Boy On The Edge provides a deep and moody look into the life of a troubled teenage boy. With his club foot and his issues with reading, Henry has always been an easy target for bullies and soon learns to keep his emotions hidden. After losing control and angrily lashing out at his mother, Henry is sent to a farm for “troubled boys,” located on the Icelandic coast, and is run by the somewhat frightening Reverend Oswald and his kind wife, Emily. Henry finds solace when working with the farm’s animals, and he begins to feel at home, something that he hasn’t ever truly felt before. But Henry longs for a friend and doesn’t know how to express his feelings. He feels locked up inside himself, unable to reach out to those around him. Feelings of rejection and shame lead Henry to feel disconnected, alone and often angry. Boy On The Edge by Fridrik Erlings is a compelling read that explores Henry’s struggles with his inner and outer worlds and the true meaning of friendship.
To be completely honest, the initial reason why I picked Boy On The Edge by Fridrik Erlings to review was because of the cover art. I had no idea whether it would be a good story or not, but when I first saw the cover of this book, my interest was immediately captured. I find it intriguing, beautiful, and simply, yet wonderfully, uncomplicated. The colors contrast each other well, hence the eye-catching cover. The writing style of this novel is quite simple too, yet reads in a poetically powerful and breathtaking way. I think that the cover art of this book represents the writing of this story quite accurately. The minute that I started this book, I knew that it would be a magnificent read.
Henry has trouble forming his thoughts into sentences. He never knows quite what to say to people, but he often wants to. This is an issue that holds him back throughout the book and I can relate this. Much like Henry, I constantly have conversations in my mind, and I always have several different streams of thought going through my head at once. I have trouble phrasing how I feel or what I am thinking when I am speaking aloud; my brain can’t seem to find the right words to represent what is on my mind.
Although I have never been in the exact same situations that Henry goes through in this novel, I felt a deep connection to this particular character’s struggles and emotions. Henry may be quiet and reserved on the outside, but he has an extremely rich and extensive inner life. He is only searching for someone who he can truly call his friend, but this proves to be a difficult task for him.
Boy On The Edge is the first book that I have read from this Icelandic author, but I assure you that it will not be the last. When I sat down to write the review for this novel (to ponder the pros and cons), I couldn’t find a single problem that I had with it. The plot was intense and engrossing, the writing style flowed wonderfully as I read it, and the characters felt real and packed with emotion and relatable qualities. I will go as far as to say that I think this is the best book that I have had the pleasure to review for LitPick thus far. I plan to reread this book many times in the future. In conclusion, I highly enjoyed this young adult novel! Boy On The Edge by Fridrik Erlings has rather quickly found a permanent home on my bookshelf and an even more permanent home within my heart.