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3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  1,362 ratings  ·  404 reviews
I am a secret no one is able to tell.

Blythe Hallowell is sixteen when she is abducted by a survivalist and locked away in an abandoned missile silo in Eudora, Kansas. At first, she focuses frantically on finding a way out, until the harrowing truth of her new existence settles in—the crushing loneliness, the terrifying madness of a captor who believes he is saving her from
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Gallery Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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The Enchanted by Rene DenfeldImbroglio by Kat DaughtryCollide by Ashley StambaughThe Anatomy Lesson by Nina SiegalAbove by Isla Morley
March 2014 Fiction & Nonfiction Releases
5th out of 34 books — 17 voters
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493rd out of 508 books — 1,559 voters

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Community Reviews

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i love the idea of this book, but for me, the execution fell a bit flat.

this book combines two incredibly marketable themes: abduction and the apocalypse.

16-year-old blythe is kidnapped by dobbs, a man who works in her school library and decides she is "special," so he squirrels her away in an old abandoned missile silo that he has outfitted into a survivalist stronghold to wait out the end of the world, which he claims is imminent. 17 years later, she manages to escape with her son. and what do
Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*
Reading the blurb on this book it sounded so interesting.
A 16 year old girl is taken by a survivalist into a missile silo.
Now this part of the book was ok. It kept moving along and even when the characters went into cray-cray land I still wanted to know what was going to happen.
Then 17 years later: She escapes. Then the book turned into this.

Blythe's character was hard to believe as she was supposed to be a teenager but she used terms that are very old fashioned. That kept throwing me for a
Ash Wednesday
When you’ve lived your life with elaborate fantasies, how can reality stand a chance?

Thanks book, I just realised there’s not much difference between a girl who got trapped in a missile silo for seventeen years and a serial reader with a 1-click button dependence.

I haven’t read Room or The Lovely Bones so I can’t make any conclusions if it delivered on its promise of being in the same vein as both those books. What I can say is that I caught myself pausing and stepping away from the
I think it’s safe to say at this point in my life I was not the intended audience for this book. I wanted to show up for the party, and I had every intention of dancing with a pretty lass until the world ended, and I met my maker on the back of a pickup truck. But, alas, it twas not to be. The door was slammed in my face, and I was unable to march through the threshold. Or maybe I was at the bottom of a pit while the laughing hyena on top smiled and grinned at me.

Blythe Hallowell didn’t really w
This is a book in two halves - “Below” and “Above” and overall I am pretty divided in my feelings about it. It is a very hard book to review without giving away the plot, but I am going to try anyway. I really liked the first half of the book, the story of Blythe’s abduction by a quietly scary survivalist Dobbs Hordin and her 17 year captivity. She is held deep underground in a disused concrete missile silo, a world which came across as claustrophobic, dark and totally cut off from the outside w ...more
Carol Saggese
As I read ABOVE, there were many times that I realized that I was holding my breath and I was perched at the edge of my seat! To say it was riveting, would be an understatement!
I think that they should sell a nerve pill with this book!
At one point I found myself straining to read the words...only to realize that the sun had gone down and I had not even noticed that I was sitting in the dark!
Isla Morley is a masterful writer and ABOVE is a must read!!
16 years old Blythe Hallowell is abducted and imprisoned in a abandoned Kansas missile silo. Her captor is a survivalist who tells her that the world as we know it is ending and they will be the only survivors. Through first person narration. Blythe tells of her years of imprisonment which include the birth of her son and his upbringing in this hell of an existence. She tells her child her own fabricated story of why they are kept underground which, along with her captor's seemingly crazy raves, ...more
Jennifer (The Nightly Book Owl)
This review can also be read at The Nightly Book Owl.

This book is okay. The main problem I had with this book is that it feels like it’s two books crammed into one. The first half deals with the kidnapping and the captivity of Blythe while the other half deals with the aftermath of the escape. The biggest issue I had with this is that the tone of the book changed instantly. I would have much preferred it to be a gradual change because it made the book feel inconsistent.

Plot: I definitely prefe
The synopsis for Above was pretty much an instant sell for me - along with the cover that I think it all kinds of awesome, I knew that I had to read this book. Although I tried to ignore the comparison to Room and The Lovely Bones because comparisons rarely work for me personally, having loved Room and liked The Lovely Bones I was really looking forward to Blythe's story.

Morley starts the story when Blythe is abducted, which is the first thing I really appreciated about Above - there's no long-w
"Freedom...Its other name is Choosing."

Abduction and Apocalypse - a story of "survival, resilience, and hope."

First off, this novel has little to no similarity to either ROOM or to THE LOVELY BONES. To compare them is to do all of the very different stories an injustice. Start with an open mind.

Blythe is just 16 years old when she is kidnapped and taken down below ground into an abandoned missile silo in Kansas by a disaster survivalist who has created an impenetrable bunker deep in the bowels o
Liz Wilkins
**3.5 stars**

The good news: I read it in pretty much one sitting today so it is very gripping.

The bad news: Thought the end was a let down,also this is as well, a book of two halves and I found the second half a bit disappointing although I can see what the author was trying to do.

The kidnap plot/sub theme was far superior to my mind - done extraordinarily well, a young girl kept underground for years by a survivalist, her day to day life, her initial determination to escape and how she is worn
Stacy Cook
I received this book as a Goodreads first-reads selection and I am glad I did. I really enjoyed this book. It took me only a few days to read as it truly kept you engrossed. The story is that of 16 year old Blythe whom one night is abducted by the school librarian and is taken to an abandoned silo. The librarian, Dobbs, can talk of nothing else but the apocalypse and how he is protecting Blythe from the chaos which will ensue. Blythe is kept underground in the silo for nearly 17 years; a time i ...more
Dobbs is an extreme Prepper. You know the individuals, the ones who prepare for worse case scenarios; storing up weapons, water and supplies believing that when these events strike they will survive, well Dobbs was excessive. The missile silo was perfect to contain his valued possessions and after many years, it was finally ready. He’d thought of everything and I do mean everything, he puts the people on the TV series to shame. Dobbs was prepared to start his own colony with all of the assets th ...more
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Isla Morley’s Above is dark, riveting, and completely unpredictable.

At the age of sixteen Blythe Hallowell is abducted and locked away in an abandoned silo in Eudora, Kansas. Her first instinct is to find a way out and return to her family. But as reality begins to set in Blythe learns that there is no way out. As she learns of her captor’s motives terror and madness become her only companions as her captor tries to convince her that he is saving her from the end of the world. When Blythe has
An extreme end-of-the-world survivalist chooses his perfect mate to re-populate the world, and so begins a dark and twisted tale of kidnapping, captivity and some totally unpredictable events that I didn’t see coming. Above by Isla Morley locks 16 year-old Blythe within an underground prison, the ‘Eve’ to her captor’s role as ‘Adam’ as he claims the world has been decimated by a catastrophic event that leaves no one untouched, most people dead. Cut off from the world for seventeen years, Blythe ...more
Nicole Tuttle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
MaryBeth Isaac
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A Well Read Woman (April)
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Feb 27, 2014 Autumn rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

The story starts with Blythe, a teenager, being kidnapped by a survivalist librarian and stuffed in an underground missile silo. She is never found and lives with this crazy man who eventually joins her in living in the silo. She is raped, repeatedly and eventually bears a son who is raised in the silo.

I enjoyed the first part of this story, but it rapidly went from enjoyable to tedious. The formatting wasn't great (it was an E-AR
People have compared "Above" to Donoghue's "Room". The only resemblance between the two is in the abduction of a teen who is held captive. There the comparison must end. "Above" is Science fiction. A dystopian tale of hope and self redemption. The writing is clear with enough detail and realism to make one wonder...what if?
ARC provided by NetGalley:
Let me start off by saying that the first half of this book bears a strong resemblance to Room by Emma Donoghue. Had the story not gone in a different direction, I would have cried foul. Same main idea-young girl kidnapped by a deranged man and held captive for many years. However, the perpetrator in this case is a crazed, end of the world survivalist convinced that he's saving young Blythe from certain death. He keeps her in a fully stocked, underground silo for sevent
I don't really have a choice if I'm going to accurately review this so....

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Isla Morley starts out with a very, very interesting premise in "Above" the haunted, haunting tale of sixteen year old Blythe who is kidnapped by Dobbs the survivalist, conspiracy theory addicted but otherwise unassuming local librarian who thinks he's saving her from the end of the world and held in an abandoned missile silo for seventeen years during which....wait for it....the end of t
Isla Morley's Above was Hodderscape's Review Project title for the month of April – a project that I'm woefully behind on, something I aim to fix in the near future – and when I first received my ARC and read the synopsis, I was all kinds of intrigued. The notion of children, and sadly it's most often girls, being snatched and hidden away horrifies me, both as a human being and as a mum. I can only imagine the pain Blythe's parents go through when she disappeared, however Above doesn't consider ...more
Kristin (Blood,Sweat and Books)
Bold, ambitious and extraordinarily unique, Above by Isla Morley is one of the best Dystopians I've read so far this year. I'm sure many people will compare this one to a book called Room by Emma Donoghue but for me personally I felt this story was more a mix of Pods by Michelle Pickett , In the End by Demitria Lunetta with a little bit of Enclave by Ann Aguirre thrown in just to make things interesting.

One of the best parts about Above were the characters. For a good portion of the story the on
I am not even sure where to begin with Above. It starts out with a young girl being kidnapped by an older man. Blythe is just 16 years old when she is kidnapped by Dobbs, a survivalist, who claims he is saving her from the apocalypse. Held underground for many years, she and her son escape to the world above, only to find that the world is not as she left it.
Disturbing is the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to describing this book. The thought process of Blythe takes a while to get
Dani Chakra
*I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Isla Morley's Above is one of the most engaging dystopian YA novels that I've ever come across. Dramatic and emotionally heart-wrenching, it will make you re-think where one draws the line between good and evil. Is it enough to survive if you must abandon your freedom? And what if you are never given the choice?

Blythe Hallowell is stripped of her freedom the day a survivalist kidnaps her and
Lolly K Dandeneau
Abducted at 16 by Dobbs, a crazed survivalist who swears he is saving her from Armageddon, Blythe is taken to an abandoned missile silo underground where she will spend the next 18 years. Soon her memories of the world above is all she has left of her stolen life. The crushing death of hope as well as the disgust she feels for the creepy Dobbs dominates this story. She will bear a son, Adam, with him and he becomes the only light in her imprisonment. Knowing nothing of the real world, Adam grows ...more
Disappointed that her boyfriend has not returned, Blythe leaves the fair and heads home. Along the way, she is kidnapped by the librarian, Dobbs. He keeps her in an abandoned underground silo for 17 years. She begins to hear voices in her head. She thinks she is loosing her mind. Dobbs constantly speaks of a coming conflagration and the need to remain underground. Blythe has a child who is stillborn. Dobbs brings down a little boy to replace her, then takes him away. She has another child and de ...more
Above is going to be a really hard book to write a review on without spoilers, so I apologize if this review contains spoilers. I will do my best not to ruin anything. Above is a story about a teenage girl, Blythe, who is kidnapped and kept in a silo underground by her kidnapper. This story is similar to those we have heard of on the news, where a young girl is kidnapped and kept prisoner for many years. Blythe is unable to escape and has to adapt to her surroundings, learning to depend on her c ...more
Carrie Ardoin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Bookwormed Reviews: Above - Isla Morley 1 10 May 26, 2014 03:02AM  
Great Read 3 26 May 01, 2014 08:40AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Decription clean up 2 34 Feb 10, 2014 11:54AM  
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Isla Morley grew up in South Africa during apartheid, the child of a British father and fourth-generation South African mother. During the countrys State of Emergency, she graduated from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth with a degree in English Literature. By 1994 she was one of the youngest magazine editors in South Africa, but left career, country and kin when she married ...more
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