Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Review of Above

Title: Above
Author: Leah Bobet
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publication date: April 1st, 2012

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.

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