June 26, 2017 by Zoë
Kan’s parents immigrated from Thailand to the United States, leaving her feeling trapped between two worlds: not Thai enough and not American enough. In her small Kansas town, Kan struggles to fit in. Then everything changes when a new girl comes to town. Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn explores Shelly’s dark past and the ways in which she influences Kan and her whole family.
I was super excited to read this book because of the Thai American protagonist. I know of no other young adult books with featuring Thai girls. Kan’s struggle to fit in felt real. It was also nice to see glimpses into Thai culture and to see how Kan’s somewhat unconventional family structure worked. If this had been a story about the struggle to be both Thai and American with a dash of high school drama and a lot about family life, I think I would have loved it.
Unfortunately, this is not what the book was about at all. I went into this knowing it was supposed to be a thriller, but the thrilling aspects of the book were very, very hard to believe. Shelly gets away with everything and has seemingly endless resources at her disposal. The twist at the end has also very recently been done in YA books. It didn’t need to be done again, at least not right away.
The romance was also complete insta-love. I say this all the time in reviews, but it keeps happening and it always bothers me. I find it so hard to believe, which made the overall plot harder to deal with.
Lots of bonus points for the unique main character and the depictions of Thai culture, but overall this book wasn’t for me.
“I hadn’t realized it was so late. But no matter. This is a small town. Nothing ever happens in small towns. Right?”
I received an electronic copy of this book through Netgalley for this review.