On the Edge by Allison Van Diepen


This book is a dramatic, amusing romance and honestly, I didn't expect anything more. I didn't go into this expecting the next great YA novel. Hell, I didn't even expect to do more than shrug when I thought about it. And that's what I got. I can't say anything negative about this, and I can't say anything immensely positive about it either. It's novel you read to fill your brain, not to make you think.

Just a forewarning: this review will include a spoiler about a character. However, this "spoiler" was actually supremely obvious, and if it was meant to be plot twist, it failed. But if spoilers of any kind are just abhorrent to you, no matter how predictable, I apologize. And I suggest you should run away and read another one of my reviews.

Maddie Diaz never should have taken that shortcut through the park. If she hadn't, she wouldn't have seen two members of the Reyes gang attacking a homeless man. Now, as the only witness, she knows there’s a target on her back.

But when the Reyes jump her on the street, Maddie is protected by a second gang and their secretive leader, Lobo, who is determined to take down the Reyes himself. Lobo is mysterious and passionate, and Maddie begins to fall for him. But when they live this close to the edge, can their love survive?

Maddie was a likable girl. Relatable, kind, quiet. Her situation was a little bit cliché: she had a best friend who overshined her personality and a single-parent mother who loved her but had forgotten her because of a man. It also boasted a little bit of a "she's not like the other girls" vibe, which I disliked. But she was passionate, compassionate and determined, and I loved that, as I've always felt like those are qualities I use to describe myself (as well as sarcastic, judgmental and hungry).

As I said earlier, the "big reveal" that Ortiz was Lobos (or Lobos was Ortiz) was not a reveal at all, but an inevitability. But he was an interesting character, who was willing to risk his life every day in order to save strangers. That isn't something that most people have the courage to do. And it wasn't just himself; doing what he did put everyone he knew and loved in danger if they discovered his identity. So yeah. That's hot.

To go back to the reveal, who else would Lobos be? It obviously wasn't going to be a love triangle--it was going to be Ortiz. As soon as Maddie verbalized that she thought Ortiz was cute, I knew he would be "Lobos" from the described plot of the novel. So maybe that lack of a surprise was the fault of the person (most likely the publicist) who wrote dust jacket description.

Anyway, the romance was cute. And the kissing scenes were very cute. However, it was rushed. I mean, the book is less than 300 pages, so the romance is going to be rushed, but they were saying they loved each other when they had gone on four dates and knew each other for two weeks. And then they were going to move to a new city together after dating for less than a few months. So yeah. Rushed is an understatement. But I'm not too torn up about it and I'm not too surprised.

The writing was very decent. It didn't stand out--which I think is a good thing. If writing stands out for me, it's for one of two reasons: either it's bad or it's good. So if the writing is unnoticeable, I call that a win. Because if it's bad....oh no. You will see the wrath of Melissa. My lit major claws come out. And if it's wonderful writing, I will be forever grateful. But mediocre writing is not a crime, so this novel is not charged.

I couldn't say that I would recommend this book, but I wouldn't hinder anyone from reading it either. It's very much exactly what it tries to be: a fluffy, forgettable romance. And there is absolutely no shame or bad thing about that.

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