“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 handful 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 nurturing, 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 distracted 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.