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The Edge of Anything

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4.63  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Len is a loner teen photographer haunted by a past that’s stagnated her work and left her terrified she’s losing her mind. Sage is a high school volleyball star desperate to find a way around her sudden medical disqualification. Both girls need college scholarships. After a chance encounter, the two develop an unlikely friendship that enables them to begin facing their ...more
Expected publication: April 2020 by Running Press Kids (first published March 24th 2020)
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Average rating 4.63  · 
Rating details
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Dahlia
Dec 28, 2019 added it
Shelves: 2020-releases
I think what this book does is really special. It’s entirely friendship-centric - no romance to be found for either protag - and it’s about two girls who learn how to ask for help through an unexpected newfound friendship. I really love when mental health books help give language to readers who might need it, and who make clear that illnesses can take different forms for different people and don’t necessarily have one static lineup for symptoms. It also nicely and implicitly exemplifies the ...more
Eva Gibson
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So much emphasis is placed on young people being tough and capable, able to handle conflict and strife, and overcome any situation through strength and determination. But what do you do when faced with a challenge that is truly out of your control? What do you do when being strong isn’t enough?

THE EDGE OF ANYTHING is the story of Len and Sage, two very different girls facing two very different problems. Artsy Len has enough on her plate with financial worries, her grandmother’s declining health,
...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of THE EDGE OF ANYTHING by Nora Shalaway Carpenter in exchange for my honest review.***

Len, an outcast with OCD and bullied by her classmates, harbors a horrible secret. Volleyball star Sage keeps her recently diagnosed heart condition hidden from her friends. The teens strike up an unlikely friendship that may help both overcome their obstacles.

THE EDGE OF ANYTHING, an enjoyable yet predictable read, kept me interested enough to
...more
Shannon Takaoka
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: roaring20sdebut, ya
THE EDGE OF ANYTHING is an beautifully written and affecting debut that follows an unexpected friendship between two teen girls – Sage, a star volleyball player aiming for a scholarship to play at a top school, and Len, an introverted artist with college dreams of her own – both who have their lives upended by events beyond their control. As Len struggles to cope with a severe case of OCD triggered by family stresses and a tragic loss, Sage has to process a devastating medical diagnosis that ...more
Estelle Laure
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(ARC) I absolutely loved this book. I love this story and all the energy behind it. It’s sure to be so helpful to kids who are hiding and spiraling, and some of the phrases just killed me. I especially loved that the ketchup “exhaled its blob”, but there were many passages throughout that left me a little breathless.

The Edge of Anything is a gorgeously imagined, tender, irresistible examination of shame and the secrets we keep even from ourselves, but more than that, it is a reminder that
...more
Oiza Cavallari
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An #ownvoices intriguing read..loved the friendship and everything so far, more updates to come. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC copy
Shari Swanson
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Edge of Anything is a beautifully-written touching story about the power of friendship and the resilience of the spirit. I fell in love with Len and Sage and was caught up in their world and struggles. Carpenter has done a deft job of characterization and drawing from her personal experience to craft a novel that brings empathy to mental health struggles and inspires hope.
Sandra
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I would give The Edge of Anything six stars if I could. Nora Shalaway Carpenter is an expert at crafting a novel, never easing up on the pacing and tension that makes us turn the pages, and turn them quickly. What makes this novel so extraordinary, however, is its hope . . . and respect for fellow human beings . . . and the way her characters are so beautifully imagined that everything about them is true and real. I must confess I was teary for the good last eighth of the novel, but, honestly, ...more
Andria Sedig
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
I thought that this book was really powerful in describing ways to deal with grief, loss, and difficult news. Both characters felt a little bit flat at the beginning of the book, but the author did a really great job filling out their characters as the story went on. I enjoyed the exploration of mental health within this story. I enjoyed the overall character arc. Both characters were dealing with things that I cannot personally connect with, but I still felt connections to the characters ...more
Anuradha Rajurkar
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THE EDGE OF ANYTHINGis a powerful, poignant story of two very different girls reeling from their own private pain, and the unlikely friendship that ultimately saves them both.

Len hopes to apply for a photography scholarship but is barely managing amid her gaping guilt over a mysterious family tragedy. Sage is a volleyball star, who, upon discovering that she has a life-threatening medical condition, is suddenly reeling from dashed dreams and loss of identity. When the two girls' paths cross
...more
Lindsay Trapp
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-books
4.5 stars. This book was very compelling! Anytime I put it down, I found myself thinking about the main characters, and I couldn’t wait to start reading again. Sage and Len are very well-written characters; I felt as though I was experiencing the same complicated emotions they experienced throughout the story. The author’s note says that this book is an #ownvoices story, which makes me appreciate the book even more; the author did such an incredible job of allowing the reader to climb inside the ...more
Alina Borger
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grief, vcfa-folks, wndb, ya
(ARC)... what a beautiful book this is.

In this dual POV novel, volleyball superstar Sage faces a physical health challenge that puts her mental health at risk; loner and photographer Len faces a mental health challenge that puts her physical health at risk. The unlikely pair find each other at the moment each girl most needs a friend.

Carpenter manages the pivotal moments for each girl with a grace that doesn’t undercut them. Instead, the challenges highlight how friendship makes it *worthwhile*
...more
Leah
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2020, ya, arcs
A painful and oftentimes intense portrayal of how trauma can change the trajectory of your life. I found both POVs relatable, although I especially appreciated Sage's chapters - her passion for sports really came through strongly (speaking as someone who Does Not Get sports at all!) and I liked the way her changing dreams were grounded in her narrative throughout the book rather than being sprung at the end. I also liked the portrayal of adults: while both girls had loving parents, they weren't ...more
Alex Richards
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Edge of Anything is incredibly well written, but also digs into (and nurtures) the issue of mental illness as well as athletic injuries/conditions. The book features such real and relatable characters, whether or not you can identify with their specific issues. Even before I knew what was really going on with Len and Sage, I felt connected to them, and invested in their lives and stories. Carpenter does a beautiful job of letting the story unfold, each chapter building in intensity and ...more
Laurie
Nov 27, 2019 added it
Shelves: read-in-2019
I loved this beautifully written YA novel about grief, mental health, and the power of friendship. Sage and Len are fully realized teens who are forced to deal with overpoweringly unfair, devastating circumstances. Readers will empathize with them, worry about them, and root for them as they develop an unexpected connection with each other and help each other move toward hope. The descriptions are lovely, the mountainous North Carolina setting is vivid, the pacing is absorbing, and the emotions ...more
Sheena Boekweg
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I just finished THE EDGE OF ANYTHING, and as I wipe my cheeks dry, let me tell you how much I loved it. The Edge of Anything is a friendship story about two girls, Len and Sage, who are dealing with illness. Len is fighting OCD and Sage has a heart condition. They are both facing loss and grief and they both react with so much kindness even when life makes them messy. I loved both girls so much. The OCD rep is shared by the author and it feels so lovingly heartbreakingly honest and important. It ...more
Elliander
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, and it’s frank depictions of grief, mental illness and the power of connection with the people around us. Len and Sage felt real to me, and in the end their stories left me with one strong feeling - hope.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.
Tiffany
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, ya, fiction
Between 3 1/2- 4 stars, but I'll round up. I ended up enjoying this story. Two high school students are given challenges that almost break them. Len is a photographer who is dealing with a past that is making her life almost impossible to live as she starts showing OCD tendencies. Sage is the star of the volleyball team who is given a diagnosis that curbs her college and professional dreams. This unlikely pair come together to give each other the strength they need to accept and overcome these ...more
Cheryl
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two unlikely teens form a true friendship. That really doesn't do this story justice. Its so much more!
We have Len, who is on of the artsy types (she's a photographer) and isn't really understood by her peers. She's bullied, and striving for a scholarship.
Sage, is a super star volleyball player who just received life changing medical diagnosis that will change everything she had planned for herself.
These two couldn't be more different (on paper) but when they come together in the book, they
...more
Lindsay Trapp
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. This book was very compelling! Anytime I put it down, I found myself thinking about the main characters, and I couldn’t wait to start reading again. Sage and Len are very well-written characters; I felt as though I was experiencing the same complicated emotions they experienced throughout the story. The author’s note says that this book is an #ownvoices story, which makes me appreciate the book even more; the author did such an incredible job of allowing the reader to climb inside the ...more
Tiffany
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Between 3 1/2- 4 stars. I'll round up. I ended up enjoying this story. Two high school students are given challenges that almost break them. Len is a photographer who is dealing with a past that is making her life almost impossible to live as she starts showing OCD tendencies. Sage is the star of the volleyball team who is given a diagnosis that curbs her college and professional dreams. This unlikely pair come together to give each other the strength they need to accept and overcome these ...more
Paula
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, arcs
This book was just wonderful! I picked it up because I firstly liked the cover a lot and it just sounded like a beautiful novel about two teenagers and their friendship.

And man, was this book worth every hour I spent reading it and every page I turned!

Let me start with the characters, man I really got attached to them! I felt with them or was mad at them for doing certain actions or acting a certain way. They both have a special place in my heart, and I really love how they developed throughout
...more
Adeline Mirren
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Edge of Anything tells the heartbreaking and beautiful story of Len and Sage, two girls who become friends while each is going through their own tragedy. Sage, a star volleyball player on her way to an excellent scholarship, finds out that she will never play again due to a medical issue. Len, a photograph, is tormented by grief and worried she’s losing her mind. Despite their differences, the two girls become great friends and help each other out through their difficult situations. The ...more
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Nora Shalaway Carpenter holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Before she wrote books, she served as associate editor of Wonderful West Virginia magazine and has been a Certified Yoga Teacher since 2012. Originally from rural West Virginia, she currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina with her husband, three young children, and one not-so-young ...more