Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review: Sublime

SUBLIME
Christina Lauren
Paranormal Young Adult
336 pages
Simon & Schuster BFYR
Available October 14th
Source: BEA

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
When Lucy walks out of a frozen forest, wearing only a silk dress and sandals, she isn’t sure how she got there. But when she sees Colin, she knows for sure that she’s here for him.

Colin has never been captivated by a girl the way he is by Lucy. With each passing day their lives intertwine, and even as Lucy begins to remember more of her life—and her death—neither of them is willing to give up what they have, no matter how impossible it is. And when Colin finds a way to physically be with Lucy, taking himself to the brink of death where his reality and Lucy’s overlap, the joy of being together for those brief stolen moments drowns out everything in the outside world. But some lines weren’t meant to be crossed…


MY THOUGHTS
Sublime gives us a familiar ghostly setup wherein the spirit of a young woman finds herself returned to the mortal coil with no memory of how she got there, but before we start to feel as though this is a tale we’ve read time and again, Lucy’s story shifts and goes in a direction that’s intriguingly uncomfortable for us as readers. Many times with ghost stories our time is spent trying to figure out the who or how of their death as that mystery is often what’s tethering them to the world of the living, but with Lucy we discover the details of her gruesome end early on, leaving us only to wonder why she’s returned. The more we learn of Lucy and her relationship with Colin, the more unnerved we become, wanting them to be happy but yet dreading the means used to achieve that happiness.

It should be said upfront that this will not be a book for everyone, those readers less interested in romance-centric stories will likely be put off by the prominence of the emotional and physical relationship between Lucy and Colin, but for those who can suspend their inner critic, Sublime will prove to be a thoroughly entertaining way to spend several hours. Additionally, sound logic and solid decision making become increasingly rare as Colin and Lucy’s relationship intensifies–something that will be a problem for many–but Ms. Hobbs and Ms. Billings (aka Christina Lauren) make it easy to shoo reality away for a while and just roll with the fluidity of the story they’re telling.

Lucy is an intriguing young woman, unsure of her purpose with regard to Colin and completely alone in terms of trying to figure it out. There are a few people who know who and what she is, but they speak in cryptic messages and vague generalities, and we can’t help but feel for her as her loneliness seeps through the pages and into our bones. She wants to believe she’s drawn to Colin for good rather than evil despite the word “haunting” being tossed about to describe her presence in Colin’s life, but with every page doubt niggles at her as it does us, worming its way into every sweet and innocent moment between them to make us question if what we’re seeing on the surface is as genuine as it appears.

We’re left with a decidedly unexpected ending, one that in many ways is happy, but the more we think about it the more the tragedy of it becomes clear, and we flip the last page a little unsure and a little off-balance in the most confusingly satisfying kind of way. There’s just something to be said for stories that can push readers into places they’re not entirely sure they want to go, and with the concluding chapters of Sublime, Ms. Hobbs and Ms. Billings shove us into a gray, murky area where our hearts and minds–in a fascinating way–can’t quite figure out how we should feel about all that transpired.

Rating: 4/5


Find Christina Lauren:


This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

42 comments:

  1. YOu made me curious by what you're saying about the end, now I want to know about it. I heard about this one but haven't seen a lot of reviews but it sounds intriguing. thanks for the review:

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    1. You're welcome! Glad I could pique your interest:)

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  2. Your review has made me both curious and wary about this book. Curious because a book that takes us to an unexpected place is always interesting and wary cause an ending that leaves un unsure is really not my favourite kind of ending.
    Great review, Jenny!

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    1. The end doesn't leave you unsure in terms of it being open, you definitely know what happens, it's just one of those endings that at first glance is pretty happy until you start thinking about it. It was all very interesting, Pili:)

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  3. That cover is absolutely gorgeous! It sought of reminds me of the Chemical Garden Series, which made take a double take that it was a totally different series. I haven't heard of this before and like of the others before me, I am very curious about this book. Lovely review, Jenny! :)

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    1. Isn't it! I want to blow it up and hang it on my wall:) Hope you give this one a try Emma!

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  4. For one minute there I thought you said that Colin emotionally and physically abuses her! Good thing I went back and read it again.
    Anyways, you know I have no problem with romance-centric books in certain cases and even though I struggle with ghost books, I'm going to still give this one a go because I love the sound of the romance. I am very curious about the ending. I think I know what you are implying but as long as the couple has their HEA, I'm okay with it.
    Lovely review, Jenny!

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    1. He doesn't I promise! It's a strange little story Nick, I think it will be a love it or hate it read for people, but I was able to just sort of sit back and be entertained:)

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  5. Even though I'm not one for romance-centric novels or, for that matter, suspending my belief a whole lot, you've got me intrigued about the ending which seems to be happy but isn't completely. I feel as if this is a novel I'd likely have many issues with but you've made me so curious to check it out for myself that that's exactly what I'm going to have to do. Gorgeous review, Jenny--this is one of my favorites of yours. Both compelling and convincing.

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    1. Thank you so much Keertana! This was a tricky one to write because it left me so off kilter, but in that kind of strangely satisfying kind of way:)

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  6. I love this Jenny:
    It should be said upfront that this will not be a book for everyone, those readers less interested in romance-centric stories will likely be put off by the prominence of the emotional and physical relationship between Lucy and Colin, but for those who can suspend their inner critic, Sublime will prove to be a thoroughly entertaining way to spend several hours.

    And now that I am prepared for it, I think I would really like this as well.

    Beautiful review Jenny!

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    1. I think a lot of people will read this one and go "what just happened?", but I had such fun reading it and I like the way these two tell a story, so it worked well for me:)

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  7. Gray and Murky area---I actually love those :) :)The cover is breathtaking!

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  8. This book sounds... haunting. Also, the physical relationship aspect intrigues me. (True story, Kelly and I have read ghost erotica before. Though I'm guessing it doesn't go quite that far in a YA book...)

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    1. Heh. There's a little ghost action in this book to be sure, but it of course is a little more sparing on the details ;-)

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  9. I've actually been dying to get my hands on this book since it was first announced. I love Christina Lauren and this one sounds like such a great read! Love the idea behind it but now I'm a bit scared about the ending *takes deep breathes* But I can handle. I can always handle it. Plus I trust Christina Lauren! I'm sure this one will be. Great read for me lol! Fantastic review!

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    1. I can't wait to see what you think Lily! I really did enjoy this one overall:)

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  10. Fab review. I'm guessing this would not be for me since I'm usually not as big a fan of romance centric stories. Although it depends on my mood. I am interested in the fact that the book can make you uncomfortable though with the means to achieve their happiness.

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    1. If you're not typically a fan of stories that are more romance than anything, then I'd say this definitely isn't the book for you! It was definitely an unusual romance though, so that's something ;-)

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  11. I don't care how the author spins it, ghost love stories never end well, so the unexpected HEA that slowly transforms into tragedy the more you think on it makes sense, but any book that sticks with you long after final page is a-ok with me!

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    1. It was one of those stories where I knew I should probably be appalled by what was happening, but I was just having so much fun reading it that I couldn't bring myself to be critical. Not a story about a healthy relationship though ;-)

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  12. I am not a fan of ghostly romances because they never end well. I love the cover on this one, but I think I am going to pass. Thanks for the honest review.

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    1. You're welcome Heidi! This is going to be a hit or miss read for people I think:)

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  13. Thanks for the heads up on this one, Jenny. While I;'m not entirely sure this is the book for me I am intrigued about the gray and murky ending. I'll have to see if I browse this one at the library. Awesome review!

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    1. There was a lot of gray area in this one Rummanah which I really liked, but not everyone will appreciate it. I think there's something to be said for sheer entertainment value though, and this had it in spades for me!

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  14. Not sure if it is for me, but you have me curious about "...sound logic and solid decision making become increasingly rare" is a good thing romantically (or at least not the problem it seems to be) AND the murky feeling left at the end. Not things I generally enjoy, but I'm curious to see how I feel about it. Now that says something, Jenny! You have me wanting a book like this! Brilly review.

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    1. Yeah. You'll understand what I mean about the solid decision making if you read Melissa, but it didn't frustrate me the way it usually would. In the context of this story, I just sort of went with it:)

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  15. I love books with ghosts and am curious for that reason. But I've heard there's some bad decision making and the romance is really the main focus of the story without much else. That bit might be okay. I'm glad you liked this one cause I had figured I wouldn't try it, but maybe I should.

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    1. There's definitely some poor decision making in terms of "don't tell your children this is what you do when you're in love", but I liked the writing style, and the whole story made me a touch uncomfortable, so it was a winner to me:)

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  16. Oh this book sounds brilliant Jenny! You know I'm a huge fan of a good romance, so know that I won't have a problem with this book. Also how great does the mystery sound? I definitely need to give this book a try, I love how it has a gorgeous cover, but has so much more to offer too!

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    1. I enjoyed trying to figure out what Lucy's purpose with Colin was Jasprit, and it wasn't quite what I was expecting. It was just a fun read for me. Dark, but fun:)

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  17. So honestly, I only skimmed this review because I'm super excited to read this one and hope to start it soon... but I'm SO happy to see you enjoyed it!! I'm not so sure how I'm going to like that ending from the sound of it... but we'll see! :)

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    1. I'm curious as to what you'll think Lisa!

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  18. Oh I never have a problem shooing reality away for awhile, as long as the romance is good and the pages are turning! :-) I am enjoying this one so far, hopefully my opinion will hold up through the end! Glad you liked it overall and you have me so curious about the ending now. Lovely review!

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  19. Oh, this one sounds pretty good! But being a ghost story, I was a little nervous to pick it up. The fact that the story is more character-driven though, really makes me want to pick it up! Fabulous review, Jenny!

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  20. Sometimes you really do need to just roll with it. I'm not sure this one's for me, with the ghost character and all, but I do love a well-written romance (even if I have to ignore reality to experience it!).

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  21. Love the cover and the way you describe the book Jenny.

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  22. Although you liked it I can tell from your review that I probably wouldn't. I'd rather a mystery element than a romance and the stupid decisions would probably just annoy me. Nice review. :)

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  23. I did read this one but I think I was a little more in love with the concept of the story than the actual story. Since Christina Lauren write adult books usually I did enjoy this older teen book for the extra pieces of romance and touching between the characters however I did also feel like the world left something to be desired. I enjoyed the dark world and the whole time I wanted to know more about it and I felt like I was never able to see the secrets the world held. I wanted more on how this all worked but I didn't get it and I didn't really like how rushed the ending was. I do agree with you though that the ending does leave readers with a little bit of a what if style.
    Thanks for the great review!

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