Customer Review

80 of 88 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Every YA cliche wrapped into a Bad Story, September 8, 2012
This review is from: The Edge of Nowhere (Hardcover)
Oh man, where do I begin with this mess? I really wanted to like this book. It was my first ARC and I believe Elizabeth George is a good writer. I read one of her Inspector Lynley novels several years ago when they were first published. It was pretty good.

But, just because a writer can write a good adult mystery does not mean she/he is cut out for writing YA fiction. This book is the perfect example of why adult fiction writers should not write YA just because it's popular and seems easy. Guess what-it isn't.

George's characters in The Edge of Nowhere are very one-dimensional and shallow. They are so obvious I can label them "the popular good guy" and "the smart popular girl" and "weirdo outsider" and "mean girl who is only mean because she has family issues."

The plot was not interesting. We don't get to the actual mystery until 1/4 way into the book (George spends the first 1/4 setting up her trilogy...yes, it's going to be a trilogy because OBVIOUSLY every YA book needs to be part of a trilogy these days). The solution to the mystery is ridiculous and unsatisfying. I mean, ridiculous. The "twists" in the novel didn't really add to the plot. Perhaps they will be important later in the trilogy?

A lot in the story was hard to believe and George didn't pull off making it believable. For instance, the people on this island have known each other all their lives (minus Becca, the newcomer) and now they all think each other is capable of shoving someone off a mountain ridge-except Becca, the newcomer. They all trust her-the girl they just met who is obviously lying about who she is. Then, when they are accused of attempted murder, they have a brief spurt of anger and then later act like, "Hey, it's not big deal you thought I was a murder. I understand." Huh?

George also makes it obvious that she thinks teenagers are shallow idiots. Not only is her writing dumbed down in this novel, but her teen characters' actions are just well, dumb and unbelievable. For example, Hayley's boyfriend breaks up with her because he sees her kissing another guy (understandable). She can't understand why he dumped her. After all, it was no big deal. It was just a kiss-a kiss she liked and might do again, but hey, that's no reason to dump her. But WAIT-then she turns all nice and tries to set her new friend up with the guy whom she kissed and liked it and might do it again. Oh, and she has no problem at all seeing them make out with each other. Huh?

The element I found most annoying was Becca's supernatural gift to read "whispers," or fragments of people's thoughts. Why oh why do writers feel they HAVE to throw in some supernatural element to make their YA novel likeable? It's a cheap trick. Not only is it a cheap trick, but George used it to cheaply create plot elements that she couldn't make believable in any other way. A prime example of this is Becca and Derrick's "connection." SPOILER ALERT: As a reader, I am supposed to believe that despite the fact that he is in a coma through 3/4 of the book and that they've never had a deep conversation with each other in their life, Becca+Derrick= True Love because she feels all tingly when she touches his comatose body. I really have no words for this.

Finally, why oh why, is George obsessed with Becca's weight? Does she think this will make her connect with teens? The constant comments about Becca's weight in no way add to her character or the plot. It's annoying and pointless-and just feeds the notion that teens should be pre-occupied with their looks.

I only finished this book because it was an ARC. The publisher will probably never give me another one after this, but I have to be honest.
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Comments

Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 20, 2013 4:59:26 PM PST
Maxed-out says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 20, 2013 5:08:20 PM PST
April Knapp says:
Doesn't change my opinion-and it looks like I'm not the only one who thinks so. People are allowed to have different opinions than nominating committees, ya know.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2013 12:42:16 PM PST
I wholeheartedly agree with April. By the way, terrific review. This particular person seems to be putting this comment on every negative review.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2013 7:38:10 PM PST
April Knapp says:
Thanks Christina!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2013 4:03:14 AM PST
Hermione says:
I thought your review was very helpful April. I know the book was just nominated for an Edgar Award, but I've also found myself scratching my head in the past over "award winning" books and wondering what I was missing. Thanks and I hope you still receive ARCS. We need honest reviews whether they're positive or negative.

Posted on Jan 28, 2013 3:41:07 PM PST
Thanks for the review! It just made me realize that all the five or four reviews were all adults. I was thinking about reading this book, and I think I just dogged a bullet. Thanks Again. :D

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2013 8:06:54 PM PST
April Knapp says:
Well...I actually am an adult-haha. I'm 31, but I love YA and Middle Grade fiction, so that is pretty much all I read.

Posted on Jan 31, 2013 2:47:26 PM PST
Mandy says:
Thanks for your honest review. I can tell we read similarly and you just saved me the time it would have taken to figure this out for myself. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2013 5:25:28 PM PST
Alice says:
Hey April...good review, by the way. But I wanted to comment on Maxed-Out. The reviewer has posted the award comment on most of the bad reviews and I checked out the profile...all five star reviews of different genres. I just wonder if this is someone paid to generate good reviews and to do damage control by debunking bad reviews...on certain books?
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