Book Review | Sublime Karma by Peyton Garver

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Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Publishers: Soul Mate Publishing

Publication Date: 30th November, 2016

My Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟

Goodreads Synopsis:

When Brie’s stepfather moves the family for what he calls a new beginning, it’s not the new beginning the beautiful, yet guarded, senior would have hoped for. Brie is instantly targeted by jealous girls at her new school, and the only available seat on her bus is next to the school’s star wide receiver, Jake, who for some reason, finds her offensive. After a humiliating article and picture of Brie is posted in the online school journal, a demon she thought she’d overcome resurfaces, and her life unravels. A newly compassionate Jake has finally taken an interest in her, but can Brie learn to trust her heart, or will she miss out on the best thing that ever happened to her?

Jake has his own secrets and has built his own walls, but eventually his curiosity about the new girl gets the best of him. Unfortunately, now there is competition: the captain of her cross-country team. Jake’s romantic histories with the girl next door and the school’s queen bee, adds tension to a simmering tempest when all he wants is Brie. Is he strong enough to help the one he loves weave sense into her crumbling new reality while overcoming his own tainted past?

Disclaimer: Thanks to the author for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

I’m feeling so conflicted about this novel. Did I enjoy it? To my surprise, yes! I didn’t expect the novel to face the heavy topics that it did, so it wasn’t the fluffy romance I initially thought it would be (which is a good thing!). But though I enjoyed it, I still had a few big issues with it.

As the story progresses, readers quickly become aware of Brie’s mental illness, and it kind of shocked me. We’re warned in the synopsis that it isn’t appropriate for younger readers, but I think a specific trigger warning would have been more appropriate due to this books nature – there was a lot of heavy topics in this novel that affect people of all ages. I really wish books were published with trigger warnings, but that’s a fight for another day.

Our characters were an interesting bunch. When we’re first introduced to main character Jake, I didn’t like him. He seemed like someone that purely judges a persons worth by the way they look, and a few remarks he made about girls made me cringe (I found myself cringing quite a lot). It seemed like he was interested in every pretty girl he walked past.

However, without giving away any spoilers, about halfway through the book we see a change in Jake. The way his character developed throughout the novel was really positive to see, and I’m glad he stopped acting like such a douche. (Not to say he didn’t still have his worse moments, though.)

‘Jake gazed into her eyes and smiled with the short pause, then leaned down to whisper the next words in her ear as it was announced from the stage,

“We – are Sublime Karma.”‘

Brie is our other main character, and I’m not entirely sure what to think about her. I don’t know a lot about self-harm, so I honestly can’t comment on how accurately it has been portrayed in this novel. With the anxiety side to it, I could relate a little bit – we see her zone out a lot, and although sometimes I found it a bit too out of place, I could appreciate what the author was trying to do – concentration issues are a very common thing when it comes to anxiety.

In the book we’re also introduced to Brie’s brother (who I didn’t really like), and her mom. I would’ve liked to have seen her mother involved a bit more, but I also feel like her lack of presence was a clever thing to do – it really made it obvious to me the type of relationship Brie and her mother shared.

This is the type of book I’d sort of expect to see on Wattpad – which isn’t a bad thing at all (I used to be quite addicted to Wattpad stories a few years back). It’s almost like a guilty pleasure read – you know it’s not the best story in the world, and perhaps the characters aren’t the best either, but you sort of can’t help but like it.

 

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I had two main issues with this book: the detail and the grammar. I felt like there wasn’t really enough description in some places, which often led to me being confused. And I found quite a lot of mistakes in a grammatical aspect – commas repeatedly in the wrong place, and just a few other things.

I found the last two pages very cute (what can I say? I guess I am a sucker for romance after all). Though I did have issues with this book, I undeniably enjoyed it, and I’m very glad I had the opportunity to read Sublime Karma! It’s not something I’d usually go looking for, and it’s made me realise that branching out of my comfort zone isn’t a bad idea!

Topic Awareness:

  • Anxiety
  • Self-harm
  • Abuse
  • Death
  • Suicide

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

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