Title: On The Edge of Gone
Author: Corinne Duyvis
Category: YA Science Fiction
Publisher/Date: Amulet Books/8 March 2016
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 near 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.
Then a last-minute encounter leads them to something better than a temporary shelter: a generation ship that’s scheduled to leave Earth behind and colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But each passenger must have a practical skill to contribute. 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?
This book has content warnings for death, ableism, drug abuse, parental neglect, racism, natural disaster, near-drowning, and animal death (humane euthanization).
I had some pretty mixed feelings about this book but overall I really liked it. I loved Denise as a character — she’s autistic, biracial, and incredibly fierce. She more or less has had to take care of herself because her dad is gone and her mom doesn’t take care of her, so when she has to fight for her survival her instincts take over and she does whatever she can to protect herself and her mom, and to find her sister. Denise was a fantastic character, and I really enjoyed seeing through her eyes in this story.
My largest issue with this book was the pacing — I loved the story, but the pacing in the middle was rather uneven and often slow. This isn’t at all a short book, so having to slog through the middle of the book really made it drag for me, and this wasn’t very pleasant. I felt like the middle of the book could have been trimmed more without losing the heart of the story and the book would have been better off with this. I didn’t feel like this hurt the book enough to make me not enjoy it, but it certainly made it a bit harder to read.
I really felt that this book was worth reading — the premise was interesting, the cast was dynamic, and additionally the book did an excellent job of discussing stereotypes of autistic people through the eyes of an autistic character. It was, however, a bit too long and would have been more enjoyable if it were a bit shorter. I recommend it, but you may want to break this one up into several sittings more than usual because the middle can be challenging to get through.
Final rating: 4 of 5 stars