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The Edge of Nowhere

(Whidbey Island Saga #1)

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  4,397 ratings  ·  712 reviews
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 cr
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Viking Juvenile (first published November 4th 2011)
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John No, this book was written for young adults. It is however written by an author who frequently writes for adults, and this novel is sort of a change of…moreNo, this book was written for young adults. It is however written by an author who frequently writes for adults, and this novel is sort of a change of form for her.(less)

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Start your review of The Edge of Nowhere (Saratoga Woods, #1)
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 too
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 li
April Knapp
Aug 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
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
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youngadult, anna, bekah
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 a ...more
Amanda Patterson
Dec 18, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 ad
Jill Heather
Dec 30, 2012 rated it liked 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
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 cli ...more
Linda Hunt
Apr 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
Dec 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 25, 2012 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
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 is
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
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 "bi
Jul 12, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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 r ...more
Boy this book was SLOOWWW! But interesting. Gonna read book 2 but i dont think we need 4 books AND there’s wayyyyyy too many characters.
Dec 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012
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 th ...more
Anna Bubolz
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.

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 abou
Jan 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, young-adult
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 test ...more
Marcia Ferguson
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 mys
Edvin Tønder
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
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,
Sep 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George is not what I first envisioned the book to be about. This book kept me interested but not to the point where it will stick with me forever. I had to find out how it would end. This book ends on a cliffhanger, and even though I wanted to know how it would end I'm not so sure I will pick up the second book when it comes out. This book really didn't speak to or stick with me.

The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George is a book featured around a four-teen year o
Feb 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I'm so sad to rate this "I liked it" instead of "it was amazing." I have read and loved all of Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley mysteries, and thought this would be a teen equivalent. Instead, she went with (mildly) paranormal and (mildly) suspenseful, and for me the book fell a bit flat, not to mention being surprisingly implausible in some places. Although it's mean of readers to insist that an author keep doing what they're doing instead of trying something new, I think this "something new ...more
Rebecca Huston
I love reading Elizabeth George, but this first book in a young adult series left me cold. Hannah Armstrong/Becca King is just fourteen when her mother abandons her on Whitbey Island in Washington state. While her mother arranged for her to stay with a friend, that plan falls through when Becca arrives on the day of the friend's funeral. Ooops. To complicate things, Becca has psychic abilities, hearing the thoughts of others, and the only thing that keeps that at bay is her AUD box, a device tha ...more
Karalee Coleman
Ms. George’s first YA novel. I have a vague memory of starting to read #2 in this series some time ago, and giving up because a lot of it didn’t make sense. This one, #1, establishes the environment, so when I get around to #2 another time I may find it more engaging.

I liked the setting. I used to visit Whidbey Island myself back in the day, when my then-boyfriend’s sister and brother-in-law had a small farm there. I seem to remember frying freshly-plucked oysters over an open fire on the seasho
Kristi Lamont
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent first book in a YA series by one of my favorite authors. Combo of mystery, paranormal, and standard teen angst. I'm middle-aged, so of course I particularly loved the descriptions of the landscape. :-) ...more
Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Thot I'd check this series out on Whidbey Island and realized I already read it. Fair amount of tension, magic, romance and confusedness of youth. ...more
Michelle Wrona
*3.5 star rating*

To be honest, I’ve been spying on this book for a millennium. Okay, it sure feels like it, especially since I’ve always hesitated to pick it up. Psychological thrillers are my favourite kind, and I’m always looking for another one. The Edge of Nowhere could’ve been better, by the way, but it was enjoyable for a night.

For the longest time, I’ve been hearing about Elizabeth George and her popular novels, but I actually never knew that this was her first in the YA genre. It wa
Ariel Lowe
Oct 15, 2012 rated it liked it
I won this book from First Reads, and it was my first one. This is the first book that I've read by Elizabeth George, so I have no idea how good her other books are. I think that this is her first book that was based for a younger audience though. From the ending, there will probably be a sequel,and I hope that it was better than the first; I may not read it otherwise. I only gave this book a three stars for several reasons.

1. Why was there so many descriptions of trees? I understood that they
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

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 S

Other books in the series

Whidbey Island Saga (4 books)
  • The Edge of the Water (Whidbey Island Saga, #2)
  • The Edge of the Shadows (Whidbey Island Saga, #3)
  • The Edge of the Light (Whidbey Island Saga, #4)

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“Becca took the opportunity to say good-bye to Derric by touching his hand. The heart monitor raced suddenly. She looked from it to Rhonda.
Rhonda’s expression said what her voice did not. Who are you really and why is my son reacting to the touch of your hand?
“He pulled to the side and saw, to his chagrin, that Mrs. Prince of the $2,100 bill at the Star Store was just leaving. She waved at him merrily and grinned and Seth waved back gamely. He wondered how Ralph had reacted to the news that his grandson had managed to screw up running the Star Store’s cash register. He could easily imagine Mrs. Prince’s words: “Ralph, I hate to ask, but can that boy even count?” 2 likes
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