The Edge of Nowhere (Edge of Nowhere Series #1)

( 15 )


The first young adult book by a #1 New York Times bestselling author!

Whidbey Island may be only a ferry ride from Seattle, but it's a world apart. When Becca King arrives there, she doesn't suspect the island will become her home for the next four years. Put at risk by her ability to hear "whispers"--the thoughts of others--Becca is on the run from her stepfather, whose criminal activities she has discovered. Stranded and alone, Becca is soon befriended by Derric, a Ugandon ...

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The Edge of Nowhere (Edge of Nowhere Series #1)

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The first young adult book by a #1 New York Times bestselling author!

Whidbey Island may be only a ferry ride from Seattle, but it's a world apart. When Becca King arrives there, she doesn't suspect the island will become her home for the next four years. Put at risk by her ability to hear "whispers"--the thoughts of others--Becca is on the run from her stepfather, whose criminal activities she has discovered. Stranded and alone, Becca is soon befriended by Derric, a Ugandon orphan adopted by a local family; Seth, a kindhearted musician and high school dropout; Debbie, a recovering alcoholic who takes her in; and Diana, with whom Becca shares a mysterious psychic connection.

This compelling coming-of-age story, the first of an ongoing sequence of books set on Whidbey Island, has elements of mystery, the paranormal, and romance. Elizabeth George, bestselling author of the Inspector Lynley crime novels, brings her elegant style, intricate plotting, incisive characterization, and top-notch storytelling to her first book for teens.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Loretta Caravette
Hannah Armstrong is fourteen years old and has a special talent. She can hear bits and pieces of people's thoughts. Hannah's special talent puts her life and her mom's life in danger when she hears her stepfather's thoughts and knows he killed someone. Hannah and her mom must go into hiding. Hannah's name is changed to Becca King and she is sent off to Whidbey Island to stay with a friend. Her mother goes in search of a permanent home for them. While taking the ferry to the island, Becca meets Derric and is immediately attracted. She arrives at the island but no one is there to meet her. She finds her way to the friend's house only to discover the friend has just died. Becca tries to reach her mother but the call won't go through. Thus begins her adventure. This story has a few twists and turns with some of the plot points seeming a little implausible and forced. Becca does not tell the friend's husband why she is there. She sleeps in a dog house. She manages to find a place to stay and enrolls in school. She meets up with Derric and they become friends, but soon after he has a freak accident that leaves him in a coma. What follows is a long drawn out process of Derric's father searching for the person who pushed Derric. Becca has problems with Jenn, a friend of Derric's, and Seth, whom Becca relies on for help and guidance, comes to grips with his relationship with his ex-girlfriend and discovers her father is sick. Our connection with Becca goes in and out obscured by pages and pages of Seth's problems and situations. We lose track of her ability to hear people's thoughts; its significance reduced to an annoyance or a convenient insight. Becca certainly cannot make decisions that an adult would, but her choices seem to help the plot more than the character. We lose track of why Becca is on the island until the end, when the stepfather shows up. Perhaps an awkward signal for a sequel? Reviewer: Loretta Caravette
VOYA - Nancy K. Wallace
Becca King and her mother, Laurel, flee Becca's stepfather, Jeff Corrie, who murdered his business partner. Becca's ability to read peoples' thoughts makes her the only threat to Jeff, although they cannot inform the police with such insubstantial evidence. Laurel sends Becca to Whidby Island on the ferry to stay with Laurel's best friend, Carol. Becca has a bike, a backpack, and a track phone preprogrammed to contact her mother. When Becca arrives on Whidby, she discovers that Carol has died. Becca's repeated calls to her mom go unanswered. Left to fend for herself, Becca is taken in by kindly Debbie Grieder, a foster mother. This book has the tone and feel of an adult novel, even though, at times, the author captures the nuances of YA dialogue. It is slim on action; large sections drag. A more concise narrative might have retained the story but heightened the tension and excitement. Becca never divulges her true story to anyone. She discovers that Whidby's residents have secrets, too, and becomes immersed in their lives. Just as some of her friends' issues are resolved, Jeff Courie turns up at Debbie's, sending Becca into hiding again. This jarring cliffhanger forcefully reminds readers that Becca's initial problem has never been addressed; they must wait to discover her fate in a second book. Despite the pacing issues and adult tenor, the plot has potential and the characters, though vague, are likeable. Consider this a nonessential purchase for most libraries. Reviewer: Nancy K. Wallace
VOYA - Mary Kusluch
Becca King has the ability to read thoughts and this forces her to live on the run. She spends the book hiding from her stepfather and from the people in her new community. She finds help from someone who is known for trouble. I would not recommend this book. It is poorly written; the characters have little depth. It moves slowly and is overly long. 2Q, 2P. Reviewer: Mary Kusluch, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—George makes her YA debut in this series opener. Becca King and her mom are on the run from her stepfather, who has used Becca's ability to hear what other people are thinking to make illegal money. Becca is to find refuge in the home of her mother's friend on Whidbey Island, near Seattle. Meanwhile, Becca's mother is to continue on to Canada in search of safety. Things don't go as planned when no one is there to pick Becca up at the ferry. She is taken in by Debbie Grieber, a woman who runs a motel and has a strange past. She meets Derric Nyombe, a 16-year-old Ugandan orphan who was adopted by the town's deputy sheriff when he was 10. He has a secret that no one on the island knows about, and Becca thinks she is the only person who can help him. Several other characters have their own troubles. All of these issues collide when Derric has a terrible accident. The book leaves readers wondering if Becca will continue to live her life on the run. George has created an interesting set of characters and plot twists that teenagers who like adventure and mysteries will enjoy.—Shannon Seglin, Patrick Henry Library, Vienna, VA
Kirkus Reviews
The bestselling author of the Inspector Lynley crime novels turns to teens with this paranormal-series opener. Fourteen-year-old Becca King finds herself stranded on Whidbey Island in Washington state, without family, friends or funds, and with an angry, murderous stepfather on her trail. Becca has the power to hear snippets of other people's thoughts, which is both a blessing and a curse. She finds a place to live, makes a few friends and starts high school, while waiting for her mother, gone to British Columbia to establish a safe home for them, to return to pick her up. Becca immediately connects with Derric, an adopted Ugandan boy who is a popular athlete and the son of the local undersheriff. Derric is injured in a fall and remains in a coma for much of the story; a police investigation into who might have pushed Derric off his hiking trail ensues. The mystery is slight and unlikely, with few clues, and the investigation and Derric's stay in the hospital drag on for too long. Derric's ethnicity is frankly exoticized, with far too many references to the "handsome black boy" and "eyes as dark as the nighttime of his skin." Lacking vampires, werewolves and a compelling mystery, this will be of most interest to persistent readers of teen sagas set in the Pacific Northwest. (Paranormal mystery. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670012961
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Series: Edge of Nowhere Series , #1
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 451,763
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL800L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth George

Elizabeth George is the author of more than twenty books for adults. She lives in Seattle, Washington.


Elizabeth George was happy that her first novel was rejected.

Scratch that. She's happy now. At the time, it wasn't her best day. But the notes from her editor helped her realize that she had written the wrong book and chosen the wrong leading man. She threw out her Agatha-Christie/drawing-room-whodunit model in favor of a more modern police procedural set in the world of Scotland Yard. She promoted a minor character to her leading man, the handsome, aristocratic, Bentley-driving Thomas Lynley. And she invented a partner for him, the blue-collar, foul-mouthed, messy Barbara Havers.

"I was very lucky when the first one was rejected, because the editor explained to me why," George told the Los Angeles Times in 1999. "I had written a very Agatha Christie-esque book and she said that wasn't the way it was done. The modern crime novel doesn't have the detective call everyone into the library. It must deal with more topical crimes and the motives must be more psychological because the things you kill for are different now. Things like getting rid of a spouse who won't divorce you, or hiding an illegitimate child, or blackmail over a family scandal -- those are no longer realistic motivations."

And so, in A Great Deliverance, her first published novel, she opens with the decapitated body of a farmer, his blood-splattered daughter holding an ax, the horrified clergyman who happens on to the crime scene, and a rat feasting on the remains. Nope, not in Agatha Christie territory anymore.

George began writing as child when her mother gave her an old 1939 typewriter. When she graduated from high school, she graduated to an electric typewriter. But not until she graduated to a home computer (purchased by her husband in the 1983), did she actually try her hand at a novel. At the time, she was a schoolteacher and had been since 1974. But with the computer in front of her, she has said, it was put-up-or-shut-up time. She finished her first manuscript in 1983. But her first book wasn't published for five more years.

Though the Lynley/Havers novels are set in England -- as are the tales in her first book of short stories, 2002's I, Richard -- George is a Yank, born in Ohio and raised in Southern California. Maintaining a flat in London's South Kensington as a home base for research, George has been an Anglophile since a trip as a teenager to the United Kingdom, where she ultimately found that a British setting better served the fiction that she wanted to write. "The English tradition offers the great tapestry novel," she told Publishers Weekly in 1996, "where you have the emotional aspect of a detective's personal life, the circumstances of the crime and, most important, the atmosphere of the English countryside that functions as another character."

Readers have made her books standard features on the bestseller lists, and critics have noted the psychologically deft motives of her characters and her detailed, well-researched plotting. "A behemoth, staggering in depth and breadth, A Traitor to Memory leaves you simultaneously satisfied and longing for more. It's simply a supreme pleasure to spend time engrossed in this intense, well-written novel," the Miami Herald said in 2001. The Washington Post called 1990's Well-Schooled in Murder " a bewitching book, exasperatingly clever, and with a complex plot that must be peeled layer by layer like an onion." The Los Angeles Times once called her "the California author who does Britain as well as P.D. James." And in 1996, Entertainment Weekly placed George's eighth novel, In the Presence of the Enemy in their fiction top ten list of the year, where she kept company with John Updike, Frank McCourt, Stephen King, and Jon Krakauer.

In her mind, each book begins with the killer, the victim and the motive. She travels to London and stays at her flat there to research locales. And she writes long profiles about what drives her characters psychologically. The kick for the reader isn't necessarily whodunit but why they dun it.

"I don't mind if they know who the killer is," she has said. "I'm happy to surprise them with the psychology behind the crime. I'm interested in the dark side of man. I'm interested in taboos, and murder is the greatest taboo. Characters are fascinating in their extremity not in their happiness."

Good To Know

The original model for Lynley was Nigel Havers, the nobleman and hurdle-jumper in the film Chariots of Fire whose butler placed champagne flutes on the hurdles to keep him from knocking them over. She named Barbara Havers as an homage to the actor.

On page 900 of the rough draft for Deception on His Mind, George changed her mind about the identity of the killer.

George's ex-husband is her business manager.

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    1. Hometown:
      Seattle, Washington
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 26, 1949
    2. Place of Birth:
      Warren, Ohio
    1. Education:
      A.A. Foothill Community College, 1969; B.A. University of California, Riverside, 1970; M.S. California State University
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2012


    Why do some posters feel the need to write a mini bookl trlling every detail of the book? Ok, so you were given the book in exchange for an honest review. Does that mean you have to spoil it for othets? Stop with the plot spoilers already. Just state if u liked the book or not.

    5 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Elizabeth George enters the Young Adult genre with her wonderful

    Elizabeth George enters the Young Adult genre with her wonderfully suspenseful novel, The Edge of Nowhere. The story is equal parts mysterious and romantic to create the perfect beginning to a series centered around perception and truth.

    Fourteen-year-old Becca King finds herself transported from San Diego to Whidbey Island, hiding from her sinister stepfather and waiting for her mother to find a safe sanctuary. The moment she steps foot on the remote island, the carefully laid out plans for Becca become awry and Becca has to make the best of a situation gone from unfavorable to downright unpleasant. The story's mild pace builds reader anticipation as an unexpected accident throws island residents into chaos; friends cast around blame and suspicion and secrets are subtly revealed.

    The wide range of colorful characters Becca meets on Whidbey provide entertainment and a reason to get involved with the outcome of the story. George's cast of characters are engaging, either deserving sympathy and devotion or a great wind to knock sense into them. The story is told in multiple perspectives, so readers are able to feel a medley of personalities. For instance, Becca is more mature for a fourteen-year-old on the run from a criminal than expected, giving her a more relatable connection, Seth is a little lost in life but filled with good intentions, and Derric is filled with promise that readers will hope to see more of in the series' future. As there are in most books, this one features characters like Hayley and Jenn that will raise eyebrows and cause readers to question their actions, reasoning, or sanity.

    George's ability to describe life on Whidbey Island, relationships, and interactions is astounding and familiar. It's not difficult to sink into the story, or become eager to crawl into Becca's shoes. The Edge of Nowhere is a novel that can be experienced by any measure of readers!

    *ARC provided through LibraryThing Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review*

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2012

    I can see why people thought this book was a bit dumbed down. It

    I can see why people thought this book was a bit dumbed down. It does read like an adult novel + there's hardly any "gutter" language. Only in the dialogue was there cussing. And teens do not say "chick" as much as Mrs. George probably thinks.
    Other things that probably did annoy readers was the "broken" thoughts of others. Most of the thoughts were a few words at a time and sometimes you have no idea what George is trying to hint at. And the trees. Long descriptions of trees. the mysteriousness of the island sounds pretty, bute better. if it had teen humor the book would b
    However, I say that the characters + plot do have a bit of promise. Plot dragged 4 a while, but she still kept the suspense (kinda) going. the teenage drama seemed realistic.
    All in all, the book keeps the reader guessing and the quick plot + characters can keep readers wanting to keep at least reading. It's not a bad book, but it does have its ups and downs.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2014

    Engaging & well paced.

    I've enjoyed Elizabeth George books for a number of years but this, her first ya book, is my favourite.

    The characters are engaging & the story is complex.

    Additionally, I know Langley quite well and she has done it justice. The colours, sites, feelingsof the village & stores are beautifully described.

    I strongly recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

    Paranormal edge

    Was wonderful to come across. Elizabeth George writes another book with suspense and a child who runs........ What else could you possibly want? How about some romance?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013



    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2013

    Good book

    It is a great book and full of suspense, though a little confusing at times. I recomend this book to all young adults who love a good read of action and adventure!

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  • Posted April 6, 2013

    First; Iwas excited to see Elizabeth George in eBook. Hope to find her latest one in eBook available too.

    Am reading this eBook now. And, as usual, I do enjoy reading Elizabeth George's books. Glad I bought it. Am sure many more readers will enjoy this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2012

    very different

    Having read all of Elizabeth George's book, I was surprised at this one because it is so very different from her others. I really liked it but was disappointed at the abrupt ending. It is an excellent read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2012

    Fair to good read

    Good character development but the ending was disappointing to me. Too many loose ends that were not tied up. I think this would have made it a better story. Almost like the author was setting you up for a sequel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2012


    I'm a HUGE Elizabeth George fan and thought I would enjoy this just as much as her Lynley series.....not to take away from this story, but this was written for YOUNG TEENS and caters to them. So anyone thinking you'll get something similar to her Scotland Yard series should be mindful that it's for YOUNG TEENS and it reads like it to.

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    Posted December 26, 2012

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    Posted September 28, 2012

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    Posted November 3, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2013

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