A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Some facts about caving (spelunking) and daddy longlegs.
Showing mercy and forgiveness can have a life-changing impact on those around you. But you can't do bad things to people and expect forgiveness, because good hearts are fragile and can be permanently damaged when you do wrong. Asks whether being sorry counts for anything: Isn't everyone sorry after they've been caught?
Positive Role Models
Zoe and her family are loyal, brave, compassionate, and loving and let others be themselves without judging them. X is brave as well as considerate of others. He accepts his punishment when he breaks the rules, but he also finds the courage to stand up to the powerful, knowing he'll pay a high price for it. Zoe and X each have loyal, supportive friends who put themselves in danger to help when needed.
Violence & Scariness
Fantasy and real-world violence with fights, beatings, and past murders. Blood's mentioned but isn't described in detail. No other gore, but some details of fighting mentioned, such as eye gouging, biting off fingers, and stabbing. Prisoners in the fantasy world try to hurt themselves by biting off fingernails and banging their heads on rocks. A child is in danger from a collapsing house. A man kicks and tries to drown two dogs. During a carjacking a man gets kicked out into the road and run over by a truck. Victims are punctured in the face by fingernails during a magic ritual.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few kisses and some caressing.
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"Ass," "pissed off," "s--t," "slut," "whore," "damn," "d--k" (name-calling), "crap," "bitch," "WTF," "hell," and "nuts" (body part). "A forest of raped trees." "Perv" and "spaz," once each.
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Products & Purchases
A few food, drink, and car makes mentioned for setting or character.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Brief mention of bottles lying around and someone drinking from a flask. A villain smokes cigarettes. Cigarette smell mentioned a few times.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jeff Giles' The Edge of Everything is the first book in a planned fantasy series. It takes place in both the real world and a fantasy world. There's violence in both worlds. There are past murders, fighting, beatings, and people in the fantasy realm who harm themselves as a way to ease the monotony of being imprisoned. Blood is mentioned but not described, and there's little gore, but some descriptions of fights mention eye gouging and the biting off of fingers. There are a few kisses and caresses, and two characters share an intense emotional bond. Profanity isn't frequent but includes "s--t," "ass," "slut," and "d--k" (used as name-calling). The book will invite teens to think about mercy, compassion, and forgiveness. Zoe and her family and friends, and X and his friends, are great role models for bravery, loyalty, and compassion.
Is It Any Good?
Dark and light, funny and tragic, epic and intimate, real and fantastical, grounded and soaring, this is an amazing first novel. The writing in The Edge of Everything is taut but expressive, and the heroes are likable and easy to relate to. The fantasy world is vividly described and very out of the ordinary. Colorful characters populate both worlds. The pages keep turning thanks to the compelling plot and skillful building of suspense. There's lots of food for thought about compassion, mercy, and forgiveness. And the bittersweet ending will leave readers anxious for the next volume.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.