness, always longing for home and determined to restore it for his people Mainly, perhaps, because he had not experienced being wronged Because this also explores the bitter side of persecution The fact that not everyone comes through the other end in acceptance and understanding It talks about the hate and the anger that blinds one against their injustice, and the eventual price one is in danger of paying if one does not let go Above carried depth I didn t expectand truthfully, depth I didn t know it had until I finished And even truthfully, depth than I was probably able to grasp There are obstacles along the way Because of the language, some parts were a bit obscure and ambiguous Ariel was occasionally frustrating and just like I predicted, she was indeed a beautiful mess The plot is substantially smaller than the word dystopia makes it out to be But which, again, lends itself to Bobet s aim of telling a story about ourselves, rather than one about monsters and medical experiments gone awry It could ve been here, and it could ve been there It wasn t perfect, it wasn t epic But much like the Freaks in this book, once you look past the debris, it really isn t all that peculiar This review also appears on The Midnight Garden I should start out by saying that I can t write very good reviews for books I don t like It s not that I don t know what I don t like about them, because I do I simply cannot bring myself to put down a work of art that an author has worked for so long and hard upon That being said, Above is a perfect example of why I became so dubious about dystopian novels Unfortunately, I picked up Above with none of my usual qualms, probably because the last few dystopian novels I read had been utterly remarkable However, Above was far from that Matthew, the narrator of this book, is a boy Perhaps I should be blamed for assuming that the narrator of this novel would be a girl, especially when the cover so blatantly goes to depict one so, you can imagine my surprise when it was revealed half way through the first chapter that the narrator was male Anyway, Matthew lives underground with a society of people who are all scarred or mutated in some form or the other In his world, he is the Teller it is his job to write down the stories of the many people who live underground with him Matthew is desperately in love with Ariel and when their home is attacked, they are forced to flee to the mysterious world that lies above their own Matthew cannot fathom the horrors that may lie in Above, but he will soon find out I on the other hand, did not as I abandoned the book at approximately this supposedly interesting and climatic point I m just going to come right out and say it Above had a lot of faults First and foremost, I didn t like the writing style at all It was extremely confusing, forcing me to re read passages to the point where it became cumbersome Further, I felt as if I barely knew what was happening in the novel for most of the story and even worse, I couldn t be bothered to care The characterization of Matthew, Ariel, and just about every other character fell flat In fact, the only reason I can remember for Matthew liking Ariel is because of her beauty, blonde hair, and wings The characters all felt too one dimensional, I felt no emotion or interest in them whatsoever, and thus abandoned the book without another thought In other words, this book left me completely unmoved and its characters were utterly boring Above received a variety of mixed reviews from various reviewers However, in my opinion, this is just one book that can be skipped. Gosh I understand that it was meant to be all Matthew s POV and everythingbut it didn t make sense Sorry Leah My favourite line to have a mental image of His eyes glow dim shot amber not bright, so he s not mad then, just annoyed and looking to be mad The glow s enough to light up the tapestry on my door My favourite aww line Ariel I like the sky I need it Matthew I d be your sky A few of my reactions to this book The reason I m so upset is, truthfully, I WANTED to connect with this book The cover was brilliant, the title was brilliant, the synopsis blurb on Goodreads sounded brilliantbut for some reason maybe it was just me but the POV and language oddities created a barrier I couldn t get past, which was a shame I totally like the book and give Leah kudos for trying something so different and unique But I just found it really hard to get through. Oh, I did not like the way this book was written At all It s weird but I actually tend to like it when authors write their novels in strange dialects, I think it adds a certain uniqueness and personality to the characters, for example, in Blood Red Road However, the use of it in Above was teeth grindingly annoying for me The sentences became disjointed and simplistic, it felt like a book for a much younger audience at times because of this Also, I felt absolutely zero connection with the narrator The distance was so great that it took me almost fifty pages to realise that a the book was written in 1st person, and b the narrator was male I mean, if you re a female author and a book has a pretty cover with a girl on the front, then I m automatically going to assume the main character will be a girl unless you give me reason to believe otherwise Actually, this book is narrated by Matthew and I m struggling to recall ever finding such a bland protagonist He has a name and he s in love with a girl called Ariel that s it That s the extent of his characterisation as I see it.Ariel, too, is forgettable She is defined by her beauty, her blonde hair and bee wings which, admittedly, is pretty cool , but she is meek and uninspiring I could not care for these characters even if the writing had been sophisticated, there was just nothing exciting about them Or the world they lived in either.Matthew and Ariel are part of a group of freaks who ve been living underground away from the horrors of the world above But they are forced to flee when their home comes under attack one night The book promises the most dangerous place he Matthew can imagine that lies in Above But really, what actually happens This is a very melodramatic statement to make when the world they ascend to seems rather mild and non threatening compared to some frightening places I ve read about Overly simplistic writing, not enough drama and dull characters Yet 1 star seems too passionate for a book that left me unmoved, I didn t hate it, I simply didn t care much either way. ^FREE ⇦ Above ⇴ IRIDESCENCE I Read That Word In One Of Atticus S Thick Old Books Once When I Went To Jack To Ask What It Meant, He Held His Hands Out And They Glowed So Gentle I Thought They Might Kiss The Air, And Since That Day I Wanted A Place That Was Iridescent, That Lit Without Burning Being In Love Is Sort Of Like That, When It S Real When It S TrueMatthew Has Loved Ariel From The Moment He Found Her In The Tunnels, Her Blond Hair Shining And Her Bee S Wings Falling Away They Live In Safe, An Underground Refuge For Those Fleeing The City Above As Does Whisper, Who Speaks To Ghosts, And Jack Flash, Who Can Shoot Lightning From His FingersBut 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 He Can Imagine, Matthew Strives To Unravel The Mystery Of The Shadows Powers And Safe S Own Secret History For He Knows 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 Than Ever Before