Iam starting a new series called Extra Pages, that will function as an extra review for the week from books I read the previous week. You can vote in the comments of my Weekly TBR posts for what review you would like to see. My reviews are posted sometimes quite a while after I read them because of the volume of books I am able to get through, which is why I thought this would be a cool series!
I was contacted by the author and asked to review this book. I was so ecstatic to get my first review request and I accepted.
Title: Sublime Karma
Author: Peyton Garver
Rating: 3/5 stars
I was given an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book is about a girl named Brie, who transfers to a new high school. She almost immediately becomes the subject of bullying and she has to deal with this in the best way she thinks she can: through running and some self-harm. She becomes close with Jake, who plays on the high school’s football team, and their stories mesh together to create a typical teen high school love story. There are also mentions of self-harm in my review, so I’d like to address that as a trigger.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. From the summary on Goodreads, I wasn’t sure that I was going to like it much, but I really wanted to give it a try. I will say that I did like it, but I didn’t love it. The first thing I liked was the reality of the relationship between Brie and Jake. I think at first it started like an instant-love-story kind of thing, but it blossomed into something that was really strong and loyal. I think that what set it apart from love stories in YA was the fact that Jake truly cared for Brie, in a way that was on a different level than infatuation or high school teen love. I admired that characteristic about Jake and he changed throughout the book to become a more wholesome, caring person. In the beginning, he seemed like one of those typical jocks and I just wanted him to leave Brie alone – but by the end, I didn’t know how they couldn’t be together. The ‘mean girls’ in this book were just that: mean. I still am not sure about why they teased Brie the way they did but it was a typical high school kind of bullying.That brings me to Brie’s story: I liked Brie as a main character. She was passionate, innocent, and also came with her own baggage. This baggage included self-harm, which she participated in a few times in the book, even going to a hospital at one point. I think that these events were woven in correctly and they worked for the storyline of the book. This book also addressed overdosing and inappropriate intimate relationships, which are things that could trigger some people. I don’t think that it was as serious as other books I have read in terms of content and I was left with a very uplifting feeling after finishing the book instead of feeling a little sad and despondent.
The major thing that comes to mind is that there were areas in the book that were skipped over. For example, Brie was going to meet Jake’s dad and sister, and then the chapter ends there, picking up after the meeting happened. I would have liked to see that meeting expanded on and not skipped over. This happened in a few other areas and I was disappointed at times because they are scenes that I would have liked to read, to see how the characters interacted together. I also think that this is has many high school trope-y elements to it. For example, the bullying, the boy being mean to the girl and then falling for her, etc. I felt like it wasn’t a book for older YA readers as much because I had trouble relating to those situations as I am a bit older, but they didn’t ruin the book for me because it was the main plot. I also think that some of the darker elements were glossed over in that they weren’t discussed in detail. This might have been the intention, to keep it a little lighter, but if it’s mentioned I feel like it should be told like it is. I didn’t like how there were some parts that were unbelievable: for example, Jake goes to the hospital and leaves his cell phone with Brie so they can text, even when he isn’t supposed to be allowed access. It’s a little far-fetched in that area. Finally, I think I really wanted to know more about Brie’s backstory. She seemed to have some sort of depression or other mental illness going on, as she did detach herself at times from situations that she found too overwhelming. I wanted to know more about how she came to the place that she was at when the book began. I really enjoy character backstories and it was something that left me wanting more.
I would recommend this book to those who are looking for a read that encompasses what life is like in high school, with a few added twists thrown in. It reminded me a little of Twilight at times (minus the vampires!) with how Bella & Edward’s relationship blossomed.
Happy reading! ~ Taylor