Thursday, June 13, 2013

above

Above by Leah Bobet
Publication Date: April 1, 2012
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Pages: 386
Keywords: magic, paranormal, creatures vs. humans
Format read: ARC from publisher (thank you!)

Summary: Matthew has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her bee's wings falling away. They live in Safe, an underground refuge for those fleeing the city Above — like Whisper, who speaks to ghosts, and Jack Flash, who can shoot lightning from his fingers. 
But one terrifying night, an old enemy invades Safe with an army of shadows, and only Matthew, Ariel, and a few friends escape to Above. As Matthew unravels the mystery of Safe's history and the shadows' attack, he realizes he must find a way to remake his home — not just for himself, but for Ariel, who needs him more than ever before.

You can find Leah Bobet on her website or Twitter.

I don't do this very often, but I had to give up. I made it almost to the end. About 250 pages in. And I still have no idea what is happening. The narrator has apparently never learned to speak properly or use real words, which is fine in some cases. But that, mixed with his use of proper nouns was too much. Some random words (it seems like) are capitalized, and then on second reference aren't, and sometimes he's talking about a thing and sometimes a person. I can't keep straight which is which and it's all entirely too confusing.

The book also jumps the reader right in the middle, which again, is fine in some cases. But then the author never went back and explained the things or what was going on, contributing to the "me not understanding anything in this book" feeling. I feel like this was the fourth in a series and I missed all the important explanation books. But I didn't.

I also don't read the blurbs before I start books. That's a personal thing. I like to be surprised. But there's surprised and there's confusing. Nowhere in the book did it tell the reader that Ariel was a bee. I was shocked when I flipped it over. I was picturing this weird fairy thing. We were offered no explanations behind the characters' powers, and some descriptions only existed in the blurb. Which I don't think is the way to write a book. I was excited to read this, but was left extremely disappointed and frustrated. I felt stupid that I didn't know what was going on, which was maddening. Not worth it for me.


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