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Heartthrobs and Hellscapes in Jeff Giles’s The Edge of Everything

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What’s a girl to do when she falls for an underworld-dwelling, superpowered bounty hunter tasked with wrangling sinful souls to a prison in the earth’s core? The answer is in Jeff Giles’ new YA saga, The Edge of Everything, a novel as enjoyable for teens as it may be for older readers who gobbled up the likes of The Hunger Games or Twilight.

The book opens on Zoe Bissell, a plucky 17-year-old Montanan who’s recently lost her dad and her beloved elderly neighbors in a string of freak accidents. As more catastrophe looms, lover boy “X” shows up on the scene and saves Zoe and her little brother from an evildoer, capturing the teen girl’s heart in the process.

Zoe emerges as a badass heroine with a heart of gold who can navigate the boundaries of good and evil while maintaining a sense of humor: “Do not even make fun of my star-crossed supernatural love,” she chastises a friend. With imagination and verve, Giles delivers the goods required by the genre, creating a swoonworthy love interest with a sense of justice and old-fashioned charm.

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