My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Actual Rating: 5
*Thank you to the author for providing me a free pdf in exchange for an honest review!*
Above the Sky takes place in a dystopian world. If you just went:
just wait a minute and keep reading. The book follows eighteen-year-old Seven, who lives in a world where everything is mapped out for them, from the job they have to do to the person they are supposed to marry and grow to love. There are mundane jobs, and then there are warriors, specially chosen teenagers who go to fight in the War outside of their world and never return. When Assignment Day comes, Seven’s future is set, and she is forced to leave her best friend, Ten, behind. That is, until she decides to go against the Decision Maker’s wishes and carve her own path.
The plot for this was so engaging! In fact, I finished the entire book in one sitting, and guess who’s now behind on writing college essays?
But anyways, the story was definitely a wild ride, and it was definitely unpredictable. I know the idea of a strong heroine in a dystopian world has been quite painfully overdone, but this was a book that was completely unpredictable. There are parts of this book that are extremely realistic, where the plot falls into contemporary, rather than a dystopian genre. This, I felt, really strengthened the story itself, and I greatly enjoyed the gentle balance between something out of this world, and something very much present in it. This blend is really something that sets this book apart from other YA novels.
The writing style was extremely fluent and beautiful, and the author really painted such a clear picture of what the world looked like.
I’m going to quickly move on to the characters, because I feel like the characters an aspect of this book that really made it work. There’s none of that overused powerful/rebellious/uncontrollable trope used here. Instead, we get a main character that is sensible and thoughtful, yet driven by the love and passion that makes her the hero she is. Seven is a character that is so multi-faceted and realistic, and I found it so easy to connect with her despite the different worlds we live in. I just want to point out another aspect that sets her apart from every other dystopian heroine out there.
She was not the chosen one.
There’s none of that leader of a rebellion thing going on. There’s nothing about her being special, or one of a kind.
She was just a normal girl, and the kind of strength we see isn’t in how much power she seems to have in a revolution – it’s in the way she feels about her family and her friends, and it’s in the way she thinks about her own future, and I think this is the type of subtle strength that we haven’t seen enough of in literature. What a beautiful way to show that strength is something that exists within.