This week I tackled the 400+ page behemoth that is The Edge of Nowhere. This is the second contender for the 2013 Edgar for Best YA Mystery that I’ve read this year. It was also recently nominated for the Agatha Award.
Author: Elizabeth George
Age group: YA (teens)
Synopsis: Becca King can hear other people’s thoughts in the forms of whispers. When she “hears” her stepfather’s criminal activity, she and her mom decide to disappear. Becca’s mom arranges to leave her on Whidbey Island with an old friend, but when Becca arrives, she discovers that her mom’s friend has just died. While trying to hide her true identity, Becca meets many of the island’s inhabitants who all have secrets to hide. Of course, it’s hard to hide secrets completely from a girl who can hear thoughts.
Does it pass the “Homeschool Mom Test“? For a contemporary YA novel, the language was pretty clean. A few minor swears are used, but they don’t dominate the novel by any means. There is a brief scene of boys sexually harassing a high school girl.
I enjoyed this book more than the one other Edgar YA nominee I’ve read so far. The author Elizabeth George lives on Whidbey Island (yep, it’s a real place!), and she does a great job of making the setting a “character” in this book.
I have only two minor complaints. First, there’s a good amount of “head hopping.” At first, we are following Becca’s perspective from a third-person limited narrator, but a quarter of the way in, we start getting other characters’ perspectives.
My other minor complaint is that this book is the beginning of a series, so if you’re looking for a resolution to Becca’s problem with her stepdad, you don’t get it in this book. There is another problem presented in this novel, and that one is wrapped up by the end.
When I’m doing reading all the nominees for the Edgar, I’ll let you know my favorite.