I took a day trip a few weeks ago to Scottsboro, AL. Have you ever heard of the Unclaimed Baggage Center? If not, you should look them up and check them out. They bid on luggage that is either lost or unclaimed at the airport, then unpack it all and sell it in a 40,000 square foot facility. You can find great deals on paintings, athletic equipment, cameras, laptops, clothes, books, and more.
While I was there, I stumbled across an advance uncorrected proof of Elizabeth George's 'The Edge of Nowhere' for only $4. Sweet deal, I thought. From what I read online, George is an excellent adult mystery author, a "#1 New York Times Bestseller," even.
The story starts with Hannah Armstrong, a teenager with an interesting paranormal ability: she can hear people's thoughts. Because of this ability, however, she and her mother are forced to flee their home and assume new identities. Thus, Becca King is born.
Becca's mother, Laurel, drops her off at a ferry to Whidbey Island, where Becca is supposed to meet with Carol Quinn. The plot takes an interesting twist when Becca arrives at Carol Quinn's house, and is almost nonstop from there.
I think George had good intentions with this book, but it's seems that she has taken a creative, intriguing storyline and "dumbed it down" for a young adult audience.
First of all, George shows too much concern for Becca's weight, which is unnerving. Society already puts enough focus on girls' figure, but now we have a strong female author telling girls that things only get better when they're slim? Yuck. Also aggravating is the number of times George explains Becca's supernatural ability. After the first time or two, I got it. Six or eight times? Unnecessary.
There were good aspects to the story, don't get me wrong. The idea of a 14- or 15-year-old girl being left to fend for herself in a strange place is intriguing, and the setting is mysterious–yet homey at the same time. The characters are interesting; the relationship between Becca and each of the 'friends' she has is different, but understandable in a high school setting. I'd say the book is average.
Overall, the story is a good one, and I am looking forward to the next two or three in the series.
'The Edge of Nowhere' will be available in stores and online September 4, 2012.