Girl on the Verge
Published by: Kensington
Publication date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
From the author of The Darkest Lie comes a compelling, provocative story for fans of I Was Here and Vanishing Girls, about a high school senior straddling two worlds, unsure how she fits in either—and the journey of self-discovery that leads her to surprising truths.
In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.
When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong…
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
Girl on the Verge is an edge-of-the-seat psychological young adult thriller that literally keeps you guessing until the last few pages. Like last year’s The Darkest Lie (you can see my review here), Girl on the Verge is a page-turner that you won’t want to put down.
Kan is a Thai-American high school student who has always felt as if she didn’t fit in because she’s the only Asian-American student in her Kansas school. But she has friends and feels comfortable, most of the time.
One day her mother, Mae, a doctor, brings home Shelley, a girl around Kan’s age, to live with them. Shelley’s mother has died and she has no where else to go. Kan, being a warm, trusting soul, feels that Shelley requires nurturing and takes Shelley under her wing. Kan’s grandmother is not so trusting, but soon reluctantly accepts Shelley.
Told from the viewpoints of Kan and Shelley, the reader observes Shelley’s changing persona almost in tandem with Kan.
While there is the at-home drama, Kan is falling for her crush of many years, Ethan, who teaches dance where Kan sews costumes for the young dancers. Ethan reciprocates, much to Kan’s disbelief. There are some wonderfully sweet scenes of Kan and Ethan sharing their stories, of Kan blurting out her emotions and Ethan taking it in stride, also much to Kan’s disbelief, but joy.
As Kan and Ethan grow closer together Shelley behave more irrationally. At times I felt that Shelley’s actions tested my willingness to believe, they seemed more than a little over-the-top, and, yet, the novel was so engrossing that I shrugged off those feelings. And, it could just be that girls like Shelley don’t typically happen in ya novels (at least not the ones I’ve read).
If you like young adult thrillers, and probably if you like thrillers period, I recommend you add this one to your tbr pile.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies
Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.
Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. Her debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. Her other novels include THE DARKEST LIE, REMEMBER YESTERDAY, and the novella BEFORE TOMORROW.
She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com
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