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Books and Whimsy

I blog about books that change me at Books and Whimsy. I also write discussion posts, and host original features. I'm quite silly sometimes, serious others, and always champion great books. (booksandwhimsy.com) You can find my author blog at onceuponaprologue.net

Touching the Surface - Kimberly Sabatini Touching the Surface was one of my most anticipated books of 2012, and within the first few pages, I was psyched for this story. I love afterlife novels like Dean Winchester loves pie. With a lush, ephemeral setting that was described so vividly, and characters that felt real to me immediately, it was impossible not to fall for Touching the Surface. By the end, I was genuinely moved by this wonderful novel about letting go of the past, in order to hold on to something new.

I loved the setting; the Obmil is a fantastic, ethereal place. I was confused at first, because Sabatini's afterlife is complex, and it took me a few chapters to really "get" everything - the levels, the rules. Once that happened, I could appreciate the world-building, which was actually very well done. I loved that Kimberly used the "Delves," or flashbacks as a plot device to get me invested in who these characters were...characters I very quickly grew to love.

I always enjoy character growth, and that was present in Touching the Surface. Elliot changed so much from who she was when she arrived in the Obmil; I loved seeing her shed her selfishness and grow into a person who cared about others, and understood the impact of her actions in their lives. This is a very character-driven strory, and I found myself connecting deeply to Elliot, Julia, Trevor, Owen, and even Mel. Everyone added a bit to the overall message of Touching the Surface, and I liked how unexpectedly various characters ended up tangled in Elliot's life.

Along with the mysteries of the afterlife, and several things that weren't what I thought them to be, I also fell hard for Trevor. At first, I was prepared to hate him for his reactions to Elliot, but there was a reason, and I am so, so glad I stuck with Kimberly's story, and got to know both Trevor, and Oliver. These two boys play a huge part in Elliot's life, in different ways; there's no love triangle here, but there - is - a meaningful love story that blooms sweetly, slowly encompassing Elliot and Trevor.

Touching the Surface is a story that lingered with me. I found myself shedding a few tears as the climax swelled toward an ending that was more of a beginning. Even now, days later, I'm still thinking of this beautiful story, and I urge everyone to read it!