When Brie’s stepfather moves the family for what he calls a new beginning, it’s not the new beginning she would have hoped for. Brie is 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 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 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?
One of the things I enjoyed about this book was how realistic it was. Situations that came up, such as Brie being bullied or having anxiety about being new, are things that happen all the time. The emotions, however irrationally, felt real. The conversations felt real. Everything about this book was just so real. That is something I appreciate so much, especially in a young adult book.
I also enjoyed the main characters, Brie and Jake. While at first, I was worried that this was going to turn into a love cures type of book because it did seem to be heading in that direction, my worries were quickly soothed. Jake was incredibly supportive of Brie. even when she was acting in ways that drove me nuts, he was still there for her.He did not try and cure her. He accepted her for who she was and the trauma she had. Together, Brie and Jake were a fantastic couple.
Another thing I enjoyed about this book was how well done the anxiety was. Brie had a lot of trauma happen to her which turned into anxiety and self harm. Her thoughts and her feelings were written beautifully. You could feel the anxiousness that Brie felt and it made your heart break. It was honestly one of my favorite aspects of this book.
What Left Me Wanting More
The pacing of this book was slightly confusing. There would be some pretty big time hops and events would happen during those times hopes that would be kind of left out in the open. It made me wonder if I had missing pages or the events happening were deemed irrelevant to be covered fully. I am also unsure how how long the events took place. Did it cover an entire school year? Or was it just half a year?
Overall, Sublime Karma was an amazing book. I fell in love with the story of Jake and Brie. It represents what it’s like to be a teenager and it represents what it’s like to have trauma and anxiety. Sublime Karma is a beautiful love story of two teens that will be sure to steal your heart.
TW: graphic descriptions of self harm, queer used in a derogatory way, assault, child abandonment, animal abuse, addiction, suicide attempt