Christa Seeley's Reviews > Above

Above by Leah Bobet
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's review
Apr 28, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: own, 2012, genre-fantasy, canlit, genre-urban-fantasy
Read from March 06 to 12, 2012

Originally reviewed on Christa's Hooked on Books

The blurb on the cover of Above tells us that it “pulls off the rare trick of being convincing and utterly magical at the same time” and I can't think of a way to sum up my feelings about this book better than that.

Above takes us deep underground. Down to where it is Safe. Where Teller, Ariel and all the other fabulous characters in this book go to get away from the prejudice and cruelty of life Above. The place “above” is Toronto. Whether its a futuristic or paranormal Toronto I'm unsure. Whatever it's supposed to be aside, it feels real. It feels like the Toronto I know and experience every day but from a much, much different perspective.

As much as the setting of this novel seemed incredibly real, the beautiful and at times breath-taking prose made it seem absolutely magical and enchanting. The writing takes on an almost lyrical or poetic quality and at times you really have to work to understand what's going on in the story. I appreciated this style however and often found myself reading passages aloud to whomever was around me just because they were so beautiful I just had to share them.

I don't know at what point it hit me that this was so much more than a fantasy novel. This is a social commentary and it's one that we should be listening to. The people of Safe are Freaks, they're Beasts, in some cases they're even Sick. They don't “belong” Above. People Above want them to conform to what's normal and when they can't be normal, they lock them up and perform all sorts of atrocities on them. I took this as a commentary on how we treat the homeless and the mentally ill – or just anyone who doesn't fit into our idea of what a good society should look like. This story really moved me and it really made me want to do something! (Check out the links at the end of this post).

I wholeheartedly recommend this book. Leah Bobet had produce an amazing piece of fiction that can be enjoyed by anyone – young, old, fantasy lover or not. Above is smart, well written and provides a captivating look at some of our societies most marginalized.

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Reading Progress

03/06/2012 page 50
03/10/2012 page 207
56.0% "Definitely need to focus while reading it. Writing is more poetic than straight forward."
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