STARRED REVIEW
November 25, 2014

Young love in a gritty world

By Allison Van Diepen

Maddie Diaz is looking forward: to a new life once she starts college; to a better relationship with her mother, whose acrimonious divorce is finally coming through; and to a little distance from her friends so she can spread her wings. Cutting through a park after a late shift at work, she witnesses a crime that threatens her future happiness . . . and her life. On the Edge looks at the costs of integrity in an often-lawless world.

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Maddie Diaz is looking forward: to a new life once she starts college; to a better relationship with her mother, whose acrimonious divorce is finally coming through; and to a little distance from her friends so she can spread her wings. Cutting through a park after a late shift at work, she witnesses a crime that threatens her future happiness . . . and her life. On the Edge looks at the costs of integrity in an often-lawless world.

Author Allison Van Diepen’s (Street Pharm) books are often recommended for reluctant readers, and On the Edge is no exception. Maddie is an overachiever in school and a hard worker, but she parties hard in her free time. She’s editor of the school paper and uses her analytical skills to make sense of her new normal. After witnessing the crime, she's on the run from a gang but protected by an anonymous stranger known only as Lobo. Male and female readers alike will root for Maddie to succeed. This is a love story, but one with side trips through gang hideouts, drug abuse and the frightening realities of human trafficking.

Maddie and her friends are hardened by life in their Miami neighborhood, where crime is commonplace, but they never stop looking for a better life despite the odds against them. When she is jumped and severely beaten as a warning not to testify about what she’s seen, her friend describes her appearance as “so Guantanamo.” On the Edge is rife with harsh realities but reminds us that it’s how we face them that counts.

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On the Edge

On the Edge

By Allison Van Diepen
HarperTeen
ISBN 9780062303448

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