ON THE EDGE by Allison van Diepen

A well-written urban romance with strong world-building and unique characters, ON THE EDGE is a refreshing addition to the world of contemporary YA fiction.

Maddie Diaz interferes in a random attack on a homeless man, and the most dangerous gang in the city sets their sights on her. Maddie must deal with that fear while trying to finish her senior year of high school, navigate drama with her friends and family, and develop a new relationship with a mysterious rival gang leader only known as Lobo.

The hardcore, gritty, and dangerous world of inner city Miami contrasts with the nostalgic neighborhoods of Maddie’s home. It’s clear that the city is a place constantly on the edge – but not just because of violence.  It’s the type of setting that is unusual for current realistic YA fiction, and that is so refreshing. Violence is so real for Maddie and her family, her friends. We all see gang violence, street shootings and rape in the news. Maddie sees it in her day to day life. And then she gets involved in it, personally. I think it’s important for readers to see just how real this violence in for modern teens, in our country, living and fighting right here and now.

Maddie and her friends are passionate about guys, and they own it. These girls think about sex regularly, they want it and they are not afraid to want it. After finding out the secret identity of her mysterious and dangerous rescuer, Lobo, Maddie can’t stop thinking about him. “In the darkness of my bedroom, I knew that it wasn’t just answers I wanted. It was him.” Maddie’s friends are the same way, and it’s a great change from contemporary YA fiction in which girls are scared of their sexuality.

ON THE EDGE is a strong story with suspense, drama, and romance, that will keep readers turning the pages long into the night. Highly recommended for fans of Simone Elkeles and Katie McGarry.

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