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The Edge of Anything

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  643 ratings  ·  160 reviews
A *Kirkus Reviews* Best Book of 2020
One of A Mighty Girl's Best Books of the Year
Finalist for the Cybils Awards

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 scholarship
Published April 2020 by Running Press Kids (first published March 24th 2020)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  643 ratings  ·  160 reviews

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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 whol ...more
Jun 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An 'own voices' story about mental illness and the power of friendship. Carpenter speaks with the authority of personal experience in a remarkable page-turner of a novel. Sage and Len will inspire you, frustrate you, and, at times, break your heart. ...more
Gary Anderson
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Nora Shalaway Carpenter’s debut young adult novel The Edge of Anything (Running Press Teens) is a book that we don’t so much simply read but rather become part of its lifelike rhythms and textures. At first, we are taken in by the thoughts and activities of the two main characters, Sage and Len, two high school seniors whose lives seem relatively normal but contain just enough quirks and teen drama to make them interesting. When Carpenter has readers absorbed into both girls’ stories, things beg ...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,
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 fini
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 wil ...more
Kristin Lambert
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m having trouble finding the words to describe how special and beautiful this book is, even though I’ve been telling everyone about it for days. I loved it so much. It made me not just cry but SOB, from both happiness and sadness. All the characters are so well written, but especially the two main characters, Sage and Len, whose stories are the kind that break your heart and then knit it back together and leave you a little different — better — afterward. If you love books about friendship, or ...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 vulne
Lindsey Lynn (thepagemistress)
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Trigger Warnings: depression, ocd, traumatic loss

This had incredible friendship and explored topics I don't see often enough in ya. The writing was simple and the dialog was well done
May 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Look, I know I'm in the minority here, but I really struggled with this book. To fair, it's not something I would've picked to read on my own, but it came in a subscription box and I was committed to completing it.

What made this book so difficult for me to enjoy was that I hated Sage with a passion. She was just the worst. I went into this book expecting it to be about an unlikely friendship. I adore friendship stories, so I was cautiously optimistic that this book might somehow surpass my low
Alina Borger
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, wndb, vcfa-folks, grief
(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*
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Susie by: NetGalley

Booked By Random

*I received a free digital ARC via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Heart wrenching

This couldn’t be more beautifully told. Although, at the beginning, I was extremely sceptical. I’m not really a volleyball fan, so whilst I appreciated the detail in the story of all the gameplay, it was a bit lost on me. Yet, as the story gathered momentum, the story behind everything grips and doesn’t let go.

Sage, the superstar volleyball player, considered aloof to any out
Tisha (IG: Bluestocking629)
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What do you get when you take one YA book and remove the Edward and Bella romance trope? You get a well-crafted book. Don’t get me wrong I am a huge fan of Twilight and Hunger Games. This book simply has more...substance and depth. It definitely has a certain je ne sais quoi.

I am a fan of Nora Shalaway Carpenter and I am fairly certain all future books of hers will be an automatic lob into the cart for me!

This book is an opposites attract friendship between popular Sage and less than popular Le
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There are books written for pleasure from which you'll learn something and again there are books written especially to teach something and you'll learn it with pleasure. The Edge of Anything is a book of the second category.

The blurb gives you an idea about the subject and its gravity. Yet, all its seriousness is delivered in an artistic manner which both stresses the impact on the readers and offers them a very agreeable reading experience.

The two main characters don't only have to deal themsel
Sometimes bad things, really bad things, happen to good people. Len and Sage both have heartbreaking defining moments, moments that break them. This is a story of picking up pieces, friendship and hope. You might want to grab some tissues, you are probably going to need them.
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gave me the courage to admit that it is ok to be not ok. It showed me that everyone can be messed up, and that life is not always sunshine and daisies. I learned the power of friendship, and that true friends can be totally opposite yet be closer than sisters. A awesome book that tells the truth about the world and doesn’t sugarcoat it.
Liz Palumbo
So I got this book in a Once Upon a Book Club box. I did not have high expectations going in as I knew nothing about the book nor ever heard of it. This book was definitely enjoyable to say the least. It just didn’t really stick with me. It was an average book I could say and reminded me of books I read before so it didn’t seem that original which is why I’d say it’s average.
Chelsea Dignan
May 25, 2020 rated it liked it
This was good for the most part. I enjoyed a young adult novel about friendship instead of romance. I feel being an adult, I would have enjoyed this more if I had read it as a teenager. Maybe my views would have been different back then. I sometimes feel it's hard for me to read a young adult novel as an adult, but I also try to read it in the mindset of the characters. In this book things felt over-dramatic, or more forced to be dramatic for the sake of the story.

*Spoilers ahead!*

I completely
Anuradha Rajurkar
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THE EDGE OF ANYTHING is 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 se
Sandra Nickel
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, t ...more
Andria Sedig
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 themse ...more
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
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Think back to when you were in high school (if you’re in high school, you don’t have to think too far back) and you just wanted a friend who understood your damage. Nora Shalaway Carpenter keeps things real and raw in this window into the lives of Len and Sage whose paths cross one fateful day. A powerful debut novel about mental health, friendship, family, and resilience set in North Carolina.
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.
Paige Green
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received an e-arc from netgalley. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Edge of Anything

Author: Nora Shalaway Carpenter

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: OCD rep! Own voice!

Publication Date: March 24, 2020

Genre: YA Contemporary

Recommended Age: 15+ (mental health, depression)

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Pages: 368

Amazon Link

Synopsis: 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
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Good intentions were worthless when no one knew what to do with them."
I have not read a YA book in a very long time & I'm so glad that I picked this one up! I absolutely loved it for so many reasons! This story is based around two strong, courageous young ladies who form a friendship based on their separate struggles in life, despite their extreme school/life differences. @noracarpenterwrites is a beautiful writer who used her own personal experience with trauma & OCD to address mental illness
Addie Thompson
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was a breath of fresh air. What bothers me about a lot of teen fiction is that it centers around romance. And even if it doesn’t, there is an ever present undertone of girl meets... this story was not like that. This was a story of self acceptance, self love and true friendship. The kind of friendship I so value in my own life. Len and Sage are honest with one another even when honesty is hard. Each girl teaches the other to forgive herself for her flaws, and each girl is a fierce prot ...more
Kelly Strautmann
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Proud of another Cameron High School graduate with a published book! :) I have never read a YA book like this. It tackles some topics that are very important (mental health/OCD) and show the bonds of friendship and what they can accomplish. A fast read where you feel compelled to find out what happens once you start.
Amelia Crider
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars - I really enjoyed this book! It’s a beautiful book about friendship. This is not a romance and I found that to be really refreshing for a YA book. Len and Sage are the most unlikely of friends, but I loved seeing their quirky friendship grow.

There was a little bit of language. Len’s sister is lesbian, and her sister and wife are mentioned frequently. No sex or violence. Mental illness is a theme throughout the book.
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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

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