With The Edge of Me, Jane Brittan has crafted an interesting tale which centers around Sanda, a young woman who has grown up in England after her family fled Serbia during the Bosnian War. Sanda’s world is shattered as she comes to realize that everything she thought she knew about herself and her family is utterly false.
I went into reading The Edge of Me exceedingly excited. In a world where most YA tends to be centered around romance or dystopian worlds, I found it nice to read a YA where the heroine is impacted by actual, true events, especially one which is as forgotten as the Bosnian War tends to be. Though the war was only 20 or so years ago, it seems that it has faded into the past for those of us not involved rather quickly, which is a shame. I applaud Jane Brittan for having the guts to center her novel around the war and for writing about it with such care.
I thought that the bones of The Edge of Me are fantastic – the plot and the structure are great – but the execution falls flat for me. I found the characters to essentially all be underdeveloped and I found the relationships between the characters- particularly that of Sanda and Joe -to be underdeveloped as well. The book was a page turner, but it didn’t really stick with me because of those underdeveloped relationships and characters.
I had a big problem with Sanda and Joe’s relationship. I just didn’t find it realistic. One date and he’s essentially ready to die for her? I had the same issue with Sanda trusting/teaming up with Peter, Natalija and Andjela and how Sanda felt about Senka. Everything moved far too quickly.
I think the main issue with The Edge of Me is its length. Due to the heaviness of the subject matter and plot, there needed to be more time to let the events develop and play out. Everything went at break neck speed, which is fine for a silly romance, but not for something as weighty The Edge of Me.
All in all, I think The Edge of Me is interesting for it’s plot and for the fact that its taken on a subject that YA rarely – if ever – touches. But there are serious flaws that prevent it from being the powerhouse it could be.
*I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a review.