The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Re-Readability: If my TBR list weren’t full for June, I would already be reading this again.
Reviewed by Indiana
Amidst a crowded library book sale—where there’s a fair amount of friendly competition to grab the best books—I saw a book on fire.
Well, not literally. Its spine looked snowy, but the pages were the bright orange of a new fire. It was in the wrong section, squished between an adult thriller and a book that could be categorized as chick lit. I hadn’t even had a chance to read the back of it or even flip through the fiery pages when I felt other book hunters creeping up next to me, vying for nearby novels. So I got this book because I wanted to get out of the crowded spot, because it was 50 cents and because I thought the cover was cool.
I couldn’t be happier that my shallow reasoning led me to pick it up. Jeff Giles brings to life one of the most believable, funny and engaging teenage protagonists I’ve read about in a long time. Zoe has gone through tragedy, with the loss of her father and two close family friends, and while the book revolves around this tragedy, it extends well beyond the usual storyline of family loss.
Right from the first chapter, Giles throws the reader into a thrilling rescue mission that sets the pace for the entire book. Zoe soon meets X, a resident/prisoner of the underworld who has been trained to come to Earth to bring humans back with him. Growing up in the underworld, X has never known anything besides his current job, until he meets Zoe.
Zoe and X fall for each other and are fighting for much of second half of the book to be together, as is typical of many young adult books. But along the way, X and Zoe face surprising ethical dilemmas that left me questioning what I would do in their place.
Giles also creates a host of other endearing and realistic characters that I loved finding more about: Zoe’s little brother and mother are as funny as they are heartbreaking, X’s undead friends all have interesting (and surprisingly funny) stories.
Maybe it’s because I haven’t read a young adult book in a while, but I loved The Edge of Everything. Giles’ writing style was fast paced, clever and made even the most seemingly cliche YA storyline interesting. By the end, I was actually upset that the second one wasn’t out and I scoured the internet hoping to find any trace of a target release date—spoiler alert, I couldn’t.
If you’re looking for a thrilling YA book that’s as funny as it is harrowing, look for the fiery spine of The Edge of Everything. It is well worth your time. And Giles? If you’re reading this, please write the next one soon!