Skip to main content

Above by Isla Morley

Sixteen year old schoolgirl Blythe should never have left the county fair. Abandoned by her schoolyard crush, she sets off for home alone and is offered a ride by her school librarian. 

Angry and upset, she doesn't think as she gets into his car. He abducts her and hides her away in an abandoned silo. Her captor, Dobbs, is a survivalist and convinced that the end of the world is coming. 

Throughout her incarceration, he makes frequent trips to the above world, gathering supplies in preparation for the apocalypse. Blythe, confined underground, is trapped in not only the madness of her keeper, but her own wild thoughts bough on by loneliness and fear. 

Forced to bring up a child in her captivity, she almost becomes resigned to a life below, but a major twist in events will see her life and that of her precious child turned upside down forever. 

This book was a slow burner, but I think it needs to be to set the scenes and tone of the book. You definitely get a good portrayal of Blythe. She often reminisces about her family and her life before she was taken, and the reader is privy to her private thoughts and feelings during her time in the silo. The suspense slowly builds up, and the second half of the book really picks up, hooking you in and keeping you gripped right thorough to the end. 

This is a dark tale; the impending end of the world prophesised by a madman and the strength of a young girl turned woman, alone in the dark. Blythe seems to age doubly during her time in the silo, and it is a heart wrenching transformation to witness through reader eyes. 

Her story is heartbreaking and powerful, but I also loved the tale of her son Adam, who sees the world through the eyes of someone who has never experienced anything real in their whole life. This book grabbed me and I couldn’t stop thinking about it long after I read it. 

Above is an evocative tale of opposites; courage and weakness, condemnation and forgiveness, above and below. Hauntingly brilliant, this is a screen adaptation waiting to happen. 


Popular posts from this blog

Roald Dahl Books

“The success of a short story is simple, it must have a beginning, a middle and an end. The reader must never want to put it down.” – Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was a huge part of my childhood reading. My sister and I had most of his books, from his single stories, picture and rhyming books and even a short story anthology. There was something magic about his way of storytelling that was the perfect mix of entertainment and genuinely engaging storyline. And of course who could forget the iconic illustrations by Quentin Blake!
One winning formula that I loved with a lot of his stories was the wily nature of the hero of the tale who would use cunning and brains in quite a humorous way to overcome their situation. For example in George’s Marvellous Medicine, my favourite part was always when George mixes his most foulest mixture of medicine to administer to his awful grandmother. And in Fantastic Mr Fox when he pulls of his amazing heist is another classic moment. 
There is usually quite a cl…

Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

Halloween is fast approaching. Pumpkins are appearing in shops, costumes are on sale and everyone bookish is discussing their favourite scary reads. With an abundance of skulls and spiders, ghosts and ghouls everywhere, it got me thinking about my own experiences of Halloween and relevant reads. 
Nothing to me, reminds me of Halloween in book terms than the Goosebumps books by American author R.L. Stine. They were a huge part of my literary childhood; my sister and I loved the spine tingling tales and collected many of the books. We had stand alone novels, the 3-in-1 collection books, Goosebumps 2000 series, and even a hardback Goosebumps book that wailed when you opened the cover! 
Since the release of the first novel, Welcome to Dead House in July 1992, the books gained immense popularity and commercial success worldwide. As of 2008, the series sold over 350 million books worldwide in 35 languages and has been listed on many bestseller lists, including the New York Times Best Selle…

The Salt Marsh - Prologue

It's my spot on The Salt Marsh blog tour today so below is the prologue from the novel by Clare Carson. Enjoy!
Monday 1 May 1978
Jim did his vanishing act the day of the spring fair. Sam was sitting in her room reading, the last of the apple blossom drifting past her window, Jim and the dog downstairs, her mother Liz and her sisters visiting the new baby of one of Liz’s old friends. Liz often went out on the days that Jim was at home. Her mother’s departure had been preceded by an argument. Sam had half heard Liz shouting, Jim shouting back, but hadn’t taken much notice because she had her head stuck in a book and, anyway, they always argued these days. Liz laughed, and that did catch Sam’s attention because there was something manic about the cackle. She clocked Liz yelling, ‘So if I want to know where you are, I’m supposed to call the fucking Home Secretary, am I?’ The front door crunched. Sam was glad to hide in her room, curled up on her beanbag with her book. As she read, s…