- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books; 1 edition (March 1 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0545296706
- ISBN-13: 978-0545296700
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.2 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 458 g
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #290,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Above Hardcover – Apr 1 2012
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Praise for Above
"Above pulls off that rare trick of being convincing and utterly magical at the same time." -Emma Donoghue, New York Times bestselling author of Room
"Leah Bobet's Above is that rarest of creatures, combining the outspoken honesty of a good first novel with the craft of a seasoned professional." -Elizabeth Bear, Hugo Award-winning author of Dust
*"[A] dark, dazzling tale...Bobet effortlessly blends reality and fantasy, her characters are both gifted and broken-hers is a world that is simultaneously fantastic and painfully real. Heartbreaking, romantic, complex, and magical, this fantasy lingers on the senses." -Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Bobet fearlessly takes the reader to uncomfortable places, where, as Matthew discovers, there is always more than one side to a story." -Quill & Quire
"[A] profoundly moving meditation on how we treat the mentally ill, disabled and homeless...Above is a soulful and spellbinding debut novel." -The National Post
"A tremendous adventure, as well as a meditation on how our mythologies shape us...a gorgeous tale." -Toronto Life
"[Readers] willing to go along with this captivating exploration of both individual and collective identity will find themselves pondering its implications long after the last page." -Kirkus
About the Author
LEAH BOBET's short fiction and poetry have appeared in Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, and The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy for Teens, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award. She received a 2008 emerging writers' development grant from the Toronto Arts Council. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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Reasons to Read:
Leah Bobet clearly put a lot of thought into this book, and it is so rich in meaningful topics that I'm not even sure I picked up on all of the ideas and questions it raises. The story comes across as being so detailed and curious, with a very particular story to share. I'm not really sure how to explain it, but overall the details all seemed very conscientious that actually blended together very well and added to the story.
I know some people who reviewed Above mentioned that they struggled with the writing; and yes, it definitely isn't written in the same style that the majority of books are written. But the way Leah writes Above just rolls off the tongue, with gorgeous phrasing and imagery that just flows off the page to meet with your imagination. It's stunning, really. But I can also see how this wouldn't be enjoyable for every reader (it all depends on taste). But it also captures the perspective of the narrator very well, and gives him a distinct voice.
3.An intelligent read:
Above is one YA book that really stood out to me as an intelligent book. It's one that makes you question norms and expectations, and re-evaluate things we readily take for granted. And the way it's written can be confusing at times (and yes, a bit convoluted in some phrases) but you really need to adapt your mind to it and be willing to embrace these differences to appreciate Above. And THAT is something I thoroughly enjoyed about it.
Above deals with a lot of notions and ideas, most of which fit in quite well with contemporary society. This urban fantasy portrays a remarkable story of a group of people just trying to fit in - somewhere, wherever that may be. And whether that may be with each other or not. And there isn't any easy answer to this, as Leah shows with Above, and each of the characters has a lesson to learn that will truly change their life.
But moreso, the story is tragic. I'm not sure if this was intended at all, but it seemed to me that Above did a good job tackling issues of equality among people and accepting the differences and flaws of others. And it took this a step further by highlighting the dangers of rejecting others and the hurt that can stem from that.
Yet I can also see how this would not be a book for every reader; it's beautiful, yes, but it requires a bit of patience to get used to the style and flow of the writing and really absorb yourself in the story. But once you do, here's a book that won't easily be forgotten.
Review copy received from Scholastic Canada for review.
Overall the story deals with the story of Matthew, the story-keeper of a Torontonian underground society, and his tragic love of one of his fellow mutants, Ariel. But to summarize Bobet's tale by calling it a love story is to describe the Mona Lisa as a portrait. Just like the dystopian Toronto she creates, the story has layers upon layers. It is primarily a dark fantasy, yes. But it is also an indictment of barbaric psychiatric practices, of society's inability to deal with the homeless, with the estranged, with the strange. It is a social commentary written with adroitness and insight, and all done with an accomplished story-teller's art.
My only quibble, and it is a middling one, is the classification under which the publisher chose to list the book: young adult. While I can understand the reasoning behind that decision, I also cannot help but feel it was one chosen as an expedience, rather than a true understanding of Bobet's work and its impact. The tale is so dark, and the writing so at the edge of avant guard, that the novel might gain wider and better recognition under an adult classification.
But, as I mentioned, I quibble.
Certainly Bobet's novel is one worth your time. Recommended.
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