I received this book for free from Publisher 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
Also by this author: Light of Day
Published by Harper Collins on November 25th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, Law & Crime, Social Issues, Violence
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From Allison van Diepen, author of Light of Day, Snitch, and Street Pharm, comes a sexy, dangerous novel—perfect for fans of Simone Elkeles and Paul Griffin—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 by Allison van Diepen is a book that I continually found myself looking at — thinking that it looked like a relatively interesting young adult contemporary book. However, I never really made any time to sit down and read it — there were always more pressing books that I had wanted to get my hands on. Lately though, I have been in this mode where I just read whatever I am craving regardless of blog tour and release date. Occasionally this gets me in trouble and leads to late posts, but it also allows me to get to books that I’ve been craving, like On The Edge which may as well be a form of brain candy.
Allison van Diepen’s On The Edge is about and narrated by this girl named Maddie who lives in Miami with her single mother. Maddie is mostly a good girl. She works hard at McDonalds, goes to prep school, and OH YEAH has a scholarship to college next year. She’s also close with her best girlfriend, Iz. Oh, and Maddie goes to a prestigious school and runs the student newspaper. One day she is walking home from a party when she sees two members of the Reyes gang attacking and eventually murdering a homeless man named Hector.
Maddie calls the police and is seen talking to the cops which is a bad idea. However, she has to do what is right. When the Reyes gang comes after her, Maddie is saved by Lobo who is the leader of a rival gang called the Destinoes. As the only witness, it is important that Maddie stay safe until the trial. Also? She begins to find herself totally falling for Lobo who seems a lot like this guy her friend Julia is trying to hook her up with named Oritz, who works at the corner store and is into boxing.
Maddie is the kind of main character I can really get behind. She’s very dedicated to her friends – spending a lot of her time with them instead of being totally wrapped up in a boy. She also has the best interests of her friends in mind. I also like that she has exposure to a gritty life, but there’s still hope and resilience for her. She has the possibility of college ahead of her which I liked. I liked that she was quite serious about going away to school. I liked that she was a hard worker as well. OH OH and in addition, she has a German Shepherd named Dex left over from her mom’s ex-husband and her relationship with the dog is super adorable.
On The Edge has quite the intriguing romantic lead. Oritz and Maddie have some mutual friends. They really connect at a party, though. However, Oritz gets called away and so, Maddie is intrigued, but also a little pissed. She’s under the impression that he is kind of flaky. Still, there’s this undeniable attraction between the two of them. And maybe a little bit of hero worship on Maddie’s end. I did find Oritz to be interesting – I liked learning about his past and history. I also thought he was cute with Maddie. Their relationship is a little bit fast though. Anyways, yeah, so if you like kissing scenes, you will not be disappointed by On The Edge. However, this book is not nearly as steamy as say, Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles.
Speaking of Perfect Chemistry and Simone Elkeles, this book does share a similarity with that series, in that one of the major themes is gangs. Now, where I live apparently gangs are making an appearance – there’s this one redneck gang called 88 but all they seem to do is paint the number on road signs (which is wicked annoying – stop making my community so ugly), but yeah this is a bit out of my realm. On The Edge features the Destinoes which are allegedly a good gang, or at least a gang with a mission to help girls who are trafficked and to take down the Reyes gang and their leader Salazar. Allison Van Diepen does not shy away from violence and tough issues in this book. I am not entirely sure how realistic it is, given that I have exactly zero experience with real life gangs.
So, you might be wondering why I gave three stars in this book review of On The Edge because most of what I have written is positive so far. Well, to me, three stars is not a bad thing. It signifies that yeah, this is a book that could be a good palate cleanse, but it does not go on my favorites shelf. I thought that the writing contained a lot of telling and not showing. I felt like the pace of the romance was way too fast. It did not seem like a very natural progression to me. Also? I do not ever see myself putting quotes from this book in a journal. Yet, I enjoyed my time reading On The Edge by Allison Van Diepen. I was very engaged by this book and almost read all of it in one sitting. It is not a terrible read, just don’t go into it expecting it to be the exact same as Perfect Chemistry or for it to be like mind blowing. Instead, just go in with the expectation of experiencing some drama and some fun.
Other Reviews of On The Edge by Allison van Diepen:
Xpresso Reads – “a bit different than I expected, but not in a bad way”
Creased Book Spines – “a perfect book for the ones who like anything with gangs and bad boys”
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