Monday, July 2, 2018

Edge of Nowhere by John E. Smelcer

Edge of Nowhere is a YA realistic fiction book about survival. 16-year-old Seth and his dog, Tucker, are on his father's fishing boat during a torrential storm in Alaska, and are knocked into the ocean overnight. Luckily, they manage to float on one of the islands lining the Alaskan coast, and over months, they try to survive. Swimming island to island, trying to get home, Seth is forced to come to terms with his mother's death. Meanwhile, while everybody else believes they are dead, his father never stops looking for him.

This book is a combination between Hatchet and The Odyssey, but much easier. Seth's survival was easier in the sense that what he needed to live was right in front of him, and there was not any violence or a direct threat. The plot was very simple. Sleep, eat some raw fish, swim, pet the dog, repeat. I was looking for the extra suspense, the action and the intensiveness coming from surviving. I needed more excitement, more thrill to keep me engaged as a reader.

The aspect of Seth facing the death of his mother and overcoming his depression was strong, but not strong enough. I just wanted more. The concept is there, the plot is there, the journey is there, but the extra step is not. I feel like this is somewhat of a rough draft. I really just needed more emotion, stress, desperation, and obstacles. I loved the idea, I loved the heritage aspect, and I learned a lot about Alaska, but I needed more. There is so much room to expand. I held such high hopes for this book, but sadly they did not live up to the book's potential.

I feel like some people might enjoy the book, but it was lacking for me, and just okay.

Title: Edge of Nowhere
Author: John E. Smelcer
Publisher: Leapfrog Press
Pages: 194
Series: No
Rating: 3 Stars

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