Interest level: 15-18
Another terrific novel from a first-time author. I picked this up because the setting is in Moab, Utah, a hiker’s paradise with red rocks that form arches and spires, sharp cliffs on the Colorado river, and a starscape that makes your heart both swell and shrink. The author clearly loves the land as I do, with references to gems like Fisher Towers (I hiked there myself in 2010) and Behind the Rocks Trail. It’s the story of Luke, whose mother recently died and whose father drowns his grief, giving in to the alcoholism he’d conquered years ago. Giving up on his father, Luke drops out of his art program in high school in New York City and takes off for Utah. There he finds a group of friends who become his new family, gets a job and even falls in like – but the ties to home aren’t so easy to shed. There’s a spiritual aspect to this novel that borders on religious, but backs off just in time. The story pushes the bounds of reality now and then, though perhaps in Utah, only in Utah, reality exists on a different plane. Not for younger teens, due to mature content (crystal meth and teen alcoholism).
More discussion and reviews of this novel: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7996114-edges