Barbara's Reviews > Above

Above by Leah Bobet
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Aug 16, 12

bookshelves: abusive-relationships, bullies, death, fantasy, friendship, ncbla2013
Read in August, 2012

This book requires patience from a reader. The author has created a unique counterpoint to our world in which anyone considered different from the rest of humanity--say, for instance, someone born with the paws of a cat or claws of a tiger--is locked in a hospital and observed. When a young doctor helps a couple of these prisoners escape, they create a sanctuary deep underground, beneath the sewer system, where they live safely for years. The author doesn't provide this backstory right away; instead, the characters reveal bits of it over the course of the book. The story actually begins with Matthew, who loves Ariel, a woman who often transforms into a bee, complete with wings, watching as the place these runaways consider Safe erupts in violence. To escape the killer, he and a handful of others go Above for sanctuary. It is while they are Above that much of the rest of the story is told. In this book's pages, a patient and persistent reader will find much beauty, significance, and relevance to how we treat those who are different from how we define normal. One of the things I liked most about Above was how it forced me to think about how our society treats anyone deemed abnormal. I'm still thinking about that issue even after finishing the book.
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