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Well Below Heaven

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  16 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Seventeen year old Kelly is in a spartan boarding school in northern Idaho, sent away for drugs—as planned. Her little brother Sammy is left home in Missouri, getting ready for high school. He is twitchy, quick, writes dark poetry and longs to play football. He’s also got a nose for trouble, and Kelly has left a sordid truckload. Her sadistic ex is involved, so is one twis ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published February 7th 2019 by Cur Dog Press
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  16 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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The Reading Raccoon
May 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-as-an-arc
Thank you NetGalley for this review copy of Well Below Heaven.
For most of this contemporary YA novel that is comprised of the letters that two siblings are sending back and forth I wasn’t sure if I was really “getting it” and what exactly the point was. Their letters were gritty and a mixture of the mundane and slightly alarming so I never quite trusted either Kelly’s stories from the bad girl camp or Samuel’s exploits back at home with their parents. When the book actually starts leading to som
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

There’s something so impacting about the way this book is written. Having two siblings write letters back and forth to each other makes things so much more personable. The book starts with a troubled girl writing to her younger brother. The journey of a not so perfect family and the realities of high school are serious and dark. Reading this book made me think ALOT. The story is meaningful, and very jarring. I liked it a lot, and will probably stay with me forever.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
‘Dear Sammy, I’m in Siberia, in a slave labor camp. I mean it’

New author Idyllwild Eliot makes an impressive debut with WELL BELOW HEAVEN, a fictional novel based on her own journey and her desire to understand people and how their environments can impact their actions.

Cleverly using the technique of letters shared between siblings, the story unravels effortlessly, despite the at times alarming aspects of this coming of age tale. To offer some excerpts is an invitation to explore the story that
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well Below Heaven, by Idyllwild Eliot, is written in communication form between siblings. They have sent away Kelly, because of drugs, to a school specializing in troubled teens. Sammy is her brother who feels she is the only one who completely understands him. They are open and honest in their letters.  When one was wild, and the other sheltered, their views slow changed. Sammy enjoys the attention of Kelly’s old friends, which leads him to some wicked stuff.
I found Well Below Heaven a mixtur
Oct 22, 2018 added it
Although Well Below Heaven, by Idyllwild Eliot, was categorized as YA, I really enjoyed it. It is an emotional book based on dysfunctional families and a brother and sister relationship, along with friendships with classmates and teachers that make me very glad that my child is out of high school and never experienced the bullying and the end result of bad choices Ms. Idyllwild spells out in detail. It’s about bad decisions made by good kids and the roller coaster path they go on. It’s well writ ...more
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Idyllwild Eliot makes her debut with Well Below Heaven. And what a debut it is. First is not your common way of presenting a book. The story unfolds using the letters that the siblings write to each other. It’s a tricky way to present the plot, as everything seems a bit slower and not so visible, but it’s very engaging and interesting. It actually works, leaving me intrigued and wanting to read more and more. The language used is also a plus because it helps to build the scenes in our imaginatio ...more
Payal Sinha
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well Below Heaven is a story written entirely in letters. These letters are between brother and sister who share a special bond with one another. The sister is sent away to a distant place because she had been caught having drugs. The parents want to save the younger brother from the sister's influence and also want to correct the erring sister. However, the brother himself is a handful and keeps his parents and teachers on toes. Carl has a dark sense of humor and does not like his snoopy mom. H ...more
Alycia Canfield
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is very good. It is about dysfunctional families and other relationships. It talks about bully and the bad choices that have can bad results. I think It was a great read for anyone YA and up.
Truly Trendy PR
Well Below Heaven is an emotional young adult novel that is based on dysfunctional families. A story of bad decisions made by good kids and the consequences that follow. Written in a way that draws you in and hold your attention until the end.
Lynda Dickson
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ages 16+
Shelves: young-adult
Brother and sister Sammy and Kelly are separated when Kelly is sent away to a boarding school for troubled youth. From afar, will Kelly be able to prevent her younger brother from making the same mistakes she made?

The story is told by Sammy and Kelly via the letters and emails they send each other during their separation. From their correspondence, we need to piece together what happened. Because of this format, we sometimes feel a bit removed from the action. However, the short chapters (i.e.,
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After an adolescence survived in the Midwest and a few obligatory years at the university, Idyllwild Eliot embarked on a journey of internal and external exploration. With stints in Houston, Louisiana, and even Thailand, where she studied yoga, Ms. Eliot has become a semi-professional vagabond. Most recently (at the time of publication) she has been experiencing the North American west. If not sip ...more

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