Friday, September 26, 2014

Book Review: Sublime, by Christina Lauren

He jumps from curbs and trucks, train cars and the cables between. He rides over an icy rope bridge he's never been able to balance on before, along a narrow train track and slips only twice. The sound of the train as it roars down the track, closer and closer, only makes him see more clearly, breathe freer. Feel alive. He does backflips he shouldn't. He rides until his outsides feel as battered as his insides. 

He tries to pretend that he's not looking in every shadow for her. He decides it doesn't matter. Nothing matters. Death lingers in cars, in quiet school buildings, and beneath the freezing earth. Death is everywhere, but his ghost is gone.

When he makes it back to his room in the thick of the night, he's bruised and covered in scrapes. He suspects one of his ribs is cracked, but he's alive and Lucy is only a memory.

This is the first non-erotica book by Christina Lauren (the writing duo of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings) that they've written, and it was very good. If you thought your relationship was hard, Lucy and Colin have it much worse - he's a daredevil, and she's a ghost, except everyone can see her. She's not sure what's tethering her to Colin's prep school, but she does know she feels some sort of connection with him, and he with her.

Official synopsis:
True love may mean certain death in a ghostly affair of risk and passion from New York Times bestselling duo Christina Lauren, authors of Beautiful Bastard. Tahereh Mafi, New York Times bestselling author of Shatter 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 …

I think this is the first "ghost story" - I use the term loosely - that I've ever read where everyone else can see the ghost too, not just the person who is in love with her. In the Twilight series, Bella technically wants to be undead so she can be a vampire like Edward, and the concept here is sort-of the same - Colin tries to submerge himself in freezing lake water several times so that he can be closer to Lucy - but at the same time, things are also much more complicated.

Colin's parents died when he was young - a car accident, in which his mother, in grief from losing her daughter shortly prior, tried to kill herself and her husband and son; Colin miraculously survived. All Lucy knows is that she can't leave the gates of the Saint Osanna prep school - something is binding her to that area. When Colin meets Lucy, he starts to dig more into her past, and soon finds out what it is that keeps Lucy on school grounds; and it's not a pretty story.

I liked this book a lot, although I will say the ending was rather bittersweet. One thing I love about authors is that they tend to be super accessible via Twitter - when I tweeted my laments over it, I immediately got back this response from @lolashoes (Lauren Billings):


I also liked how all of the characters in this book were very "fleshed out," meaning we get some great details about their backstories. Jay (Colin's best friend), Lucy, Colin, and Colin's caregiver are the main characters, and the authors dig deep into their stories. It's also interesting to think about why Colin's mom tried to kill their family, as Colin later decides that he'll do anything if he can just be with Lucy in "her world" rather than the ghost-human relationship they have in "his."

4 stars out of 5.

Sublime will be in stores on October 14, 2014. {click here to pre-order your copy}

*Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

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