Sunday, 5 October 2014

Review: On the Edge by Allison van Diepen

Title: On the Edge
Author: Allison van Diepen
Release date: November 25th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Thriller
Format: eARC
Pages: 188

Source: Edelweiss

From Allison van Diepen, author of Snitch and Street Pharm, comes a sexy, dangerous novel about a teen who witnesses a murder and gets caught up in the seedy world of Miami’s gangs.

Maddie Diaz never should have taken that shortcut through the park. If she hadn't, she wouldn't have seen two members of the Reyes gang attacking a homeless man. Now, as the only witness, she knows there’s a target on her back.

But when the Reyes jump her on the street, Maddie is protected by a second gang and their secretive leader, Lobo, who is determined to take down the Reyes himself. Lobo is mysterious and passionate, and Maddie begins to fall for him. But when they live this close to the edge, can their love survive?

On the Edge is a compelling story about fighting for what’s right and figuring out where you belong. The novel showcases a gritty, realistic voice and earth–shattering romance that will intrigue readers of Simone Elkeles and Paul Griffin and captivate fans of Allison van Diepen's other novels.

On the Edge has a great premise and a good plotline, but I wasn't too happy with the way these are executed. I was intrigued by the concept since I haven't read anything like it before, but I felt this book was too short for me to actually get into and enjoy. Also, the characters fell flat to me as well. But I'd say if the blurb really draws you in, give it a try.

Maddie accidentally witnesses the murder of a homeless man on the street, and she reports it to the police, also identifying the gang members. Maddie knows she could be in danger because of that, since the gang is infamous for its brutality. When she's jumped by members of the same gang, a rival gang saves her. She begins to fall for the leader of this gang, Lobo. But the life he leads is fast and dangerous, and it's definitely something Maddie shouldn't be a part of. But she doesn't know if she can help herself.

These characters really bugged me. I commend Maddie for standing up for Hector, the guy who was killed, and trying to make sure he got justice. But seriously, how did she let herself be put in danger when she knows the gang could be after her? And the insta-love with Lobo/Ortiz (same guy, don't worry it's really not a spoiler - it's the most obvious thing I've ever read) annoyed me too. Maddie goes and falls for this guy the second he saves her life. And she has no freaking idea what he even looks like in the beginning! It's kind of ridiculous.

Don't even get me started on Maddie's friends - I wanted to physically enter the book and punch them in the face. I don't know how anyone can survive a short daily conversation with Maddie's best friend Iz - let alone an entire friendship. Her other friends are no better and they just upped my irritation with this book.

The only thing I liked was the premise, because it's a great idea to put stuff like this out there. And it's really sad to think that this actually happens - not anywhere in my country but I'm sure it does happen a lot in others. And it's heartbreaking. So basically I love the Destinos - the good gang - because they're fighting to make things right, which is more than what anyone else is doing. And I really do like Ortiz, especially after hearing his story. Again, heartbreaking. But it's amazing to see how he's converted his pain and anger to something really good.

I wish things had been explored more, because I felt like the book ended way too soon after I began reading it. There wasn't enough character exploration, and everything wrapped up too fast and too perfectly. The issues with Maddie's family felt like they were just thrown in for the sake of it, and there was really no point to that. And the whole fight between Maddie and Iz as well. In fact, I would have really liked this book if her friends and family issues weren't in it at all. That way, there could be more focus on the important stuff like the gangs and trafficking, which I thought was the point of the book.

There are some really good elements in this story, but the way it was all carried out... I just couldn't get into it. I'm really disappointed about that, because I really wanted to like this one. And I could have. On the Edge ended up being just okay, but it's definitely encouraged me to pick up more books based on this premise, so I guess that's a plus.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 2/5

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry you didn't like it as much. Not liking the characters of the book is definitely a buzz kill.


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