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Sliding on the Edge

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  70 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Shawna Stone, 16, can handle anything from a Las Vegas hustle to skipping out on the rent. Scarred inside and out, she's survived with a tough, hardened attitude. Yet she's thrown when her mother abandons her in Vegas with only a bus ticket and the name and number of a stranger to call. Now this troubled, desperate teen finds herself on a Northern California horse ranch wi ...more
Hardcover, 268 pages
Published April 23rd 2009 by Westside Books
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Martha Schwalbe
Jul 05, 2011 Martha Schwalbe rated it really liked it
Wow! This book took me by surprise because the flawed main character is trying to fight the Monster. This is the most proactive book on cutting I've read in all my time reading YA. The book wasn't driven by the cutting either which makes it more plausible since the few cutters I've known have kept their secret while living what appear to be normal lives.
Shawna's reluctance to get to know her grandmother in terms of protecting herself from more hurt and in light of the stories her mother told her
Lexa Cain
May 19, 2014 Lexa Cain rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Shawnna has a bad life. No. I mean really, really bad. Her mom is the poster girl for how not to be a mother. She’s selfish, unfeeling, and is teaching Shawnna to be a grifter like she is. In a twist of fate, her mother’s wanting to be alone with new boyfriend #65 leads her to palm off her daughter on her grandmother, a woman Shawnna’s never even met. This is Shawnna’s only chance to live a normal life – if she can just keep all the bad habits of the past from taking over and ruining everything. ...more
Elizabeth Seckman
May 01, 2013 Elizabeth Seckman rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book and was a little sad to close the cover and say good-bye to Shawna and Kay. I found the dual perspective between the grandma and the granddaughter was insightful and showed how the two characters were more similar than not...but neither could see it. It was their mutual love for horses that helps them bridge their gaps.
Aug 24, 2013 Sheri rated it it was amazing
Sliding on the Edge by C. Lee McKenzie

Shawna Stone a 16 year old girl from Las Vegas leads a rough life with her mother. Then one day she wakes up to find a note from her Mother with a name Kay Stone, and a phone number and $100.00. Shawna makes the trip to Northern California to her grandmothers (Kay) horse ranch. She struggles to fit into the new life style.

Kay is the opposite of Jackie, Shawnas' Mother, she has a rigid routine and strict rules. Shawna is used to being a loner and doing her o
Aug 31, 2011 Kayla rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, reviewed
"Shawna Stone, sixteen, has learned to handle anything from a Las Vegas hustle to skipping out on the rent. Scarred inside and out, she's survived with a tough, hardened attitude. When her mother abandons her in Vegas, with only a bus ticket and the name and number of a stranger to call, this troubled, desperate teen finds herself on a California horse ranch with Kay Stone, the steely, youngish grandmother she's never known. Kay overwhelms Shawna with rules and daily barn chores, and Shawna baff ...more
Medeia Sharif
Jul 08, 2013 Medeia Sharif rated it it was amazing
Shawna is a tough sixteen year old from Las Vegas. She has to be tough because her mother is irresponsible and endangers her well-being all the time. With her mother drifting along a sea of men and gambling trips, Shawna is on her own with a bus ticket and a phone number.

The number belongs to her grandmother, Kay, who is a stranger to her. Shawna takes the opportunity to go to California to live on Kay's horse ranch. The two are constantly butting heads. Shawna doesn’t feel like she belongs the
Books and Literature for Teens
Sliding on the Edge is an emotional and edgy story of one girl’s journey to recovery. Shawna is a tough girl, she has to be to survive some of America’s roughest cities. When her mom leaves her alone in Las Vegas with only a hundred bucks to buy a bus ticket and a phone number, Shawna soon finds herself on a Californian horse ranch living with a grandmother she never knew existed. Besides her problematic anger issues and rough exterior, Shawna turns to cutting herself when a she can’t handle the ...more
Dec 15, 2009 Briana rated it really liked it
Complete/full review here:

Author Interview here:

Sliding on the Edge is the emotional, powerful debut novel of author C. Lee McKenzie.

To say that Shawna is troubled would be a serious understatement. She is haunted and struggles daily with the demons inside her caused from a disastrous home life. To make matters worse, there is Monster. The voice inside her head cutting her down, reminding her of all the bad t
Lynn Kelley
May 08, 2012 Lynn Kelley rated it really liked it
Although this story is fictional, protagonist Shawna Stone’s story is all too familiar to many teen girls. Neglected by her mother, streetwise 16-year-old Shawna lives in poverty in Las Vegas where she and her mother barely survive by scamming others. When her mother abandons her, Shawna goes to live with a grandmother she’s never met and knows nothing about. Not even whether the woman is her mother’s mother or her father’s mother.

Life on a California horse ranch is a drastic change from the hu
Jan 14, 2014 Michelle rated it it was amazing
A well-constructed story, which is engaging and poignant.

The characters are real and multi-dimensional, and I was caught up in the relationship between Kay and Shawna. As the story progressed, I was eager to find out what would happen next.

Sixteen-year-old Shawna and sixty-year-old Kay both had monsters to confront and deal with. The difference is that the monster of a conflicted teen, who has to deal with "cutting" problems, will appear larger and more menacing. A sixty year old can more-or-les
Erin Fanning
Jul 15, 2015 Erin Fanning rated it it was amazing
This wonderful, wonderful book caught me by surprise--a YA novel told by two points of view--one a 16-sixteen girl; the other a 64-year-old grandmother--with both narrators equally captivating, believable, and sympathetic. Expertly plotted and told, this novel gripped me until I had gobbled it up in less than 24 hours. Author C. Lee McKenzie tells a story about forgiveness, second chances, and facing one's fears that all ages can relate to. Highly recommended!
Feb 27, 2011 Anna rated it liked it

The characters in this book described in one word were: somewhat weird. I felt like at times, they were all as normal as they could be for their character, but then at other parts, it was just... too weird, even for the character. There were only a few main characters, especially towards the beginning, and to be honest, I got bored of them towards the beginning of the book. If the characters hadn't been so boring towards the beginning, I think I would've finished the book quicker tha
Jul 18, 2010 Tracy rated it really liked it
I don't usually read contemporary books that deal with tough girls like Shawna (I'm more of a fantasy-type reader), but this book was very well-written. I don't want to give too much away, but I especially enjoyed reading about the relationship with Shawna's (newly discovered) grandmother, Kay, and their struggles to get past their issues to a point where, after years of suffering, they could find a measure of peace. I also really liked the use of animals to help Shawna with the healing process ...more
Apr 02, 2011 Paul rated it liked it
Sliding on the edge by C.Lee McKenzie – Shawna Stone is 16 years-old.
Shawna’s mom, who’s rather flighty, abandons her in Las Vegas. She leaves the child, who’s become a pretty responsible person - money, a bus ticket to Sacramento, and the phone number of her mother in law, Shawna’s grandmother, Kay. Shawna has never met her grandmother and has heard only her mom's side of the story about her father, who's dead. Shawna has had self abuse and social acceptance issues throughout her life. Kay’s c
Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
Shawna is a troubled girl who has had to build a tough exterior due to how she grew up. Her Mom left her to fend on her own a lot, but when her Mom clears out their apartment with her boyfriend, a note telling Shawna to go to her Grandmother's house, to a complete stranger.
Under Kay (her Grandmother)'s love and structure, Shawna begins to open up. Kay runs a ranch with horses, who helps to open Shawna's heart as well. There is also a farm "hand" with personality and wise advice.

Shawna's jour
Melaine Marone
Apr 18, 2015 Melaine Marone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed immensely

I enjoyed this book. The author got it right about the monster and secrets and sounded as if she had first hand knowledge and her own monster. I look forward to reading more of her books
Nan Marino
Jun 14, 2009 Nan Marino rated it it was amazing
When her mother abandons her, street hardened teenager, Shawna Stone, is forced to give up her life in Las Vegas and move onto a horse farm with her equally hardened grandmother, Kay Stone. These two have major secrets. A doomed horse, a drifter named Kenny and a handsome farm hand complete the cast. Watching these characters unravel makes for a compelling read, but the real joy comes as they begin to rebuild, proving that even the most battered of humans can find safety and hope through the hea ...more
Feb 21, 2014 Mel rated it liked it
It wasn't too bad. I felt it was a little rushed at the end.
Esther Somorai
Oct 05, 2011 Esther Somorai rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
So glad I won this book through Good Reads and WestSide Books. Thank you.

This is a deep, meaningful and moving story for young or older adults. Shawna has been lied to, taught to steal and treated badly by someone who should have loved, protected and nurtured her. It has left her with an attitude, etc. You really feel for this young girl and what she has and is going through. An eye opening story for sure.

A real to life story and characters. Well written, fast read. Recommended.
Lilly W.
Feb 24, 2011 Lilly W. rated it it was amazing
I absolutely looovve this book. It has drama, love, and excitment. This girl has mom that moved away with her boyfriend. Then she went to her not so old grandmas fell in love with a hooott boy that works on her grandmothers frm and then of course "monster" comes and talks Shawna into cutting her ankles to stop him from annoying her every night ( this girl is not lezbo) now her grandma thinks her last relative (shawna) wants to kill herself. What will happen? I know but you dont ha ha!
Cindy Macbeth
Sep 08, 2011 Cindy Macbeth rated it really liked it
This was a really good book. I didn't want to put it down once I started reading it. Shawna is damaged by her mothers life style, she
has no home life. Doesn't even now what its like to be loved and cared for. Her mother dumps her and she goes to live with a grandmother she never knew. Shawna is tormented by her demons and doesn't trust anyone. Don't want to say anymore. Just pick up this book and read it.
May 21, 2009 Sydney added it
I really enjoyed this story about a damaged girl finding herself and a sense of family by moving in with the grandmother she doesn't know. Older fans of horse stories will love the setting and the relationships between the characters and their horses.
Kristina Franken
Sep 04, 2012 Kristina Franken rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book for anyone

FTC: I received a free copy of this book and was not reimbursed in any other way.
Darby Karchut
Jan 05, 2011 Darby Karchut rated it it was amazing
Fascinating book about how teens "cut" themselves to help deal with issues. A sweet, sweet ending!
Aug 04, 2009 Voula rated it really liked it
I really liked this book! It was very engaging and a great, quick read.
Erica Anderson
Erica Anderson marked it as to-read
Apr 23, 2016
Kellie Demarsh
Kellie Demarsh marked it as to-read
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In my other life--the one before I began writing for teens and younger readers--I was a teacher and administrator at California State University, San Jose. My field of Linguistics and Inter-cultural Communication has carried me to a lot of places in the world to explore different cultures and languages. I can say, “Where’s the toilet?” and “I’m lost!” in at least five languages and two dialects. ...more
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