On the Edge of Gone is one of the best YA science fiction books I’ve ever read. On the Edge of Gone follows Denise and her mother as they are attempting to find shelter for an impending comet collision with Earth. When they are running late to the shelter they are assigned to, because they are waiting for Denise’s sister Iris, they come in contact with a generation ship that is still on Earth. The generation ship’s passenger list is completely full but Denise takes it upon herself to become useful and get herself and her mother invited to stay on the generation ship, while also looking for her sister Iris at a shelter. This proves to be difficult because Denise is autistic and her mother is a drug addict.
This is a great novel that shows the tenacity of a young girl to overcome all the odds against her. Denise is such a fantastic character. I love Duyvis’ interpretation of Denise’s autism and she writes it beautifully because Corinne Duyvis is autistic herself. This was such a new type of character that I’ve never read about and I was so engaged with this book because of that. Denise’s ability to never give up and always have hope is inspiring. She takes one moment at a time and lives as hard as she can in those moments.
There is not a lot of complicated science fiction in this book and the book reads quickly. It mostly centers around Denise figuring out a way to be irreplaceable aboard this generation ship. There is enough information about the generation ship for it to be interesting but not enough to overshadow the narrative. The highlight of the book for me is just seeing what this comet is doing to the world around them and how it really impacts their life. The atmosphere of a doom’s day like plot is done so well in this book. Many times Denise catches herself thinking about normal everyday things and realizes that those normal things are so unimportant now compared to the situation of the world. There is a sense of despair about the book but also a silver lining of hope that all the characters share.
I think most people would like this book. It is just a well-written YA book that needs to be more widely read. Typical YA tropes are present but they never overshadow any other part of the story. At no point did I become annoyed by the actions of the characters or the author in this book and that is a big plus for me when it comes to YA. I will definitely be reading more of Duyvis’ books in the future.
17/25 Possible Score
Plot – 3
Characters – 4
World Building – 3
Writing Style – 4
Heart & Mind Aspect – 3