The Edge of You by Theresa DaLayne is a New Adult novel that was released in 2014. Originally, I had requested this one from Netgalley because I hadn’t read very many New Adult books at the time (still haven’t honestly). I also liked the idea of a book with the setting of Alaska. I never read it in 2014 but, did finally get to in 2021 and unfortunately, I wound up with mixed feelings by the end of it. It really wasn’t what I had been expecting.
The Edge of You is set in Kodiak, Alaska, small fishing town. Maya and her family have just moved into the area and are struggling to work together following a painful loss. Maya is determined to keep her family together and resigns herself to accepting her new location even if it is completely different from what she is used to in California. On her first day at her new college, she meets Jake and finds an instant attraction. Jake is originally from the state of Washington and is struggling with alot. He’s trying to balance work, school, and providing for his sick mother back home. Neither one of them is looking for a relationship but, they find a connection with each other that refuses to be denied. As their outside worlds continue to deteriorate, will they find a way to get through it together?
As a whole, I liked the characters of Maya and Jake. Each of them were prone to sacrificing themselves and their happiness for others. Maya has given up a prestigious art school in California in order to move to Alaska and support her family following tragedy. Jake moved to Alaska to better himself but, keeps finding himself pulled back to his mother and her health issues. They are both wounded characters and they see the positive light in each other. I felt that Theresa Dalayne provided good context for the characters and relationship. As a reader, I wanted them to be together and find their happily ever after.
Unfortunately, I did not like the parental characters within The Edge Of You. I couldn’t help but think that all of them were somewhat selfish and that both Maya and Jake were more mature and responsible than them. In Maya’s case, her mother was just so wrapped up in her own problems that she couldn’t see that her daughter was struggling too. And her father was never around and when he was, he was missing everything that was happening within his own house. I just really didn’t like them. In contrast, I felt sympathy for Jake’s mother because she was obviously in a crappy situation due to her health issues, lower income status, and abusive relationship but, at the same time I felt that she could have done more to better herself without depending on her son all the time. While there were good moments between parents and children, I just struggled alot with these characters; and was glad that Jake’s aunt and uncle were there to demonstrate their love and support of both Maya and Jake.
All in all, The Edge of You had a romance that felt real to me as a reader and the struggles that Maya and Jake were experiencing did feel relatable. I just wish that there had been more parental support. Yet, the way that Theresa DaLayne writes these difficult relationships does bring you deeper into the story and has you hoping for better for Maya and Jake. If that is something that you look for in New Adult books, I would say this one has that in spades.
Rating: 3 Stars