cover image Above


Leah Bobet. Scholastic/Levine, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-545-29670-0

In her debut novel, Bobet, the author of several short stories and poems, weaves a dark, dazzling tale about society’s outcasts and the secret world they’ve created for themselves. Safe is an underground refuge for the sick, the broken, and the freaks, far from the prying eyes of Above. Narrator Matthew is the Teller, responsible for remembering and guarding the stories of his friends and surrogate family, and life in subterranean Safe is all he’s ever known. When the only person ever to be exiled from Safe returns at the head of an army of shadows, Matthew escapes, along with several others, including the electricity-generating Jack Flash and emotionally fragile Ariel, who becomes a bee when under stress. The group navigates the treacherous world of Above as they seek to reclaim Safe and come to terms with long-hidden truths. Bobet effortlessly blends reality and fantasy, her characters are both gifted and broken—hers is a world that is simultaneously fantastic and painfully real. Heartbreaking, romantic, complex, and magical, this fantasy lingers on the senses. Ages 14–up. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates. (Apr.)