Thanks to NetGalley and Capstone for the opportunity to read and review The Boundless Sublime by Lili Wilkinson. Ruby and her mother are barely surviving after the loss of Anton, Ruby’s brother. Their grief is overwhelming and Ruby blames herself for what happened to Anton. She meets a unique young man and meets his “family”. His name is Fox and he lives in a sort of commune. Ruby goes with Fox to the Outreach building and she decides that she wants to learn more, so she attends the secret Institute and gets more than she bargained for. Any disobedience and you’re thrown in a cell-type room with no food or water for days until you are “elutriated” according to the leader who claims he’s the Daddy of all. Boundless Sublime frightens with its suspense and feelings of entrapment. As the synopsis states, this book is an “immersive thriller”, eye-opening as well as heartbreaking, with its tale of manipulation and a cult-like community led by a charlatan. 5 stars for a book I couldn’t put down!
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. 3.5 stars!
Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Books for the opportunity to read and review Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg. The prologue starts with past events that will be explained later by the narrator. The prologue also gives the reader a glimpse into the past, present and future lives of some of the characters. The story is told in parts – Part One “Green”(past), Part Two “Jess” (present), Part Three “Green” (past). Green and Jess are different names for the same person and she is the narrator of the story. The people that live at Foxlowe all have two names; their Outside name that they came to Foxlowe with and their new name that they were given when they arrived at Foxlowe. The people that reside at Foxlowe are a cult type of society with initiation that causes injury. This initiation is also used as enlightenment, which I see as punishment and it involves stabbing your skin with multiple nails until bleeding occurs. The controlling leaders are strange and have insecurity issues and possible psychological issues. The details of the story are vague at some points and, as a reader, I am not sure how the people came to Foxlowe and how they keep getting members, such as Blue (the infant that shows up in the story). The author’s prose is beautiful and descriptive with the characters’ attributes and the surroundings of Foxlowe, but the point of the lifestyle was never explained. The tone is dark and abusive and I am sure more evil occurred behind the scenes due to the way the leaders treated the children. The Epilogue was a nice conclusion showing the future of Green and how Foxlowe had become a tourist spot. Beautiful writing but a very odd story- 3.5 stars.