Author: Leah Bobet
Date of Publication: April 1, 2012
Formats Available: Hardcover, E-Book
Synopsis: Hidden far away from the rest of civilization Safe is a place where those labeled Freaks by the whitecoats can live in peace. Whisper speaks to ghosts, Atticus has claws for hands, Jack can shoot lightning form his hands, and Ariel can transform into a bee. Ever since he found her hidden and broken deep in the tunnels Matthew has loved Ariel and tried his best to make Safe a place where she can be herself and can recover from her horrific experiences. When a former member of Safe invades their home with an army of shadows only Whisper, Jack, Matthew, and Ariel make it out alive; with no place else to go but Above, a place they have been taught to fear, they venture out of the familiarity of Safe into the shocking difference of the Above. Determined to save their home Whisper, Jack, Matthew, and Ariel discover things about themselves, and each other, which make it possible to save the home they have come to love.
I started Above knowing absolutely nothing about the story; I didn't read any online descriptions, I didn't even read the dust cover flap inside the book. Shortly after I started I realized I was hopelessly confused, flipping back to the beginning I read the inside cover and instantly had a better grip on the story. Above could have been a great novel if the author had bothered to explain what was going on. Without the dust cover I don't think I ever would have understood the main idea of this novel.
I really did like Bobet's writing style, something about it just really worked with the story. It was a little hard to understand at times but overall I thought that Above was a beautifully written book, it just unfortunately didn't have any substance. Throughout most of the novel I didn't understand what was going on or why the characters did what they did, it just felt like there was no point to the majority of the novel.
I wasn't a huge fan of the characters but I didn't necessarily hate any of them. I will say that Matthew's devotion to Ariel was absolutely adorable and probably one of my favorite parts of the story. However, most of the characters had shallow personalities and I felt like it was really hard for me to get to know them. I didn't even find out the gender of some of the characters until half way through the novel, which really irked me.
Paired with the slow moving plot and lack of action Above just fell flat. I found myself skimming entire paragraphs that just didn't seem to add to the story. I didn't understand most of the plot, and while I really liked the writing style I think that it had a lot to do with why the novel was so confusing.
I think that with a little more action and a more engaging plot Above could have been an amazing book. I think that Bobet shows real potential and maybe with some experience under her belt she could write a really great novel. While this novel didn't really work out I feel that future novels may hold some potential.