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 naive about the ways of the world. He understands what she’s going through and he offers her a chance to feel peace. Fox belongs to a group called the Institute of the Sublime – and Ruby can’t stay away from him. So she is also drawn in to what she too late discovers is a terrifying secretive community that is far from the ideal world she expected.
Can Ruby find the courage to escape? Is there any way she can save Fox too? And is there ever really an escape from the far-reaching influence of the Institute of the Sublime?
A gripping YA novel about an ordinary girl who is unsuspectingly inducted into a secretive modern-day cult.
Title: The Boundless Sublime
Author: Lili Wilkinson
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Date released: July 27th 2016
Thank you Allen & Unwin who sent me a copy of The Boundless Sublime to review!
The Boundless Sublime is a brilliant and chilling novel that enters the world of cults, brainwashing and the difference between reality and idealism
The novel revolves around a teen named Ruby who is suffering from the aftermath of her family being torn apart. She walks around day to day going through the motions of living without actually doing the living. That is until she meets Fox, a gentle, kind and soulful guy who helps her feel whole again. But Fox isn’t just an ordinary guy. He’s part of a group called The Institute of the Sublime but that doesn’t really faze Ruby, she just wants to be with him so much she would follow him anywhere. But by the time she realises that this group may not be the innocent community it was made out to be, it may already be too late.
“You can let it keep pulling you down into the darkness. Or you can fly.”
This book was so unique and different from anything I have ever read before. I haven’t really read any books about cults and brainwashing before, so it was really interesting to see what went through the minds of the characters that were affected. This book is a suspense thriller so I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to give it away but I will say this: The Boundless Sublime has such a chilling and yet addictive plot that won’t allow you to put the book down. I basically finished it in 6 hours straight, I just had to know how it would turn out.
All of the characters are so different and yet all have one thing in common. They want to live a different life to the one they were born into. Ruby has a lot of character development throughout the book. It’s like your watching a seesaw, her character just keeps going up, down, up, down, up… Again I don’t want to say too much, but in the end, I really liked Ruby’s character. Her life becomes messed up and yet she somehow manages to come out on the right side. I feel so sad thinking about Fox’s character. He’s so kind hearted, turns everything into something good, sweet, gentle and innocent. I just want to hold him close and protect him. He seems happy with his life, but you can tell by some of the things he says that he’s a bit suspicious of what is going on in the institute. His life is probably the most messed up and yet somehow, he always has a positive attitude, although it could be the brainwashing that makes him not know how messed up his life really is. The head of the Institute, Zosimon is one creepy fellow. All of the members worship him and are afraid of him at the same time. Some of the things he does is horrific and yet nobody really minds because they are so deeply brainwashed which gave me the chills.
I honestly don’t know why Ruby chose to join the Institute. I know she liked Fox and wanted to be with him but, if I saw what she saw happening there, I would have been out in a flash. At the very beginning when she gets there, they lock her in her room with no water or food so she can be ‘elutriated’. Then the only food they eat has about 10 tons of salt (ew) and the only water they drink is warm, takes like rotten eggs and is filled with sulphur (double ew). Oh and everyone calls the head honcho ‘Daddy’ which is just creepy to the max. And if someone did something wrong (think normal things opposed to what they want you to think or ask too many questions) they would disappear for weeks and then turn up way worse for wear and suddenly very compliant and docile. If that is not ringing bells telling you this place is bad news, I don’t know what would.
The only thing I would have to say is that, I that I think the ending twist was a bit too obvious. The writing was great, the plot was unique and addictive and I absolutely love the cover! Overall I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it!
“I’d never seen anyone like him. It wasn’t that he was good looking – although he was. It was something else, something that touched my core and made me utterly certain I had to speak to him, to know him, that he could change my life. If only I’d known in that instant how he would change my life. Would I have behaved differently?”
“You think you can hide inside your grief. You let it bind you, hoping it pulls you down deep enough that nobody will be able to make you out. It doesn’t work on me. I see you.”
About the Author
Lili Wilkinson was born in Melbourne, Australia, in the front room where her parents still live. She is an only child, and loves it. She was first published when she was 12, in Voiceworks Magazine. After studying Creative Arts at Melbourne University, Lili was employed by the Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria, where she manages insideadog.com.au, a highly acclaimed all-about-books website for teenagers. She is an avid reader and writer of books for teenagers (her most recent book is The (not quite) Perfect Boyfriend, for the popular Girlfriend Fiction series), but when she’s not doing that, she’s usually hanging out with friends, watching DVDs and making monsters out of wool.