Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini (Book Review & Giveaway)

Posted April 8, 2013 by Jana in Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult Fiction / 29 Comments

Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini (Book Review & Giveaway)Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini
Published by Simon Pulse on October 30, 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Author
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When Elliot finds herself dead for the third time, she knows she must have messed up, big-time. She doesn’t remember how she landed in the afterlife again, but she knows this is her last chance to get things right.

Elliot just wants to move on, but first she will be forced to face her past and delve into the painful memories she’d rather keep buried. Memories of people she’s hurt, people she’s betrayed…and people she’s killed.

As she pieces together the secrets and mistakes of her past, Elliot must find a way to earn the forgiveness of the person she’s hurt most, and reveal the truth about herself to the two boys she loves…even if it means losing them both forever.

I’m not usually a fan of afterlife-type novels, because I don’t usually like an author’s take on Heaven/Hell, Angels, God, and the afterlife in general. For this reason, I almost did not accept this book for review. Something about it, though, drew me right in and I decided to give it a chance. I am SO glad I did, because this book is a new favorite of mine! I really loved it, and it made me think about my life. I’m going to do my best to make sure this review is vague. You really need to discover the book as you read. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. Elliot is a typical teenager, who is trying to learn from her mistakes and plan out her next life. She is struggling to find her way and her place. I loved that about her, because she was so easy to relate to. We all make mistakes, and we all have things in our lives that we wish had turned out, or been handled, differently. I love watching her remember what happened during the months before she passed away. I enjoyed watching her discover and piece together her former life, and the emotions and experiences she had.

2. Elliot has several amazing friends in the Obmil, or afterlife, that she has seen before between past lives. There are also a couple new ones that she has to figure out how and why they are important to her. One of them is a fatherly/grandfatherly figure named Freddie, who gives her advice. I really liked him and his fuzzy flannel shirts. Oliver will do anything to help her discover her plan for spiritual growth, and is a sweet brother type. Mel is a guide of sorts, and unconditionally loves Elliot. She is so sweet and loving. And then we have Trevor, the snarky grump whose t-shirt sayings change to reflect his mood. I loved those shirts. Haha. Some of them were really funny. He is a very dynamic, emotional, and confused character. I loved watching his transformation as he discovers his past right along with Elliot.

3. I loved Kimberly’s take on the afterlife. Basically, it’s a limbo period where people go after they have passed away so that they can learn from their past life or lives and reserve to do better in their next one. Each character goes through a lot of introspection and discovery, which I loved seeing. I firmly believe in always trying to improve yourself, so even though I don’t believe in reincarnation, I appreciated this message in the book.

4. Kimberly’s lyrical writing style is gorgeous, and so perfectly in sync with the subject matter of Touching the Surface. I just drank it all in, and could picture this otherworldly place in the afterlife in vivid detail.

5. The emotions in this book are just so real and pure. The people are flawed and working through their lives. Each is on a very personal journey. Aren’t we all? I really connected with these characters, and their situations. Their discoveries made me think about my own life, and how I am doing now. When I pass on, what will I look back on and wish I had handled differently? Will I wish I said something different to someone? Will I regret not experiencing certain things? I challenged myself to work harder and be better. I’m grateful to Kimberly for making me think all these things. 

Overall, Touching the Surface is a beautiful story that readers of all genres will be able to relate to and pull from. Regardless of your religious beliefs, you will connect with these characters. You will think about your own life, and you will most likely end up making some goals for yourself as you move forward. I was touched by so many of the passages, and related to the emotions that were discussed. I loved experiencing this book, and can’t wait for more books from Kimberly.

Giveaway: Kim is generously providing a personalized hardback of Touching the Surface for one of my US readers! Thanks so much, Kim!

Good luck, and I hope you win!

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29 responses to “Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini (Book Review & Giveaway)

  1. This sounds like such a fantastic read!

    I think that, throughout my almost 22 years, I’ve learned that I need to try and stay positive no matter what happens. No matter how upset I get, I need to try and turn that situation into something that can benefit me in some way. That’s definitely something that I have learned to do, but still struggle to do every day.

  2. I’m certainly eager to check this book out. I actually heard about it last year about BEA, but I haven’t gotten the opportunity to read it since then. I think that it sounds like a wonderful novel though, so I can’t wait to check it out.

    I think the most important lesson I’ve learned is this: Sometimes, the only way out is THROUGH. You might have to endure some tight spots and uncomfortable moments before you can get where you want to go. The sooner you acknowledge that and go through it, the sooner you might reach your goal.

    • Alexa, you are so right. Things rings so true to me. Perseverance and faith will get you through anything. :) Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Great review, and thank you for the giveaway!

    I’ve learned many important things in my life..I think perhaps the most important is to not get too stressed or worked up about things. LIFE IS SHORT. I know it’s cliché, but it’s true. Happiness is the key to life!

    • Oh, you are so right! I’ve been so stressed over the last 9 months because I was working in a terrible environment, with pretty awful superiors. I just quit a couple weeks ago, and I feel amazing! Sometimes we have to do what makes us happy, even if it might be hard for a little while. :) Thank you for your comment!

  4. Great review. I started to read this book once, but work was hectic and I didn’t connect with the start, so I put it down for so long that I never got back to it before I had to return it to the library. But this review really makes me rethink returning to this book. I liked her writing, it was very lyrical.

    Something really important in life that I learned is happiness is a choice. That might sound weird to some, but I really believe that. Like Diamond said, life’s short and it’s too short to lament over all the bad that happens. Sometimes things don’t go my way and I don’t have my dream job yet, but complaining about that and letting that get in the way of living my life and being happy won’t help.

    There are always things that I could focus my energy on inside: like books. A good book can turn a bad day into a good one :) Or writing, seeing friends, and family. There’s always a way to make the day better.

    Great review!

    • Kim, I love this! Happiness really is a choice, and something you have to work hard to have in your life! Definitely, we all have happy things in our lives that we can focus on. :) Thank you!

  5. Amy

    I think that this book looks really interesting. My most important life lesson is to respect others for their similarities to me and their differences from me and to make sure that I do not judge them because they have made different choices than I would make. Thank you for the giveaway.

    • Wonderful! You’re so right. Being different makes a person unique, and it’s always more fun to discover these differences and learn from them, rather than push someone away over it. :) Thank you!

  6. I’ve been eyeing this book ever since I first saw that gorgeous cover, but when I finally saw it in a bookstore, I was hesitant because I haven’t seen enough reviews on it. But I’ll take your word for it and give this a try! Afterlife + beautiful writing <3 Great review!

  7. This book sounds amazing! Why didn’t I read it when it was released? I might even have a copy? A book that makes you want to be a better person? I could totally use that right now. I’ve been rather meh lately and I think this book could perk me right up. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I’ve learned that it’s so important to make time for yourself every day, even if it’s just five minutes of meditation or a half hour of reading–always give yourself some alone time! :)

  9. I am love discovering new books! Thank you :)

    One thing I have learned is to always try your hardest no matter what! As of now, the only things I regret are the things I didn’t try because I didn’t think I could succeed. Now I know that no matter what I should always try my hardest!

  10. That God’s love is irreplaceable. That there is absolutely nothing better, stronger than my families love. That trusting your heart and following it, even when it hurts, is the best way to do things. There are many amazing lessons in this life. Some that I learned the easy way, most that I learned fighting my way through life. And those fights, make you who you are. And that, no matter how much I might want to sometimes, going back is not an option. Because I am who I am today, because of the rough, rough road that I have taken to get here. And who I am today is pretty awesome, and surprising!

  11. One thing I’ve learned is to learn to be independent and not think too much about how others see you. It’s your own perception of self is what matters. You can’t let others define you.