Review: The World Above by Cameron Dokey

world aboveThe World Above
Author: Cameron Dokey
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Teen
Source: Library
Amazon     Barnes and Noble     IndieBound
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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….

My Thoughts

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.

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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7 Responses to Review: The World Above by Cameron Dokey

  1. I love that The Little Mermaid on Broadway song! I love fairy tale retellings and liked how you said there was a Robin Hood aspect to the book. Great review! 🙂

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

    • Quinn says:

      I was luckily enough to see The Little Mermaid before it closed. I really liked it. Sierra Boggess was great – although I love Jodi Benson’s voice more as Ariel.

      I totally read this one solely because I knew there would be Robin Hood goodness 🙂

  2. I can see that you didn’t love it as much as I did, but I’m still happy you enjoyed it! 🙂 The Robin Hood aspect was definitely a fun addition to the story and I must say you are right about the insta-love; but I get used to it. You can’t expect too much from such a short movie, so I like to read them once in a while just for the fun.


    • Quinn says:

      I am glad that I read this one. I had been wanting to try out something from the Once Upon a Time series anyway, and if it has Robin Hood I am so in.

      I didn’t exactly mind the Insta-love. You’re right, there are only 175 pages, so there really isn’t a ton of time for relationships to develope.

  3. I’ve only read one Once Upon A Time book as well. They’re not earth shattering, but they are decent and I thought the one I read, also by Dokey took awhile to get into.

  4. It sounds cute if not earth shattering awesomeness!

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