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Sliding on the Edge

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Scarred. Scared. Alone. Can sixteen-year-old Shawna Stone overcome her inner suffering and transcend the past?

Shawna has spent the first sixteen years of her life in Las Vegas and learned to handle anything from a Las Vegas hustle to skipping out on the rent. Damaged inside and out, she's survived with a tough, hardened attitude. When her mother abandons her, with only a
Hardcover, 268 pages
Published April 23rd 2009 by Westside Books
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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  86 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Elizabeth Seckman
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book and was a little sad to close the cover and say good-bye to Shawna and Kay. I found the dual perspective between the grandma and the granddaughter was insightful and showed how the two characters were more similar than not...but neither could see it. It was their mutual love for horses that helps them bridge their gaps.
Chrys Fey
Dec 21, 2016 rated it liked it

Shawna is a sixteen-year-old girl whose mother just split. Now she has to live with a grandmother she doesn't know. Every moment is far from what she's used to, and she struggles within herself. She doesn't talk unless she's yelling. She always has a bad attitude. And she cuts her ankle to relieve her pain.

By the middle of the book, I really got into the characters. I got teary-eyed and held my breath at certain parts. The only thing that disappointed me was the abrupt end. I expected 3
Martha Schwalbe
Jul 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Wow! This book took me by surprise because the flawed main character is trying to fight the Monster. This is the most proactive book on cutting I've read in all my time reading YA. The book wasn't driven by the cutting either which makes it more plausible since the few cutters I've known have kept their secret while living what appear to be normal lives.
Shawna's reluctance to get to know her grandmother in terms of protecting herself from more hurt and in light of the stories her mother told her
J.Q. Rose
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a timely topic.Teen suicide is hurtling toward epidemic proportions in our society. I applaud the author for opening up a conversation about this very tough subject . Shawna, the 16-year-old, who must deal with this monster in her life is portrayed as a tough, hard-edged girl who has had noone who really cared about her in her life. Her grandmother, Kay, has guilt she must deal with and no idea how to handle or love a girl like Shawna. Ms McKenzie kept these characters true to their charact ...more
Sherry Ellis
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sixteen-year-old, Shawna Stone, is abandoned by her mother, an addicted gambler. Her options are to roam the streets of Las Vegas, or find her grandmother, Kay. She opts for the latter. As she tries to build her life in her grandmother's home, she is haunted by her past and the inner monster that urges her to cut and even end her life.

Told in alternating points of view, Sliding on the Edge, gives an inside look on what it is like to be the troubled teenager, and what it is like to live with one.
Yolanda Renee
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The damage we do in the heat of the moment can change lives forever and Sliding on the Edge by C. Lee McKenzie is a prime example of that. Lie’s, half-truths, fear, and mistrust all play a role for sixteen-year-old Shawna, and her grandmother, Kay Stone when they finally meet.

A great read for any pre-teen or teenager struggling with dysfunction or not. Empathy can go a long way when it comes to understanding that we all have secrets and that a person’s life, like the cover of a book, cannot be j
Jeff Garrison
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shawna is a tough sixteen year old, at least on the outside. She is capable of surviving the streets of Las Vegas and the abusive boyfriends of her narcissistic mother. When her mother flees town with her newest lover, on the day the rent is due, Shawna wakes to a bus ticket, a $100 bill and a note to go to her grandmothers in Central California. There, she will be where her mother can find her when she gets her life back together. Having never met her grandmother, Shawna reluctantly decides to ...more
Jul 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Complete/full review here:

Author Interview here:

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

To say that Shawna is troubled would be a serious understatement. She is haunted and struggles daily with the demons inside her caused from a disastrous home life. To make matters worse, there is Monster. The voice inside her head cutting her down, reminding her of all the bad t
Jun 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The novel switches between Shawna and Kay's POV. I really enjoyed reading Shawna's chapters more than Kay's. I thought Shawna had a genuine voice, even if she did have a bit of an attitude. Shawna's thoughts and behavior were completely understandable, though, considering how her life had been and how her mother treated her. Her mother was a very selfish woman, putting her own needs ahead of her daughter's every time, and verbally (sometimes even physically) abusing Shawna. I thought the relatio ...more
Books and Literature for Teens
Sliding on the Edge is an emotional and edgy story of one girl’s journey to recovery. Shawna is a tough girl, she has to be to survive some of America’s roughest cities. When her mom leaves her alone in Las Vegas with only a hundred bucks to buy a bus ticket and a phone number, Shawna soon finds herself on a Californian horse ranch living with a grandmother she never knew existed. Besides her problematic anger issues and rough exterior, Shawna turns to cutting herself when a she can’t handle the ...more
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A well-constructed story, which is engaging and poignant.

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

Sixteen-year-old Shawna and sixty-year-old Kay both had monsters to confront and deal with. The difference is that the monster of a conflicted teen, who has to deal with "cutting" problems, will appear larger and more menacing. A sixty year old can more-or-les
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sliding on the Edge by C. Lee McKenzie

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

Kay is the opposite of Jackie, Shawnas' Mother, she has a rigid routine and strict rules. Shawna is used to being a loner and doing her o
Lynn Kelley
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Although this story is fictional, protagonist Shawna Stone’s story is all too familiar to many teen girls. Neglected by her mother, streetwise 16-year-old Shawna lives in poverty in Las Vegas where she and her mother barely survive by scamming others. When her mother abandons her, Shawna goes to live with a grandmother she’s never met and knows nothing about. Not even whether the woman is her mother’s mother or her father’s mother.

Life on a California horse ranch is a drastic change from the hu
Medeia Sharif
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shawna is a tough sixteen year old from Las Vegas. She has to be tough because her mother is irresponsible and endangers her well-being all the time. With her mother drifting along a sea of men and gambling trips, Shawna is on her own with a bus ticket and a phone number.

The number belongs to her grandmother, Kay, who is a stranger to her. Shawna takes the opportunity to go to California to live on Kay's horse ranch. The two are constantly butting heads. Shawna doesn’t feel like she belongs the
Lexa Cain
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Shawnna has a bad life. No. I mean really, really bad. Her mom is the poster girl for how not to be a mother. She’s selfish, unfeeling, and is teaching Shawnna to be a grifter like she is. In a twist of fate, her mother’s wanting to be alone with new boyfriend #65 leads her to palm off her daughter on her grandmother, a woman Shawnna’s never even met. This is Shawnna’s only chance to live a normal life – if she can just keep all the bad habits of the past from taking over and ruining everything. ...more
Anna Schroeder
Nov 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: three-stars

The characters in this book described in one word were: somewhat weird. I felt like at times, they were all as normal as they could be for their character, but then at other parts, it was just... too weird, even for the character. There were only a few main characters, especially towards the beginning, and to be honest, I got bored of them towards the beginning of the book. If the characters hadn't been so boring towards the beginning, I think I would've finished the book quicker tha
Jul 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
I don't usually read contemporary books that deal with tough girls like Shawna (I'm more of a fantasy-type reader), but this book was very well-written. I don't want to give too much away, but I especially enjoyed reading about the relationship with Shawna's (newly discovered) grandmother, Kay, and their struggles to get past their issues to a point where, after years of suffering, they could find a measure of peace. I also really liked the use of animals to help Shawna with the healing process ...more
Brandi Kosiner
Dec 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shawna is a troubled girl who has had to build a tough exterior due to how she grew up. Her Mom left her to fend on her own a lot, but when her Mom clears out their apartment with her boyfriend, a note telling Shawna to go to her Grandmother's house, to a complete stranger.
Under Kay (her Grandmother)'s love and structure, Shawna begins to open up. Kay runs a ranch with horses, who helps to open Shawna's heart as well. There is also a farm "hand" with personality and wise advice.

Shawna's jour
Apr 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Sliding on the edge by C.Lee McKenzie – Shawna Stone is 16 years-old.
Shawna’s mom, who’s rather flighty, abandons her in Las Vegas. She leaves the child, who’s become a pretty responsible person - money, a bus ticket to Sacramento, and the phone number of her mother in law, Shawna’s grandmother, Kay. Shawna has never met her grandmother and has heard only her mom's side of the story about her father, who's dead. Shawna has had self abuse and social acceptance issues throughout her life. Kay’s c
Nan Marino
Jun 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
When her mother abandons her, street hardened teenager, Shawna Stone, is forced to give up her life in Las Vegas and move onto a horse farm with her equally hardened grandmother, Kay Stone. These two have major secrets. A doomed horse, a drifter named Kenny and a handsome farm hand complete the cast. Watching these characters unravel makes for a compelling read, but the real joy comes as they begin to rebuild, proving that even the most battered of humans can find safety and hope through the hea ...more
Lilly W.
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely looovve this book. It has drama, love, and excitment. This girl has mom that moved away with her boyfriend. Then she went to her not so old grandmas fell in love with a hooott boy that works on her grandmothers frm and then of course "monster" comes and talks Shawna into cutting her ankles to stop him from annoying her every night ( this girl is not lezbo) now her grandma thinks her last relative (shawna) wants to kill herself. What will happen? I know but you dont ha ha! ...more
Esther Somorai
Jun 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
So glad I won this book through Good Reads and WestSide Books. Thank you.

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

A real to life story and characters. Well written, fast read. Recommended.
Cindy Macbeth
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a really good book. I didn't want to put it down once I started reading it. Shawna is damaged by her mothers life style, she
has no home life. Doesn't even now what its like to be loved and cared for. Her mother dumps her and she goes to live with a grandmother she never knew. Shawna is tormented by her demons and doesn't trust anyone. Don't want to say anymore. Just pick up this book and read it.
Erin Fanning
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This wonderful, wonderful book caught me by surprise--a YA novel told by two points of view--one a 16-sixteen girl; the other a 64-year-old grandmother--with both narrators equally captivating, believable, and sympathetic. Expertly plotted and told, this novel gripped me until I had gobbled it up in less than 24 hours. Author C. Lee McKenzie tells a story about forgiveness, second chances, and facing one's fears that all ages can relate to. Highly recommended! ...more
May 04, 2009 added it
I really enjoyed this story about a damaged girl finding herself and a sense of family by moving in with the grandmother she doesn't know. Older fans of horse stories will love the setting and the relationships between the characters and their horses. ...more
Melaine Marone
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed immensely

I enjoyed this book. The author got it right about the monster and secrets and sounded as if she had first hand knowledge and her own monster. I look forward to reading more of her books
Darby Karchut
Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating book about how teens "cut" themselves to help deal with issues. A sweet, sweet ending! ...more
Kristina Franken
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book for anyone

FTC: I received a free copy of this book and was not reimbursed in any other way.
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it
It wasn't too bad. I felt it was a little rushed at the end. ...more
Aug 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book! It was very engaging and a great, quick read.
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