"Dark YA thriller with its roots in the Bosnian War.
Sanda is 16. Her parents escaped to London after the Bosnian War. One day she comes home to find them gone without a trace. Before she has time to figure out what’s happened, she’s kidnapped and taken across Europe into Serbia where she’s held prisoner.
It’s here that she comes face to face with the brutal truth about what her parents really did in the war and where she learns that everything she’s ever been told is a lie."
NetGalley. Thanks for a copy.
The Edge of Me's story goes deep into the Bosnian War (which actually happened from 1992 to 1995). The events of The Edge of Me is purely fictional (at least, that is what I know of), and the book itself is rather similar to other war stories I'd read. (But for the life of me, I can't recall their names. It sucks, believe me. For once, my great memory fails to tell me exactly what that World War II book's title is.)
Sanda is someone who can easily fade into the background. You'll pass by her on the streets, but you won't remember her. You'll see her in the school, but all you can probably remember of her is "she's the girl who sits behind me." When Sanda is kidnapped by mysterious persons (with connections to the Bosnian War and a murderous group), no one remembers her except for a boy named Joe. Actually, he accidentally gets kidnapped as well because he's collateral damage.
Despite her kidnapping and what has been done to her (and Joe and her friends), Sanda remains determined to escape. But it is a constant battle, and there will be times she want to give up. She is an amazing character, and she amazes me over and over again.
Joe is an interesting love interest. Never before has a kidnapping brought two people closer to each other. He is the only person Sanda can truly trust, and both of them get into a bunch of horrible things. But for better or worse, they are in that kidnapping together. (Want to sing "We're All In This Together" with me?)
The plot is stunning and thrilling, with hundreds of twists and turns. A kidnapping, a group of bad people who are after Sanda and Joe, and no good forces in sight. All they have are each other and whoever comes along for the ride. It is easy for things to become hopeless, especially when evil is lurking around every corner.
Some Random Thoughts: The ending is spectacular, and I would love to know what Sanda's "mother" feels like when she learns about the survival of a certain character she greatly hates. I applaud Jane Brittan for creating some heartfelt and amazing scenes/quotes. The villain of the book is absolutely wretched and brings about memories of a certain female Nazi who was a guard in a concentration camp. (The Nazi's name? Irma Ida Ilse Grese.)
Overall, The Edge of Me is a true thriller. It has it all. Love, hope, thriller, suspense, a strong heroine, and an amazing journey.
Rating: Four out of Five