The Edge of Elsewhere by Sam Stea

For starters, a tremendous thank you to Sam Stea, Books Forward, and Sophie’s Sun Publishing for my copy of The Edge of Elsewhere! I really enjoyed this book! It was definitely outside of my normal reading genre and not a book I normally would have picked out for myself. In the end, it was good! A solid three star selection for 2020. (Currently, all books are being compared to Becoming and The Silent Patient.)

Official Synopsis

In the year 2079, fourteen-year-old Abbey Lane dreams of vivid colors that no longer exist and wonders of nature that have disappeared in a world blanketed with dust.

One day, scrounging through the abandoned ruins of Princeton University with her best friend, Max, Abbey discovers an ancient notebook that opens up a possibility beyond her dreams.

Using the information in the notebook, Abbey and Max and her brainy brother, Paul, defy time and travel into the past.

In the New York City of 1971, they discover the natural world, join a group of hippies, and befriend a legendary musician and peace activist, who may hold the key to changing the tragic destiny of Earth as they’ve known it — if they can only save him from an untimely death.

But do they dare disrupt the natural flow of events? Will it endanger their own existence? Will it make matters better or destroy everything and everyone they’ve ever known?

My Thoughts

There was a lot going on in this book…not in a good way. I mean:

  • Albert Einstein
  • Time Travel
  • Vietnam War
  • Hippies
  • Global Warming
  • John Lennon
  • Life-saving Heroics

The book is 423 pages long (at least my version), and probably could have achieved the same end result with about 100 pages less. I get that these kids were traveling from a desolate future, but I was a little over them “discovering” things all the time.

Also, I get that the 70s were a VERY different time, but I just found it hard to believe how easy these kids found everything. I mean, they get picked up on the side of the road and delivered from New Jersey into downtown Manhattan where they are connected with a man who manages to keep them fed for the week they’re there. At no charge. THEN, they happen upon a group of people who takes them under their wing and feeds them and houses them? Don’t even get me started on the John Lennon adoption thing. (Truthfully, that part reminded me of a “book” I started to write when I was in middle school where a girl’s fictional parents decided not to move across the country with her, so Johnny Depp adopted her.)

Additionally, how on earth did Paul catch up to save John Lennon (spoiler alert, kind of)? They left him unconscious on a bench and ran a mile or two to catch up with John. There was no way he could have logically made it.

However, I did give The Edge of Elsewhere a solid three stars. For a first novel, I felt that it was written fairly well (though there were a few slip-ups where “diary” became “dairy”). The climate issue was very apparent, but it clearly was not written in a way that encouraged people to make changes now. I mean, these kids went back to the 1970s. If you wanted to inspire change, why not have them go back to 2010 and meet Lady Gaga or something?

The Edge of Elsewhere publishes September 8, 2020!

*Apologies for not having any pretty pictures of the book. My copy had a large bar on it that says “Not for Resale,” so it’s a bit of a mess.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, so I may receive a small commission from sales generated.

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