September 13, 2016 by Betty
Title: At The Edge of The World
Author: Kari Jones
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction
Rating: 4 Stars
Synopsis: Maddie and Ivan have been friends forever. They go to school together, surf, party, and hang out all the time. Ivan eats at Maddie’s house almost every day. But all is not well in Ivan’s world, and as control of his life slips farther away from him, Maddie agonizes over her role in his life. Ivan fears the fallout if the people in his community discover what he’s been hiding, but Maddie thinks telling his secret will help him. As Maddie struggles to figure out her own post-high-school path, she worries about how to deal with the things she knows about Ivan’s life. Is she a keeper of his secrets? Should she help him hide what’s going on in his family? Or should she tell someone and get help? What does betrayal look like when your best friend is in trouble?
**This book was given to me via LibraryThing Early Reviewers to review. The fact this is was given to me free of charge does not in any way effect my review**
Where to even begin with this book. I loved everything about it. The dynamic between Maddie and Ivan was perfectly balanced yet completely realistic. As they have grown up together all their life, they are best friends and there isn’t any awkward tension between them. They are so close and comfortable with each other. Despite that, I really liked that Kari Jones didn’t make it so that somewhere along the story Maddie and Ivan realize they have romantic feelings for each other. It isn’t necessary especially since they find themselves facing bigger and more serious concerns.
In At The Edge Of The World, the main problem is Ivan’s domestic life. Although everyone in their community is close and know their neighbors really well, no one is aware of what is really going on in Ivan’s life. His dad is known to have a bit of a drinking problem, but everyone believes that is the extent of the problem because Des, Ivan’s father, is good at pretending nothing is wrong.
When Maddie spots a really bad and old scar on Ivan’s leg she never remembers him getting, she begins to question Ivan’s facade of a normal home life. Upon discovering the truth of how Ivan is basically his fathers caretaker to keep him from burning down the house with his cigarettes, or choking on his own vomit during once of his drunken lapses she is determined to help him as much as she can.I really love her fierce loyalty. She focuses on helping Ivan with his problems while under a lot of stress from her own father Peter. She is ready to do whatever necessary to protect and take care of Ivan, whether that means going to a college she doesn’t want to go to or not going altogether.
This book is gritty and realistic with the topics it touches. The characters have to have the rough patches they come across, without an easy way out. Ivan is trapped in the situation because he refuses to abandon his father like his mother did. I definitely recommend this if you are looking for a deep, realistic and emotional read.