October 6, 2014

Title: Sublime

Author: Christina Lauren ♦
@seeCwrite ♥ @lolashoes

Published: October 1, 2014

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pages: 336

Genre: Young Adult ♦ Paranormal ♦ Romance

Source: Edelweiss

Summary from Goodreads: True love may mean certain death in a ghostly affair of risk and passion from New York Times bestselling duo Christina Lauren, authors ofBeautiful Bastard. Tahereh Mafi, New York Times bestselling author ofShatter Me calls Sublime “a beautiful, haunting read”.

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…

Average Goodreads Rating (as of 10/06/2014): 3.77

  • Christina thought this title was original and well written. It goes on her third shelf. To find out why…

**SPECIAL NOTE:** An eARC of this title was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

♦ Quick Thoughts and Rating:
3.5 stars! I thought the premise was really interesting and unique. The prose was simple, yet pretty. However, my frustration over a few aspects of the story, ones I’ll discuss below, prevented me from really liking or loving the book. Overall, this was a good young adult debut for this seven-time New York Times bestselling coauthor duo, Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, better known for their adult novels.

Nothing matters. Death lingers in cars, in quiet school buildings, and beneath the freezing earth. Death is everywhere, but his ghost is gone.
~quote taken from the eARC of Sublime at 42%

The Lowdown: Lucy wakes up in a forrest, frost hanging in the air and on her skin, thanks in part to her sundress and sandals, without any recollection of where she is or even who she is, but there’s something familiar about the location, like she knows without knowing. A tugging inside her being leads her through a busy campus and into a cafeteria where a spark of certainty connected to a specific boy makes her feel like she’s here for him. She tells him as much before she runs away. Though, with time, she learns to love this boy whose skin feels like live-wire.

Colin has a very daredevil, live boldly approach to life. Touched by tragedy in his childhood and surviving his brush with death almost makes him feel invincible. So, true to his nature, he pushes the limits without pause or worry. And being with Lucy feels like the biggest adrenaline rush of his life, even when her disappearing acts start tearing him down from the inside out.

The biggest inconvenience of their relationship is that Lucy is dead, murdered on that very campus ten years before they meet. His touch always feels like too much and hers never feels like quite enough. Then, when a certain encounter gives them the perfect sync, Colin finds himself pushing himself closer to the edge than he’s ever gone before.

My Thoughts: I have been following this writing duo for quite some time, long before they were ever known for their adult bestselling titles, and this premise was the one that captured my attention the most and I’ve been biding my time waiting for its release ever since. With many reviews raving about this “hauntingly beautiful tale” and the gorgeous cover to entice me, I couldn’t wait to dive in once S&S approved me. There were certain things that I’d come to expect from these writers and, for the most part, they delivered flawlessly. First, the prose was nothing short of lovely, building the atmosphere and the longing desperation between our two main characters was spot on, as was the dialogue. As a whole, I enjoyed the Lucy and Colin, both individually and as a couple, and the supporting cast very much; I appreciated the depth that this writing team brought to each character. Also? The more intimate scenes were the perfect balance of hot/swoony, never really crossing that unstated “too graphic” boundary rule for YA, and I liked that as well.

Now, I’m going to clue you in to the biggest reason my rating fell to three instead of jumping to four. First off, while I liked the the MC’s, I never felt any real character growth from them throughout the entire novel. So likable? Yes, definitely, but I never saw them change for the better throughout the whole book. Still made crazy, selfish decisions until the very end. Secondly, if you’ve read any of my other reviews, you probably already know that while I like mysteries, it almost literally pains me to have to wait an entire novel for all the answers to come to light. (The struggle not to jump ahead and find out everything is always real, you guys. Always.) However, one of my greatest pet peeves in reading is figuring out the whole plot long before everyone in the story does. It drives me mad. (Insert mini rant: I mean, am I not given the same information the characters are? Shouldn’t we come to the same conclusion- or at least the same suspicion- around the same time?) Sublime is very much that type of story, one that unfurls slowly and tries to not-so-subtly sneak in hints about the bigger picture and I knew what was up long before anyone in the story pieced it together. So, it was a bit frustrating knowing what was going on for the better half of the book when Lucy was struggling to understand until the very, very end. Then, I was a little disappointed in how it the novel was concluded. I would’ve liked a little more after that last reunion just to round out the story more, to see how Colin and Lucy felt about how things turned out, but that’s just my opinion/wishful thinking. I suppose a smile and a slow blink can be enough to satisfy me.

Rec It? Yes. Honestly, it was a very well-written paranormal romance with a couple I could picture being together easily. I know my hangups with how the mystery was handled are my own, and most other readers will enjoy that aspect of this novel more than I did. Plus, how pretty is that cover? I feel like it captures the essence of the book perfectly.

A very special thanks to Simon & Schuster and Edelweiss for providing me an advanced copy of this title in exchange for my honest review. 

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