Date of Publication: April 1 2012
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.
Leah Bobet seems like an interesting person in Twitter, I picked Above for Cover Wars a while back, and she's Canadian so I was really hoping I would like her book. What made me stop 55 pages in?
1. Awkward dialect. Dialect isn't a bad thing in itself. I've enjoyed many books with dialect before, so the dialect itself wasn't the biggest issue. I think it was the fact that the dialect promises a writing style that would be hard to get into, plus at some point there was some kind of story woven in that I had to reread a few times just because I was so confused.
2. Confusion. I don't know what Safe or Sick or Beast or Shadows or ANYTHING is. There seemed to be no explanation, and what explanation that existed was hard to comprehend because of the dialect. It got to a point where I couldn't imagine certain events taking place so I had to look at the story very generally, and...
3. The story doesn't call to me. The writing doesn't appeal to me and I don't even know what the premise is supposed to be. What's left to keep me reading are the characters, whom I can't enjoy because I don't understand (like the girl that turns into a bee? What?). The other thing that could have saved the story is the...
4. Plot, but there is a major issue right off the bat. A pretty significant event occurs and I do not understand it at all. I don't understand the aggressors, I don't understand the world, and I can't continue with Above when I'm already confused about what's supposed to be a pretty big deal.
5. I'm also in a piss poor mood. Chalk it up on school and general bad luck, but I'm frustrated enough as it is. I wanted this book to take me out of where I am and so I can focus on something else. Instead, I ended up being frustrated when 55 pages in, I know nothing.
6. I don't have much faith in the book. Say what you want about Goodreads, but a 3 star average killed my enthusiasm for Above.
Ultimately, I think Above is probably better than the first 55 pages, but as a reader sometimes I don't have the patience to wait that long. Some people like unraveling a mystery, but from what I could tell, this wasn't my read. Maybe I'll regret this and I probably didn't see the author's creative vision. Either way, I'm ready to move on.