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3.42  ·  Rating details ·  2,104 ratings  ·  504 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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3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,104 ratings  ·  504 reviews

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Oct 15, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
At the tender age of 16, life abruptly changed for Blythe Hallowell. As she walked home from the hometown fair in the sleepy town of Eudora, Kansas, feeling jilted by a prospective boyfriend who didn't show, she was abducted. The perpetrator was Dobbs, a library employee who came from a family of survivalists. He had been planning and preparing the former missile silo as Blythe's new dwelling for so long. Once deposited there, she must adapt to life forever indoors, behind multiple locked doors. ...more
Shelby *trains 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
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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!!
Jan 22, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
"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
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads, ya, dystopia
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
Amy Yingling
The beginning of Blythe's story is one of sadness and survival. This part of the book chronicles Blythe's life as a captive of Dobbs Hordin, the length of her captivity and the things that she endured inside an abandoned missile silo is heartwrenching to read. Blythe must get above but will she be able to learn survive up there as she learnt to survive in the silo.

The second half of the book chronicles Blythe's life above the silo and this is where the book turns into dystopian fiction. What Bl
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
Stacy Cook
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, first-reads
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
Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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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
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was essentially spoiler free going into this book only knowing that it was about a girl who is kidnapped and kept in a missile silo. Something totally up my alley, suspense, danger etc. That was delivered the first 50% of the book then I was surprised to find myself reading a dystopian novel. Not that I have anything against dystopia; some of my favorite books are of that genre (The Road, The Hunger Games trilogy), but I was disappointed that this book went in that direction. I wanted to see h ...more
MaryBeth Isaac
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 13, 2014 rated it liked it
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
April Wood
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)
Ahh, so much potential here and yet I was not nearly as enthralled as I wanted to be. The book is divided into two halves: Below and Above. The first half describes Blythe's kidnapping and captivity. Blythe is held captive for SEVENTEEN years. Seriously, that's just crazy. She went through a lot during that time, including the stillbirth of one child and the birth of another one. She raises her son (Adam) in this environment with her jailor. I wanted to feel more during this section, but I just ...more
3.5 stars. *Audiobook version*

I can't say I wasn't entertained, but I found myself yelling at the book too often. The truth is, this could have been a really great story, but it was ruined for me by a character that was... well, I have to say it — stupid. Listen, in real life, is someone was in this situation, I'd make a serious effort to be more understanding, but this character was made this way. It was intentional.

A little bit of denial and naivete is to be expected, given that it's a 16 year
Liz Barnsley
Dec 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**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
Feb 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
Mar 31, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: awful, apocalypse
I was intrigued by the description. The first half of the book was exactly as I was hoping it would be. Raw emotion, strong(ish) female character, surviving a wretched situation. The second half of the book though, that is where I lost interest. At first, I read on because I was hoping it wasn't true. The further I got, the more enraged and frusterated I became. Once it was 100% confirmed, literally by the mouth of the main character, that the man who CAPTURED a 16 YEAR OLD CHILD, WAS RIGHT. Tha ...more
Lupe Dominguez
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
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?
Melinda Borie
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
I don't think this book knew what it wanted to be. It started with an interesting concept and ended with another interesting concept, but the middle was a giant mess and it never really pulled together.
Marnie  Krüger
This was not really good. The characters weren't very believable and the story took a dive for thw worst in the second part.

I really struggled to finish this one.
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YA Buddy Readers'...: Above by Isla Morley, Starting August 22nd 1 2 Jul 21, 2018 09:36AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Above By Isla Morley - Starting July 10th 2017 1 6 Jun 21, 2017 03:22AM  
Great Read 3 26 May 01, 2014 08:40AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Decription clean up 2 35 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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“Stories keep the fire burning inside us, stories keep us form dashing our heads against the wall. Without stories we'd be lost, dead, forgotten.” 1 likes
“Morning has animated something in me, too, some dormant thing that for years has known only how to sit and wait. Get a move on, it says. Don't let the day get away.” 0 likes
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