The Boundless Sublime / Lili Wilkinson / 2016 / Allen & Unwin / ISBN 9781760113360 / 336 Pages / Young Adult
Ruby Jane Galbraith is empty. Her family has been torn apart and it’s all her fault. The only thing that makes sense to her is Fox – a gentle new friend who is wise, soulful and clever, yet oddly naïve about the ways of the world. He understands what she’s going through and he offers her a chance to find peace. Fox belongs to a group called the Institute of the Boundless Sublime – and spending time with Fox means spending more and more time with his ‘family’. Soon Ruby is drawn into what she discovers is a terrifying, secretive community that is far from the ideal world she expected. Can she find the courage to leave? Is there any way she can save Fox too? And is there ever an escape from the far-reaching influence of the Institute of the Boundless Sublime?
This book is about a girl who after suffering an enormous amount of pains, seeks peace and reassurance in the most unlikely places. The story follows a girl called Ruby and her experience of grief as she struggles to find herself in the mounting grief that surrounds her. Her mother is no longer acting like a mother towards her and Ruby is stuck with a bunch of friends who are very indifferent and the opposite of what she needs in her time of grief. But then all of a sudden appears an angel out of nowhere, well actually he is handing out water bottles and knows exactly what to say to Ruby to lure her in. His name is Fox and thus begins a budding relationship between a grief stricken underage girl and an utterly naive boy who eats too much salt in a world full of secrets, danger and lust.
I really like this book. It is so well written I am jealous of the author Lili Wilkinson as her skills are very evident in this piece of art. The level of research to create the most perfect and realistic cult environment in this book is extreme. It couldn’t have been done within a day or two but probably months or years. The amount of world-building that occurs in this book allows the reader to fully emerge themselves into the book that the reader can fully imagine the buildings, gardens and people in the book without seeing any type of image.
The story is thought out, not lacking at any point and is gripping from beginning to end. It is a roller-coaster ride and the reader needs to make sure they haven’t eaten in a few hours when they read this book, or you will make a mess. The high suspense, the alluring sense of danger and the gripping nature of this book make a perfect combination for a romance and grief story to occur. Ruby is so well written, as is the pain her mother is going through. The character in the ‘cult’ are so spectacularly written you can’t help but feel for them all. If there is one thing I would have to mention is that there were a few things that could have been kept out just to make it a little bit shorter so it didn’t drag on in some of the chapters. And if there could be a sequel there definitely should be. Their story does end, but there is so much more potential for this alluring story and so many more stories that could be told.
If you like a thrill, or suspense when you are reading, or like to read about people reading in different environments and a weird relationship between two teenagers, than this is the book for you.
I give this book 4.5 out of 5 booky stars!
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