Jane Brittan has had a pretty whirlwind time with the world of books this year, having co-started the new publisher Blowfish Books, and this was it’s first book it published. Jane contacted me over Twitter, offered me the book and I took it.
Sanda is 16, lives in London and goes to school. Pretty regular, right? Her parents have a past, but they’re reluctant to share it with her. Not so normal, right? So one day, after the guy that’s (supposedly) way out of her league asks her out, she comes home to find the house empty. And then before she knows it, she’s kidnapped and taken across Europe, with the same boy, to Serbia. It’s here that she finally understands the truth behind what her parents did that they wouldn’t tell her about, and finds out everything she’s even known is a lie.
The blurb of this book describes it as a YA book with teeth, and it’s got incisors that pierce into your skin and stick with you for several days after finishing this book.
This novel is food for thought, and gives you a lot to think about. The Edge Of Me, without giving away too much, halts what you know and believe and asks your own mind what you believe and forces you to take a step back and wonder how much truth there is in the lies. It’s a powerful force, one I rarely experience with books, and I was very pleased to see it here.
The Edge Of Me has a focus on the Srebrenica massacre, and whilst I don’t usually bring my personal life into reviews, I think here it’s kind of appropriate. There was a character in Jane Brittan’s novel that spoke about a mother having to watch her baby’s throat slit in front of her. With fiction, I usually can say, “Oh God, that’s horrible. But at least it never happened.” With The Edge Of Me, it did. It most likely did happen. I’m now a brother again to a six month old sister, and reading that hit me, and the truth really hurt. The aforementioned teeth really sunk in at this point. Probably why this review has taken so long to write, because I couldn’t decide whether I hated this book because of that or not.
It hurts because it puts into perspective how horrific some things that humans do are, whether they have a reason or not.
With all of that said and as much as I can compliment the narrative, the one thing that didn’t cut it for me was the romance. Without going into too many spoilers, I felt as though the romance was rushed from a storytelling perspective and also in a realistic perspective. If the book was written with a realistic background, how does a boy ask a girl out, never go on the first date and then progress to the love that blossomed between them. No dating? I know very few, if any, people that description would match.
All in all though, it’s a YA book that isn’t for the feint of heart, but if you think you can stomach it, not only do I think it’s a must-read, I think it’s an important read. Enjoy The Edge Of Me.