I will always be grateful for the YA genre because if I hadn’t read the Twilight series all those years ago, I wouldn’t be reading like I do now. Nor would I have made the friends and connections I have now. There may be people out there who shy away from reading YA books or feel like it’s inappropriate for them. My thought is that just because the main characters in the book are younger doesn’t mean that I can’t relate to them or understand their perspective.
If an author writes a great story, I am in no matter what the age of the characters. I recently read two amazing books that are from the YA genre. The heroines in these books are unique and really stood out for me. I could totally relate to them because they were strong, curious, and intelligent.
Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father’s premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.
Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching death date of one client’s young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not the how, she’s unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie.
Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who may be connected to it all, Maddie’s whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it’s too late?
There were many things about this book that held my attention and brought me to tears by the end. Maddie was definitely one of reasons. When I read about characters that have a special gift, whether they are aware of it their whole lives or stumble upon it later, I am usually envious of them. That is not the case with Maddie. In my mind it felt more like a curse. To see people’s death dates, whether it be strangers or family, felt like a burden. She does try to make it work positively, when she tells clients who really want to know, but it backfires on her.
How come I can see the exact date that someone will die, but nothing else about the how, where, or even why? What good does it do to know the when, if you can’t know at least one of the other three?
Also, why am I seemingly the only person on earth who can see these numbers? Why did fate choose me for such a cruel gift?
It’s a question I ask myself a million times, and I’m still looking for the answer. I think there may not be one, knowing when someone will die has never changed anything. I’ve never saved anybody or given them more time. I’m just the messenger.
This gift is used against her, when kids who she has shared their death date with, start disappearing, the FBI naturally think she is connected in some way. Then when her closest friend get charged for crimes he didn’t commit, things go downhill fast. I love how the author chose to reveal answers to questions I had in the beginning, like can she see her death date when she looks in the mirror? We also don’t get the death dates of her closest family members, like her uncle or her best friend, until it truly made sense.
I was surprised at how moved I was at the end of the book, by the revelation of what is really important about her having this gift. It is a beautiful stand-alone book that I think everyone should read.
I give this book 5 beautiful stars, and put it on my “books that own me” and “top shelf fantastic reads” shelves on Goodreads.
****I was given an ARC of this book from Netgalley for an honest review. The excerpt is from that copy.****
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…
At BT, we are huge fans of Christina Lauren, because of the fantastic books series, Beautiful Bastard and Wild Seasons. When I heard that they were going to write a paranormal YA book, I was so excited to see if they could pull it off. They totally nailed it with Sublime. Think Ghost meets Sixth Sense, but with a darker more romantic twist.
The story is told from alternating points of view from Lucy and Colin. I loved being in both of their heads. In the beginning, there is this mystery behind why Lucy is at this particular school and why she can’t seem to leave. Colin thinks that if he can figure out Lucy’s past and what happened to her, he can help her, but what if that means that she won’t stay?
Strong feelings and attachment build between Lucy and Colin that neither want to deny anymore. This is where these particular authors are amazingly talented. No one writes UST and longing like they do.
She whispers, pressing words against his neck, his ears, his jaw. “I like the taste of your skin. You smell like soap and grass and the ocean.” Her teeth tease at biting, pulling on the ring of his lip; her hands are everywhere.
His own hands grow desperate then, pulling her shirt from her shoulders, touching her stomach, her chest, grasping and wanted to memorize every curve.
“Too rough,” she says, gasping. He’s afraid she’s trying to hide that he’s hurt her.
“Sorry, sorry,” he says, pushing his hands into his hair. He closes his eyes and pulls, grateful for the solid shape of this known sensation. He hasn’t ridden his bike in days, hasn’t run, hasn’t done anything, and he suddenly feels like a bear trying to carry a crystal; his muscles are going to burst from his skin and take off with this tension. He wonders if this is what people mean when they say almost having something is worse than never having it at all.
Her palm moves along his cheek, vibrating. “Look at me.”
He looks up into eyes the colors of blood and night and sky. Deep reds and blues, speaking indigo.
“You should…touch yourself if…” She doesn’t even blink. Doesn’t do a single one of those timid-girl things, like fiddling with her hair or covering her face. She just waits, watching.
“You mean…?” He can feel his eyebrows crawling to his hairline. “Myself?”
“Yeah.” And then she smiles. It’s the sweet, dimpled smile that does him in, the way she seems both vulnerable and demanding. It makes the absurdity of it, the ingrained need for covertness, disappear.
Colin has always had no fear when it comes to defying death, so it wasn’t a surprise to me at the lengths that he goes to truly be with Lucy, and each time he “cheats” death, I know that it pushes the intensity for their longing to be together that much more. Lucy is torn between understanding why she is still there, keeping Colin safe, but wanting him for herself. The ending is haunting and breathtaking. I loved it!
I give this stand-alone book 5 haunting beautiful stars, and put it on my “favorites” and “top shelf fantastic reads” shelves on Goodreads.
I would love to hear from you guys your thoughts on the YA genre, and what books you would recommend!!