Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review: Above by Isla Morley

Goodreads Summary:

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 the end of the world, and the persistent temptation to give up. But nothing prepares Blythe for the burden of raising a child in confinement. Determined to give the boy everything she has lost, she pushes aside the truth about a world he may never see for a myth that just might give meaning to their lives below ground. Years later, their lives are ambushed by an event at once promis­ing and devastating. As Blythe’s dream of going home hangs in the balance, she faces the ultimate choice—between survival and freedom.

Publication Date: March 4, 2014

This is a very rare case when I felt like I was reading two totally different books. The first half was engaging and suspenseful and I felt a strong connection to the main character.  But then the second half was weaker, boring and I didn’t like some of the underlying messages of the final act.

Blythe became a likable narrator as the story progressed. Blythe was a fighter and I liked how she never gave up hope for escape. She was a bit old-fashioned for her age and at times she came across as closer to 12 than 16. As time passes and she becomes a mother figure to Charlie and later a real mom to Adam, she became more relatable.

Dobbs was scary without being an overly violent individual. His crazy rants and raves created a terrific underlying tension. He was a well-developed villain and I squirmed each time he appeared on the pages.

The pacing was uneven and I felt some parts were quickly glossed over while others dragged on. The timeframe was also a little hard to follow at times, but that could’ve been the author’s intention.

The first half was really good and then bam a twist I saw coming a mile away came and I was left feeling irritated by the novel. It just made me lose interest in Blythe and Adam’s journey and I found it difficult to finish. SPOILER ALERT I also was seriously bothered by the idea Dobbs, a middle-aged man who repeatedly rapes a teen girl, could be redeemed. END OF SPOILER

Above falls in the middle for me, but it’s worth a read based on the superb first half of the novel.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!


  1. Aw sorry to hear that the second half wasn't what you'd hoped it would be. I do love the cover and how the first part seems.

  2. Seems like a whirlwind read. I don't see how anyone who rapes anyone could be redeemed in the end of anything. Ugh. Wonderful review, Heather! Thanks for sharing. WRITE ON!