Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn
Publication Date: June 27, 2017 by Kensington Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
[Review copy provided for the blog tour, special thanks to Giselle of Xpresso Book Tours and the publisher!]
From the author of The Darkest Lie comes a compelling, provocative story for fans of I Was Here and Vanishing Girls, about a high school senior straddling two worlds, unsure how she fits in either—and the journey of self-discovery that leads her to surprising truths.
In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.
When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong…
First, I would like to apologize for the delay of this review. I was scheduled for June 3, and I’m a week late.
I’ve been in a reading and review-writing slump for weeks and I’ve just started catching up on everything I missed.
I read Pintip Dunn’s The Darkest Lie around this time last year and loved it because of the mystery. So when I heard of Pintip’s latest novel, I knew I had to read it.
Girl on the Verge did not disappoint.
It’s mystery surrounding diversity. It exceeded my expectations. It left me in shock.
Kan is part-Thai and part-American. Having visited Thailand for a few times because of my father’s work, I am familiar with the food mentioned in the story, as well as the Khun in Khun Yai.
When Shelly entered Kan’s life, I was reminded of another novel I read last year. The Stranger Game by Cylin Busby could pass for a literary twin of Girl on the Verge. You’d be surprised at how these two novels meet and how they kept the mystery in their own way.
The Stranger Game reminded me of The Darkest Lie as well. I think these three books can be read consecutively for the ultimate mystery marathon.
Of course I had theories. It was easy to predict what was happening on the surface, but what Girl on the Verge did was hide the most important truths by making you focus on the obvious ones.
Just when you thought you have it all figured out, the book will reveal the greatest secret you never saw coming.
Kan and Shelly were very relatable characters. I found myself in the lines they’ve said, and I’ve felt their strong desire to belong. But these two girls had different ways of coping up with being left out, and their actions led to consequences that cost them more than they were willing to give.
The story got pretty intense as I read, but I would have to note that you might have to be patient on this one. The thrill of reading a mystery novel might not kick right away, but the wait is worth the suspenseful ride.
Pintip Dunn’s latest novel tells the tale of two girls in a world where different means fighting for your place. It’s a story about what it means to accept the people you love for who they are.
Girl on the Verge is powerful book about self-discovery and personal metamorphosis.
Final Rating: 4.5/5
About the Author:
Pintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis,”
Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, YARWA, and The Golden Network.
She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at http://www.pintipdunn.com