Giles, Jeff The Edge of Everything, 358 pages. Bloomsbury Kids, 2017. $12. Language: PG-13 (5 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG-13 (Non graphic murder)
Zoe meets bounty hunter X the day her brother ventures into the woods after his dogs during a perilous snow storm, causing Zoe to peruse him outside just as darkness is about to fall. Unable to return home in the inclement weather, they take shelter in a recently forsaken cabin. There they meet a man with severe murderous intentions, and a young man with even more so… though with a heart that is still as innocent as the day he was born.
The Edge of Everything is an original masterpiece in a sea of merely adequate young adult novels. I highly recommend it for maintaining its pulse pounding plot alongside a heartbreaking, clear eyed look at difficult familial relationships. Jeff Giles is extremely adept at making you care and grieve for characters even if they get little page time. The romance, while admittedly quick to occur, is tender and genuine. It goes beyond the surface of the otherworldly boy meets average girl trope and challenges the reader to differentiate between superficial infatuation and the act of loving someone more than yourself. Best of all, the novel exudes lighthearted humor that will appeal to teens while also teaching the importance of mercy and why it is essential for personal well-being.
MS, HS - ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: Jewels, 12th grade