Book Review: ON THE EDGE OF GONE by Corinne Duyvis

On the Edge of Gone centres around an autistic protagonist who has to navigate the end of the world.

On the Edge of Gone was written by Corinne Duyvis and is a sci-fi YA novel.

Summary: “In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2034, a comet is due to hit
the Earth within the hour. Denise, who’s sixteen years old and autistic, must
try to find her missing sister and also help her neglectful, undependable
mother safely aboard a spaceship”— Provided by publisher

The Good:

Denise is a unique character. I found it so interesting to read a book from the perspective of someone who was autistic. The author, Corinne Duyvis, is autistic and so is able to let the reader experience the (end of the) world from a different perspective. It was refreshing, after so many YA books about a character who starts out “normal,” to start with a character who already was one step in a different direction. I learnt so much about how people experience autism and I would recommend the book to anyone who knows someone who has autism or doesn’t and wants to understand what it is like.

Having the book set in the Netherlands was really good as a change from being set in the USA. So many amazing YA books are set in the US that it was fun to explore a different culture. I also loved how Dutch words were sprinkled lightly through the book as it gave it a feeling of authenticity.

The Bad:

Even though I liked the idea of the book for me it wasn’t enjoyable. I had to really force myself to read it and it got boring. It felt like too much all at once. There were no breaks between events. It felt like one tragedy after another and I don’t understand how poor Denise was able to function on any level. The end of the book I found difficult. I understood what the author was trying to explain but I personally enjoy having loose ends tied up and all questions answered.

I understand this is a strange thing to say about a YA sci-fi novel but it the scenario was unbelievable. It felt like everything which could go wrong did. A comet is going to crash into the earth causing it to be uninhabitable, her mother is a drug addict and alcoholic, and her sister is missing. Also, she cannot work in the animal shelter and misses the cats. Everything which could be wrong is wrong. I would have preferred a book about Denise but without the comet because I feel that it is almost unnecessary.

Conclusion:

Overall I did enjoy the characters but the story itself was uninteresting. I do hope to see more autistic and other disabled characters in YA fiction as I believe that it needs more diversity.

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