Review: The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George

23 April, 2013 Reviews 24 comments

Review: The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth GeorgeThe Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George
Series: Saratoga Woods #1
Published by Viking Juvenile on September 4th 2012
Pages: 448
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository
Goodreads
two-stars

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.

I kind of just stumbled into reading this book. I happened upon it when browsing and found myself hooked by the intro. See, there’s this girl and she’s a mind reader, and her abilities cause her to accidentally discover her stepfather has committed murder.

With this information, both the girl and her mother have to go into hiding. She changes her name to Becca King and her mother, Laurel, sends her off to live temporarily with a close friend while Laurel goes and establishes a new life for them in BC. Their getaway seems to have gone off without a hitch until Becca is forced to make her way to her new destination by herself and upon doing so discovers that Laurel’s friend has just suffered a heart attack without having told anyone about Becca’s arrival.

Becca tries calling her mom, but the call never goes through. So Becca’s caught, parentless, and she might possibly be in danger of being caught by her stepfather. That’s a good premise right, are you excited to read it?

I was. But it turns out that actually wasn’t even what this book was about. The entire beginning seemed like a means to get Becca without her mom so she was free to have teenagey adventures sans parents.

What this book was really about was Derric, Becca’s insta-crush, who after Becca sees him all of four times is found in a bloody heap in the woods. The whole thing is a 25% whodunnit mystery, 75% insight into each of the townspeople’s woes, and 100% uninteresting. The only thing that kept me reading was the danger that Becca could be found my her stepfather at any minute, or that she might reconnect with Laurel.

While there were certainly moments where Becca thought she was in danger, nothing actually happened. So I thought at least there was the mystery of Derric, right? Who pushed the kid anyway? So many townspeople were in the forest that day, any one of them could have done it, and all of them seem to know something. But when everything is resolved, the answer is so simple and pointless that you just shake your head.

Becca was a character who I could never really get a sense of, and her ‘nemesis’, Jenn, was so ridiculously written I couldn’t tell if the author actually wanted me to take her snark seriously or imagine her as like, a cartoon pixie or something. I understand that Jenn is mean and rude and terrible to Becca, but her dialogue was so sightlessly malicious and she was always saying things that were unnecessary and seemed only intended to make Becca seem grounded and selfless.

The Edge of Nowhere gives deep insight into the tangled lives of its smalltown characters, none of whom I cared about. The way the story was told was such a jumbled, monotonous and transparent mess that I just couldn’t believe any of it. I definitely don’t recommend this one.

Adrienne Fray

Adrienne Fray

Reviewer at Cuddlebuggery
Born and raised in the middle of a desolate expanse of prairie land, Adrienne has learnt quickly that there are only two options for a happy survival: read constantly, or become very, very bored. Find her on GoodReads.

24 Responses to “Review: The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George”

  1. Danny_Bookworm

    Oh.. that is too bad really!! I love Elizabth Gorge and I absolutely adore her Inspector Lynley series. A few years ago, I was eating her books up! 
    I was actually just now excited hearing about her writing a YA story.. tood bad you didn’t like it.. But I also hate when I can’t connect and make sense out of the characters!

  2. Danny_Bookworm

    Oh.. that is too bad really!! I love Elizabth Gorge and I absolutely adore her Inspector Lynley series. A few years ago, I was eating her books up! 
    I was actually just now excited hearing about her writing a YA story.. tood bad you didn’t like it.. But I also hate when I can’t connect and make sense out of the characters!

  3. K blah blah

    Never heard of this book or author but the premise reminded a little of Kelly Armstrong’s Darkness Rising series…though, apparently, it isn’t quite as exciting. One of the things I hate most is when authors just do away with the parents. It’s just too easy. I’m even getting a suspicious feeling about why it’s the STEPfather and not the biological one…maybe to make it easier to hate him/fear him/leave him…?

  4. K blah blah

    Never heard of this book or author but the premise reminded a little of Kelly Armstrong’s Darkness Rising series…though, apparently, it isn’t quite as exciting. One of the things I hate most is when authors just do away with the parents. It’s just too easy. I’m even getting a suspicious feeling about why it’s the STEPfather and not the biological one…maybe to make it easier to hate him/fear him/leave him…?

  5. Laurens Loquacious Lit

    I read this in November and I thought it was going to be really great too. I found Becca really annoying, as I said in my review, at times she is INCREDIBLY, life threateningly naive, and but then somehow also knows how to sand down doors and clean motel rooms to a suitable standard and baby sit children. 
    And I was really disappointed with how George handled her “ability”; she doesn’t even USE it for most of the novel and when she does what she hears is mostly irrelevant and useless because it’s so fragmented.

  6. alexalovesbooks

    That premise sounded so promising! If they had just stuck with the whole running away because she knows her stepfather is a murderer premise, I bet you that it would have been so much more appealing! It’s too bad that this one didn’t turn out as well as you’d hoped.

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  16. Smurf

    I honestly think that this is a harsh review…I think that this book did have a lot of meaning. The reason the author needed to give so much insight on all these characters is because maybe in her the books that come later on, these characters play a big role, and we (as readers) need to get to know them in the first book itself. Maybe this book is kind of useless, and the solution to the mystery is ridiculous, but maybe it was just a way to start of the series.

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