I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.On the Edge by Allison van Diepen
Published by HarperCollins on November 25th 4014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
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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.
This book was a bit different than I expected, but not in a bad way. I suppose when you just barely skim the synopsis that’s bound to happen. In short, it is a book about a girl who lives in a shitty area with her mom, hasn’t had the best life, and wants something more. Oh, and add in the super hot “bad boy” who is actually not really all that bad. And gangs and trafficking too. So, now that we’ve covered that, I will say that I enjoyed this book. While I didn’t love it, it wasn’t a book that I thought about putting down at any point. The characters were done pretty well and it kept me wanting to know what would happen with them, but I didn’t ever feel true emotion for them.
Let me start by talking about Maddie. She is a smart girl. Editor of the school newspaper, and has a talent for writing a good story. She works at McDonalds, has a scholarship to a decent school, and can’t wait to escape her town. Like a lot of teenagers, she likes to party with her friends and is a bit stubborn and defiant. She also has a good heart and wants to do what is right. That is how she gets herself into a bit of trouble. She sees some gang members kill someone and she identifies them to the police. Tough luck for her that now they are after her. Seemed a bit far fetched for me honestly that this big gang would waste the time and trouble on some girl who turned in some thugs that were barely a blip on the gang leaders radar, but anyways. She gets in deep when she falls for another “good gang” member, Lobo. Good heart, stupid choices. That was pretty much how I felt about her.
Lobo saves Maddie when she is attacked by the Reyes and even though at first she doesn’t know him, instantly she is drawn to him. When she discovers who he is, she doesn’t care and still wants to be with him. Then she becomes involved in the whole gang thing and saving the girls from Trafficking. Along the way there is some sweet romance, but I couldn’t help but feel it was a bit silly. Not that Lobo and Maddie are falling for each other, just the whole gang thing and how much one seemingly insignificant girl is caught in it all. I did think that they were good together, and he is really sweet and thoughtful. I actually really liked his character a lot.
Really it was a pretty intense story with all the danger and the subject matter. It really made me think about all the girls in these unfortunate situations looking for a better life and getting sucked into the trafficking. Not only that, but people who live in these areas where gangs are just a normal part of everyday life and people just turn a blind eye out of fear for their own lives. That is the main reason I liked this story. Not that it was eye opening because it’s not that I didn’t know that this happens, but because it painted such a vivid picture of it. Even though the characters didn’t pull strong emotion out of me, I did feel for them. Just not as strongly as I would have liked. A story like this should have broken my heart. Should have had me grabbing for the tissue box for all the people who were affected by this horrible place. I wanted to feel that, but sadly I didn’t. That is why I can only give this a middle rating.
3 Hot Espressos