Monday, April 25, 2016

REVIEW: On the Edge of Gone by Corrine Duyvis

On the Edge of Gone is unlike anything I've read this year. Corrine Duyvis, an author new to me, built a world that seemed grounded in the now and yet futuristic all at the same time and she shared that through the eyes of her autistic heroine, Denise. 

In On the Edge of Gone, the world as we know it is ending. We see Denise and her family and friends living in the immediate before and the immediate after, trying to process how to live in this new existence, this sort of limbo-land where nothing is exactly like you might think it would be. Tough decisions must be made about whether to stay on Earth or leave and especially hard for Denise is what to do with her drug addicted mother and her M.I.A. sister. 

I very much enjoyed thinking about all of the problems and solutions Duyvis offered and I especially enjoyed that we saw it through the eyes of Denise. As someone with autistic family members and someone who works with autistic students, it can be difficult to find novels with characters who give us this perspective in a way that is honest and complex and dynamic. Additionally, it is evident that Duyvis sees the value of diversity in the world of her characters and is something that I wish was more commonplace and therefore not worth mentioning; unfortunately our novel world hasn't quite caught up to the world's demographics so it's something I feel is very much worth noting. 

If you're looking for something slightly futuristic and yet grounded in the world we recognize; if you're looking for diverse literature; if you're looking for a novel that asks you to think about the end of the world as we know it, On the Edge of Gone is a fantastic choice.


January 29, 2035. That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit—the big one.

Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter outside their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denise’s drug-addicted mother is going, they’ll never reach the shelter in time.

A last-minute meeting leads them to something better than a temporary shelter: a generation ship, scheduled to leave Earth behind to colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But everyone on the ship has been chosen because of their usefulness. Denise is autistic and fears that she’ll never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister?

When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?

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