Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Review: On the Fringe by Courtney King Walker (ARC)

Title: On the Fringe
Author: Courtney King Walker
Published: 2011
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
My Rating:  

Claire is struggling to overcome the murder of her childhood friend and secret crush, Daniel. Everyone else seems to be moving on with their lives, but she's still trying to cope. The fact that she finds herself alone and drowning on her 16th birthday isn't helping.

Neither is thinking she sees Daniel's face in murky water as she mysteriously resurfaces. But something happened during those four and a half minutes that will make her realize it was not just her imagination.

As Claire and Daniel try to grasp a possible reconnection, other grudge-holding beings have plans of their own. Now, the two of them have to decide if their fleeting relationship is worth the possibility of Claire being trapped on the fringe forever.

Beautifully told, On the Fringe intertwines fresh ideas about devotion, revenge, and the consequences that come with life and death.
(taken from

I had a really tough time deciding on a rating for On the Fringe. Unlike the majority of the bloggers I've heard from, I didn't fall head over heels with this novel. Sure, it was well-written and entertaining, but it lacked the spark necessary to kick it into the 4 or 5 hearts category. 

The dead-boy-comes-back-to-protect-the-girl-he-loves type plot is something I've seen a couple of times before. Walker definitely adds a dash of suspense and mystery to the basic story line, though. The mystery of Daniel's murder and Claire's encounter with creepy spirits had me intrigued. Plus, I'm a sucker for tales of first loves and secret crushes. Daniel's evolving feelings for Claire were cute, as was Claire's hidden crush on her best friend's brother.

While I enjoyed the basic plot of the story, I kept wanting more from the characters. Claire is fairly ordinary- sweet, a little insecure, and occasionally feisty. She never bothered me, but nothing drew me to her. It's not usually hard to win my heart, but Daniel was also lacking. A bit more character development would have helped this novel immensely. 

I did enjoy the alternating point of view. Seeing both Claire's and Daniel's sides of the story keeps the plot from falling into a lull. It also allows us a glimpse behind the curtain of death to see the supernatural "fringe" where Daniel resides. 

In the end, I'll admit that I enjoyed On the Fringe. I simply didn't love it or find it especially unique. If you're a fan of paranormal romance, then I'd probably suggest giving it a shot. On the other hand, if you're on the hunt for the next original thing, then I'd probably skip this one.