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On the Edge

On the Edge

4.0 2
by Allison van Diepen

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From Allison van Diepen, author of Light of Day, Snitch, and Street Pharm, comes a sexy, dangerous novel—perfect for fans of Simone Elkeles and Paul Griffin—about a teen who witnesses a murder and gets caught up in the seedy world of Miami's gangs.

Maddie Diaz never should have taken that shortcut through the park.


From Allison van Diepen, author of Light of Day, Snitch, and Street Pharm, comes a sexy, dangerous novel—perfect for fans of Simone Elkeles and Paul Griffin—about a teen who witnesses a murder and gets caught up in the seedy world of Miami's gangs.

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?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—College-bound Maddie finds herself in the middle of a dangerous gang war after witnessing the murder of a homeless man. With a target on her back, she is unexpectedly defended by an underground gang and in the midst of it all begins to fall for their mysterious leader, Lobo. As their relationship heats up so does the danger, and Maddie becomes an essential piece to bringing down a gang-run human trafficking ring. While the relationship between Maddie and Lobo is the focus of the story, the thriller-type subplot set in the Miami underbelly steals the show. The sometimes violent, always gripping action of a vigilante underground gang rescuing trafficked girls keeps the pace moving and the tone from becoming saccharine. The menace of this dark world is a nice foil to the unexpectedly sweet development of young love, and adds a desperation and sense of urgency to their romance. The friendship between Maddie and her friends is especially multifaceted, and readers will appreciate the honest examination of the complex emotions of friendship as they learn to allow their relationship to evolve while facing big life changes. While the hyper-gritty street life may be over-the-top and border on unrealistic, the struggle of the characters to do right at all costs will resonate with teen readers.—Sarah Townsend, Norfolk Public Library, VA
NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Simone Elkeles
“Heart-pounding, romantic and suspenseful. I loved it!”
VOYA, December 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 5) - Alicia Abdul
Van Diepen has a knack for creating urban stories. In her newest, there is a maturity in the subject matter, but it is hindered by descriptions of romance that keep it from being transformative. Maddie does what no one in her neighborhood would do: call the cops after watching two gang members beat, set afire, and ultimately kill a homeless man. Maddie then becomes a target. She has strong friendships, a budding romance, and a persuasive coworker to keep her focused, but gang warfare is formidable. She is now being protected by a vigilante gang and their secretive leader is her new love interest. His gang helps victims of sex trafficking, revealing adult themes that show depth. What holds the book back is the weak descriptions of the romance between Maddie and Ortiz. It is hard to believe that an empathetic crusader and deep thinker would be interested in Maddie since her character development is composed of one instance of bravery amid scenes of goofiness with her girlfriends. If the focus remained on Ortiz’s fight to end sex trafficking in Florida by putting his crew and himself in harm’s way night after night and a partnership with Maddie as she discovers the power within herself to change the world that makes her fearful, then readers could appreciate the final chapters with more sincerity. The platform of issues is the force for the book and what should be remembered rather than a romantic relationship, which is what is depicted by the cover art. Reviewer: Alicia Abdul; Ages 15 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
Romance and danger combine in this companion to van Diepen's Snitch (2013). Maddie Diaz is on top of the world: She's gotten a scholarship to Florida State and can't wait to leave Miami, even if that means leaving behind her mom and her best friend, Iz. But on the way home from celebrating with her friends, Maddie witnesses two members of the Reyes gang beating a homeless man before setting him on fire. Going against the Reyes is dangerous in Maddie's community—but this teenage journalist can't let this crime go unpunished. She agrees to testify, sparking retribution from the Reyes while gaining protection from Lobo. Head of the Destinos, Lobo leads a crusade against the Reyes. Falling for Lobo is easy, especially when Maddie learns his real identity. But Lobo has to fulfill his mission—one that puts him between a dangerous cartel and the Reyes. How will Maddie cope with the danger that both she and Lobo face? While there's not enough tension to make this into a true thriller, the well-drawn characters and setting make the novel stand out. The romance between Maddie and Lobo is equal parts sweet and hot and leads to a satisfying conclusion. Ideal for readers who prefer a high romance-to-thrills ratio. (Romance. 14-18)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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File size:
682 KB
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

Allison van Diepen is the author of Street Pharm, Snitch, Takedown, On the Edge, and other novels for teens. Her books have been named ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and NYPL Books for the Teen Age. She lives with her family in Ottawa, Canada, where she also teaches high school.

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On the Edge 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
MsEnglishTeacher More than 1 year ago
Great Book! Loved the action, and the romance. Wish there was more!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just Got The Book. Hopefully It's Good.