Paranormal Young Adult
Simon & Schuster BFYR
Available October 14th
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…
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.
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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.