Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

The World Above by Cameron Dokey (2 stars)

Dokey's The World Above combines Jack and the Beanstalk with Robin Hood. I love the idea of fairy tale/legend/classic literature mash-ups, and some (like The Lunar Chronicles) have been done really well. Unfortunately, while the idea of combining these two particular tales was new to me, the story and characters fell flat.

The World Above by Cameron Dokey
Series: Once Upon a Time
Genres: MG/YA, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling
Published on June 8, 2010
Published by Simon Pulse
Final Rating: 2 stars
Gen and her twin brother, Jack, were raised with their mother's tales of life in the World Above. Gen is skeptical, but adventureous Jack believes the stories--and trades the family cow for magical beans. Their mother rejoices, knowing they can finally return to their royal home.

When Jack plants the beans and climbs the enchanted stalk, he is captured by the tyrant who now rules the land. Gen sets off to rescue her borther, but danger awaits her in the World Above. For finding Jack may mean losing her heart....

It's been a while since I read Dokey's other Once Upon a Time titles, but- while they all had simple, quick plots and lightning fast romances- The World Above was boring. The main character, Gen, spends half the book not wanting to leave her calm, safe existence on the farm and waiting for her brother, Jack, to return from his adventure. When she finally embarks on an "adventure," she promptly meets a guy, lets him take charge, and has boring thoughts for the rest of the book.

What's worse, she and others are continually telling us how she's the clever twin and Jack is the adventurous one. And it's in first person. And she never shuts up; when she's not talking to others, she's talking to the reader. Perhaps Gen chatters so much instead of describing this new world because the world "above" is not noticeably different from the one she left, except that she meets a half-giant and it's the world the magic harp and goose come from. The ending is unbelievably convenient and lucky.

The synopsis had me hoping for a good spin on an old classic with a touch of girl power thrown in. Unfortunately, I can't recommend this unless you are looking for a short, brainless beach read.

That's all folks! Don't forget to stop by Saturday for my stop on the Gratitude Giveaway Hop!


  1. Meeehhh, two stars. I'd not heard of this one before, and I won't be reading it now :D I see you're reading Transparent, I hope you enjoy it! I thought it was pretty good :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Transparent was pretty decent. I didn't LOVE the characters or story, but the world was interesting and the writing wasn't bad. A good quick read. :)

  2. Sounds dreadful. Thank you for saving the rest of us =)

  3. What a bummer! A jack and robin hood mix up would be delightful. You mentioned this was a series? Were the other books worth a read?

    1. It's a series of completely separate fairy tale retellings. It's been a while since I read any of the others, but they're all fast and short, and I remember liking some of them. :)