The Leading Edge of Now

The Leading Edge of Now

Just when Grace is beginning to get used to being an orphan, her estranged uncle suddenly comes forward to claim her. That might have been okay if he'd spoken to her even once since her father died. Or if moving in with Uncle Rusty didn't mean returning to New Harbor. Grace once spent the best summers of her life in New Harbor. Now the place just reminds her of all she's l...

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Title:The Leading Edge of Now
Author:Marci Lyn Curtis
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Leading Edge of Now Reviews

  • Nadia

    4 Sep '18 update: RELEASE DAY TODAY!

    This book really surprised me, I did not expect it to be this good!

    Having not read any other books by the author and the title giving little away, I went into this one a bit blind. Also, having just read Courtney Summer's Sadie, which I loved, I thought it would be hard for my next YA read to make a mark. Well, I can tell you that The Leading Edge of Now has definitely made one.

    The tale of the main protagonist Grace, is a sad one. Becoming an orphan at the a

    4 Sep '18 update: RELEASE DAY TODAY!

    This book really surprised me, I did not expect it to be this good!

    Having not read any other books by the author and the title giving little away, I went into this one a bit blind. Also, having just read Courtney Summer's Sadie, which I loved, I thought it would be hard for my next YA read to make a mark. Well, I can tell you that The Leading Edge of Now has definitely made one.

    The tale of the main protagonist Grace, is a sad one. Becoming an orphan at the age of 15, Grace has to deal with the nightmares of what happened to her that night at her uncle's house. After two years in foster care, Grace now returns to her uncle's house who finally requested her custody. Grace is back at the town where she used to spend all her holidays, met her best friend and found a boyfriend. Convinced that Grace knows who abused her 2 years ago, she is suddenly realising that she might have got it wrong and blamed the wrong person. If it wasn't Grace's boyfriend Owen, then who raped Grace that night?

    I am impressed with Curtis' incredible writing. The story comes to life and every element of it feels very real.

    The book tackles a very sensitive subject without an unnecessary detail describing the act, however, rather by portraying the raw feelings and pain of the victim afterwards.

    I loved this book. The story resonated with me and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I would say it is a contemporary YA Must Read and I really really hope it gets as much attention as it deserves.

    Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Emma

    Trigger warning: rape.

    Let’s start this review by saying that this book is simply outstanding.

    The story this book tells is not an easy one, but it manages to do so in a very admirable way.

    All the characters are very well crafted, Grace especially. Her story and her bravery truly moved me. The emotions the author describes are raw and real, something that I appreciated very much considering the fa

    Trigger warning: rape.

    Let’s start this review by saying that this book is simply outstanding.

    The story this book tells is not an easy one, but it manages to do so in a very admirable way.

    All the characters are very well crafted, Grace especially. Her story and her bravery truly moved me. The emotions the author describes are raw and real, something that I appreciated very much considering the fact I was reading a YA novel.

    “The leading edge of now” is filled with pain, trauma, loss and so much more but in the end there’s also a little ray of hope, something that keeps all the characters going, something to believe in.

    I applaud Marci Lyn Curtis for being able to write such an authentic and important story.

  • Anja

    Before I start, my review will not do justice to this book, so can anyone who doesn’t have this book on their tbr yet, go add this right now?!? This was my first approved Netgalley book and I did not expect it to be

    good.

    This emotional rollercoaster is about Grace, who lost both her innocence and her father in a matter of weeks and ends up in foster care for two years. She then finally gets claimed by her only living relative, her uncle Dusty, only to be brought back to

    Before I start, my review will not do justice to this book, so can anyone who doesn’t have this book on their tbr yet, go add this right now?!? This was my first approved Netgalley book and I did not expect it to be

    good.

    This emotional rollercoaster is about Grace, who lost both her innocence and her father in a matter of weeks and ends up in foster care for two years. She then finally gets claimed by her only living relative, her uncle Dusty, only to be brought back to the place she used to love, but where her life fell apart one fateful summer.

    Do you know the kind of book that just grips you by the throat and refuses to let go? Yeah, this is one of those books. I was hooked right from the start! The writing and pacing was just phenomenal.

    I don’t want to spoil too much about the story because you really need to experience it all firsthand. The way she finally learns to deal with her grief, anxiety and guilt, reconnects with the people from her past and finds out what actually happened that fateful night... This will destroy your faith in humanity and restore it. It’s heartbreaking, it’s real, and it’s beautiful.

    Grace is a really brave and inspirational female lead, effortlessly hilarious one moment, yet manages to make you cry your eyes out the next. She’s not your typical contemporary heroine and I loved that about her.

    Owen is perfect book boyfriend material, so supportive and kind, and I just want to hug him.

    Their character development was spot on, and this whole book just moved me immensely.

    Strongly recommend everyone to pick this one up asap!

    Beware though, this deals with some heavy topics like rape, grief and death, but delivers a powerful message.

  • Schizanthus

    for sexual assault, alcoholism, drug abuse, foster care, and grief.

    I don’t think I’ve ever agonised about a book review as much or for as long as I have for this book. See, I’m conflicted. I absolutely loved the style of writing and most of the pieces that made up the main character. I also highlighted so many sentences that I want to read to you so you can sigh with me about how perfectly they capture the feel of the story. I want to bathe in sentences that are simultaneously b

    for sexual assault, alcoholism, drug abuse, foster care, and grief.

    I don’t think I’ve ever agonised about a book review as much or for as long as I have for this book. See, I’m conflicted. I absolutely loved the style of writing and most of the pieces that made up the main character. I also highlighted so many sentences that I want to read to you so you can sigh with me about how perfectly they capture the feel of the story. I want to bathe in sentences that are simultaneously beautiful and heartbreaking like these:

    At the same time, this book pushed so many of my buttons. I don’t expect other readers to feel the same way as I do about the niggles I had because hopefully your experiences have been different than mine, but I try to write authentic reviews and I can’t do that if I gloss over the not so shiny things in life.

    The story begins with Grace moving in with her only living relative, her uncle Rusty, who has been MIA from Grace’s life since her Dad died. Grace has been in foster care for the past two years and has been dealing with her grief by herself, as well as the impacts of a sexual assault she experienced a few weeks before her father died.

    The aftermath of sexual assault is painfully authentic in Grace’s character. The lingering shame, self doubt, fear, anger, grief and many other legacies of sexual assault are explored. I loved Grace’s resilience and bonded with her over her ability to speak sarcasm fluently. She thinks she knows who raped her but, because of medication she’d taken, that night is almost entirely a blank. As a result she doesn’t know who to trust and I wound up suspicious of almost everyone at some point in the book so I felt the author did a great job of creating an atmosphere of uncertainty.

    While this book tackles some big issues the swoonfest diluted their impact for me. Boy wonder was a sweetheart but I would have liked him much more if he wasn’t so frustratingly perfect. As a huge romantiphobe I wouldn’t have chosen to read this book had I realised that swooning was going to be as prevalent as it was.

    Had I bypassed this book I would have avoided sentences like that one and been relieved of some annoyance and nausea, but I also would have missed out on some stellar ‘I have to highlight this!’ writing. I wish that the lovey dovey parts had been replaced by friendship and banter between Grace and boy wonder but I expect most readers will love the romantic interludes. What really annoyed me was that it seemed that no matter what Grace was facing everything eventually boiled down to whether boy wonder still liked her or not.

    I felt that where Owen was mysteriously going at exactly the same time every Saturday fell within Captain Obvious’ jurisdiction and there were a few other developments that I picked up on well before they were revealed. I mention this only because I usually suck at knowing what’s going to happen in a book before it does.

    So, this is probably where my review will start to sound like a therapy session. Apologies in advance.

    Some of the characters seemed to waft into a scene to impart the knowledge required for the next step in the investigation before disappearing from the book entirely and the mystery of who raped Grace unfolded too easily for me. I almost stopped reading the book when I found out who the rapist was because I didn’t find it believable that it was this particular person.

    I despised Rusty’s character even though I think he was supposed to be sweet, if misguided. When the care of a traumatised teenager has been entrusted to you then irresponsibility is never going to be cute or endearing. I wanted to yell at him or smack him off the page or something.

    I wouldn’t have thought it possible to envy someone’s experience in foster care but apparently it is. Grace only has two foster placements in two years and the second set of foster parents sounded like they should have been nominated for Foster Carers of the Year. While it’s refreshing to hear that good foster parents do exist the foster kids I’ve known haven’t lived in any award winning homes. It would have been more realistic to me if Grace had had some dodgy placements before hitting the foster kid jackpot.

    The takeaway seemed to be (to me but you may not read it like this) that if you are raped it’s your responsibility to report it to the police to protect that person’s other potential victims. This puts so much pressure on a person who is already traumatised and while I’m all for reporting if that’s what the person wants to do it is their choice. While it would be incredible if the justice system actually dispensed justice in these cases it can be harmful to someone who has experienced sexual assault to attach their healing to an outcome for the perpetrator. On RAINN’s website there are statistics that I thought of when the characters were trying to push Grace to go to the police.

    I don’t quote this to discourage anyone from reporting sexual assault. I’ve personally reported some sexual assaults but not others so I can see the benefits and pitfalls of both options. I only want to say that if you have experienced sexual assault it’s your choice whether you report or not. Reporting is not the only path to healing.

    I’d give this book 3.5 stars but am rounding up to 4. Thank you to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for the opportunity to read this book.

  • mo

    I think I originally requested this title to read and review because of a few things: a) that gorgeous cover, b) I want to stretch myself out of my reading comfort zone a bit and read more contemporaries, and c)

    part of its blurb: “an hone

    I think I originally requested this title to read and review because of a few things: a) that gorgeous cover, b) I want to stretch myself out of my reading comfort zone a bit and read more contemporaries, and c)

    part of its blurb: “an honest and emotional story that will resonate with the wide range of readers impacted by sexual assault.”

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    (and mentions of these topics in the review): rape (including flashbacks and discussions), death of a parent, PTSD, panic attacks, foster care experiences (non-abusive).

    To be kind of personal here (sorry), I

    one of those “readers impacted by sexual assault.” It’s years in my past now, but while I’m in a far better place now that I was before, being a survivor will forever mark me, at least in some way. I’m not saying that it’s my whole identity, because it’s not. But it’s a big scar in my memories, even if it’s healed. So. While every reading experience is inherently shaped by one’s own experiences and perception of the world, this book felt extra-personal to me.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Now that we have that established, what’s this novel about?

    is a contemporary novel set in small-town, coastal Florida. The protagonist,

    , is being taken into her uncle Rusty’s custody after spending two years in the foster care system. An orphan who copes through a very selective pattern of sticky-fingers pickpocketing and through ferociously practicing the violin, Grace has a wry, prickly personality coupled with loads of grief from the death of her beloved father.

    The novel’s plot is set in motion by Grace coming back into contact with Owen, her former boyfriend who she is believes betrayed her; Owen’s sister and Grace’s frozen-out ex-bestie, Janna; and other people she used to know in beachy New Harbor. Did Owen breach her trust? Can she find a way to seek justice? Did her uncle know about what happened two years ago? How can Grace find a home in a place holding so many heavy memories? Those questions and more are posed to Grace as she unravels what happened to her and finds a support system.

    I want to step back a bit from the plot to mention that the setting was very well-realized. (I have a

    for settings, okay? I always have to mention the setting.) I lived in Florida a while back (okay, maybe 10 years), and while I never lived in small-town Gulf-coast Florida, the depiction of New Harbor felt real and alive. I could easily envision her uncle’s house, the local diner, and other locations.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Now to discuss the characters.

    has major trust issues, and rightly so. Her experiences in the two years prior to the novel’s first scene would make a cynic out of even the most optimistic of people. My heart absolutely ached for her, and I cheered along with her in righteous (or even indignant) anger. But her sense of humor also clicked with me. It’s the kind of humor I use sometimes to cope with The Bad Shit™. Healing isn’t as simple as receiving some stock apology and “forgiving” someone, and you can’t just tell someone to move on and expect them to do so. Marci Lyn Curtis did a great job with her.

    caused me some issues at first. His negligence and blithe facade were the last things that Grace needed, and I spent a good portion of the book being frustrated with him right alongside her. Still, Curtis doesn’t paint Rusty with one all-over color. She gives him depth, and while I still think that how he handled Grace’s custody was painfully bad, he shows genuine remorse and makes actual efforts at doing the right thing. His grief and insecurities ultimately made him sympathetic, even if I’d still want to give him a good long talking-to if I ever met him in real life.

    was interesting. I was very unsure about him during the early portions of the novel, as Grace was. I have a hard time trusting men in meatspace, so I was fully ready to straight-up launch Owen into the sun if Grace’s suspicions proved right. I won’t spoil anything here, but as with Rusty, I appreciated that Curtis gave pretty much every character dimensionality.

    was a good surprise. She and Grace fell out of touch through all-too-common misunderstandings (which make sense in the context and are not unrealistically overdramatized), despite being best friends for many years. She isn’t presented as a stereotypical mean rival or discredited for being attractive and outgoing, two things I hate to see in secondary female characters. She and Grace’s journey and their bond with each other were written beautifully.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Before I end this review, I want to discuss the themes and messages of the novel a bit.

    I said earlier that the novel does not excuse rapists or assaulters. It absolutely does not, and I love it for that. The last thing I need when reading a book that mentions a subject so heavy and so incredibly personal to me is to see the author explain away why “the perpetrator had their

    ” or some similar bullshit. I want stories that embrace survivors with open arms, acknowledging that what was done to them was

    , not even remotely. This novel provides one of those stories.

    It also has this beautiful message of hope that avoids faux-positivity crud that makes my skin crawl. I don’t need to be told an asinine thing like “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent” -

    - like...what happened to me was without my consent. If I feel bad feelings about it, I’m not going to pretend like that’s my fault. No victim should. This novel takes that idea of positivity and puts it right in the garbage where it belongs. It instead proffers the idea that for real healing to occur, not only is acknowledgment of trauma important, but a support system and the knowledge that what happened to you was real and

    is as well. For bridges to be mended between people, real efforts at and actions of reconciliation - not just words of apology - are vital.

    So, would I recommend

    Yes, wholeheartedly, if you are in a headspace where you can read about the topics it addresses. I thought the ending was a little too neat, and there was a line about librarians/libraries that made me both laugh and roll my eyes (y’all, public libraries are often

    silent or stodgy places anymore), I both sped through this and “enjoyed” it. (“Enjoyed” because it was a difficult and emotional read, but it was ultimately cathartic for me.) I hope this novel gets some love.

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  • Emer

    Now published!

    Trigger Warning: rape

    The Leading Edge of Now is a compelling and moving read about a young teenage girl named Grace. Not only is Grace dealing with the death of her beloved father, she is also trying to figure out what exactly happened one night two years ago when she was passed out on Ambien. She thinks she knows. But her doubts plague her. The unknown violation plagues her. And most importantly the guilt she feels eats get alive

    This wasn't a book I necessarily enjoyed reading bec

    Now published!

    Trigger Warning: rape

    The Leading Edge of Now is a compelling and moving read about a young teenage girl named Grace. Not only is Grace dealing with the death of her beloved father, she is also trying to figure out what exactly happened one night two years ago when she was passed out on Ambien. She thinks she knows. But her doubts plague her. The unknown violation plagues her. And most importantly the guilt she feels eats get alive

    This wasn't a book I necessarily enjoyed reading because the heavy subject matter was quite emotionally exhausting, but it certainly was a book that moved me deeply and one that I'm very pleased I read. Grace was a very relatable main character and her ways of dealing with her grief and anxiety made for heart wrenching stuff. She felt very vibrant as a character and I truly think that most if not all readers would be able to connect with her as a character on some level because of how well drawn she is.

    I also really enjoyed the dynamics between Grace and her best friend Janna, her ex-boyfriend Owen and the McAllister family at large as this whole family were wonderfully developed as supporting characters and they each had brilliantly described backstories.

    This book feels hugely profound as it deals with survivor's guilt. It deals with feelings of shame that victims of sexual crimes experience. And all these important issues are handled incredibly sensitively in my opinion.

    A wonderfully developed YA book with great characters and an important message. Dropping my rating one star because at times I felt the pace of the book to be a little off but overall this was very thought provoking and definitely a book I would recommend.

    *An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher, Kids Can Press, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

  • Brianna

    I was immensely moved by this book. This is a story about a teenager named Grace who is attempting to cope with the loss of a family member while, at the same time, experiencing intense anxiety and guilt over being raped in her past. This was a heartbreaking and critically important story that I was thankful to have read.

    One aspect I found particularly significant in this book was exploring the feelings Grace had over being sexually assaulted. Specif

    I was immensely moved by this book. This is a story about a teenager named Grace who is attempting to cope with the loss of a family member while, at the same time, experiencing intense anxiety and guilt over being raped in her past. This was a heartbreaking and critically important story that I was thankful to have read.

    One aspect I found particularly significant in this book was exploring the feelings Grace had over being sexually assaulted. Specifically, the guilt that she has about not speaking up about what happened to her. This story takes place two years after the rape itself, but Grace continues to hold this in due to very real fears that victims of sexual assault have. She worries that no one would believe her, and that she would take the fault; and she's very afraid that it's too late to tell anyone what really happened. I thought this was a highly relevant part of the story because of the huge amount of victim blaming that happens in our society. With Grace, we can truly understand and feel how intensely afraid she is to speak out because of how others would react. This is a crucial lesson that readers can take away and think about.

    Additionally, I absolutely loved the writing style of this book. The author did an excellent job with descriptions and word choice. Grace, and the other characters, felt very realistic because of how well written they were. I found the writing to be very beautiful and and it made it interesting to read.

    The only minor issue I had with this book was that it took me a little while to get in to it. I wasn't exactly intrigued from the very beginning. This didn't last long though; I really connected with the story later on, and once I did, it really impacted me and I was glad that I continued to read it.

    Overall, this story was extremely moving and I believe it will impact many. I could really feel for Grace. Her story was one that will stay with me, and it will only continue to be relevant and important in our society as a whole.

  • Lara (Bookish_turtle)

    One of my favourite Netgalleys of all time!! So beautiful, heart-breaking, lovely and moving, definitely go read it as soon as it comes out!!

    I loved that Owen & Grace had a backstory and it wasn't insta-love at all! They were so cute together and I ship them so much. They were always rooting for each other even when everything was terrible and ASDFGDSSAASFAHFHASA they are so cute!!!

    But just the development of

    in this book is spot o

    One of my favourite Netgalleys of all time!! So beautiful, heart-breaking, lovely and moving, definitely go read it as soon as it comes out!!

    I loved that Owen & Grace had a backstory and it wasn't insta-love at all! They were so cute together and I ship them so much. They were always rooting for each other even when everything was terrible and ASDFGDSSAASFAHFHASA they are so cute!!!

    But just the development of

    in this book is spot on?! Like, you could literally name any main or side character and I would begin gushing about how well written they all were.

    And it was quite a short book which I liked. The pacing was good and it didn't drag! I was really sad when it was over, but the length was perfect!!

    This book also deals with heavy stuff, but it is quite sensitive and a really powerful novel. Though it tackles some heavy stuff, this fits in with the book and was done really well.

    I want to rate it five stars, but it was just missing a little extra something that I can't put my finger on. It was definitely a completely amazing read though!!

    (Also, let's take a moment to appreciate this cover. Go look at it again, you didn't see it properly the first time!)

  • Lola

    TRIGGER WARNING – Rape.

    You know, I used to think trigger warnings were unimportant, until someone commented on one of my reviews thanking me for putting up a trigger warning because they didn’t want to experience this kind of trauma again. That sure changed my perspective.

    I’m not surprised this author managed to write another emotional roller coaster after reading her debut – The One Thing – and loving it so much. Even though her main characters are unlikeable at times, sarcastic and passive-ag

    TRIGGER WARNING – Rape.

    You know, I used to think trigger warnings were unimportant, until someone commented on one of my reviews thanking me for putting up a trigger warning because they didn’t want to experience this kind of trauma again. That sure changed my perspective.

    I’m not surprised this author managed to write another emotional roller coaster after reading her debut – The One Thing – and loving it so much. Even though her main characters are unlikeable at times, sarcastic and passive-aggressive, even, her writing blows me away each time.

    This is the type of story you can’t stop reading, not necessarily entirely because you’re sucked into the story or deeply invested in the characters (although both of those things can be true), but because the writing just FLOWS and to stop reading this book is to interrupt a river from flowing.

    It does slow down in the last 60-ish pages, seeing that by that point the ‘‘climax’’ had already occurred and the rest of the story is more of a long epilogue than the continuation of a plot, so be sure that if the writing hadn’t kept me engaged, I would have removed at least a .5 in my rating. Thank goodness for beautiful and lyrical writing that conjures emotions as well as poets themselves.

    This is the story of a girl with a broken past that slowly makes its way into her present. Grace doesn’t think she can handle the hurt, shame, pressure, but she doesn’t need to be alone in this, and indeed there are people ready to help her deal and move on. Grace may be a victim… but what she has yet to realize is that she is a survivor, too.

    Very moving.

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