Author: Pintip Dunn
Pages: 256 (Paperback)
Publisher: Kensington Books
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Source: For Review
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…
Girl on the Verge was a very pleasant surprise! Kan’s mother comes home one day with a teen girl named Shelly after her mother commits suicide. Kan is very welcoming to Shelly and the two become close rather quickly. Kan knows all about being different, since she’s the only Thai-American at her very white school, so she takes Shelly (who has a scar across her face) under her wing. But soon enough it becomes clear that there’s something wrong with Shelly, and maybe Kan needs to be wary.
I wasn’t sure about Girl on the Verge at the beginning. We already know from the blurb that Shelly isn’t who she seems and that some weird stuff is about to go down. So throughout the first few chapters, I was mentally yelling at Kan for not seeing how weird Shelly is! Obviously, Kan wasn’t told the plot of her story, so she’s not going to pick up on these subtle things. But once Shelly actually starts getting super weird and kind of scary, I was hooked! That girl does some outrageous stuff, but manages to keep it hidden from others. I couldn’t wait to see what she was going to do next!
There are a lot of twists in Girl on the Verge. Shelly is hiding something and I had trouble figuring out what it was until Kan starts investigating her. It is obvious that her mother and grandmother are somehow involved, but I never would have guessed! I was shocked! Shelly’s other secrets were also shocking! How is she getting away with this?! That ending was super intense.
I really enjoyed Girl on the Verge once it got going. It kind of had this “If I can’t have you, no one can” vibe going on at times. Shelly gets quite possessive of Kan, especially when she gets a boyfriend. I was just on the edge of my seat waiting to see what was going to happen next!