Published by Abrams on March 8th 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Family, Science Fiction, Siblings, Survival Stories, Young Adult
A thrilling, thought-provoking novel from one of young-adult literature s boldest new talents. January 29, 2035. That s the day the comet is scheduled to hit the big one. Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter outside their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denise s drug-addicted mother is going, they ll never reach the shelter in time. A last-minute meeting leads them to something better than a temporary shelter a generation ship, scheduled to leave Earth behind to colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But everyone on the ship has been chosen because of their usefulness. Denise is autistic and fears that she ll never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister? When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?
When Denise and her mother prepare to leave for the temporary shelter they’ve been assigned to stay safe when the comet hits, one thing is missing: Denise’s sister, Iris. Combined with the slow pace of Denise’s drug-addicted mother, reaching the shelter seems less and less likely. When a last-minute, chance encounter, leads them to a generation ship, things start looking up. Unfortunately, everyone on the ship has been specially selected based on their usefulness, and the wait list to get on if a spot opens up is long. Denise is autistic and worries she won’t be able to get a spot, not to mention what might happen to her mother and sister.
Corinne Duyvis’s ON THE EDGE OF GONE stuns with its incredible action, emotional portrayal of family relationships, and strong, impeccable voice. This is the sort of novel that grabs the reader from the first sentence and doesn’t let go, leaving them with their mouth hanging open in awe once they reach the end. Denise is a practical, determined protagonist who cares deeply for her family and navigates tough ideas about Earth, society, and what it means to set important boundaries for yourself. She is also autistic, and this is a fantastic #ownvoices book to read.
Though this novel is on the longer side, the pace has a consistent build. Readers shouldn’t be surprised to find themselves devouring chapter after chapter. Denise and her family’s journey is tough, both emotionally and physically. The plot twists hit hard, and the stakes are intense in a different ‘life and death’ kind of way than usual, as so much is uncertain about the effects of the comet on the world. Though Denise is the only narrator, the secondary characters are well-developed, particularly her sister, Iris. The family triangle evolves in ways that are heartbreaking, realistic, and still kind. In the face of an impending apocalypse, tensions are high among everyone, and family issues cannot be ignored for long.
ON THE EDGE OF GONE is a unique, consuming novel of what it means to weigh judgment on other people and where trying to survive and hope meet.
Originally posted at YABC: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yafiction/20782-on-the-edge-of-gone