The Edge of Anything

Running Pr. Mar. 2020. 368p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780762467587.
Gr 9 Up–Sage doesn’t just love volleyball; it’s her entire future. This is her senior year, which means she needs to bring her A game for the scouts from her top schools, but an unexpected medical diagnosis pulls the rug out from under her. Suddenly, everything she has worked for, her identity, the driving force in her life, is ripped away from her. Meanwhile, a classmate is struggling to come to terms with her own trauma. Len sees the world through her camera, a barrier that helps keep her from the dirt that itches its way onto her skin. Even if other people can’t see it, Len knows it is there. She never used to worry about how dirty her boots were or insist on wearing gloves at all times to keep her hands clean. But Len can’t think about before, because then she will have to think about the event that started it all. Len and Sage find themselves orbiting each other; a brief interaction in the hallway at school turns into coffee, which turns into Sage helping Len with her photography project. Len can sense Sage’s grief, while Sage is able to see Len’s struggle with obsessive behavior. Avoiding focus on the actual trauma and instead showing the effects gives this novel its true voice. This evenly paced book shines a light on the power of friendship and a true friend’s ability to hear a cry for help no matter how quiet. Len and Sage experience different types of trauma, giving the story broad appeal. The narrative is hopeful without being preachy or saccharine.
VERDICT For readers who enjoy realistic, emotional journeys such as John Corey Whaley’s books or Nina LaCour’s We Are Okay.

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