- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Kids Can Press (September 4, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1771389990
- ISBN-13: 978-1771389990
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 37 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #781,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Leading Edge of Now Hardcover – September 4, 2018
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Candid and emotional. A sometimes painful, memory-soaked portrait of grief and---most importantly---survival.―Jenn Bennett, author of Alex, Approximately
Raw, gripping, and continually surprising. The Leading Edge of Now deftly balances heartbreak and humor.―Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, author of Firsts and Last Girl Lied To
One of those rare, beautiful books that will shatter your heart, then gently put the pieces back together with its humor, honesty, and breathtaking writing. Marci Lyn Curtis has done it again.―Samantha Joyce, author of Flirting with Fame
Helmed by a protagonist who is savvy, lost, broken, sarcastic and ultimately strong enough to create love in a world too often poised to break a girl, The Leading Edge of Now will leave you with a deep need to live life to the fullest.―Shannon M. Parker, author of The Girl Who Fell and The Rattled Bones
About the Author
Marci Lyn Curtis is a critically acclaimed author of young adult dramedies, including The One Thing. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband.
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Grace has to face the unimaginable when it comes to trust. So many people have broken her trust, and worse. But ultimately this story is about making your own happiness in a world that is often poised to break you. "Because life is hard and it’s messy, but it deserves to be lived. And if you’re always turning away from it, you aren’t really living it. Living, really living, is standing on the very tip of the moment—right on the leading edge of now—no matter how heartbreaking or beautiful or terrible it might be." This quote says it all. There is so much ache in this book, but there is tremendous love. The kind of love that starts when you're young and settles into your bones and becomes as trusted as breathing. This is a beauty of a book. The kind of book I needed when I was 17. Don't miss it!
Family has magnetic properties, it seems, and foster kids know this attraction more than anyone else.”
The Leading Edge of Now is a powerful, character driven novel about a girl coming to terms with the truth, even if it isn’t something she feels that she will be able to handle.
Grace has been having a hard time with things – her father, who was her sole caretaker, has passed away suddenly, leaving Grace to be an orphan, alone, in foster care. However, one day, the uncle she used to love as a child has come to bring her to live with him. Not used to having a teenager around, the two of them do not immediately hit it off, of course – she doesn’t know how to talk to Rusty, her uncle, and is still upset that he didn’t invite her into his home right after her dad died.
“Because grief isn’t something you can walk through and come out on the other side. You can make it maybe seventy percent of the way, and the other thirty percent, well, that’s the portion you have to live with”
Although Grace is slowly, slowly healing, she is still bitter, hurt, and confused. To top it off, she finds out that her old boyfriend, the boy she had such intense feelings for a long time ago, has moved in next door to her uncle’s house. Owen even tries to talk to her, tries to get her to tell him what happened on that one night that made her quit talking to him, but Grace doesn’t want to hear it. What happened to her isn’t somethings he wants to talk about with Owen – she doesn’t want to hear his side of the story.
Because she was raped.
And it had to be Owen, right? She was sick, on medicine, and doesn’t remember what happened, but she remembered Own being in the room with her at one point, and finding his wallet in bed with her the next day. So it had to be Owen – the pieces fit together, didn’t they?
“Sometimes the tragedies aren’t the hardest part. It’s the aftermath that’s excruciating.”
Only they didn’t – and when Grace finally talked to Owen about what happened, he is shocked, and hurt that she would feel he would do this to her.
When Grace finds out that it really wasn’t Owen that hurt her, she is left to try and piece together who else it could have possibly been, and the truth behind that night ends up surprising her. Grace is left to deal with all of the possibilities, and it becomes even more difficult when she has to admit everything that has happened.
“I’m ever girl, every woman, every female who has ever walked this planet in fear. I’m me, prepared to face the truth.”
Grace has to not only learn to live with the aftermath of what happened to her, she also has to cope with the death of her father and learning to trust her uncle and forgive Owen, all while questioning everything she feels like she has ever known.
The Leading Edge of Now really captures emotions in a way that many books don’t. I felt that this book was incredibly raw and full of complete honesty, even when it was hardest for the main character, Grace, to really express it. This made the story feel so much more real and truly bring her character to life.
What Grace has gone through in The Leading Edge of Now is a horrible thing that many girls and women face on a daily basis, and find it difficult to come forward about what happened. Dealing with rape, even in a novel, is bound to bring a lot of emotions to light, and these emotions are important to address. In the case of Grace in The Leading Edge of Now, it had completely changed who she was as a person and did a lot to shape her future after it happened.
Rape is something that all too many girls and women are familiar with, and it happens so frequently with people that the victim already knows. I’m not going to spoil anything about the book, but I will point out that the person who attacked Grace was definitely a surprise that I did not see coming.
While this book deals with a lot in terms of emotions and the serious issue of rape, it also has several heartwarming family moments going on with Grace and Rusty. I love books that have a big family emphasis on them, and in this case, it was different from your usual parent and child reuniting – it was uncle and niece.
Grace’s character, as well as Owen’s and Rusty’s, were all written so well. I loved how unique all of their personalities were, and how they contributed so much to the story. The author really created some great characters that had a lot to offer.
If you like reading books that deal with serious issues, family, and have amazing characters, The Leading Edge of Now is definitely a book you won’t want to miss. I read it from start to finish in a single day because I loved it so much, and I highly recommend it to those who are looking for something with a lot of depth to it.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
I just realized that I started this book yesterday and finished it today. I think I'm actually kind of sad to be done reading it, to tell you the truth.
This book deals with sexual assault and rape, but it's not the entire book. At the risk of cheesiness, I'm going to quote a song from Moana:
They have stolen the heart from inside you,
But this does not define you.
This is not who you are.
You know who you are.
Honestly, those lyrics sum up Grace (17) and this book quite well. Her assault changed her, but it wasn't her. She was hurt and afraid, but she was brave and strong. She's not the only one in this book who experienced some type of tragedy or trauma (and hers wasn't even limited to rape). I appreciate that while what happened to her is a huge factor of the story, it didn't take over. Life continued happening, and Grace had to keep surviving, just as the other characters did. And when the truth came out, they had to deal with the fallout, the heartbreak, the devastation of what happened.
The characterization in this book was excellent--the characters felt real, as did their conversations, actions, and quirks. Andy was awkward and hilarious. Janna was . . . I don't even know how to describe her expect as herself, but that only means something if you've read the book. I adored Owen (18), and I kept begging Grace to be wrong. Rusty, Faith, Sawyer, Luke, Mr. & Mrs. McCallister . . . I could go on. Everyone felt real, and to me, that's the mark of fantastic characterization. (And that's why I'm kind of sad to have finished--I'll miss the characters.)
Note: Aftermath of rape. Some swearing.