Book Review: Life on the Edge

Life on the Edge
By Jennifer Comeaux
January 3, 2012
Astraea Press
Author’s Website
Paperback | Kindle

Life on the Edge is about a young, talented figure skater named Emily. Up until the beginning of the book Emily has been a solo artist but has recently been convinced to take on a partner. With a partner comes a new routine and with a new routine comes a new coach. Emily’s dream is for her and her partner to be the first American skating duet to win a gold medal in the Olympics. Through hard work, sacrifice, and perseverance Emily and her partner are well on their way to achieving that goal. However, there is one thing that is standing in their way – Emily’s heart. Emily’s and her partner’s new coach is Sergei, an attractive yet mysterious man from Russia. Formerly a world famous skater turned coach at a very young age. No matter how much they try to deny it, Sergei and Emily cannot deny their feelings for one another. A coach dating a student is highly frowned upon in the Federation. Will Sergei be suspended from coaching? Will Emily’s dream of going to the Olympics be ruined? Can Sergei and Emily bear to stay away from each other?

JEN’S REVIEW

I discovered this book through Goodreads and took a shot in the dark with purchasing it. I didn’t know what to expect. I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did.

Plot: 10

Although the concept of “forbidden love” is not uncommon, Comeaux’s interpretation is very unique. There are very few ice skating novels, and to have the forbidden relationship be between Emily and her coach was a real treat. Initially, I thought it would occur between Emily and her skating partner. The book is very emotional. The story is not just about this forbidden relationship. It’s about two people striving for greatness and the journey they embark upon to get there. This is something everyone can relate to. When Emily and Chris (her partner) set foot on the ice you feel their emotions with them. You’re nervous with them when they begin their routine. You cry with them when they fail and you smile with them when they succeed.

Characters: 10

The characters are very lovable and easy to relate to. I love Emily’s passion for skating and her love for Sergei. I consider myself an individual of many passions, but I’m not passionate enough about anything to strive for something like the Olympics. Emily’s character made me realize how much I wish I was. Emily is a very caring, sensitive person who has an enormous capacity to love life, skating, and the people around her. Sergei on the other hand is very mysterious. It was a lot of fun diving into the world of this Russian skater. The question of why he gave up his title as a world famous figure skater to coach in a small town in the U.S. is heavily weighed on your mind through most of the book. Sergei is also a very honorable, respectful, and loving man. He cares for Emily very much but he’s not about to jeopardize her career or his job to satisfy is selfishness of being with her. At first, Emily and Sergei try very hard to ignore their feelings for one another. But of course that can only last for so long.

Setting: 10

Although the setting of the story was simple, it was surprisingly fascinating. Life on the Edge is a contemporary romance. Therefore, it doesn’t take place in some enchanted castle or haunted forest. Majority of the story takes place at an apartment, a home or an ice skating rink. As previously stated, although the setting is simple, it is exciting because of what takes place in these various locations. For example, the reader experiences adrenaline, excitement, and nervousness while Emily and Chris are sitting in the hallway waiting for their turn to perform on the ice. The reader experiences butterflies and giggles while Emily and Sergei are on their dinner date. There are very few authors who can generate as much emotion from their readers as Comeaux has with this book.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the book was executed very well, with the exception of the beginning. The beginning felt very rushed. So rushed in fact, that I was skeptical as to whether I was going to enjoy the book at all. I understand the author’s need to get along with the story because there were so many important things to get to. However, I felt I was missing out on one of the most important parts – the moment when Emily and Sergei’s relationship shifted from coach/student to something more. At the beginning, Sergei and Emily begin to spend a lot of time together as friends outside of the rink but every moment together was sped through so fast. I was having a difficult time feeling the connection between Sergei and Emily because their moments together were so brief. Thankfully, Comeaux redeemed herself ten-fold as the story continued. The fast pace of the book didn’t last long and it soon slowed down to a pace that was enjoyable. More importantly, believable. The tension that builds between the two love birds makes you want to crack. The moment they have their first kiss you want to scream, “Hallelujah!”

Style: 10

The writing of this book is very smooth and easy to follow. There are many elements, twists, turns and dramatic situations in this book that keep you awake reading all night long. One of the things I loved most about this book was Comeaux’s ability to keep me on my toes. Emily and Sergei go through so much to be together. There are many hurdles they must face and each one is unalike the other. Even though it was sad to see them struggling it was amazing to also see them grow stronger together. Comeaux does a fantastic job of letting experience and the events that take place tell the story. The author doesn’t treat her readers like kindergarten kids spells everything out. Give us some credit will ya? We do have the capability of figuring things out on our own.

This being her first novel, Comeaux has done a fabulous job. To the point where all I want to do is quit my job, pick up skating and date a ridiculously attractive Russian coach. I look forward to more of her books in the future.

Enjoy! And happy reading.

Grade: 98

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About Jenna (Does Books)

Working momma of a little pink princess and reader of all things YA. I'm an artist, writer and avid reader who swears that she's having a hard time letting go of the childish things... Let me read your latest YA book and let's see if it makes the grade!

Posted on January 30, 2012, in Book Review, Five Star and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Love this review, and especially LOVED this book!

  2. Thanks so much for the wonderfully detailed (yet spoiler-free!) review!

  3. This sounds so cute! Great review. Definitely going to have to pick this up. Thank you 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for reviewing this book! I have been looking for a figure skating romance for a long time, and so far (I’m over halfway through) Life on the Edge more than delivers. I feel like I’m 15 years old and obsessed with Alexei Urmanov again!

  5. Katie Middlecoff

    Thanks for your review! I found you through Goodreads and am excited to find another website that reviews YA. I’m always searching for detailed reviews of YA books because they span such different maturity levels. I prefer the older YA books with more romance, and that can be difficult to ascertain ahead of time!

  6. Great review! I agree. Loved the story and the characters. Jennifer did a great job on her first book. The skating action was fantastic and you can feel as if you were on the ice with them. Although this klutz can’t skate worth a dime, it felt great to experience it. I actually went to my first figure skating competition after reading this book. It was a lot of fun because I felt as if I knew more about what went on behind the scenes.

  7. I love a review that tells just enough about the book to either make me feel I urgently have to read it or know I shouldn’t bother. This review describes Life on the Edge so well that I know it will encourage many reader to want to jump right in and start reading. I’ve already read it and LOVED it. It made my heart pound and my nerves jangle!

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