Saturday, March 9, 2013

Book Review: The Edge of Nowhere

The Edge of Nowhere (Saratoga Woods #1)
Published By: Viking Juvenile
Publication Date: September 2012
Page Count: 448
Source: Borrowed from Amber @ Page Turners
Audience: Young Adult - Mystery

I have been so anxious to read this novel. It kept getting bumped to accommodate books that arrived from publishers, but I finally managed to make some time. The anticipation increased my expectations, but sadly this novel did not live up to them. There were some aspects I loved, but they were not able to outweigh the moments of tedium. 

I loved the setting of Whidbey Island, Washington. I find myself gravitating towards novels set in the Pacific Northwest more often than not. I love authors that can transport me into a world of cool temperatures, gray skies, and rain. I love losing myself in the rugged beaches, mountains, and forests of Washington State. I never got the chance to visit Whidbey Island while I lived in Washington, but I hope to take a trip there some day. Elizabeth George did a beautiful job of describing the island; I loved letting my imagination roam throughout the evergreens. In fact, the writing in this one is beautiful and more complex than what I am used to seeing in YA.

In addition, I enjoyed the relationship between Seth and his grandfather, Ralph. Their conversations were one of my favorite parts of the story. I loved that Seth would always go to his grandfather for advice. It reminded me of my own relationship with my grandparents. I know that I can always count on them for support.

Sadly, this is where my enjoyment ends. I didn't particularly enjoy the plot of this one. The narration jumps around a bit too much for my tastes. The story is told from the third person point of view, but bounces between several characters. Also, the mystery reveal was a bit anticlimactic in my opinion. I felt cheated that I invested so much time in this book. I didn't bond with many of the characters and their fates didn't keep me from sleeping. I want characters that can stay with me even when I am not reading.

In addition, some of the plot elements just didn't make sense. For example, how could a mother dump her child on a random island and not call to check on her once? Also, how did nobody in the town find this odd? I found the whole plan between Laurel and Carol to be confusing and unrealistic. An additional layer of frustration was added when Carol doesn't even mention Becca's imminent arrival to her husband. Seriously? I think my husband would notice if we suddenly had a 14-year-old house guest. That's not something you can keep hidden easily. 

Finally, there were moments that I force myself to keep reading. I wanted to love this, but in the end I had to admit defeat. This book just wasn't for me and I have no desire to read the future installments. 


One Last Gripe: Becca's ability was annoying. The snippets she heard disrupted the flow of the narration. 

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The Setting

First Sentence: On the last day of Hannah Armstrong's existence, things were normal for a while.

Favorite Character: Seth Darrow

Least Favorite Character: Jenn McDaniels



Whidbey Island may be only a ferry ride from Seattle, but it's a world apart. When Becca King arrives there, she doesn't suspect the island will become her home for the next four years. Put at risk by her ability to hear "whispers"--the thoughts of others--Becca is on the run from her stepfather, whose criminal activities she has discovered. Stranded and alone, Becca is soon befriended by Derric, a Ugandon orphan adopted by a local family; Seth, a kindhearted musician and high school dropout; Debbie, a recovering alcoholic who takes her in; and Diana, with whom Becca shares a mysterious psychic connection.

This compelling coming-of-age story, the first of an ongoing sequence of books set on Whidbey Island, has elements of mystery, the paranormal, and romance. Elizabeth George, bestselling author of the Inspector Lynley crime novels, brings her elegant style, intricate plotting, incisive characterization, and top-notch storytelling to her first book for teens.



7 comments:

  1. Bummers you didn't like it! When I first heard that it was set on Whidbey Island I wanted to read it immediately. Then I heard a lot of the same things that you didn't like in some other posts and decided to not invest the time. My grandmother lives on Whidbey Island and it is one of my most favorite places in the world, but I'll not go there with this book.
    Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The setting was one of the best elements about this book. Honestly, it was what kept me reading.

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  2. Well, Andrea. I have heard a lot about this book and i really want to read it
    Although, you not liking it is sad, I will still give it a try
    Your reader
    Soma
    http://insomnia-of-books.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you like it, Soma. Stop back and let me know once you have had time to read it.

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  3. I love books set in the Pacific Northwest too! I don't usually read a lot of paranormal, but I love me some evergreens.

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    Replies
    1. This one says it's paranormal, but it's really not. The main character can hear other peoples' thoughts so I assuming that's why it got the paranormal label. It's more of a mystery though.

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