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Above All Else

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  192 ratings  ·  133 reviews
Rose Keller and Tate Russo have been climbing for years, training in harsh weather and traveling all over the world. The goal that kept them going: summiting Mount Everest, the highest point on earth. Accompanied by Tate’s dad, the two will finally make the ultimate climb at the end of their senior year. But neither Rose nor Tate are fully in the game—not only is there a s ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 13th 2020 by Charlesbridge
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  192 ratings  ·  133 reviews

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Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ❤️
It’s not where you’re going, it’s how you get there!

There are many ways to say it, “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey” or even more appropriate in this case, “it’s not the mountain, it’s the climb”! Whichever way you say the phrase, it describes this book perfectly. It’s funny, I wrote the title to this review and those first few lines while I was halfway through only to discover the author wrote something very similar on the last page.

The book is about best friends Tate and Rose who h
Dana Levy
Jan 08, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
DISCLOSURE FOR ANYONE WHO THINKS I'M BEING SNEAKY! I wrote this book! (I am not giving it any stars, not because I don't think it deserves them, but because rating my own book as "5 stars" feels weird.) BUT. I will write about it here, in case anyone else wants to know what was going on in the mind of a forty-something-year-old woman who lives very happily at sea level (I LOVE YOU, OXYGEN!), who decided to write about teens climbing Mount Everest.
Here's the thing about this book: I started writi
Sep 04, 2020 rated it liked it
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

3.5/5 Stars

Full review HERE

Above All Else follows best friends Tate and Rose, two eighteen-year olds, who are about to have the adventure of a lifetime, something they have been preparing and saving for their whole lives. They are about to climb and summit Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world.

I must say I expected more from Tate and Rose's story, instead the focus was mainly on the missi
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Walking away from the summit of Everest was like letting go of a rope I'd been clinging to and realizing I'll float instead of fall."


Ah, this was such an intense book!

I have been passionate for a long time about the idea of climbing the Everest. Not for myself! I find it so hard climbing out of my bed during a regular working day. But just the general concept, that someone would be so driven to attempt the seemingly impossible. I have let my mind wander and imagine how could their minds work,
Elvina Zafril
Apr 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I've finally finished reading this book. I loved the idea about teenager going on an adventure and climb mountains but for teenagers to go on climb by themselves I feel a little bit dangerous. But I admire those people who are so brave and do it anyway.

I didn't enjoy the story like I wanted to because the pace was a bit slow it took me quite a few days to finished it. I enjoyed reading about the expedition but to me the expedition was intense even though Rose and Tate have been climbing for year
I can't rate this. I didn't get far enough to be able to give it a rating. It was just a bit too slow and uninteresting to me.

I think it has potential and people will like this, but it just wasn't for me. It didn't move fast enough for my liking and I couldn't connect with any characters.
The layout of the ARC definitely didn't help either.
Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own.

This was easily one of the best books I have read this year. I can't wait to tell more people about it and convince them to read it. While it is an adventure book (hello, they are trying to climb Everest), it is also a fantastic look at the relationships we have with family, friends, and the decisions we make in order to keep those relationships alive.

Told in duo narrativ
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
This was so much better than I expected it to be and my expectations were already high. Above all else is definitely a journey worth reading! I’m a bit at loss of words but a review will follow soon!
Mt. Everest looms large in our imaginations. Of the many who dream of conquering its peak, few attain this goal. Reading a book about two teenagers and their climbing adventure was inviting. I downloaded the title and dug in. Rose and Tate both tell their story. They begin the trip as best friends, but both have their own issues to conquer. Then came the relationship drama. Since this is a YA title, this aspect of the plot is expected. Unfortunately, it seemed to distract and meander adding unne ...more
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
I feel like I gotta start with saying that I am not one to read books about climbing. I think this is the first book that I ever really read that was about climbing specifically and I wasn't completely sure what to expect, but this was such a nice surprise. The plot was fast moving, the characters were delights, relatable and lovable at the same time, and the end of the book and the end of the climax both felt realistic and terrible and shocking and great at the same time.

At the beginning of the
Sarah Prendergast (lifeandbookswithme)
Tate and Rose have been best friends forever. They grew up bonding over their love for climbing which was encouraged by their parents who also climb. They start training and fundraising for the climb of a lifetime, Mount Everest, when they are fairly young when Tate discloses it’s his dream. Fast forward to their last semester of high school and their dream is about to become a reality. Rose and Tate soon discover that they have to fight their demons on the ground before they can conquer the mon ...more
The mountains are not fair or unfair,
They are just dangerous.

Reinhold Messner.

Rose and Tate are two mountain climbing enthusiasts who have recently graduated high school and are now looking forward to having their biggest dream come to life--climbing and reaching the summit of Mount Everest for which they have trained for years. Accompanied by Tate's father and a few other members who make up the climbing party, Tate and Rose initially show all the right amount of excitement but as they get
rachel ☾

◯ Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I skimmed my way through this book. I tried to get into it a few times, and I failed at every attempt. I didn't want to DNF it, so I had to resort to the next best thing.
I think the writing was okay, and it has potentially interesting characters, but none of it intrigued me enough. It wasn't for me.

*Copy received through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review
*Rating: 2/5 stars
Celia McMahon
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
A huge thank you to Netgalley for the arc!

ABOVE ALL ELSE is one of those rare books that tackle a very difficult subject, especially in YA. Two teens who have been best friends for life, who dream of adding Mount Everest to their checklist of mountains to summit, and fight against past trauma and their growing attraction to each other.

This is the first book besides INTO THIN AIR or ALIVE (can you count that one as mountain climbing? I don't know. I feel weird adding it to this list, but I'll do
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was intense! I'm not a hiker or climber and the things Tate and Rose go through are crazy and not something I could ever do. The best part of this book is the authenticity. The author clearly did their research and I felt like this was nonfiction at times because it was so real. I had no idea what went into prepping to climb Mount Everest, the years of smaller climbs to work up to Everest, the weeks of acclimating to the higher elevation, the toll on your body. This was paced in such a way ...more
Shreya ✩ Shukla
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'M DEVASTATED, like how amazing the book is, being from the land of mount Everest itself I know how hard and addicting it is. And I know the danger is real. Talking about the cover first, how stunning that is. Title is definitely appropriate, because they'll above all else! But the tremendous amount of research done by author can be seen reading the book. And it was written beautifully. I crashed with them, I fell with them, I rose higher with them, I cried with them. And this tells that yes, I ...more
Janne Janssens
E-book provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ABOVE ALL ELSE is a coming-of-age romance with a variety of topics like health, mental health, adventure, friendship and love.
I enjoyed this book, but I did expect more. I requested it on Netgalley because the synopsis sounded really promising. Two teenagers who want to attempt to climb the Mount Everest, a challenge that requires a lot of bravery and trust? Coun
Jan 16, 2020 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this book. I even feel apologetic now, as I sit here and say that I've made it as far as I can: 43%. There are a few things that I liked, but the overwhelming majority of my thoughts are negative. I'll explain in detail below why I stopped the book despite wanting so badly to enjoy it.

- World building! The suffocating air, the altitude, the bad decision of looking down, letting the dizziness from the height overwhelm them, the adrenaline as their hands shake on
Vaiomo ♡
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
I don't know about this one. I guess this one just wasn't for me.

For people who are gonna read this, there are minor spoilers in this.

Thank you to the publisher for giving me an arc of this book for an honest review.

I went into this book with an open mind, I had never read a book about climbing before so I was very intrigued. I went into the book getting to know the characters and all things went well.

Characters looked great and they want to climb the Mount Everest cool. Okay so they want to c
Alja Katuin
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an extraordinary read. I could almost feel the struggles Rosa and Tate were going through. I’ve never experienced this much of a bond with the main characters in a book.
The story was built perfectly, describing one of the hardest, toughest locations on earth, I’d imagine. The characters were rich and full of their own quirks, the way the other characters were mentioned and used was amazing.

Thank you for this read, 10/10 would recommend
Moony (The Burglar Baggins) MeowPoff
DNF at 20%
I see that many people love the book and i understand that, but this book sadly wasn't for me.. I couldn't invest with any of the characters and it seemed i didn't like any of them. The writing was a bit annoying also.
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
10/25/2020 Oof, wow, I have Thoughts and Feelings! Full review tk at

10/26/2020 When I was younger, I loved a good climb. Mostly of trees and free-standing structures, tho if I'd had a shot at a climbing wall, I'd have totally been up for that, too. So when my college roommates invited me to join the hiking club, you'd think I'd be all in. Unfortunately, club hiking required club camping, and an adolescence of indifferent living conditions in the pursuit of boarding-sch
I read "Into Thin Air" against my will as a high school sophomore, and hated it. At the time I was into chick lit and anything with some good teen romance (I still am, if I'm being honest). When I saw "Above All Else" on my NetGalley feed, I thought about how much more I would have enjoyed that book in 10th grade if it had more relationships, romance, or human connection and less information about summiting the mountain of Everest. This book is less an adventure novel, as it is marketed to be, a ...more
Brook Obsessed
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
An adrenaline driven book about two best friends climbing Mount Everest and their grueling battle against chaotic weather patterns, mental and physical breakdowns, and the trials that come with ascending one of the highest peaks in the world. An interesting and well written novel!

Blurb: Tate and Rose have been climbing together forever, but when they decide to climb one of the highest mountains known to man, everything changes. Tate questions his mental abilities and Rose keeps questioning their
Mar 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: dnf
This was a fairly enjoyable book. The exposition was quite extensive, which, as a result, took me a long time to get through. I'm the kind of person who likes to get straight to the action, but I do appreciate the author's desire to provide background information so readers can better understand the characters and plot. Overall, I liked the story and by the end of it, I really felt a connection with the characters. I found the writing somewhat bland at times, but that's mainly due to personal pr ...more
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it
i think i love the idea of this story more than the story itself. i am absolutely fascinated by all things mt. everest and, although i would never ever attempt to climb it, i always try to get my hands on any story that talks about people who do.

i also love that this is a YA story. i honestly dont know many teens who are driven and prepared enough to undergo such a dangerous and intense expedition, so its really interesting to read about their motivation and desire to climb the mountain.

and al
Love. Love. Loved!

Like a lot of other reviews I've seen of this book, I found the beginning of Above All Else quite hard-going. The characters didn't immediately leap out at me, and I can't really say I have an interest, or any knowledge about mountain climbing, so at one point I almost wrote it off as 'not for me'. However, I persevered to around 100 pages and BAM, it finally came into its own!

At the heart of this book is a really cute romance between two best friends and climbing buddies, who
Mar 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Above All Else by Dana Alison Levy is a book that definitely exceeded my expectations for it when I started reading it. This is a story about two best friends attempting to climb Mount Everest, but the further I got along in this book, the more I realised that it's about much more than climbing the highest, and most dangerous, mountain in the world.

As the story progresses, the reader learns more and more about our main characters and best friends, Tate and Rose. And as they slowly climb Everest,
Anna Reads Here
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arcs, 20-july
At the heart of it, “Above All Else” is a story about two friends who’ve known each other since they were kids, have grown up together and fall in love. It’s also about two teenagers who are going through so much in their lives - dealing with sickness in a parent, anxiety and depression and rage, trying to get into the college of their dreams, trying to make sense of their lives. And all of this is wrapped into a book about climbing Mount Everest, making it a really incredible story to read.

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Dana Alison Levy was raised by pirates but escaped at a young age and went on to earn a degree in aeronautics and puppetry. Actually, that’s not true—she just likes to make things up. That’s why she always wanted to write books. She was born and raised in New England and studied English literature before going to graduate school for business. While there is value in all learning, had she known she ...more

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