Title: The Edge of Falling
Author: Rebecca Serle
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: March 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover, 304 Pages
ISBN-10: 1442433167 (Simon Pulse)
ISBN-13: 978-1442433168 (Simon Pulse)
Reviewed by: Bridget
Growing up in privileged, Manhattan social circles, Caggie’s life should be perfect, and it almost was until the day that her younger sister drowned when Caggie was supposed to be watching her. Stricken by grief, Caggie pulls away from her friends and family, only to have everyone misinterpret a crucial moment when she supposedly saves a fellow classmate from suicide. Now she’s famous for something she didn’t do and everyone lauds her as a hero. But inside she still blames herself for the death of her sister and continues to pull away from everything in her life, best friend and perfect boyfriend included. Then Caggie meets Astor, the new boy at school, about whom rumours are swirling and known facts are few. In Astor she finds someone who just might understand her pain, because he has an inner pain of his own. But the more Caggie pulls away from her former life to be with Astor, the more she realises that his pain might be darker, and deeper, than anything she’s ever felt. His pain might be enough to end his life…and Caggie’s as well.
Quick & Dirty: The Edge of Falling is a heartwarming story about loss, guilt, and redemption. The beginning is really slow, but the ending more than makes up for it.
Opening Sentence: Most great works of literature have a hero at their core, but this story is an exception.
It is the beginning of Mcalister Caulfield’s, or better known as Caggie, senior year of high school and things aren’t going how she planned. Nothing has been quite the same since her younger sister drowned while she was supposed to be watching her. The grief has eaten Caggie up inside and she has become a shell of who she once was. Her longtime boyfriend broke up with her and her parents don’t look at her the same anymore. Then a few months after the horrible incident with her sister, Caggie supposedly saves a fellow students life, but that’s not what really happened. Now everyone thinks she is a hero, but if they really knew the truth everyone would look at her differently and she just can’t handle that.
Lost in her pain and grief Caggie just continues to pull away from everyone until she meets the mysterious Astor. He is the new boy in school and he may be the only person that is able to understand how Caggie is really feeling. Astor has also experienced a devastating loss in his life and the pain he feels is a mirror image of how Caggie feels every day. But the more time Caggie spends with Astor the more she realizes she really doesn’t know him at all.
Caggie was a very interesting character that for the most part was very likeable. She is completely ridden with guilt for what happened to her sister and even though it really wasn’t her fault she can’t help but feel that it was. I really felt bad for Caggie and for the most part, I understood her. But she does make some terrible decisions and I found that to be a little bit annoying at times. She understandably has a somewhat negative attitude towards life, but the way she pushes everyone away was frustrating. With that all being said, I ended up really liking Caggie and found her story to be heartwarming and beautifully done.
The Edge of Falling is full of heartache, love, and grief. I’m not going to lie, the first half of this book was pretty boring and I actually contemplated not finishing it. But I decided to keep reading it and I am so glad I did because the second half of this book ended up being really good. While I found the plot to be pretty predictable, I felt that the message that Serle gives is one of hope and understanding, which really helped me to connect with the story. There is a lot of emotion expressed through the writing and I really thought that Serle did a wonderful job making me feel for the characters. Overall, I ended up really enjoying this book and would highly recommend it to anyone that is looking for a heartfelt story about grief and loss.
So I step forward. It only takes one step for Mr. Bar Man to come toward me. As he gets closer, I see that I’m right: He’s about my age, maybe a little bit older. He’s dressed well— tailored shirt, black pants—and he’s got dark, dark hair and eyes. Even inside, in this poorly lit music hall, it’s easy to spot that they’re so brown they’re almost black.
“Well,” he says when we’re within speaking distance. “This is a surprise. Nice to see you.” I frown. “Excuse me?”
He doesn’t answer, just keeps looking at me. It makes the back of my neck feel hot.
“Do we know each other?” I ask.
I cross my arms. He runs his tongue over his top lip. “We used to.”
I feel my heartbeat quicken. I hadn’t actually expected him to say yes. I thought he meant that he was surprised I came over. Or that I wasn’t Claire.
“You look perturbed,” he says.
I shake my head. “I don’t think we do.”
He takes a sip of his drink. Sets it down. Exhales. “We do.”
“Well, I have no idea who you are. No offense or anything.”
He smiles. “I wouldn’t expect you to. It was a long time ago. You’re Mcalister, right?”
More heart pounding. “Yes.”
“Of the Caulfields?”
Ah. Yes. “Do you know me, or have you just heard of me?”
FTC Advisory: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of The Edge of Falling. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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