Review: The Edge of Normal


Title: The Edge of Normal
Author: Carla Norton
Publication Date: September 10, 2013


In many ways, Reeve LeClaire looks like a typical twenty-two year old girl. She’s finally landed her own apartment, she waitresses to pay the bills, and she wishes she wasn’t so nervous around new people. She thinks of herself as agile, not skittish. As serious, not grim. But Reeve is anything but normal.

Ten years ago, she was kidnapped and held captive. After a lucky escape, she’s spent the last six years trying to rebuild her life, a recovery thanks in large part to her indispensable therapist Dr. Ezra Lerner. But when he asks her to help another girl rescued from a similar situation, Reeve realizes she may not simply need to mentor this young victim—she may be the only one who can protect her from a cunning predator who is still out there, watching every move.

From the author of the #1 non-fiction bestseller Perfect Victim: The True Story of the Girl in the Box comes a novel that draws you into a chilling and engrossing world. With powerfully gripping characters and an ending that is a masterpiece of deception, Carla Norton’s The Edge of Normal is a stunning debut thriller.

Books like this make me want to become a law or psych major ’cause it seems so interesting. I heard about the Girl in the Box story from my friend, who is in fact a law major. We thought it was absolutely insane, and never really considered the psychological side of it all. I didn’t even know that the author was the same one until I had buried myself in the book.

This book is FREAKY. The book is from a third person omniscient perspective following past victims, current victims, psychopathic child molesters, and police officers. It’s an intense book that really opens up victims’ and predators’ minds for us to look into and examine. While I was expecting a little more psychological enlightenment, I really enjoyed this book.

Reeve is jumpy, slightly paranoid, and very much inside herself at the beginning of the book. She had been held captive for four years and six years have past since then. Although she wishes she could push away all the memories, she finds herself unable to live forward as someone “normal”. However, when she’s asked to meet another young victim, who had just been found by sheer luck, she learns something that she can’t just lay to rest. Determined to find out the mastermind behind the serial kidnapping, she delves deep into a world in which she’s unwanted.

I love how Reeve’s confidence grows throughout the book and that she manages to piece together things that the police and other authoritative figures hadn’t been able to. She’s a great character, and she manages to grow up and become someone admirable by the end of the book.

I also loved getting into the minds of other characters. It really gave the story juice and instead of wondering WHO it left you wondering WHEN. HOW. WHY. And I think the change in which questions the readers are asking really added to the suspense in the novel and left you questioning the characters motives and decisions with each page.

Although I really enjoyed the mystery and the craziness of this book (even though it’s definitely something that could happen in real life), I wish that the author had delved more into the psychological side. Don’t get me wrong. It is there, but I was expecting more. More about the captivity syndrome, more about the minds of the psycho kidnappers, just MORE. That was probably the only disappointing part about this book.

I would just like to take this moment to state that this book BLEEDS creepiness. LIKE IT JUST FALLS FROM THE PAGES. This is not a book you want to read in the dark at 2AM in the morning… Trust me. -shivers-

AHH I really want to write more, but I feel like I’ll be giving stuff away, and I REALLY don’t want to do that… SO JUST TRUST ME WHEN I SAY THAT THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING.

Masterfully constructed, The Edge of Normal is a thrilling mystery that will trap you within the pages until the very end. I am really impressed with this novel and would definitely recommend this to everyone who loves a good thriller or psychological mystery.

Plot: 4.5/5
Characters: 5/5
World Building: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.18

An eARC of this book was provided by St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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1 Comment

  1. Danica

     /  October 3, 2013

    Decided to take a look at your book blog for once, and I see that I was kind of mentioned! Haha! Psych and law majors have all the fun, don’t we? I guess I know what book I’m reading next (just give me another 2 years before I finally get to it!).


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