Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn

Girl on the VergeTitle: Girl on the Verge

Author: Pintip Dunn

Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: June 27, 2017

“I’m a girl in between. I’m a girl on the verge. Of new adventures, of new possibilities. I can be whoever I want to be. And now, I know I’m not alone. And maybe, just maybe, I never was.”

This was a book. It was twisty, and engaging, and fun. It reminded me of a Criminal Minds episode in the best way. There was action, suspense, and a bit of romance. All around, this was a really run read that kept me on my toes.

Things I Liked :
I loved that we got to see Kan deal with microaggressions in her daily life. I mean I’m not happy she had to deal with assholes, but I thought it was very realistic to show how Kan was othered in her school and home life – she wasn’t Thai enough, she wasn’t American enough, she was a girl between. It also nicely set up that this small town, while it may be charming, is not idyllic – crime exists here, and it’s a threat.

I like that Ethan, the love interest, did ballroom dancing. I love that he had a hobby that wasn’t traditionally masculine. It was nice to see him enjoy and succeed at something he loved and not conforming to gender stereotypes and shunning dancing.

I loved that Shelly roundhouse kicked Walt in the face for being a supremely nasty guy. He sucked and so I didn’t feel bad for him at all.

There was nice mystery and setup surrounding Shelly. What was her background, what was her connection to Kan’s family? I bought into the suspense. Plus, Shelly was creepy as hell, which we really get to see in her POV chapters. Though there were few, you really see her warped mindset and delusions, so you knew something was up.

Things I Didn’t Like :
Ash wasn’t the greatest friend. She dropped Kan for petty reasons, didn’t defend her to the racist/misogynistic scumbags, and ignored for. I liked that she didn’t trust Shelly and confronted both Kan and Shelly about that mistrust, but I don’t think she was very understanding of even that great of a friend. And I don’t feel like we really get enough of her to become invested in her character, or her relationship with Kan.

I didn’t like that Mae and Khun Yai were dismissive of Kan’s reservations about Shelly. I get they were keeping a secret, and it added to the overall mystery of the story, but it was also frustrating.

The story was fairly predictable. Like I said, it reminded me of a Criminal Minds episode, you can generally figure out the who and the how pretty easy, but they why can really give you the twists. I feel like this book was similar. It was obvious that there was more to Shelly that what there seemed to be, and she was really crafty at manipulating people and sneaking around. But the why did through me for some loops and added some unexpected intense moments.

This was a thrilling story that showcased surprising depth. We see Kanchana deal with existing between two cultures and how she grows from her experiences in the book. They were really given the proper weight and not ignored or glossed over. I liked the characters and the suspense. Girl on the Verge is a thrilling story of family, secrets, and self acceptance.

I received a copy of the book from Kensington Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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