Above by Leah Bobet

a standalone
published on April 1, 2012 by Arthur A. Levine Books
fantasy | dystopia | romance

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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 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.


“People Above will hurt you. People Above will break you, and devour your heart raw.”

I, once again, picked up a book because of a pretty cover. And, again, I was disappointed. There were a lot of things wrong with Above.

The world created was great–I loved the premise of normal people living the the same world as some monstrous creatures. What I didn’t like was the storyline. It was irritating. There were too many plot holes! There were questions that were never answered!

The characters, another thing I don’t like. Matthew, the main protagonist, childish and too obsessed with “his” Ariel. Ariel was soft and cries a lot, but that was overlooked, because she was crazy. Literally. Corner, the antagonist, has quite petty reasons, on why she wants to attack Safe. Basically, all of them were irritating, underdeveloped and disliked.

The romance was disturbing. No toe-curling romance for me! What I got, was nauseating obsession. Matthew “loved” Ariel from the first time he saw her. *shudders* As the story progressed, I was kinda, take note, kinda feeling bad for him because it seemed like some sort of unrequited love. But that was all thrown out the window when he still didn’t stop calling her “his.” I mean, I liked the romance between Doctor Marybeth and Jack better! And that was even barely there!

The writing. Dear God the writing. It was horrible, for me, at least. I had to reread every other sentence twice because I didn’t get the sentence construction. I didn’t get who was talking! I barely understood the book. The narrator didn’t explain anything. The worst part is, it was like the book wasn’t even edited.

Exhibit A : In the last chapters, all the words “she” became “sie.” All the words “her” became “hir.” It was highly irritating to read.

Exhibit B : “Corner was forgot.” *rolls eyes*

Overall, I really didn’t enjoy this book and probably wouldn’t recommend it.


Skulls 1.5

1.5 skulls


Let’s discuss! Have you read this book? If you have, what did you think of it? If you haven’t, will you be picking it up anytime soon?
SIG - Dyan

29 thoughts on “Review: Above by Leah Bobet

  1. Sometimes “hir” is used as a substitute for when a person doesn’t identify with binary genders. But if it’s just a case of not editing it properly, that would be SO annoying.

    And the cover is so gorgeous! A shame you didn’t like it – hope your next read makes up for it :)


  2. Bahahah I love this review! I read this and DNFed it at the 50% mark, but it’ been so long that I don’t remember very much from it. But I do remember the writing. Oh my freaking word!! I had no idea what was going on for most of what I read – dude at once point I realized a character I thought was male was actually female (or maybe it was vice versa). This is def. not a book for everyone.


    1. The only good reviews I’ve read about this book, all say something about the ‘deep hidden meaning’ of this book. So unless you’re a person who finds deep meaning in everything (no offense to those like this), I’d stay away from this book.


  3. Awww…I’m so sorry you didn’t like this one as much as you wanted to! That always stinks when pretty covers throw you off! And the writing? Exhibit A : In the last chapters, all the words “she” became “sie.” All the words “her” became “hir.” It was highly irritating to read. | Exhibit B : “Corner was forgot.” Nope…I’m good! The romance and characterization don’t sound exactly intriguing either! :( Thanks for sharing though, and, as always, brilliant review! xD


  4. Eek! I’ve had a copy of this for a long time but I’ve never actually picked it up to read. I looked at the other day and wondered, though. :) I guess I’m just going to pass this one along without reading it. The idea really is cool, but, from what you’ve said, I won’t like it. Honestly, it’s the samples from the writing that were the nails in the coffin. Great review, though!


  5. Totally agree, this book was pretty bad. I remember skimming most of it, tbh, because I just wanted to get it over and done with. And yeah, the “romance” was definitely pretty terrible haha


  6. Hm, I haven’t heard of this one before and definitely not picking it up after having read your review! Plot holes, terrible writing and fail characters.Nope. How the heck did this even get published?

    Brilliant review! <33


  7. Eek, sounds like a huge mess. I hate plot holes a lot, and bad writing even more. If bad writing is apparent in he book, it makes me very discouraged to keep on reading. I’m surprised you stuck with it for so long :D Great review, Aimee!


  8. I was so excited for this one when I first heard about it, but I don’t think I’ve ever read a positive review for it :(

    The romance sounds just awful! And how do you forget about an entire character??


  9. I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t like this one! I read it when it first came out, and I remember enjoying it… but I don’t remember why or if anything bothered me about it, LOL. I do remember the “romance” though, and I did think it was kind of strange. I’m sorry that the pretty covers have been letting you down lately! Have you ever noticed that some of the plainest covers hold the greatest books? Sorry, random! Awesome review, sweets! I hope your next read is a zillion times better!!


    1. I’m right there with you, I have the memory of a goldfish! :) I’m glad that you enjoyed the book, though. And about the pretty covers, they have been a bust lately…


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