From the moment she sees Colin, Lucy knows she’s meant for him. But their love is no ordinary love; Lucy is a ghost, and Colin can only physically be with her when he’s standing on the brink of his own death.
Willing to give anything for their stolen moments together, Colin pushes his daredevil tendencies to the extreme time and again. But as he becomes obsessed with testing the limits between his world and that of the dead, Lucy begins to wonder if she’s meant to be his guardian—or his destruction.
I had the opportunity to read an ARC of Sublime by Christina Lauren (who is actually two authors: Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings). Sublime is a haunting story of love, loss, and mystery. I was unable to put it down because I wanted to find out every last detail surrounding the main characters and their story.
The first thing that struck me about Sublime occurred within the first chapter. There’s only one way to put it—the writing is absolutely beautiful. The scene was set incredibly well because it is so descriptive. I was able to easily visualize the opening scene down to minute details, like the colors of the leaves on the trees and the temperature of the weather.
Lucy is a teenage girl who mysteriously appears at a boarding school, with very little recollection of her past. Lucy doesn’t know who she is or why she has appeared on a path in the middle of the woods. She isn’t quite a solid human being, but at the same time she has human qualities that allow her to blend in on campus. Without memory of her past, Lucy is lost and confused as to why she has suddenly reappeared and must work through her questions to discover the reason she has been brought back. It is soon revealed that Lucy is a ghost who has been brought back because of Colin and his dangerous behavior.
Colin is a reckless teenage boy who has been through a lot: he lost his sister very young and then was the only survivor in a car crash that killed the rest of his family. He lives on the rush from adrenaline and regularly pulls off dangerous stunts. His most recent one has brought him close to death. This is when Lucy appears and they are quickly drawn to each other. Lucy’s re-appearance has another twist that Colin soon figures out: she was a murder victim on the shore of the lake by his school and, as a young child, Colin played a role in the day she was killed (I won’t say more because I don’t want to ruin the plot!).
Very quickly, Lucy and Colin fall in love. Back from the dead, Lucy rapidly discovers that she wants to stay “alive” to be with Colin. A daredevil accident of Colin’s that almost kills him gives them a chance to be together in a way that they can’t be in real life. Colin immediately plans more ways to take himself closer to death in order to have more of a relationship with Lucy, and Lucy, while she doesn’t want Colin to get hurt, can’t help but encourage him when she discovers what happens when Colin almost dies.
The reader also learns that Lucy isn’t the only ghost on campus and the “Walkers,” as they are known, have a long, storied history on campus. The adults that care about Colin warn him about the danger of her presence and do their best to keep Lucy and Colin apart, but Colin can’t help himself. As he continues to push himself to the brink of death, Lucy becomes more and more “real,” humanlike, and solid. While she originally views herself as Colin’s guardian, she begins to realize that she may be the cause of his demise rather than his savior.
Sublime is full of twists and turns that the reader doesn’t see coming. It is a story of love, risk, and life beyond death. I would recommend it to fans of YA literature who enjoy romance, mystery, paranormal features, and gorgeous writing.