Above by Leah Bobet | Book Review

Pages: 368

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

Format: Hardcover

Source: Public Library

Age Group: Young Adult



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.

If you guys haven’t noticed this review is different from any of my other ones because I decided not to give it a rating. This is because I have MAJOR mixed feelings for this book. I’m having like a love-hate relationship with Above which is pretty strange for me. So, this review is going to be me mostly blabbing on about all the different thoughts that went on throughout my head while reading Above.

I hate to say this, but I totally judged this book by its cover. I mean just look at that gorgeous cover!! The eerie glowing light on the girl with those delicate, beautiful wings was extremely eye-catching to me. So, without another thought I added Above to my TBR list and requested it from my library. And, I don’t know about you guys, but the cover totally mislead me into expecting a female POV… Can you imagine my surprise when I started reading Above to find out it’s from a male POV!?!?!! My goodness, I was so confused during the beginning!

At first, I was not a fan of Above at all and I was thinking about not finishing the book. Except, I have a problem with not finishing books which urged me on to finish Above to see if it would get any better. I’m not exactly sure if Above got any better or if the story just grew on me… Either way, I ended up liking the story much more towards the end.

I felt like the start to Above was pretty slow & it really took a while for me to become absorbed into the world of Safe. Also, I just wasn’t the biggest fan of having Matthew as the narrator of the story. That being said, I did enjoy the times in the book when we got to read about the background story behind some of the characters. They were always so fascinating and never failed to grab my attention.

Ariel is the girl with bee wings that Matthew found & took responsibility for. As I said before, I was expecting this character to be our narrator. Not only that, but I was expecting another kick-ass heroine. Instead I got an extremely damaged, scared, awkward young girl. It actually greatly saddened my heart to read about Ariel because she was such a broken, beaten-down character. My heart reached out to her so many times and I just wanted to give her a hug & comfort her.

OK, I could blab on much more about how Above made me feel, but I think I should wrap up this review soon. So, one of the reasons I have so many mixed feelings is that when I finished Above I wasn’t sure if I was satisfied or not. My emotions were bouncing off the walls and I just did not know what to think. Usually when I’ve finished reading a book, I can draw up some conclusions, like if I’ve enjoyed the book or not. But, with Above I just couldn’t come up with anything.

Above is a book that made me think when I was done reading it. It actually really caught me off-guard and I think that’s one of the reasons I like the book. The emotional & mental toll Above put me through was pretty surprising, but it’s what makes this book so memorable. Above really made me think about the underground refuge, Safe, and the dangerous city Above. It just kind of made me think about life in general… Personally, I suggest giving this book a try if you’re in the mood for a book that makes you think about the way the world works. It was a very interesting read that might take some time getting into and maybe you might not be satisfied at the end, but you’ll be glad you read it!

Comment down below!

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What did you think of Above?

Thanks for reading Vivalabooks!

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2 thoughts on “Above by Leah Bobet | Book Review

  1. Addie R. says:

    I tried reading this book, but didn’t finish because of the slow pace and weird writing. I’ve heard it gets better but I guess I just lost patience 😀 Well I’m glad you enjoyed it, or at least didn’t hate it. I understand having major mixed feelings on a book, but I usully just give it a 3 since it’s in the middle.
    Great review!:))

    • Vivalabooks says:

      Yeah, it has a pretty slow pace and I was thinking about not finishing it. But, usually the ending can make it or break it for a book, so I decided to read to the end. And, it’s just that I liked & disliked so many things about Above. It was such a huge controversy for me.
      Thanks for commenting!! 😀

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