Boy on the Edge

Featured
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
2470 0
Boy on the Edge
Age Range
14+
Release Date
February 25, 2014
ISBN
978-0763666804
Buy This Book
      

Can a boy on the edge find his way back? From award-winning Icelandic author Fridrik Erlings comes a novel as cruel as it is tender. Henry has a clubfoot and he is the target of relentless bullying. One day, in a violent fit of anger, Henry lashes out at the only family he has — his mother. Sent to live with other troubled boys at the Home of Lesser Brethren, an isolated farm perched in the craggy lava fields along the unforgiving Icelandic coast, Henry finds a precarious contentment among the cows. But it is the people, including the manic preacher who runs the home, who fuel Henry’s frustration and sometimes rage as he yearns for a life and a home. Author Fridrik Erlings offers a young adult novel that explores cruelty and desperation, tenderness and remorse, but most importantly, kindness and friendship.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Riveting and Moving
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
He has the ugliest face he’s ever seen. He’s slower than the other kids. He’s bullied and then turns on his persecutors. His angst turns him against his own mother. He burns with anger that builds to a raging fire he cannot control. What he needs is love and a home. And the story of how he finds it is painful yet beautifully breathtaking.

Boy on the Edge follows Henry, a poor, disadvantaged and club-footed boy, from a young age to his early teenage years and beyond. After an angry outburst that leaves his own mother with a broken arm, he is sent away to a place called the “Home of the Lesser Brethren" in the middle-of-nowhere, Iceland; a place for misfit boys run by Reverend Oswald. Henry wrestles with his love for Oswald’s wife, Emily, who is more like a mother to him than his own, and his hatred for Reverend Oswald’s religious lessons. He also tries to find his place among the other boys there, and marvels when he does eventually make a friend or two. His biggest triumph is finding that he has the ability to take on responsibilities on the farm: taking care of the cows and sheep is something he can do with ease over time, and he revels in the trust he builds with Emily. He also finds escape in the stories she tells and the mysteries he solves by the cliffs that tower over the sea near the farm. Every element of this story blended perfectly; every detail made an impact on Henry’s journey. Told from his inner perspective, the reader can get a more true mental picture of what it is like to be the social outcast—not only is this great storytelling, it is vital to teach the empathy necessary to prevent bullying.

Fridrik Erlings’ writing style is exquisitely wrought and I was transported to Iceland almost completely the entire time I read this. The breathtaking imagery in Henry’s story acts as a striking support to his inner war; the landscape is harsh and isolated, and it serves as the perfect backdrop to his own isolation from ‘normal’ people. The contrast between Henry’s desire for love and companionship and the power he feels when he lets his true self come out while alone is incredibly personal and will strike any ‘normal’ person who reads it as simply what it is to be human. The rest of us may have better looks, self-control, or social abilities, but the human condition is always characterized by an inner war between good and evil, right and wrong, love and hate. I think Henry’s story can help both social outcasts and popular kids alike see the similarities lying within all of us and teach us to choose the good in how we treat others who are different—especially the poor, the weak, the deformed, the disabled, and the ugly.

Boy on the Edge is a book I recommend every teenager read and a story that will stay with me the rest of my life, a story I will probably read more than once. I encourage you to pick it up.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 5 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A groovy New York Times bestseller! ...
Seneca Element (The Seneca Society Book 2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
If you knew that creating singularity between your mind...
Our Year of Love and Parties
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this poignant, funny, and romantic novel, four nights...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Elemental Manipulation is tricky. Only those with the power can...
The Path Divided
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Every choice has a consequence. When a magical picture...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
When fifteen-year-old Marlee Stanley joins her two sisters and the...
Shadowscent
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
An Ember in the Ashes meets Indiana Jones in...
Reverie
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Inception meets The Magicians, except with better wigs and...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
They call me the Dark Queen… Ryleigh...
Scarred
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
Life leaves you scarred. Love can make you beautiful....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two friends in the 1980's were graduating from Cosmetology School....
Twisting Minds
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
How can you trust your heart when you can't trust...

Latest Member Reviews

A Straw Man
 
5.0
"The story: Melody, the younger sister of Charlie, the main character of the previous book, is now..."
Girl at Heart
 
5.0
"'Girl at Heart' by Kelly Oram is a sweet, entertaining, easy read that any lover of YA romance will adore...."
Kingdom Cold
 
4.8
"What I loved: First and foremost, the characters. Princess Charlotte's fierce, unyielding manner. The way her character is left..."
Scarred
 
4.8
"Emotionally, I mean. What I loved: As you can guess from the title,..."
The Path Divided
 
5.0
"I'm going to break out of my usual review mold here because this book was so many things. It..."
Girl at Heart
 
4.8
"What I loved: Just about everything. This was an adorable YA Contemporary Romance with a surprisingly well-rounded..."
Skin Hunter
 
4.3
"What I loved: The world building was perfectly illustrated without bogging down the story. Everything from the..."
Julie Winsome M.D., Medical Detective Science Fiction Mysteries, Volume # 1
 
4.7
"Always fun to follow along with Dr. Julie Winsome Medical Detective! Great stories and I love the writing style..."
Jesse and the Ice Princess (Gulf City High)
 
5.0
"Jesse and the Ice Princess by Michelle MacQueen is the first book in her new series Gulf City High, and..."
Me, Shakespeare and the Anti-Love Club
 
4.0
"After having her heartbroken by J.R., Kassidy swears off love. After her best friend has a nasty breakup too, Kass..."
Spark: The Firebrand Chronicles, Book One
 
4.3
"Brennan just wants to celebrate her birthday, but instead she is pulled into a fantastical world she never knew..."
Legacy Awakened
 
5.0
"Ava is the child of prophesy and all eyes are on her because she is the daughter of the Prime..."
Hushed
 
4.0
"Romy has just finished school and is torn because she isn't sure what she wants to do with her life...."
Golden Crown
 
4.3
"I have mixed feelings about this book. It follows the second book immediately and starts off with Etta struggling with..."
Prophecy Untold (Shadow Realms book 3)
 
4.0
"Kali is the hope of saving the world from vampires and demons. She’s a vampire huntress who also happens to..."
Prophecy of Darkness (Legends of the Tri-Gard) (Volume 1)
 
5.0
"Yes, this book was amazing. Yes, this book was so engaging. Yes, I could not put this book down. ..."
Fire Falling
 
4.5
"I fell in love with Air Awakens. The chemistry between the characters and the plot development had a perfect blend...."
Girl at Heart
 
4.7
"I know better than to start a Kelly Oram book at bedtime. I know better, yet I do it with..."
Dating Nashville
 
5.0
"If you read the first series, Redefining Me, you got a glimpse at these characters and probably love them just..."
The F Word (Redefining Me book 1)
 
5.0
"'Dating My Best Friend' (former title: 'The F Word') by Michelle MacQueen and Ann Maree Craven delves deeply into themes..."