Published by Simon and Schuster on October 14, 2014
Pages: 336 pages
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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…
Sublime is a dark, atmospheric romance. It’s the story of a living boy and a ghost who fall in love, but more than that it’s about the lengths someone will go to be with the person they love. There were things I liked and things I didn’t, but overall I thought it was a very romantic, unique paranormal romance.
The best part about this book were the two main characters. The chapters switch between Lucy and Colin’s perspectives, and I think each character is given equal depth. I was especially surprised by Colin. He was sensitive and likable, even when he did stupid things (like crazy bike stunts that break his arm). A lot of times when I read young adult books I don’t feel like the boys come across as authentic, but Colin did effortlessly. He thought and acted like a teenage boy. His chapters were some of the most refreshing to read because I could really feel and understand what he was going through.
Lucy was just as interesting. Her character was a little more flat, but understandably so. When she appears as a ghost she doesn’t even know her name, and even by the end she doesn’t have much more than that and a few memories. I was taken in by her struggle to understand why she came back and what exactly she was, even though I guessed what the “twist” was going to be long before she did. The mystery wasn’t much of a mystery, but her character and her relationship with Colin still kept me invested in getting to the end.
The passion between Lucy and Colin, albeit kind of out of nowhere, was really well done. They get together pretty soon, and even her admission that she’s dead doesn’t keep them apart for long, but once they’re together the book is saturated in the obsessive love they have for each other. It’s first love to the tenth degree. They are ridiculously hopeful about trying to find a way to make their relationship work longterm, even though there isn’t really anywhere that it can go.
That being said, the romance is pretty much 99% of the book. The pacing was very slow with a lot of time spent on Lucy and Colin being together, talking about being together, thinking about being together in the few moments that they aren’s together. A few outside characters were in the picture to keep everything from being too claustrophobic, but I would have liked a little more to the story besides the romance.
I didn’t like that the amount of time spent on Lucy and Colin being in love wasn’t also spent on developing the mystery of Lucy’s origin. The particulars of Lucy’s nature never get too detailed. Sometimes I think this helped to give the story a haunting, dream-like feel, but sometimes it just left me with a lot of questions I felt like I should have been given answers to. Some people know what Lucy is before she does, but only one of them ever gives an explanation for how she knows. There are others like Lucy who are all tied to the school grounds, but no explanation (or even theory) is given as to why the school holds this power. These are all just passing details that aren’t given much thought.
What I did like was that the story wasn’t afraid to go to the dark places that a love story with ghosts needs to go. Even in the more beautiful moments the darker implications are lurking just underneath. A story like Lucy and Colin’s isn’t something that can end well or easily and the authors weren’t afraid to take it to the conclusion the story needed to go, though in a more beautiful and hopeful way than I expected.
I think this is a great winter read for anyone who likes a book with some darkness to their romance. Even though I wanted to learn more about the ghosts I still loved the romance.