Disclaimer: I received this arc and e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: At The Edge of the Haight
Author: Katherine Seligman
Book Series: Standalone
Recommended For…: young adult readers, thriller, mystery, crime
Publication Date: January 19, 2021
Genre: YA Thriller
Recommended Age: 16+ (murder, violence, gore, death, homelessness, overdose TW, drug use, pedophilia mentioned, abuse (physical and emotional))
Explanation of CWs: Murder is central to the plot and there is some violence and gore in the book. Homelessness is experienced by the main character. There is an overdose scene. There is some drug use shown. There is implied pedophilia mentioned. Abuse is also shown.
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Synopsis: Maddy Donaldo, homeless at twenty, has made a family of sorts in the dangerous spaces of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. She knows whom to trust, where to eat, when to move locations, and how to take care of her dog. It’s the only home she has. When she unwittingly witnesses the murder of a young homeless boy and is seen by the perpetrator, her relatively stable life is upended. Suddenly, everyone from the police to the dead boys’ parents want to talk to Maddy about what she saw. As adults pressure her to give up her secrets and reunite with her own family before she meets a similar fate, Maddy must decide whether she wants to stay lost or be found. Against the backdrop of a radically changing San Francisco, a city which embraces a booming tech economy while struggling to maintain its culture of tolerance, At the Edge of the Haight follows the lives of those who depend on makeshift homes and communities.
As judge Hillary Jordan says, “This book pulled me deep into a world I knew little about, bringing the struggles of its young, homeless inhabitants—the kind of people we avoid eye contact with on the street—to vivid, poignant life. The novel demands that you take a close look. If you knew, could you still ignore, fear, or condemn them? And knowing, how can you ever forget?”
Review: For the most part I thought the book was ok. It had some really good world building and the plot was intriguing enough to keep me going with the book. The book also had some fairly good moments.
However, I couldn’t really connect with this book. I couldn’t connect with the characters and they felt flat for me. The writing was disjointed and I didn’t like the back and forth of the book. The rest of the book was fine, but the characters really ruined it for me.
Verdict: Not for me but maybe for you.