Booktalk for Above by Leah Bobet
Where is Safe? Safe is underground. Safe is buried deep. Safe is safe.
For years the Freaks have been living in Safe. Under the sewers away from the Shadows that haunt the tunnels. The Safe is the only safe place for those who are different. This is the place where Matthew was born. Matthew is a Teller who keeps all the Tales, the history, of his fellow Freaks. Matthew is comfortable in his life and has a routine. Few Freaks can Pass for Normal but Matthew can Pass well. He spends his days traveling the tunnels past the Shadows to the Above for his duties: collecting supplies, sending messages, finding those who need Safe...Until he discovers her...
She is from the Above and wears a medical ID bracelet on her wrist. She has been experimented on by the Whitecoats and fears everything. She is scarred for life and Matthew becomes instantly attached. Ariel is a different kinda of Freak. She does not have claws, she does not see ghosts, she does not have scales...she has wings. Beautiful, iridescent wings that linger after she transforms from bee to human. Ariel’s transformation does not happen at will. She cannot control it. When she becomes frightened, she becomes the bee and runs away, but she has always returned to Matthew. Matthew has made it his mission to keep her safe whenever she flees, but some things are out of his control.
Corner has returned to Safe and with him he’s brought all the Shadows, each with their long ghostly fingers and stealthy movements. No one is safe in Safe anymore, they all have to flee to the Above. Above where the Whitecoats are. Above where it is difficult to pretend to be Normal, to Pass. Above where it is not safe.
Above by Leah Bobet, find it safely.