ARC Review: On the Edge

On the Edge
On the Edge by Allison van Diepen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Release date: November 25, 2014

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?

A mob setting was a first for me, since I don’t really like to read about gang violence. But On the Edge was quite interesting in spite of this. Maddie Diaz gets involved in gang wars when she becomes the key witness for a gang-perpetuated crime. She is brave and has a proper moral compass, no naturally even when she is attacked and beaten up (and rescued by a rival gang), she perseveres in standing for the truth. She is also attracted to the head of the rival gang, Lobo, who is kind and gentle despite his profession. While she goes on delving deeper into a potential love, she falls more into the mob situation, and finally her moment comes when she saves someone.

Now, the story – very interesting, well-paced and good ending. It doesn’t shy away from the grittiness that would be expected from a adult novel of the same genre. The writing, though good, wouldn’t win any awards. It comes across at awkward at some times and cliched at others – some dialogues made me cringe. Romance is hot, really hot, without being explicit. The characterization, well, I wasn’t wholly satisfied with it. There are some cookie cutter characters like Iz, who is the manic obnoxious boy-crazy best-friend, which I honestly am tired of seeing in every damn YA novel (even though I have one of my own in real life). Ortiz comes across as a vigilante superhero – he has that I’ll-save-the-world routine down pat, right until the end of the book, which honestly gave me whiplash. I also felt I was missing something with Julia and Eric, but later on found out they have a book of their own (Snitch), so will be checking that out later. I must say, van Diepen certainly has piqued my interest in this genre.

Received an ARC from HarperCollins via Edelweiss, which in no way affects my opinions or reviews

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