March 5, 2014

ABOVE Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway


Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for ABOVE by Isla Morley! Today I have a guest post by the author to share with you - and don't forget to enter the giveaway! Also, be sure to check back soon for my review of the book! 

Author: Isla Morley
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopia

Release Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books


An official pick for the March Indie Next List, ABOVE has been named one of the Buzz Books of 2014 by Publishers Lunch, and Publishers Weekly said “Morley scores with an audacious page-turner…a stellar and surprising ride,” while Library Journal calls it “a true page-turner. Half abduction story half dystopian fiction, this novel will appeal to fans of both.”   

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. 


“A true page-turner. Half abduction story half dystopian fiction, this novel will appeal to fans of both.” –Library Journal

“Morley’s writing is magnetic, instantly attaching the reader to the story. We see, we feel, and we cringe at the victim’s circumstances.” –New York Journal of Books

“Blythe’s strength, smarts, and sense of humor are clear throughout.” –Bust Magazine  

“Morley scores with an audacious page-turner. A stellar and surprising ride.” –Publishers Weekly

“Powerful material…quite moving…very intriguing and provocative.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Morley crafts a menacingly sinister tale of imprisonment and eerily inventive story of survival.”—Booklist
Truth Please; Hold the Facts 

When Blythe Hallowell is first taken by a crazed survivalist to an abandoned missile silo, there is only one fact: she is abducted. Soon after, there are more facts: the number of days she spends underground, the number of times she tries to escape, that the fluorescent lights are on a timer and partition her existence into utter darkness and well-lit despair. Facts stack up, and yet how quickly they cease to matter. Facts do not comfort her. Facts do not free her. When she is tasked with raising a child in solitude, facts go from being irrelevant to being a threat to the boy’s survival. To keep alive his sense of wonder, to protect his innocence and preserve at least some small semblance of a childhood, she does away with facts once and for all. What she puts in their place is fable.

I have a friend who disavows fiction. He reads only non-fiction because, he says, he wants the truth. For him, as for many, a fact is the unit measure of Truth. What writing Blythe’s story in ABOVE taught me was that facts change nothing. Truth, on the other hand, breaks down barriers. Truth reinvents. It takes suffering and turns it into something from which new life can grow. It helps us find meaning in desperate times. It is transformative. You can read the Encyclopedia beginning to end, and what you are going to end up with is knowledge. For truth, though, you have to turn to fables, myths, the made-up stuff. Fiction.

I’ve heard many people say they use stories to escape. The elaborate story Blythe creates for her son as an alternative reality to why they are kept underground is a form of escape. But stepping into a story is also a way of being found. It does more than divert our attention from harsh realities, or indulge our need for entertainment. It reminds us who we are. We are people of beauty, people of hope. Subject us to terrible trials and burdens so heavy they all but bury us,
and we will somehow find a way to rise up above it all. That kind of truth cannot be told by facts, only by stories.

Set them up in the right sequence, and facts can make a person want to give up. Never so with Truth. Whether in The Ugly Duckling or Dante’s Divine Comedy, Truth inspires us. Keep going, Truth says. You can do it! Almost there! Almost there! My friend can keep his non-fiction; for me, an extra portion of myth. 
Isla Morley grew up in South Africa during apartheid, the child of a British father and fourth-generation South African mother. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband (a minister) and daughter and an assortment of animals. Her debut novel, Come Sunday, was awarded the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction in 2009 and was a finalist for the Commonwealth Prize. It has been translated into seven languages.
Giveaway: The awesome people at Gallery Books are offering (1) Hardcover copy of ABOVE to a lucky winner! (US Only)


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