Rating: 4 / 5
May is Mental Health Month, something that is important to me since I work for a non-profit providing services and housing to those with mental illnesses. I had hoped to add some mental health related reading into my TBR this month, so was very pleased to find THE EDGE OF ANYTHING by Nora Shalaway Carpenter in my YA Once Upon a Book Club box! The author included a letter addressing mental health and learning that this book shared an #ownvoices perspective convinced me to bump this one up my TBR. The fact that I got a few gifts along the way as I read didn’t hurt either!
THE EDGE OF ANYTHING follows two main characters. Len is a photographer with great promise, but she’s battling heightened anxiety and other symptoms that have her worried for her future. Sage is a star volleyball player until she winds up benched, forced to rethink the life plan she had all worked out. When these two meet in the midst of their darkest moments, they become friends and work to help each other move forward.
I found this to be an excellent and compelling read. It does touch on some heavy subject matter including mental health, grief and loss, but it also shows a very uplifting image of friendship. Though not entirely a light read, I did find it easy to settle into the story and keep turning those pages. I nearly read the entire thing in one evening before I realized I had to actually be awake and alert the next morning!
The depiction of mental health in Len’s story felt very real. I think the author did a great job of telling Len’s story, her symptoms and backstory, while also making it clear that each person’s experience is their own. Though two people may receive the same diagnosis, their experiences may be vastly different which is an important message.
I really enjoyed THE EDGE OF ANYTHING and will look forward to reading more from this author in the future!