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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Monday, October 26, 2009

Review: Sliding on the Edge

Sliding on the Edge by C. Lee McKenzie
Publisher: WestSide Books
Pub. Date: April 23, 2009
Pages: 268
Age Level: 15+/YA & Adult

Synopsis (From dust jacket)
Shawna Stone, sixteen, has learned to handle anything from a Las Vegas hustle to skipping out on the rent. Scarred inside and out, she's survived with a tough, hardened attitude. When her mother abandons her in Vegas, with only a bus ticket and the name and number of a stranger to call, this troubled, desperate teen finds herself on a California horse ranch with Kay Stone, the steely, youngish grandmother she's never known.

Kay overwhelms Shawna with rules and daily barn chores, and Shawna baffles Kay with her foul-mouthed anger and shrugging indifference to everything--except the maltreated horse on the ranch next door. But it's worse than Kay even suspects: Shawna's driven to cut herself by Monster, that strange voice inside her head. Kay struggles to keep the ranch going and fears that unless she helps this girl, she could lose her last living family member. As this unlikely pair struggles to co-exist, will they overcome their inner suffering and transcend the past?

Sliding on the Edge is the emotional, powerful debut novel of author C. Lee McKenzie.

To say that Shawna is troubled would be a serious understatement. She is haunted and struggles daily with the demons inside her caused from a disastrous home life. To make matters worse, there is Monster. The voice inside her head cutting her down, reminding her of all the bad things in her life, and in turn, making Shawna turn to a razor blade for comfort. Shawna is a very genuine and believable character. Despite her hard and bitter exterior, I could really feel her grief and pain, and found myself desperately hoping she'd have a happy ending.

Kay, Shawna's grandmother, has demons of her own to battle, having been through some hard times of her own. She is so lonely, that is, until Shawna comes along. Kay is somewhat cold and stern but she has definitely met her match in Shawna. She is thrust out of her comfort zone and it doesn't take her long to realize that she is in over her head. I thought Kay was very realistic and well developed. She was exactly how I would have expected a woman in her situation to be.

Kenny is Kay's right-hand man and is there to help her when she needs him. Then there is Casey, the Sunday boy who has taken an interest in Shawna but is having a very hard time getting her to open up. I really liked Casey and sure wish he had been in the book more.

C. Lee McKenzie tackles some very difficult topics, such as abandonment, suicide, cutting, and depression, that a lot of authors wouldn't dare write about. I think she did a wonderful job writing Sliding on the Edge and everything was very well portrayed. I loved the alternating perspectives and how Shawna's was told in first person and Kay's, in third person. This made me feel an even closer bond to Shawna but I still got to hear Kay's side of the story. I was so glad this book had the ending it did and everything seemed very well tied up. I must say, I can easily see this being made into a movie, particularly from Hallmark or Lifetime.

Sliding on the Edge is a gripping and genuine novel that will touch your heart. I would highly recommend this to not only young adults, but to adults as well. I'm really glad to have this book in my personal library.

Characters: B+
Writing: B
Plot: B+
Ending: B
Recommendable: B+
Cover: B-

Overall: B+

(Please forgive any typos. I typed this very early this morning and will re-read over it again later once my mind has had some rest.)


Sandy said...

I know I heard about this book somewhere may have been from you! xD

So Shawna gets abandoned by her own mother? I can't imagine any mother doing that to their own child... does she ever come back in the end?

Natascha De Marco said...

Great review girl, I so want to read this.

Congrats on 301 followers!!!

Unknown said...

Sounds like a good book about some difficult topics. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Sarbear said...

Wow, Shawna sounds like she has been through so much. I really want to read this... she must be strong to have overcome that.

Ashley said...

Thanks for the review!
I had never heard of this book before, but the cover really caught my attention.

Leslie said...

sounds like a really good one! adding it on goodreads now!

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Georgia, United States
Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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