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Book Review: The Upper World by Femi Fadugba

 * I am reviewing this book which I was gifted for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. *


Title: The Upper World
Author: Femi Fadugba
Publisher: Penguin
Source: Bought Myself

(Bookshop UK HiveGoodreads | Storygraph)


Book Summary:

Esso is running out of time and into trouble. After he is accidentally caught up in a gang war, he is haunted by a vision of a bullet fired in an alleyway with devastating consequences.

A generation later, fifteen-year-old football prodigy Rhia is desperately searching for answers—and a catastrophic moment from the past holds the key to understanding the parents she never got to meet.

Whether on the roads of South London or in the mysterious Upper World, Esso and Rhia''s fates must collide.

And when they do, a race against the clock will become a race against time itself...

Book Review:

This book has been quite hyped up already before its release but also now that it has been released and for good reason, as the book is quite good. Blending sci-fi and time travel and gritty narrative, The Upper World is an exciting read that demands to be read.

Before I start the review, I have to say that it did take me a whole to get into the book, but I think this was more restraint than anything because once I was in the story, I was sold.

I have to admit when the book is good, it is really good. Femi Fadugba has a way of crafting a narrative that is highly addictive to read. This is especially the case with the twisting narratives of the story, switching between Rhia and Esso.

By switching the stories and having the action play out, the last 100 pages played out in my head like a film and when the action got going, I was hooked. I was racing the time that I needed to sleep, but the story was so addictive that I read the last 100 pages in about half an hour.

It might be because I haven't read a good sci-fi fantasy story in a while and my head was telling me that this was what I needed or it could be that he knows how to write a story. It could also be done which I can say it was.

The heading was so thrilling and to see all of the time travel elements finally come together was what I needed. Seeing how Esso was going to get the situation sorted and how Rhia and Esso were going to time travel in the first place.

Seeing other reviews and considering Femi Fadugba's background, it is no surprise that the time travel is well-researched and easily explained throughout the book, especially for a YA audience. The use of diagrams was also helpful in the explanation of the overall book.

Even though I have discussed a lot about time travel and the sci-fi elements, the book is also rooted in reality and I think that Esso is a well likeable character that is easy to follow and root for. With them both having two different backgrounds, Rhia was well-developed and I cared about her life and her problems.

They both add to the story and bring it to life making it overall a great read! I recommend.

The Verdict:

The Upper World is a unique read that demands to be read and talked about. Put it on your TBR immediately!


Have you read The Upper World? If so, what did you think? Do you want to? Let me know in the comments.

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