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Postcard From the Edge

Meghan reviews Edges by Léna Roy, in which the characters learn to deal with loss without addiction. 

Postcard From the Edge

BOOK REPORT for Edges by Léna Roy

Cover Story: Out and Proud
BFF Charm: I Think So
Swoonworthy Scale: 6
Talky Talk: Awkward But Endearing
Bonus Factors: The Desert
Relationship Status: Summer Job Friends

Cover Story:

The cover is definitely a YA cover, and I love it! OK, maybe it's because it reminds me a little of Jellicoe Road, but I like the dimness and exposure and the silhouettes and the desert. The typeface is what says, "YA!", but who cares? I'm not ashamed of reading YA in public, and with a cover like this, I shouldn't have to be.

The Deal:

When Luke's mom died, his father fell apart and started drinking after nearly 20 years of sobriety. Fed up with trying to take care his dad, Luke took off for Moab, Utah, where he'd spent vacations with his parents.

Ava is a nineteen-year-old alcoholic, going on two months sober. She's trying to figure out how to deal with her grandmother's death without booze, on top of trying to not go broke or flunk out of school. She hasn't spoken to her parents in months, since they took off to find themselves. Then she meets her sponsor's former sponser in an AA meeting, and a chain of events alters her plans in ways she never imagined -- and taking courage she never thought she had.

BFF Charm: I Think So

I liked old Luke, but I wish I could get to know him a little better. He's a painter, but not in an annoying Jack Kerouac-quoting teenage boy way. He's a realist and takes people at face value without trying to change them, but he doesn't let people in, either.

Ava, girl, you remind me so much of a couple people I went to school with. Lady! You don't have to drink to be cool! In fact, you're pretty cool the way you are! There's nothing wrong with being nice and smart and a little bit snarky! Life sucks, sometimes, and I gotta hand it to you for figuring that out and figuring out how to deal in a way that won't just make it suck more.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Luke's crush on Tangerine, the cute Australian girl living week to week at the hostel, is super cute. He's so effed up (well, his situation in New York was so effed up) that he's extra shy, but luckily Tangerine is a little bolder. Not much happens on camera, but Luke is too cute as he angsts about what to say to Tangerine or whether or not to hold her hand. Their romance is set against the dramatic canyons and rock formations and sunsets and vast starry skies of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, and the landscape stands in a little for their emotions (but not in a gross phallic stalagmite kind of way).

Talky Talk: Awkward But Endearing

Sometimes the dialogue is a little awkward, and the characters a little nerdy, but the overall effect is rather sweet. The book has the potential to be one obnoxious ISSUE book, what with the AA meetings, the crystal-meth-will-ruin-your-life (totes true), the various characters on spiritual quests, but Roy handles these pretty smoothly and only gets a tiny bit too woo-woo crystal-gazing for me. Sure, bottom line is it's still a book about people trying to find a way to deal with loss without losing themselves in addiction, but there's nothing wrong with that when it doesn't get preachy. Best of all, her characters are all flawed but essentially redeemable. I felt like the book was really more of a middle grade read than a young adult read, and for a middle grade read it's super edgy and awesome and the kids'll LOVE it, and parents will probably freak out because pot smoking isn't characterized as evil and a gateway to a lifetime of corruption.

Bonus Factor: The Desert

Canyons! White-water rafting! Hiking! National parks! Camping! I wish I could grab a sleeping bag and a pair of boots and hop in the car and head west RIGHT NOW. Oh, and some SPF 1,000,000.

Casting Call:

Zach Gilford/Matt Saracen as Luke

Taylor Kitsch/Tim Riggins ALSO as Luke

Look, sometimes it can't be helped. Sometimes you just have to call on a Dillon Panther. Sometimes you have to call on two Dillon Panthers. And sometimes you have to ask them to have a baby together so you can cast him. Luke has both Tim Riggins' terrible home life and loner dude tendencies and Matt Saracen's Season 1 adorable dorkiness, and since Taylor Kitsch and Zach Gilford have not (to my knowledge) mated and reproduced, and even if they had, the child would still be too young, I just have to present them both for consideration.

Karen Gillan as Tangerine

She's not Australian, but she's a redhead!

Gina Torres as Cin, the whitewater rafting spiritual quest guide

Relationship Status: Summer Job Friends

This book and I had no problem hanging together at work, and partying sometimes after closing. We got along great, and I sensed there might be more to it underneath the surface, but we just didn't get to know each other very well. I don't know if it's because the summer's too short, or if it's because of the difference in our ages, but I totally enjoy its company and will keep in touch if I can.

Meghan Miller's photo About the Author: Meghan is an erstwhile librarian in exile from Texas and writer for Forever Young Adult. She loves books, cooking and homey things like knitting and vintage cocktails. Although she’s around books all the time, she doesn’t get to read as much as she’d like.