Friday, January 24, 2014

New Adult Project: "The Edge of Normal" by Carla Norton (recommended)



Goodreads Summary:

In many ways, Reeve LeClaire looks like a typical twenty-two year old girl. She’s finally landed her own apartment, she waitresses to pay the bills, and she wishes she wasn’t so nervous around new people. She thinks of herself as agile, not skittish. As serious, not grim. But Reeve is anything but normal.

Ten years ago, she was kidnapped and held captive. After a lucky escape, she’s spent the last six years trying to rebuild her life, a recovery thanks in large part to her indispensable therapist Dr. Ezra Lerner. But when he asks her to help another girl rescued from a similar situation, Reeve realizes she may not simply need to mentor this young victim—she may be the only one who can protect her from a cunning predator who is still out there, watching every move.

From the author of the #1 non-fiction bestseller Perfect Victim: The True Story of the Girl in the Box comes a novel that draws you into a chilling and engrossing world. With powerfully gripping characters and an ending that is a masterpiece of deception, Carla Norton's The Edge of Normal is a stunning debut thriller. 

***

So...I've been on a long unintended hiatus (read: busy and/or lazy), and a conversation on twitter reminded me that it's about time I put my Reviewer Pants back on.

I grabbed a copy of The Edge of Normal at BEA, read it last fall, enjoyed it, and then never got around to reviewing it--which is a travesty, because I think a lot of people will love it.

The Edge of Normal is an NA thriller (well, not "officially" NA) that combines a mystery/suspense plotline with a story about overcoming trauma. The protagonist, Reeve, was kidnapped ten years prior to the story and held in captivity for four years. The six years between her ordeal and the beginning of the novel give her enough distance that she can function (somewhat) in society, but she is still very much on the road to recovery.

What I loved about this story is Reeve. Yes, she is a victim of her past--but that's not where her story ends. She is a smart, driven, and most importantly, capable protagonist. Seriously, if you're looking for a strong female character, you have one right here.

(Also, fun fact: This book has (gasp!) no romance. Why? Because it doesn't need any.)

My one issue: Although the antagonist was very cunning, I didn't find him as intimidating as I expected. His habit of referring to other characters by elementary school nicknames sometimes made it difficult to take him seriously.

***

Other New Adult Project Reviews

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