Thursday, May 25, 2017

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn

Page Count: 256
Published on: June 27, 2017
Published by: Kensington Publishing
Genre(s): YA, Thriller, Mystery, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Source: ARC -from the author/publisher
Age Rating: YA
Trigger warnings for harassment and assault and domestic turmoil
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon
Book Depository: {click here}


My Rating: 3.75 stars
Overall Opinion: Disappointing & not that magical

Goodreads synopsis:

From the author of The Darkest Lie comes a compelling, provocative story for fans of I Was Here and Vanishing Girls, about a high school senior straddling two worlds, unsure how she fits in either—and the journey of self-discovery that leads her to surprising truths.

In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.

When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong…


Hey, guys!

I was sent an advanced reader's copy by the author and the publisher for an honest review.

      I've been a follower of Pintip Dunn's books since she and Kensington Publishing sent me her novel The Darkest Lie (4.5 stars) in April of last year. I was really impressed by the way Dunn crafted her characters and her plot in TDL. I was really excited to see how her writing has improved and how she dealt with serious issues in her work. Once again, I was really impressed with Dunn's writing. 

      This book was more intriguing compared to The Darkest Lie, but I don't think I enjoyed it any less. This book follows Thai-American Kanchana who lives in a predominately white Kansas town. She has always felt like she does not belong in Thailand with her family or in Kansas with her peers. Her grandmother chastises her for becoming westernized and often claims that she is no longer a "good Thai girl". Although, Kanchana embraces her Thai heritage, she longs to design clothes and go to an art college. When her mother agrees to take in an orphaned girl named Shelly, Kan embraces the chance of welcoming someone new and making them feel welcome in her small-minded town. Things suddenly go south when Shelly begins to envy Kan's life and begins to creepily manipulate her friends and family. Kan decides to investigate Shelly's previous life. 

     This book is very creepy and twisty-turny. That isn't an official term, but that is what it is. I really enjoyed how Dunn established her story. I was instantly caught up in Kan's life within the first few pages and I loved to read about her family's culture. The food, in particular, was especially vivid. I loved the descriptions. Her characters were very well fleshed out and it never felt like the racism and other-ing drove the story. The way Kan dealt with being pushed by her family and her peers. The non-aggressions that she faced daily are heart-breaking, but I never felt like her drove the plot. It was so realistically written. I also really liked Ethan's character. He wasn't the stereotypical guy...he's a ballroom dancer! How cool is that! I also loved that he was so hard working and passionate about his dancing capability. I didn't like how insta-lovey Ethan and Kan's relationship was. It got kind of annoying and escalated a bit quickly. 

     The mystery surrounding Shelly got super creepy quite quickly. It was a good creepy though. I really liked that there were chapters in Shelly's perspective. It was interesting to see what was going on in her head. Really creepy sometimes, but still interesting. I was really impressed by how clueless I was for the good majority of the book. Towards the end, I guessed the twist, but there were still some elements of the twist that I did not see coming. It was kind of annoying how dismissive Khun Yai and Mae were about the whole ordeal, but the fact that they had something to hide was a bit of an explanation. It was like a Criminal Minds or N.C.I.S. episode, which was pretty fantastic. It just needed Reid and it would have been perfect 😉.

Image result for reid criminal minds gif

     There were a few aspects to the book that I didn't enjoy as much. One of them being the character Ash. Ash was supposedly Kan's best friend, however she never gave me any kind of reason to like her or sympathize with her. She never really stood up for Kan when she was being harassed or made fun of, she wasn't very sympathetic or understanding, and she never seemed like a very great friend, overall. 

     This book is an #ownvoices novel which was really fantastic. I really enjoyed reading from Kan's perspective and her whole family was really fascinating. Her culture is so beautiful and I loved every second of it. I feel pretty enlightened and I highly recommend this book if you're searching for a contemporary thriller. 

Review for The Darkest Lie: {click here}
Pintip Dunn's Goodreads Page: {click here
Preorder GIRL ON THE VERGE on Amazon [here
Pre-order GIRL ON THE VERGE on Book Depository [here]

Happy reading!


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