Book Review : On The Fringe by Courtney King Walker
Claire and Addie are best friends and their brothers, Matthew and Daniel are also best friends. As the annoying tag-alongs, Claire and Addie, would follow their brothers on adventures up to the rope swing and biking. Claire suddenly finds herself flustered when she is around Daniel and is mortified when she realizes that she loves him. Daniel is probably even more surprised as he discovers that he has feelings for Matt’s little sister. On one of their adventures Daniel finds a silver ring in the river and gives it to Claire, which she cherishes. Their idyllic life ends when Matt and Daniel attend a party where Daniel dies a few minutes after being shot.
Everyone else, even Addie, seem to move on in their lives as Claire struggles to cope. On her 16th birthday she slips and falls into the lake. Claire realizes she is drowning. As she is pulled deeper she hears Daniels voice and then sees him. She wonders if she has imagined the whole thing until she sees him again. Both Claire and Daniel feel as if they live for the four and a half minutes they have each day when they can really connect. As Claire and Daniel discover their love they are hampered by time and another corporeal being that wants to see them suffer. Is their love worth the risk?
Adult Point of View
First, I have to say that the book cover made me nervous because I knew if my elementary school children saw it they would be very concerned about what was happening to the girl on the front. However, the book cover certainly catches teen reader’s attention.
On The Fringe is essentially a paranormal love story. Even though it is a paranormal book it is not vividly violent or weird. The evil ghost appears to look like a menacing black ribbon at times and is frightening, but he is never gory. I did feel nervous when Claire is kidnapped that things could have gone very badly, but the author took us to the brink of danger without plunging us over into mature themes that would have made the book unreadable for many teens.
I enjoyed Claire’s character because she had some quirks and showed real human emotion, especially as she grieved. I thought it was funny that Claire kissed Daniel for the first time as a ghost. Daniel feels like an all American boy. When Daniel was alive he was more shallow than after his death, even he takes notice of how much he has changed. Both Addie and Matthew also had distinct personalities though they were not as developed because they are secondary characters. Walker has moments of descriptive writing that are delicious to read. There are other moments when it reads like a debut novel. I will definitely read the next book that Walker publishes and look forward to seeing her flourish.
On The Fringe is a clean novel, with no sex or crude language, and could be enjoyed by any teen who loves romance and a bit of the supernatural. There is a reference to drug use and alcohol, which is shown to ruin the characters lives.
The author says she was inspired by the words of her grandfather shortly before his death, “We are all connected”. What a wonderful sentiment.
3.25 out of 5 stars
– the Mother
Teen Point of View
I thought this book was very interesting. The story line was very unique and fun and the characters were good too. My favorite character was Matthew, Claire’s older brother. I think it could have been better written and the characters more developed.
3.5 out of 5 stars
– the Daughter