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.
Susan Elizabeth George is an American author of mystery novels set in Great Britain. Eleven of her novels, featuring her character Inspector Lynley, have been adapted for television by the BBC as The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.
She was born in Warren, Ohio, but moved to the San Francisco Bay Area when she was eighteen months old. She was a student of English, receiving a teaching certificate. While teaching English in the public school system, she completed an advanced degree in psychology.
Her first published novel was A Great Deliverance in 1988, featuring Thomas Lynley, Lord Asherton, a Scotland Yard inspector of noble birth; Barbara Havers, Lynley's assistant, from a very working-class background; Lady Helen Clyde, Lynley's girlfriend and later wife, of noble birth as well; and Lynley's friends Simon and Deborah St. James.
This Elizabeth George is distinct from the other author named Elizabeth George (Christian author).
Ok, let me begin by saying that it pains me to give an Elizabeth George novel only 2 stars, because I anxiously await all of her books and love Inspector Lynley and Barbara Havers.
However, this book is the perfect example of why adult authors should NOT write for teens just because the market is strong. Writing for teens does not mean dumbing down your plots and throwing in some paranormal activity - which is, sadly, what George did.
Here are the things that irritated me about this book:
1) It took over 100 pages to get to the main mystery in the book. Would she ever do this to adults? No, the first rule of writing is to drop your readers into the most exciting part of the story then build. Don't start by telling me what you had for breakfast, and that your mom bugs you, and blah, blah, blah. Teens can handle jumps in time - it doesn't have to be entirely chronological.
2) What was with all the descriptions of trees? Don't waste time on scenery.
3) Becca is annoying. Guess what, the book could have ended 300 pages early if you had just had the guts to speak up or used your head to talk to the police. Plus, what was with George's obsession with her weight? Really, did it add anything to her character that she rode a bike and lost weight? That wasn't the point of the book, so get over it. Let's not make teen girls more obsessed with their image than they already are.
4) Either swear or don't. Constant references to "gutter language" or "foul language" just make you seem like a wimp. Either use the actual swear words (as many teens do) or just don't allude to them at all. You can express anger without them. However, your constant referral to them without actually using them just felt silly and self-righteous.
5) The whole paranormal thing. Did Becca have to be able to hear people's thoughts to make the plot progress? No. If she had been a tiny bit smart, and had no "special" abilities at all, this book would have automatically been 10 times more interesting. Drop paranormal - unless that is the point of your book. It just seemed like an easy way for George to tell us what people were feeling, instead of taking the time to show us (as she did so well in her mysteries for adults!). Trust me, teens enjoy complicated characters too.
6) Really? The ending? That's it? Teens just can't take something dark? Sigh. Dumb.
7) And not only that - but it's not really the ending? Because, of course, if it's for teens it must be a trilogy. And this one is. The central mystery is solved, but there is more to be resolved.
Sigh. This all sounds like I hated the book. I didn't really. It's average.
What disturbs me is this trend of talented adult writers only giving teens average. If that's what you're going to do, don't bother. Give them your best or just let them read your writing for adults. They deserve better than average.
Okay, it’s list time. [Please note, this is an honest review, don't hate me world.]
This book was a book of firsts: It was my first ARC (thank you Razorbill Canada)(though after this they may think twice about sending me anything...) It was my first book by Elizabeth George And it was my first mystery novel in a while (in all honesty, the last mystery book I read that I can actually recall would probably be Nancy Drew and the mystery of something or another)
Things I disliked about the book… (this list is pretty hefty)
1. The ‘Whispers’. ‘Kay, it’s not like some chick’s hearing voices in her head, it’s like Edward Cullen meets a bad radio reception. I found that this did absolutely nothing for the plot. She couldn’t get anything useful, instead it was just irritating, likely to both Becca and to readers. Reading “Sponsor… wrong… what sort of fourth” (pg. 396) a number of times is just makes me sit here and think ARE THERE REASONS TO THESE WORDS. It was as if Ms. Elizabeth George thought ‘teenagers!’ therefore ‘MUST BE PARANORMAL IN SOME WAY SHAPE OR FORM’ -sticks in whispers- I guess the initial issue that brought Becca to the island was due to this paranormal trait, but it could’ve been brought on by something normal just as easily, but it wasn’t. It was brought on by these irritating half thoughts that just seemed like words typed out to fill the page.
2. The dialogue. My goodness. I see the reviews for all her other books and I’m here just like I DON’T SEE WHAT’S SO GREAT… ?! Like she makes Seth’s grandfather say “… favourite male grandson.” (pg. 391) [All my quotes are coming from the end 'cause I didn't think to bring sticky notes with me everywhere I read this book]. That bugged me and it was all to set up for a joke or a point that vaguely made me smile. It just wasn’t worth it. Maybe this is how her family speaks? I’m not one to judge, but it made the sentences all the more awkward and ill fitting.
3. The characters. None of the characters had depth to them. They were simply shallow, cliché type teenagers that you’d see in those overacted soaps or dramas on tv. There was the pain-in-the-ass bitch who kept saying ‘gutter/foul words’ that are too harsh for the eyes of a typical YA reader, the popular nice guy, the misunderstood sidekick, the dumbass girl who just DOESN’T GET IT, and the MC who, honestly I wanted to kick.
George WANTED to put some depth into the characters by adding in like hard background stories, where there were kids from Uganda, or the girl who lived in the nowhere part of town who didn’t have the greatest family, or the girl who’s father was slowly deteriorating but no one wanted to face the facts. Like I get that, but she just skimmed over it, as if just putting it there was enough. Half of the ‘rough-and-tough/this is life, you’d better face it/some people just have a shit hand dealt to them’ stuff wasn’t detail and I just didn’t catch on right away. I don’t know if I’m slow, or it just wasn’t written well (this is the ARC version? So maybe), but it just didn’t work for me.
4. The writing. Okay part of the above paragraph is part of the writing, but there were three thing that really irritated me.
-Her description of Derric. “The boy was black, deeply black, and the pure midnight of his skin made the policeman with him look white beyond white.” (pg. 24). Just that description alone is just wrong. Honestly, you can’t swear in the book but you can just spew on and on about how dark this kid’s skin is? When I write, I worry about putting stuff about Chinese superstitions in the book just ’cause I’m afraid I’ll offend someone AND I’M CHINESE. This description thoroughly irritated me. I wasn’t offended per se, but I just didn’t think it was the most apt way of describing someone.
-Her constant obsession with Becca’s weight. This isn’t weight watchers or Jenny Craig. Teenagers these days are so obsessed with their weight, they don’t need a book like this to tell them over and over again that being overweight is bad ’cause it isn’t. George pointed out at the beginning that Becca wasn’t the thinnest girl on the planet. She noted this through Becca’s mother saying things like “in through the lips and onto the hips” (pg 13). And then having guys in the book describe Beccas as “chubbette” with “thunder thighs” (pg 373). It’s horrible to hear and it’s horrible to read. By the end, when Becca loses weight, everyone looks at her differently. Sending this kind of message is wrong on so many levels. Maybe she thought putting something like that in would add some connection with the audience, but Becca only feels insecure and just lets people bully her without really standing up for herself or anything. Between this and Derric’s description, George did not win any points with me.
-Her use of italics. They’re everywhere. You don’t have a page without them (I’m exaggerating, but really). In one conversation between Becca and Seth she used them for every other sentence (now I’m not kidding). Like “Seth…” -two lines later- “come on…” then, “the sandels again” and “that’s it?” leading to, “I didn’t even know why anyone cared about them.” Is all of this really necessary. If anyone really spoke like this, they’d have some really irritating conversations.
5. The length of the book. It was dragged out. People say Eona/Eon by Alison Goodman was dragged out, but this is really pulled and stretched to an infinite limit. Likely, by the end of this trilogy (at least everyone believes it’s a trilogy), everyone would probably deduce that the entire book could’ve fit into one book alone. This is filled with useless walking around and teenage idiocy that isn’t even that realistic (that was another issue, it just wasn’t realistic – people’s reactions to things, and their actions, it just didn’t work right). It’s interesting the first 50 pages, where the main plot is set up, then this mini plot is set up, dragged on for 200 pages, and then the next 100 is a vague resolution that isn’t that satisfying to be honest, and it just drove me INSANE. At this point, I’ve had to make a million assumptions, which isn’t too good seeing as this is a 400 some-odd page book. One shouldn’t have to resort to assumptions.
Now, what I liked: As odd as it is, I only liked three characters: -Seth ’cause he actually had a lot of description to his character, you could actually feel something from him, and he was a good character. -Seth’s grandfather, Ralph, just ’cause he made sense and was like the voice of reason where half of what he said made no sense, but the fact that he was supposed to be like the overseer of everything in the book added to his character which I kind of found helpful, oddly. -Seth’s dog, just ’cause there wasn’t really anyone else to love. Something about the writing. It kept me reading and hooked. Maybe ’cause I really wanted to know who did it, but I kept soldiering on through the book. Or maybe I just did that ’cause it was an ARC sent to me specifically and I felt some kind of obligation to finish it… The end. And yet I hated it too. Something finally happens with the main plot… and then the book ends. It was as if George didn’t think we could handle any real action or anything really heavy.
So no, this was not a success in my eyes. This was George’s first YA novel, and it shows. She obviously doesn’t know her audience if she thinks that these characters and their flimsy stories would satisfy us. I’ve read other reviews, I’m not the only one disappointed by this novel. I expected something like Kelley Armstrong’s “Darkness Rising” series, where there’s just this special island with a tonne of different supernatural people on it. All I got was a vivid description of trees, hills, roads, and valleys, and a plot that seemed to have been rushed together with characters who just weren’t well thought out or well executed.
Will I read the next book? Honestly, I probably will. When I read a book like this, where I find so much wrong with it (-coughImmortalSeriescough-) I feel a need to read the rest in hopes of finding something redeemable in all this. Also, I kind of want to find out what happens with the main story line, screw everything else, and I also want Becca and Seth to end up together ’cause that would make sense, and this books needs a little ‘sense’. Maybe George will read this review and rethink a few things before she releases the next novel, though she probably won’t. Pipe dreams I tell you, but there’s always hope. (And I hope for a great sequel…)
Oh man, where do I begin with this mess? I really wanted to like this book. It was my first ARC and I believe Elizabeth George is a good writer. I read one of her Inspector Lynley novels several years ago when they were first published. It was pretty good.
But, just because a writer can write a good adult mystery does not mean she/he is cut out for writing YA fiction. This book is the perfect example of why adult fiction writers should not write YA just because it's popular and seems easy. Guess what-it isn't.
George's characters in The Edge of Nowhere are very one-dimensional and shallow. They are so obvious I can label them "the popular good guy" and "the smart popular girl" and "weirdo outsider" and "mean girl who is only mean because she has family issues."
The plot was not interesting. We don't get to the actual mystery until 1/4 way into the book (George spends the first 1/4 setting up her trilogy...yes, it's going to be a trilogy because OBVIOUSLY every YA book needs to be part of a trilogy these days). The solution to the mystery is ridiculous and unsatisfying. I mean, ridiculous. The "twists" in the novel didn't really add to the plot. Perhaps they will be important later in the trilogy?
A lot in the story was hard to believe and George didn't pull off making it believable. For instance, the people on this island have known each other all their lives (minus Becca, the newcomer) and now they all think each other is capable of shoving someone off a mountain ridge-except Becca, the newcomer. They all trust her-the girl they just met who is obviously lying about who she is. Then, when they are accused of attempted murder, they have a brief spurt of anger and then later act like, "Hey, it's not big deal you thought I was a murder. I understand." Huh?
George also makes it obvious that she thinks teenagers are shallow idiots. Not only is her writing dumbed down in this novel, but her teen characters' actions are just well, dumb and unbelievable. For example, Hayley's boyfriend breaks up with her because he sees her kissing another guy (understandable). She can't understand why he dumped her. After all, it was no big deal. It was just a kiss-a kiss she liked and might do again, but hey, that's no reason to dump her. But WAIT-then she turns all nice and tries to set her new friend up with the guy whom she kissed and liked it and might do it again. Oh, and she has no problem at all seeing them make out with each other. Huh?
The element I found most annoying was Becca's supernatural gift to read "whispers," or fragments of people's thoughts. Why oh why do writers feel they HAVE to throw in some supernatural element to make their YA novel likeable? It's a cheap trick. Not only is it a cheap trick, but George used it to cheaply create plot elements that she couldn't make believable in any other way. A prime example of this is Becca and Derrick's "connection." SPOILER ALERT: As a reader, I am supposed to believe that despite the fact that he is in a coma through 3/4 of the book and that they've never had a deep conversation with each other in their life, Becca+Derrick= True Love because she feels all tingly when she touches his comatose body. I really have no words for this.
Finally, why oh why, is George obsessed with Becca's weight? Does she think this will make her connect with teens? The constant comments about Becca's weight in no way add to her character or the plot. It's annoying and pointless-and just feeds the notion that teens should be pre-occupied with their looks.
I only finished this book because it was an ARC. The publisher will probably never give me another one after this, but I have to be honest.
I came across The Edge of Nowhere as I was browsing one evening in a local bookstore. I initially pulled it off the shelf because I wondered whether this Elizabeth George was the author of the Inspector Lynley novels. I was unaware she had written a young adult novel and after reading the flap of the book, I decided this sounded right up my alley. I'm so glad her name drew me in - I particularly loved one book in the Inspector Lynley series - and this book reminded me of the things I like best about Elizabeth George's writing.
The Edge of Nowhere's protagonist is Becca King, a nearly fifteen year old with a new name, new identity and new locale. Becca is a likable character to spend time with. She struggles to see her own value, alternately trusts and mistrusts new friends and is fiercely loyal to those who help her along the way.
I particularly enjoyed the way this book had me wondering who I could trust and who I shouldn't trust. Yet this sense of not-quite-knowing was an enjoyable mind game, not a traumatic experience. One gift of reading young adult novels is that their content tends to be easier to digest, particularly in the arena of mysteries and thrillers.
In addition to offering a good character in Becca King, The Edge of Nowhere is set on Whidbey Island. Whidbey is the kind of island I would love to explore - on bike, on foot, alone or with a loved one. The island and it's landscape and character are an integral part of this book. I could imagine the gray skies, the tree lined hills, the quiet, forested woods.
If you have a teen or nearly-teen that enjoys a good mystery, I highly recommend this one. The mystery is a good one, but is presented without introducing themes I don't want my young daughters to encounter. I enjoyed my time between the pages of this book and it made me long for a slower pace of life like that portrayed on Whidbey Island. Maybe I'm more cut out to live on The Edge of Nowhere than I would have imagined.
Save me from authors writing out of their comfort zones. Elizabeth George is trying too hard to become a young adult author. The author who won me over with her Inspector Lynley series, has suddenly decided to try her hand at a paranormal mystery and romance. Versatile authors like James Patterson have done this successfully. Elizabeth George has not. Her writing is too stylised for young adult fiction. Her painful attention to detail does not work here. The 496-page novel (in hard cover) is far too long. Becca King arrives on Whidbey Island, near Seattle. She is fleeing from her crazy step-father. Becca can ‘hear’ other people’s thoughts and she has heard too many of Jeff Corrie’s. Her mother contacts a friend on the island who will look after Becca. Unfortunately, she learns her ‘Aunt’ Carol has passed away, when she arrives. Alone, she moves into a motel called The Cliff, where she discovers that the island hides many more secrets than she could have imagined. I don’t recommend this book.
I'd be interested in knowing what some young people think about this book. I am 61, however, I taught teens and coached teens for thirty years so I have some idea of what they like. I suspect most would dislike this book because the basic story is too simple. There are subplots with potential but they they fade into obscurity. Becca has a hearing disability and some sort of psychic ability but these aren't explained or explored. Seth has learning disabilities, again not explored.
Derric is an adopted child from Uganda; there is a bit of a surprise regarding Derric late in the story but this issue could be novel of its own. We adopted two Haitian children 20+ years ago and brought them to an almost completely Caucasian community. The reality is that they faced racism and bullying that has made their lives difficult to say the least. Elizabeth is deluding herself if she thinks this depiction of international adoption is realistic.
The entire situation of Becca being dropped on her own in a new place is simply silly. The added coincidence of the death of the person she is to find almost made me put the book down. I didn't because I have read all of my favorite author's books and have faith in her.
Whidbey Island is a place I'd like to visit. It does sound beautiful. However, this place is another reason that teens would reject this book - the people of the island, with the exception of Jenn, are far too nice.
Writers for adults please stick to what you know. Writing for teens is a job for a specialist. Don't underestimate teens; many teens can easily read and understand Elizabeth's adult novels.
What I liked: 1. You could tell this book was not written by a novice author. It was just better written than most YA fiction. 2. There was a broad range of characters, as opposed to the formulaic cast usually found in YA books, and the characters were interesting and diverse. 3. Adults were portrayed as helpful & caring, if flawed. Often in this genre adults are clueless, uncaring, unimportant, which is unrealistic.
What I didn't like: 1. From the book jacket and reviews, I was anticipating Whidbey Island to be a cool and haunting atmosphere. Instead I found the descriptions of it to be rather flat and more of a list of names and directions that wouldn't have any meaning to people who aren't familiar to the area. Even the brief descriptions of the natural environment were mostly lists of names of different types of trees, which, again, doesn't have any meaning unless you know a lot about trees. I wish the author would've spent more time on developing the feeling and tone of the setting. 2. The plot felt drawn out and slow - not in way that inspired anticipation. The book kept my attention but I did not get really into it.
This book breaks out of a lot of YA tropes -- not deliberately subverting them, but rather Elizabeth George writes mysteries for adults, and it shows. This is mostly good. Adults are helpful and kind; children are well-meaning and energetic if still children. The mystery is well written, well plotted and makes sense.
The problems I have are, first, the incredibly bizarrely grafted mind-reading plotline. It didn't add much to the story -- the bits where it was used could have been done another way -- and it didn't make much sense. I can only assume that more is planned in the future should this series continue. Second, the stupid way pronunciation is written. We know that most Americans elide the vowel in "can", and the first one in "suppose" (and in many other words), there's no reason to consistently write them in speech as "c'n" and "s'pose". It's distracting and adds nothing when everyone says things like that. Third, the weird use of technology. Sure, Laurel would have bought disposable cell phones, but no one who is even slightly intelligent will buy them with a credit card when on the run from their murderous and wealthy spouse. This strains credibility too much, and, unfortunately, a lot of the plot depends on it. Also, when we're buying these disposable phones, we're not also agreeing to set up secret email accounts so we can contact each other? A recent one of her adult novels had the same problem, where characters didn't use technology like actual people do.
It's fine, really; it's a solid YA mystery, which is a genre that deserves more books in it, but it has aspects that really need fixing.
Meh. I tamped down my disappointment that Ms. George was once again choosing another project rather than cranking out another installment in the Inspector Lynley saga. I swallowed my misgivings about another author generally writing for adults who decided to make a foray into YA. I tried to get excited for a plucky teenaged semi-supernatural heroine struggling through a trauma. I hoped that this mysterious island would live up to whatever misty vague expectations the cover blurb indicated. I clicked "buy now!" and downloaded the title and took a deep breath. And then I read the whole thing, hoping all the while that a) it would get better any minute and b) it would not really be the first of a series with this heroine in this setting. Alas. I was wrong on both counts. There were some moderately interesting characters, over explained and under emotionally connected. There was a bit of a mystery plot, over emphasized and under resolved. There was a main character just screaming for the "makeover moment" when she takes off her glasses and everyone realizes how gorgeous she is. There were grownups who were inexplicably unhelpful, secretive, and just plain weird. There were kids who were streotypical, flat, and just plain mean. This was seriously disappointing. And yeah, I'll probably read the sequel as soon as it comes out. Sigh.
A complete disappointment. I've read many of Ms. George's Inspector Lynley books and long admired her writing skills--I couldn't fathom how she could write something like this, or how her editor would even agree to print it. The only reason I finished the book was because I was intrigued by the concept (the protagonist could hear other people's thoughts). At times it seemed that Ms. George was deliberately trying to write poorly, as though somehow her target audience would relate to that better. Awkward sentence structure, completely unbelievable plot elements (is it at all plausible that the woman Becca was going to stay with indefinitely wouldn't have mentioned her imminent arrival to her husband? Or that her mother would have made no attempts to contact her at any point after dropping her off?), one-dimensional characters, intriguing plot possibilities introduced then never developed, and no resolution whatever at the end (Epilogue?? Are you kidding?). It is insulting to the readers intelligence. There is not one thing about this book that was skillfully done. I didn't see until now that this book is billed as "Saratoga Woods #1", so evidently the unresolved story is an effort to sell more books later-- but I can't imagine that anyone would have the slightest interest in going on with this flat, poorly written series.
I can't say that my expectations for this book was very high. I have read an Elizabeth George book before, which was a good read (but not a favourite), and my mother is a fan and reads all her books. But when people who normally write adult fiction try to write young adult, even more so anything paranormal... it tends to show.
There were some things I liked, which is the reason I gave the book two stars and not one. While there was significant problems with the pacing and plot, the book was hard to put down towards the end. People have complained about the lengthy descriptions of trees, which I frankly didn't notice - probably more due to my reading habits than the writing. I also did like some of the characters, and some of the characters and problems seemed very realistic.
That said. The problems with this book are overwhelming.
First off. What's this deal about not calling the police? She's a minor. She hasn't done what she did for her stepfather (why is it always stepfather, by the way?) because she wanted to, and why should the police not believe a girl who seems like a sweet girl to begin with, compared to the brain behind it? Her mother would be able to back them up. Frankly it seems like a lazy excuse to put her on that island, and later on to keep the plot going. Alright, so the crime wasn't committed when the book starts, but even so, preventing crime is or at least should be just as important for the police.
Secondly, everyone keeps overreacting. I'm not talking about the extremely overused italics, but the way everyone goes off the handle about everything. Particularly Jenn. I find it very hard to believe in such a completely unsympathetic character. I've known some rather unsympathetic teenage girls, particularly when I was a teenager myself, but even they had quite a few nice moments.
I won't spoil the ending, except that it was a bit of an anticlimax. Further I really, truly hate
Then there's the paranormal element. I know I sound extremely grumpy in this review, but what is the point of something paranormal if it doesn't really change much in terms of the plot? Presumably it will be more important in later books, but in this book - pointless. It just makes the character more of a Mary Sue, and it doesn't add anything to the plot that could not have been accomplished by overhearing a phone call or conversation, stumbling across some notes or something like that.
Frankly the whole book feels like it's slightly half-assed. Like writing young adult is somehow easier and it's not necessary to put as much effort into it. That's quite a bit of an insult to most people I know who read young adult. It reads like an old lady who has made a checklist over what the kids seem to like, and then follows it to the letter. Paranormal elements? Check. Troubled past and/or abusive family? Check. All on their own in strange place? Check. Ability that's more of a curse? Check. And it goes on. It doesn't feel like a book that George wanted to write from a personal point of view, more like one she wrote just for the money. It doesn't feel like her heart is in it at all, and it feels patronizing.
Lastly, what's with all the drugs? Not that there is any drug use, really, but it seems to be at the forefront of everyone's mind. Like many young adult books that I have disliked it feels like the entire book is a moralistic message about "don't do this, it is BAD, and don't do this either, because it's also BAD." I don't read books to be preached to, and neither do most people.
I'll step off my high horse now... My main problem, which is reflected in everything I've written above, is that the potential is there. If she'd given it more effort, perhaps read quite a bit more YA, it could have been really good, because we know from her other books that she can write. THAT'S the most annoying thing, and the danger of writing outside your genre. Not that you should never try.
I mostly enjoyed this book. It was a fast read and kept me interested all the way through. I really hated that it ended on a cliffhanger though. I read some reviews on Amazon and found out the author planned this book as the first in a trilogy. I guess that's the thing now for YA books, to have them be trilogies or a 4 or 5 book series. So it will probably be a while until we find out what happens to Becca. I liked Becca, although I didn't understand a lot about her at times, especially how she was able to hear people's thoughts. I enjoyed her relationship with Seth. He was actually my favorite character and the one I related to the most. On the other hand I didn't really get the almost soul mate relationship she had with Derric. They never had any type of deep conversation before his accident and barely knew each other. He spends most of the book in a coma, yet when she touches his hand and talks to him he immediately comes out of the coma. Really? There seems to be more to this relationship than what the author has given us. I hope we'll find out exactly what this connection is in the next book.
One thing that didn't make sense at all-Becca and her mom are desperate to get away from the stepfather and find a safe place to be where he can't find them. I can't imagine why any mother would just put her 14 year old daughter on a ferry by herself in a place where she knows no one, to meet a woman on the other end that she has never met before or who even knows what she looks like. She tells her to just "hang out" and wait if her friend isn't there when the ferry docks. That's crazy!!! Especially when they're trying to hide from the stepfather and have assumed new identities. She should have gone on the ferry with Becca to personally hand her off, or have the friend take the ferry over to Mukilteo and meet them. Also, why didn't her friend Carol tell her husband that her friend's daughter was coming to live with them? He had no idea who she was when Becca introduced herself to him. I'm not sure what's going on with Diana Kinsale, another woman Becca met on the island. She definitely seems psychic. There's a part where they are at the cemetery together and Becca notices Diana looking at her and hears her thinking "is she the one?" or something like that. What was that all about? I kept hoping to find out what that meant. I guess I'll have to wait for the next book to find out.
I received this book from the Early Reviewers Program on librarything in exchange for an honest review.
The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George is about a girl named Becca King who can hear whispers of thoughts in people's heads and because of this "talent," she is on the run from her stepfather who has done something horrible that she was never supposed to find out about. She ends up in Whidbey Island, where she is supposed to stay with her mother's friend, but quickly is met with issue after issue and gets wrapped up in a mystery shrouding a friend's terrible accident. She doesn't know who to trust and fights to get back into some sort of normalcy.
I obviously was intrigued by the blurb I saw on librarything because I chose this book out of many others. And it seems like it could have been interesting. The first chapter seemed very promising and it's not poorly written. Soon though, the book runs into issues. I agree with several other reviewers-- the transition from writing for adults to young adults can be more difficult than one expects. There is a different mindset to young adult fiction, and I felt that this was merely an adult book that was "dumbed down" for a teenage audience. The plot drags for the middle 300 pages, and the mystery turns out not to be that interesting after all. In young adult books, we expect to see some growth of the character-- but I didn't really see any of that with Becca. We have a "mean girl" who stays mean the entire book. None of the characters seem that three dimensional to me. I wasn't thrilled with how the prose was put together and the "whispers" were more distracting than interesting. I found myself trying to read them and figure out what was being "thought." I know that we think in bits and pieces, but come on, there has to be some flow to the text. Lastly, I have to agree with the reviewer who asked "What's up with the trees??" There are so many descriptions of trees and woods and boring landscape (this probably takes up at least 100-200 pages alone) that I had to skim through those in the end.
Overall, this book could have been really interesting with a riveting mystery, but ends up failing in most aspects.
Je ressors un peu déçue de cette lecture car j’ai un peu eu la sensation de survoler le livre. On ne s’ennuie pas réellement à la lecture mais il ne se passe pas grand chose et les rebondissements mettent longtemps à arriver et surtout à se dénouer.
Le prologue est en fait trompeur car on s’attend à ce que le reste du livre tourne autour de la fuite de Becca mais hormis faire connaissance avec les habitants de la ville où elle arrive, on perd un peu de vue sa fuite. L’histoire n’est donc pas centrée sur l’héroïne et on suit l’histoire de plusieurs personnages: Seth, Debbie, Derric, Diana, Hayley… Ce qui fait qu’il y a beaucoup de longueurs qui empêchent l’histoire de Becca d’avancer.
J’ai aussi trouvé dommage que le don de Becca ne soit pas réellement exploité. On sait qu’elle l’a, en quoi il consiste, on le voit à l’oeuvre de temps en temps mais il n’est pas clair et mal exploité. Du coup, hormis pour l’intrigue de base qui n’est donc pas réutilisée pour ce tome, je n’ai pas vraiment vu l’intérêt de doter Becca de ce don.
Ce qui est assez déroutant aussi est qu’on en apprend plus sur les personnages secondaires que sur l’héroïne et donc je n’ai pas été touchée par elle. J’ai en fait plus apprécié l’histoire de Seth et Hayley qui est assez complète. On découvre le jeune homme quasiment dès le début et on apprend rapidement qu’il a mauvaise réputation dans la ville. On va alors le suivre et comprendre de quoi il retourne.
Au final, un livre ni vraiment bon, ni mauvais non plus mais qui manque d’un quelque chose. Je m’attendais à une toute autre histoire avec bien plus de rythme.
Loved this book, and cannot wait for the second one. Characters were amazingly well-developed, and reading a YA book that was not dystopian or futuristic was a nice break for me.
I was unfamiliar with George, and did not go into the book with any set of expectations. I was also aware it was the first in a series and frequently read YA, much of which is horribly written. I found George to be a thoughtful and descriptive author who created sympathetic and realistic characters.
I agree that the "big mystery" wasn't extremely compelling, and was confused at Becca's wariness of simply eliciting help from the police rather than running from them. All that said, I couldn't put the book down.
I would absolutely have given this book 5 stars, had it not been for the author's usage of made-up contractions like "c'n" and "d'you". They did not make the characters seem "folksy" or charming....it was simply annoying and distracting. Perhaps they can all take a few grammar lessons before the next novel?
Das also ist Elizabeth George? Ja, offensichtlich. Was nur eines bedeutet: Ich bin wahnsinnig enttäuscht!
Ich hatte von der ersten Seite weg Probleme mit "Whisper Island", dem ersten Jugendbuch der bekannten Bestsellerautorin. Zuvor hatte ich Gedanken wie "Kerstin Gier hat es geschafft. Kathy Reichs, Eva Völler ...", mein Vertrauen in den Namen "Elizabeth George" war demnach sehr groß. Aber was die gute Frau hier abgeliefert hat ist in meinen Augen schon beinahe unterirdisch. Harte Worte, die ich nicht gerne verliere.
Mein größtes Problem mit "Whisper Island" ist, dass ich die ganze Geschichte einfach nicht glauben kann. Tut mir wirklich Leid, Frau George, aber ich nehme Ihnen einfach nicht ab, dass eine Mutter ihre 14-jährige Tochter ohne weiteres auf eine Fähre setzt mit nichts weiter als einem handy, das sich dann aber als äußerst unnütz herausstellt. Es geht mir nicht in den Kopf, dass diese 14-jährige anschließend alleine über eine Insel radelt und sich, als sich herausstellt, dass ihre Kontaktperson tot ist, lieber in eine Hundehütte legt als an einer Tür zu klingeln und um Hilfe zu bitten. Zumal der Ehemann dieser Kontaktperson zu einem Zeitpunkt nur wenige Meter von ihr entfernd war! Auch alles weitere fand ich entweder abstrus, unlogisch oder schlicht unnötig. Meiner Meinung nach strotzt dieses Buch nur so vor überflüssigen Passagen. Die längste Zeit muss sich der Leser die Frage stellen, was denn nun eigentlich die Handlung ist. Gut, ab dem 2. Teil kommt zumindest ein wenig Spannung auf, oder zumindest tut sich ein halbwegs erkennbarer Handlungsstrang auf - spannend ist der nicht unbedingt: Zwischen nervenaufreibendem (nicht im positiven Sinn!) High-School-Gezicke entspinnt sich eine Art Kriminalfall, der diese Bezeichnung nur minder verdient hat.
Darüber hinaus hat mich auch Elizabeth George's hochgelobter Stil (behauptet zumindest das Wall Street Journal) nicht mitreißen können. Sie erzählt ungelenk und holprig. Dabei schafft sie es fast gar nicht, ihre Charaktere plastisch darzustellen. Oder auch nur nachvollziehbar. Die Stellen, an denen ich mich Becca nah gefühlt habe, kann ich an einer Hand abzählen.
Als wäre das noch nicht genug finden sich sogar inhaltliche Fehler im Text. Meistens sind das kleine Fehler, die in ihrer Gesamtheit aber doch stören. Und noch eine Übersetzungs-Holprigkeit: "Joy" geht in der englischen Originalfassung bestimmt als Name durch, aber "Freude" - das lasse ich mir einfach nicht einreden!
Das Positive zum Schluss: Ich mag das Cover (auch wenns nicht ganz zum Inhalt passt) und zumindest die letzten zwei Seiten waren spannend, können mich aber nicht dazu motivieren, mich auf einen zweiten oder gar dritten Teil zu freuen.
Entweder George's Stil und das "Geheimnisvolle" im Buch ist völlig an mir vorbeigegangen, oder diese Autorin wird völlig überbewertet. Da ich weiß, wie groß die Fangemeinde von Elizabeth George ist, nehme ich eher an, dass das Buch schlicht und einfach gar nicht meinen Geschmack getroffen hat. Mir tut's Leid um das Buch, ich wollte es eigentlich mögen.
+++ Experten warnen vor Sturmtief +++ Literaturland im akuten Notstand +++ Folgekatastrophen wie Wetterleuchten und Feuerbrandungen möglich +++
Guten Abend sehr geehrte Damen und Herren und herzlich Willkommen zu den Wetternachrichten auf Goodreads.
Mein Name ist Lisa Soundso und ich melde mich heute mit einem Sonderbericht. Das Spannungstief Becca nähert sich gen Tintensee und überzieht das deutsche Literaturland mit gähnender Langeweile.
Die anfängliche Tristesse bemaß sich auf 7, kletterte in den mittleren Breiten jedoch auf die Stufe 12 und erreichte in einigen Gebieten sogar das obere Limit der Ennui-Skala. Es wird gemutmaßt, dass der Sturm am Ende in einen Cliffhanger abflauen wird, bis dahin sei allerdings Vorsicht geboten. Besonders verheerend scheint die Unberechenbarkeit des Tiefs, so schwingt die Kompassnadel abwechselnd in die Richtungen Mystery, Romantik, Sozialdrama oder Fantastik aus. Klare Fronten, rote Fäden und gesunder Menschenverstand konnten trotz Zuhilfenahme modernster Technologie nicht nachgewiesen werden, man werde aber weiter suchen.
Ratlosigkeit macht sich in der Bevölkerung breit, brachten Romane selbiger Herkunft doch einst frischen Wind ins Kriminalistik-Genre. Kritiker warnen jedoch davor, das Becca Tief mit den früheren Werken zu vergleichen. Wogen dröger, unbeholfener Beschreibungen und ein Reigen an schablonenhaften Charakteren seien das Wenigste, mit dem der Leser zu rechnen hat, da sind sich die Liteorologen einig.
Es wird empfohlen, das Buch nicht aus dem Regal zu holen oder es bestenfalls gar nicht zu kaufen. Dadurch kann ein Großteils des Schadens vermieden werden, so die Experten. Sollte der Ernstfall eintreten, kann den Betroffenen oft nur noch durch ein Erste-Hilfe Set aus stark koffeinhaltigem Tee, kühlem Wasser und einem spannenden Zweit-Buch geholfen werden.
Mein Name ist Lisa Soundso und das waren die Wetternachrichten auf Goodreads.
Another adult fiction author taking a stab at crossing over into YA. I haven't read any of George's adult books, so I don't know if if it's indicative of her writing in general, but Edge of Nowhere started off with a pretty good, suspenseful premise that led, well, nowhere. Her editor should have seriously told her to tighten up the story because it's over 400 pages and there's a lot of tedium. And I dare anyone to get to the end of the book and be satisfied by the conclusion. Worse yet, I have a feeling that this is the start of a series. Will not be continuing to read.
Dit is niet echt een bloedstollende thriller. Het is een beetje drama met veel levenslessen. Dat het belangrijk is om iemand in nood te opvangen en helpen. Het gaat vaak niet over hoe meer je leert op school hoe beter persoon je bent. Dat leer je door te leven. Dit werd erg mooi geschreven in het boek. Ik had meer een super spannende boek verwacht alleen op een eiland en een jongen is in coma. Maar het valt wel mee. Daarom geen vijf sterren. Maar hef blijft een goed boek.
Ik zit te twijfelen tussen drie en vier sterren, maar mijn gevoel zegt drie. Ik vond het een boek dat lekker weg las, maar erg veel is er eigenlijk niet gebeurd. Ik vond het verhaal iets te langzaam gaan denk ik. En de moraal van het verhaal is mooi, maar lag er voor mij ook iets te dik bovenop. Toch ben ik wel heel benieuwd naar de rest van de serie, vooral na het lezen van de epiloog. Ben ik even blij dat deel twee hier al in de boekenkast ligt... ;)
E. George is mij gekend als schrijfster van thrillers voor volwassen lezers. Die ik ook gelezen heb en een aantal nog van in de kast heb staan. Dat zij ook schrijft voor young adult wist ik niet. Voor mij is dit een openbaring en een succes.
De kaft vertelt niet veel. De oorspronkelijke titel en de titel van het vertaalde verhaal liggen ver elkaar. Wat mij een beetje puzzelt. Waarom kiest een uitgeverij daarvoor. Het klinkt wel een beetje duister. Misschien daarom?
Het is het eerste deel 1 van de serie: het fluistereiland. Becca komt in een totale nieuwe samenleving wanneer zij vlucht met haar moeder voor haar stiefvader. Haar stiefvader zou iemand vermoord hebben.
Becca haar naam was Hannah Armstrong. Op het eiland Whidbey, 436 vierkante kilmeter een 40 km ten noorden van Seatle. Het eiland ligt op een vaarroute van Seatle naar Vancouver, zou Carol Quinn, vriendin van haar moeder, Becca helpen.
Spijtig maar vriendin is net overleden. Wat nu? Zij gaat naar South Whidbey high school. Leert jongens en meisjes kennen die haar willen helpen maar ook zij die haar zeer vreemd bekijken; De problemen blijven dus niet uit. En de verwikkelingen ook niet. Tandenbijten!
Het boek eindigt met vragen en we hopen in de volgende delen antwoorden te krijgen. Spannend. Deel twee ligt klaar.
Kind of cute ya mystery which I wouldn't have read except Whidbey. It's kind of fun to read a book completely set in a place you are. Even more so when you are just learning about that place. So in the last couple of days I was in almost all the places where something happened in this book. A fun quick read with dark stuff mostly just off screen. Not high art. And yes it probably got between 1/2 a star and a full star for being set on Whidbey, especially South Whidbey so well. But I'm going to read the sequel so... 3.5 of 5.
Klappentext: Becca King hat eine Gabe, die gleichzeitig ein Fluch ist. Sie kann die Gedanken anderer Menschen hören. Sie umgeben sie wie ein ständiges Rauschen, dem sie nicht entrinnen kann. Jetzt ist Becca auf der Flucht, weil ihr Stiefvater ihre Fähigkeiten skrupellos ausnutzen wollte. Sie hat eine neue Haarfarbe und eine neue Identität. Auf einer geheimnisvollen, abgeschiedenen Insel hofft Becca, Unterschlupf bei einer Freundin ihrer Mutter zu finden. Doch als sie dort ankommt, erfährt sie, dass die Freundin drei Wochen zuvor verstorben ist. Verzweifelt versucht Becca ihre Mutter zu erreichen. Ohne Erfolg: Das Handy ist tot.
Erster Satz: Der letzte Tag von Hannah Armstrongs Existenz war zunächst ein Tag wie jeder andere.
Buchgestaltung: Auf dem Cover sieht man eine junge Frau vor düsteren Blumen und einen blutroten Mond am Himmel.
Handlung: Becca King, eigentlich Hannah Armstrong, hört die Gedanken ihres Stiefvaters, der seinen Geschäftspartner umgebracht hat. Aus Angst vor ihm, fliehen sie und ihre Mutter und aus Hannah wird Becca, inklusive eines neues Aussehens. Ihre Mutter bringt sie zur Fähre, die Becca nach Whisper Island übersetzen soll. Dort soll sie eine Weile bei der Freundin ihrer Mutter wohnen, bis Beccas Mum einen geeigneten Platz für die beiden gefunden hat, an dem sie vor ihrem Mann in Sicherheit sind. Auf Whisper Island angekommen, muss Becca erfahren, dass die vermeintliche Freundin schon verstorben ist und sie weiß nicht wohin sie gehen soll, denn auf einmal erreicht sie ihre Mutter nicht mehr... Die Handlung, so wie sie auf dem Klappentext beschrieben ist, hört sich nach Spannung und Lesevergnügen an. Leider hielt es für mich nicht das, was es versprach. Mir kam die ganze Geschichte irgendwie unlogisch vor, denn welche Mutter schickt ihre Tochter, lediglich mit einem Fahrrad und einem Handy ausgestattet, zu einer Frau, mit der sie schon ewig keinen Kontakt mehr hatte?! Nicht nur das, sondern insgesamt haben mir so einige Sachen nicht so gefallen. Wenn ich ehrlich bin, ist dies leider eines der schlechtesten Bücher, die ich bisher gelesen habe. Spannung kam bei mir leider erst ab Seite 100 auf, denn davor konnte ich mich auch überhaupt nicht mit der Protagonistin identifizieren, denn sie war mir lange unsympathisch. Die Presseaktion, die der Verlag zur Erscheinung dieses Buches veranstaltet hat, war genial!! Leider hat diese Aktion bei mir mehr versprochen, als das Buch am Ende erfüllen konnte. Das Ende spielt sich auf sehr wenigen Seiten ab und endet ausgerechnet dann, wenn endlich mal etwas Spannung in die Geschichte kommt. Wenn man bedenkt, dass es sich bei Elizabeth George um eine der großen Autorinnen handelt, ist dieses Buch eine starke Enttäuschung, da viele Handlungsstränge nicht richtig weitergeführt werden bzw. ausbleiben.
Charaktere: Wie schon erwähnt, blieb mir die Protagonistin Becca unsympathisch und deshalb konnte ich auch nicht mit ihr mitfühlen. Ihre Mutter ist verschollen und sie macht sich stattdessen nur Gedanken darum, ob man sie für hässlich empfinden könnte, obwohl sie in Wahrheit doch viel hübscher sei... Solche und ähnliche Dinge, haben mir die Lust genommen, ihre Geschichte in weiteren Bänden weiterzuverfolgen. Auch die Nebencharaktere konnten mich nicht wirklich überzeugen, waren mir aber sympathischer als Becca selbst.
Sprache: Der Schreibstil ist flüssig zum Lesen, leider hält sich die Autorin zu oft damit auf, viel zu detaillierte Beschreibungen von Zimmern und Co. zu geben, die in keinster Weise zum Fortlauf der Handlung beitragen. Es gab deswegen einige Passagen, die ich lieber überlesen hätte.
Mein Fazit: Ein enttäuschender Roman einer bekannten Autorin, die sich vielleicht doch lieber aus dem Jugendgenre heraushalten und sich auf Krimis konzentrieren sollte, denn ihre "Inspector Lynley"-Krimiserie soll sehr gut sein.
The Edge of Nowhere was unlike the majority of young adult novels where the reader gets the sense from the first chapter that the novel involved deals with teenagers. There was an uneasy balance struck between the tone of the narrator and the events occurring in the narrative. The protagonist sounds older than she actually is and it was rather apparent that the author does not usually write in a teenager’s perspective – in books aimed for teenagers. An awkwardness in the style and the diction that is not quite convincing. That said, the novel is quite easy to read and the main character, despite sounding older than she is, quite likable.
She is remarkably self-contained and makes some rather sound decisions that I looked askance at. There was a bit too much telling rather than showing and the adult characters, interestingly enough, sounded much like the protagonist. The writing could have done with some polishing as there were sentences that dangled awkwardly (I’m sorry, I’m using this word quite a lot but it is an apt description). What I did like about the novel was that the love interest was Ugandan – what I didn’t like was that he spent most of the novel in a coma and thus, was not an active part of the narrative and the least developed of all characters.
I liked the other guy character whose name I cannot, for the life of me, remember. I thought it was interesting that he defied all efforts to categorize him and his relationship with his grandfather is pretty sweet. (The grandfather addressing the grandson as “favourite male grandson” all the time was a tad bit unbelievable as it is human nature to short names and endearments and not, as illustrated here, lengthen them.) The friendship between Becca and this guy is one of the strongest part of the novel and the fact that it is purely platonic is even better. Right, Seth is his name. Seth has enough girl problems of his own with the girl who cheated on him and who has issues she does not want to share but needs to.
The primary issue, Becca fleeing from her criminal stepfather and then being abandoned by her mother on the island, is not solved at all. The so-called mystery that the book is focused on is, I must say it, quite lame. And most annoying of all is the lackluster cliffhanger the author leaves us on. I saw it coming a mile ago and being a passionate hater of all things cliffhangery was not impressed. I will probably read the next book in the series or trilogy but I wouldn’t urge you to go and purchase a copy of the novel. Check it out from the library if you really want to.
Review I personally liked this book because the main character, Hannah, can hear people's minds. (She calls then whispers.) I like that she overcomes a tough situation head on, instead of cowering away from things. The one thing I didn't really like was that she has to wear too much makeup as a disguise.
Plot Hannah is an average girl, but the thing that sets her apart is that she can hear whispers of people's thoughts. One day she hears the whispers of her step father, Jeff Corie. They were about killing his partner in business. Hannah and her mom got out of the house in an instant. Hannah changes her name to Becca King and her mom leaves her on Whidbey Island in hopes of having her stay there with a friend while she would find a permanent residence somewhere else. Becca couldn't stay with the friend so she lives with a woman called Debbie. She meets her best friend Sam there and a very attractive boy named Derric. Derric and her have an instant bond and when Becca finds Derric hurt one day she has to call the cops but ditch her phone so they can't find her mom. Recommendations I would recommend this book to high school students because Becca is in highschool and the book talks about things that are too mature for children. I think this book could be for any gender.
I should begin this review by saying I very much wanted to read till the end. I wasn't as enchanted with the characters as I am in George's mysteries, maybe because I write YA and I always question the realism of my own writing. I will run sample texts between teens by teens I know, or ask about the likelihood of something happening in my plot by beta readers who aren't decades removed from adolescence. I felt that Becca, Seth, Jenn, and Hayley were all interesting teen characters, but they tested the limits of my belief sometimes.
Becca: why didn't she miss her mom more directly? Why couldn't she ever hear a complete thought? That became annoying after a while. Seth: why was he invested in helping Becca? Hayley: why couldn't she acknowledge her father's disease with some kind of label? (I really didn't like the fact that no one was directly naming the issue.) My other issue was that the teens hardly cussed and weren't really engaged with technology. Those were realism issues for me that lifted me somewhat out of the narrative.
The premise was captivating, though--a girl and mom on the run from an evil stepfather and a lonely, almost mystical island she must get to know and acclimate to another culture, under a false identity. The characters were real, tough, and persistent people, the kind you want to follow to the finish. I liked Debbie and Diana; they were interesting women, as was Ralph. George's casts of characters are always fascinating, diverse, and intertwined in fascinating ways.
So to give a George work a 3/5 is really a C- or worse for other authors who aren't as talented as George.
Another reader said it was 'dumbed down' and I agree. The beauty of JK Rowling's Harry Potter series was its appeal to all ages ... a solid story with spectacularly inventive detail, appealing to children, tweens and teens because of the main characters, but equally appealing to adults because it wasn't 'written for children'- it was simply a spectacularly heartfelt tale. In fact, children could gallop ahead, learning new words (and new 'un'words) as they became enveloped in the world.
It's a mystery to me (no pun intended) why successful writers like Elizabeth George decide to jump into a new genre ... and probably, an 'easier' genre even though this seems to not be the case. In the future, if she wishes to write for younger readers, I hope she'll take younger characters and see the world through their eyes, while losing the herky jerky short sentences and awkward action ... how many times can a bicycle chain slip? And much of it was simply not plausible ... in fact, if I were a child, I'd wonder at the ultra uncaring adults at the beginning of the story. The whispers? Sorry - annoying. And how many times was AUD box indicated? Contrived.
That said, I'm a huge Elizabeth George fan and I wish she'd written a new mystery with new characters, in the fresh setting of Whidbey Island. Leave the YA books to the YA writers.
Sorry to say, I didn't do my homework and had ordered it simply because it was an Elizabeth George. I had no idea she'd written a YA book ... but even so, I couldn't recommend this.
I have mixed feelings for this book, and I'll try to keep it short.
The plot itself, is weak - couldn't Becca have phoned the police, and gotten their protection? She certainly could have proved to the police, that her skill was real, and I don't think the secret is worth putting your life at stake. Then what is this fascination that Derric and Seth has with her? She comes along as the new kid, and gets lots of attention and I don't find that very realistic. I mean I wish the world was like that, but I've been through high school, and its not like that. This book suffers greatly from contrivances and cheap conveniencies at every turn.
What makes this book readable is the characters. I had tears in my eyes at several points in the book, and it's kinda good to for once see that things turn out good for someone. So at the end of this book I was left with a feeling that "yeah, this was somehow not the worst thing ever". There were however problems with the characters too: namely Jenn. It's okay to be viscous, but she's being it in such a stupid way - and I get that it's probably the point that we should hate the character, but I'm more annoyed that she's there at all. She appears as more of a plot device throwaway character than a human with a personality and her own motivations.
So overall, the plot was weak in the beginning, and it never recovered, but when I let myself forget that, I managed to squeeze some joy out of it. I read somewhere that this is going to be a 4-part book series however, and no don't do that.