Monday, April 28, 2014

Blog tour: Above by Isla Morley + review & giveaway

Above Banner RD

Cover ~ AboveTitle: Above 
Author: Isla Morley 
Genre: Woman’s Fiction 
Publish Date: March 3, 2014 
Publisher: Gallery Books 
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.   
~ Book Synopsis ~
In ABOVE chosen for the March 2014 Indie Next List, award- winning author Isla Morley crafts a stunning and harrowing novel about a Kansas teenager who is abducted and locked away in an abandoned missile silo by a conspiracy theorist who believes the end of the world is coming. 

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. ABOVE is a riveting tale of resilience in which “stunning” (Daily Beast) new literary voice Isla Morley compels us to imagine what we would do if everything we had ever known was taken away. Like the bestselling authors of Room and The Lovely Bones.    

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Purchase Links: Simon and Schuster | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks

Above by Isla Morley was not an easy read so my review has been difficult to word. At times I needed to close the book and take a break. The world the author paints for the main character, Blythe, after she is kidnapped and forced to live in a silo by an unhinged individual is a bleak one as time passes and we witness her different bouts of emotion and feelings about her predicament. The opener is tense and Dobbs has just the right amount of chilling creepiness as the kidnapper to keep the reader invested (if not uncomfortable). Blythe is resilient for a sixteen year old and tries to formulate ways to escape. None are successful. The silo she is kept in provides a bare existence for her in this underground bunker she's forced to call 'home.' I did wonder at the time period for the story since she comes across as older and living in either the sixties or seventies.

As engrossed as I was in the first part of Blythe's story, the second half had segments which dragged. I understood the atmosphere of disconnect since this is being billed as a "post-apocalyptic drama" but I did lose interest during this section as well. Blythe has to raise the child, a son named Adam, she carries after being raped by Dobbs. Seventeen years later she is able to escape with Adam and the world she discovers 'above' is vastly different than the one she remembers. 

Above has moments of quiet strength and poetic beauty. There are some lines Blythe mentions which were gorgeously powerful in a simplistic way. This is not the kind of book to race through since Morley's literary prose needs to be enjoyed. I found parts difficult to get through and others easier. It may have been wiser to split this into two books, title one "Below" and the other "Above." I liked the author's writing style and would be interested in checking out her next novel. 

Rating: 3

Cover comment:
I kind of like it. The colors represent the emotional states Blythe goes through.

Book source:
I received  a promotional copy through Net Galley.

About the Author

About the author: Isla Morley grew up in South Africa during apartheid, the child of a British father and a fourth- generation South African mother. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their daughter, and an assortment of animals. Her critically acclaimed debut novel Come Sunday was awarded the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the Commonwealth Prize. It has been translated into seven languages  

Social Media of the Author

Five Copies of the Above 

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