*sigh* I really hate DNFing books (especially ones that were sent to me for review) but after 50%, I just can’t bring myself to finish this one…
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? –goodreads.com summary
I was really looking forward to Sublime Karma. I was expecting a good contemporary that touched on some serious topics, but now I’m 50% through and what did I get? Well a cliché high school love story that poked at some more serious issues, but never really discussed them in the capacity I wanted.
Insta-love: Insta-love may not be the best word for what I’m describing here, but it was a huge red flag for me when the two love interests saw the main character and immediately started thinking how amazing she was without her really even doing anything. This falls dangerously close to Mary Sue territory, but I’m not calling Brie a Mary Sue because I can at least see where Peyton Garver tried to give her some flaws. This just killed my investment in any of the love interests and things immediately became 20 times less realistic.
Love triangle: I will be the first to say that not all love triangles are bad! Some love triangles work really well. But this one… not so much. Jake and Ryan were both fine people but (as I mentioned above) they both just fell in love with Brie far too quickly for it to feel genuine.
Jealousy: Both Jake and Ryan seem to become jealous of one another anytime they are with Brie, leading them to seemingly treat Brie like some prize they win if they get to be with her. This was a thing I was noticing about 50% in and maybe I’m just be reading into things too much. Maybe this is a flaw that gets addressed later on, so please tell me if that’s so, but it just drove me insane.
The serious part of the plot: The author warned me before going in that Sublime Karma would touch on the topic of cutting, which is a thing that doesn’t normally bother me (heck most of my favorite books involve commentaries on mental health), but this topic just wasn’t too well handled. I don’t think anything about Sublime Karma (at least not that I’ve read) is really harmful, but it is very jarring when the plot switches from a light-hearted and cliché high school story, to one mentioning cutting without paying much attention to it. These two elements of the story are so different and just don’t mesh.
The obvious answer to this would be a bit more character development. Yeah, I only read 50% so things could improve, but, so far, things just seemed rush. I wish the author spent more of the entire book building up a relationship between Brie and Jake/Ryan, instead of just jumping into it. I’d even be chill if she kept the love triangle, but the relationships needed more time.
If the relationships between characters were given more attention, I think it would make the novel feel more realistic and would make the mentions of a more touchy subject, such as cutting, less out of left field and it would fit better into the novel.