Published: September 4th, 2012
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
The first young adult book by a #1 New York Times bestselling author
Whidbey Island may be only a ferry ride from Seattle, but it's a world apart. When Becca King arrives there, she doesn't suspect the island will become her home for the next four years. Put at risk by her ability to hear "whispers"--the thoughts of others--Becca is on the run from her stepfather, whose criminal activities she has discovered. Stranded and alone, Becca is soon befriended by Derric, a Ugandon orphan adopted by a local family; Seth, a kindhearted musician and high school dropout; Debbie, a recovering alcoholic who takes her in; and Diana, with whom Becca shares a mysterious psychic connection.
This compelling coming-of-age story, the first of an ongoing sequence of books set on Whidbey Island, has elements of mystery, the paranormal, and romance. Elizabeth George, bestselling author of the Inspector Lynley crime novels, brings her elegant style, intricate plotting, incisive characterization, and top-notch storytelling to her first book for teens.
Elizabeth George has been writing exceptional mystery/thriller books for adults for years, and like many other adult authors has decided to take a quick side-step into the YA world. Did she succeed? In short, yes she did, and very well at that. The Edge of Nowhere is a very engaging mystery that held my attention from the very start, which is just as well since it is not a short book.
Tha characters are very engaging and I found it easy to relate to them, even if it was more the adults I was actually relating to than the kids. What I enjoyed was the immediate sense of mystery that hovers around her characters. Every one of them seems to have something simmering beneath the surface, and finding out what that is, is as important to the overall story as the prime mystery, Or mysteries actually. What is really going on with Seth? Why is Derrick not as happy as he appears to be? Who pushed Derrick? Why is Debbie so prickly all the time, even though she is kindness itself to Becca? Why can't Becca 'hear' Diane's whispers.? You get the picture?
With the story being set on an island, it appears to be a little microcosm, that is 'outside' the real world, and this added an interesting aspect to the story. In fact I would love to visit that part of the world after reading The Edge of Nowhere. I was rather intrigued.
All in all this was a very good transition to YA. The story is a tight mystery within a mystery that will keep you guessing right up to the end. It's fun to peal away the layers and reveal the answers. Mind you, if you like your mysteries tied up with a neat little bow, you'll be disappointed. By the end of the book, the fun is really just beginning. Recommended for mystery fans everywhere.