Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Dork Review: Above

Above is the last of my Ad Astra reads, and I may have well saved the best for last. Unintentional of course.

(Oh, and don't worry. I won't be making any puns with the title. I'd like to think I'm ABOVE such behaviour... oh wait... whoops. Nevermind.)

How I understand it is that Above is supposed to be aimed for the Young Adult audience, and I can see that. Young protagonist, no graphic sex, and it's published by Scholastic who put out Harry Potter and The Hunger Games (At least in Canada they do). That being said, I still think it can be seen as an adult book as well.

Now, I don't mean adult in the sense that most do. Adult does not have to mean a work contains excessive swearing or sex (or is pornographic). No, Above is adult in the sense it has beautiful language and is told by an unreliable narrator. The author, Leah Bobet, has crafted an exceedingly gorgeous book that is told to us by a home-schooled storyteller (identified as a Teller in the book) that actually sounds as if it was told by a home-schooled storyteller and not an English student high on absinthe. The writing is amazingly consistent and transparent. It never feels artificial, never feels forced. As a writer myself I understand how hard that is to achieve, so I must tip my hat to Miss Bobet for doing such a superb job.

The best part is, that after finishing the book, I'm still not sure if the narrator was crazy and the whole thing was a delusion. It's almost of if this is Schrodinger's plot. It can be both real and unreal at the same time.

If Above is what kids are reading these days then there is hope for the future. If you have kids, please go out and get them a copy. You'll be doing them a huge favor and expanding their minds greatly.

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