Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Edge of Falling - Rebecca Serle

The Edge of Falling - Rebecca Serle
The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: March 18, 2014
Source/Format: Edelweiss || e-galley

Growing up in privileged, Manhattan social circles, Caggie’s life should be perfect, and it almost was until the day that tragedy struck her family. Stricken by grief, Caggie pulls away from her friends and family, only to have everyone misinterpret a crucial moment when she supposedly saves a fellow classmate from suicide. Now she’s famous for something she didn’t do and everyone lauds her as a hero. But inside she continues to pull away from everything in her life, best friend and perfect boyfriend included. Then Caggie meets Astor, the new boy at school, about whom rumours are swirling and known facts are few. In Astor she finds someone who just might understand her pain, because he has an inner pain of his own. But the more Caggie pulls away from her former life to be with Astor, the more she realises that his pain might be darker, and deeper, than anything she’s ever felt. (modified from Goodreads)

Two years ago, Rebecca Serle wowed me with her debut novel When You Were Mine, which told a modern day version of Romeo and Juliet from the perspective of Rosaline. This year, she completely blew me away for the second time with her sophomore release The Edge of Falling. It's a riveting story set in New York City, balancing a story of grief and confusion with a dash of hope and goodness.

Caggs is a tormented soul, which makes her both frustrating and pitiful all at once. She seems to have everything a girl could ask for, what with the fanciful, upper class life she appears to lead. But her history is haunting her to the point that she can't see past it. It was hard to read her story and witness what she goes through in her grief and guilt, especially when she finds herself lured in by the similar feelings she shares with Astor (who is dark and twisty and a deliciously disturbed character in his own right, a.k.a. the bad boy type). However, Serle wrote Caggs in a way that allowed me to truly feel for her, and that was what kept me turning the pages and hoping that things would take a turn for the better.

Even though it had the potential to be too dramatic or too angsty, Serle manages to maintain a sense of hopefulness for the reader with the good things in Caggie's life. Chief among these good things are the amazing people she's graced with: her older brother Peter, her best friend Claire and her ex-boyfriend Trevor. Each of them knows Caggs well, and wants nothing but healing and goodness for her because they love her and want the best for her. It was well-done indeed to have these relationships juxtaposed against the unhealthy ties she had to Astor, and I was certainly rooting for these three to help as Caggs tried to turn her life around.

The Edge of Falling reads like a Gossip Girl episode, only with more substance and better characterization. This is not just a sad story about a girl who is facing real issues of depression and guilt. Nor is it just a story about how solid relationships with good people, whether friends or family, can help you find hope again. It's the story of one girl's journey towards healing and acceptance, including how sometimes it takes the experiences of people with more pain than your own to jumpstart your self-realization. Clearly, this novel made its mark on me, and I certainly hope that you will take my word for it and grab a copy so that it can make its mark on you!

7 comments:

  1. Yay, I'm so happy to say that I really loved this one too! I totally agree with you: Serle did a really good job maintaining the drama and keeping it on a down-low. And I seriously loved seeing McAlister coming to terms with her depression through the help of her family and friends! Lovely review, Alexa. :)

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  2. I'll definitely have to check this one out! I'm glad it didn't get too angsty - it does sound pretty heavy but you make me want to read about her journey! Also -- I loved Gossip Girl. :) With more substance? That makes me pretty excited for this one! :)

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  3. Wasn't it fantastic? I read it so long ago and fell so in love with it! I loved everything about it and I can't wait to finally share my review this week!

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  4. You said "reads like a Gossip Girl episode with more substance" and I was all "must read this right this second!!" This sounds so good. Great review!

    Also, sidenote: the cover of After Hello which I saw on your currently reading is so freaking beautiful. I am obsessed with it and am now going on Goodreads to check out that book.

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  5. I wanted to read this before, but after reading your review, especially that last paragraph, I am sold. This sounds like such a "me" book and in a weird way to almost reminds me of Loud Awake and Lost. I'll also have to look into her first book which I don't know much about, thanks!

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  6. OH yay! I'm so glad this one wowed you. I've been wanting to read this one for a long while now, especially since I really enjoyed Serle's first book. Definitely cannot wait to get my grabby hands on it now! :)

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  7. One word fits best - Art of Life

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