Summary from GoodReads:
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….
The World above is the first book I’ve read by Cameron Dokey and the first I’ve read of the Once Upon a Time series. I absolutely adore fairytale retellings, but I’ve never read any of these. They are so short (this one is only 175 pages), and there are so many of them, I thought I might not like them. But I enjoyed The World Above. I’m not saying it was out of this world amazing, but I did like it.
I will admit that it took me a little to get into the book. There was a lot of telling how practical Gen is, and all this waiting to see how Jack was doing in The World Above. And when the book is only 175 pages . . . well, I think some of that could have been removed. But once Gen finally went up the beanstalk, things picked up. And I loved the whole Robin Hood aspect. Actually, I found the character Robin very interesting. I will be honest here – I think I enjoyed the book as much as I did simply because there was a Robin Hood character. I am such a sucker for Robin Hood
I do wish this book was a little longer, with some time spent showing how Gen and Robin fell in love. Because there was serious insta-love going on. I mean, serious insta-love. I think that retelling fairytales gives authors the chance to show how characters develop feelings for each other, and I wish Dokey did that in this one.
Overally, however, you get what you expect from The World Above. I think readers get what the expect. I can’t say this makes me want to rush out and read anything else by Dokey, but I am glad I finally gave one of the Once Upon a Time books a shot. On a side note, everytime I read the words “the world above” I would think of the song from Disney’s The Little Mermaid on Broadway. Here’s a link to the song. It was a little distracting, although certainly nothing against the book.