Review: On The Edge by Allison van Diepen

Title: On The Edge
Author: Allison van Diepen
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Paperback, 304 Pages
Published November 2014

Summary: Maddie Diaz never should have taken that shortcut through the park. If she hadn't, she wouldn't have seen two members of the Reyes gang attacking a homeless man. Now, as the only witness, she knows there’s a target on her back. But when the Reyes jump her on the street, Maddie is protected by a second gang and their secretive leader, Lobo, who is determined to take down the Reyes himself. Lobo is mysterious and passionate, and Maddie begins to fall for him. But when they live this close to the edge, can their love survive?

This book has been on my TBR for awhile, and when I went to Barnes & Noble with all of my Christmas gift cards recently, I couldn't help but pick up a copy. I've always had some sort of weird fascination with gangs and mafias and all of that secretive stuff, so the idea of a story where the main character starts to fall for a secretive gang leader definitely seemed interesting to me. 

There was a lot that I liked about this book, and a few things that I didn't, but overall I found the book to be very enjoyable. 

I was expecting this story to be about loving someone even though they had a dark past and everything, but that wasn't the case. This book takes you through the everyday lives of people who spend their time surrounded by gangs in bad areas, something that I don't personally have experience with, so it was definitely interesting to see. Maddie Diaz is the classic case of a girl who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and witnessed a horrible act of gang violence. She makes the right decision to tell the police everything she knows, and because of that, the gang that she turned in has placed a huge target on her back. So Maddie's pretty surprised when the leader of a rival gang takes her under his wing and protects her...and then starts to fall with her.

The one thing that I didn't like about this book was the insta-love factor between Maddie and Lobo. I felt that they had just met and then all of a sudden were crazy about each other, and (minor spoilers ahead so skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet), he starts telling her that as soon as everything is over he's going to take all of us money and run away with her to start a new life. And he writes a letter about how much he loves her only a few weeks after really falling for her. I felt that it just progressed a little too fast and that made it seem a bit unrealistic and took a bit away from me as a reader. 

(Major spoiler ahead so please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet!) The part of the book that I was really impressed with was finding out who Lobo was. I actually didn't suspect that he would be Ortiz even in the slightest, and when the whole thing with Dex being calm around him happened and everything, I didn't even pick up on it right away. So when I definitely found it out...I was pretty shocked. Van Diepen definitely has a skill when it comes to plot twists, because I can say with certainty that I hadn't seen that coming. 

I also really just liked Maddie in general. She was a strong character with big dreams and a good heart, and she made the brave decision to give justice to the victim of the gang's crime instead of letting them get away with it for fear of getting hurt. Maddie's bravery definitely made the book worthwhile for me and that's what I personally liked the most.

All in all, On The Edge was an interesting read about gang violence and falling in love and learning to survive and get through the bad things in life that happen to you. I really liked Allison van Diepen's writing style and I tore through this book in about a day so I'd definitely say that it was a good and captivating read. I'd definitely read more of her work in the future!


  1. Ever since reading (and loving) The Outsiders, I have been ten times more interested in gang stories. I'm not really big on insta-love (is anyone?), but this one sounds like it is really good. Thanks for the review! Adding this to my TBR.

    ~ Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

    1. Now that you mention it, I definitely get an Outsiders vibe from this book. I definitely hope you add (and enjoy) this book!


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