Children's Literature in Southern Africa

Nikki McDiarmid reviews "Sharp Edges"

girl in white dress

Award winning SA Partridge opens the platforms of discussion so relevant to the issues of today's young adults, in a thrilling tale that leaves readers wishing for so much more.

Leaving responsibility behind in Cape Town, six South Africans get together for a birthday celebration in the mountains. No parents. No rules. Until the inevitable happens... Demi is dead. The golden girl, the birthday girl, the girlfriend and the best friend, Demi is the one person that had the most to live for. A party animal who plays a little too hard with her life, Demi pushes the freedom she is given to its limits. But does she deserve to die?

Travelling backwards in time, the role of each youngster is unfurled, like fingers within a clenched fist.

Ashley, the awkward school friend, and 'V', Demi's oldest and best-friend, have grown up together, co-existing in the same community. Damian, Demi’s boyfriend, is slightly older and not so interested - these are Demi’s friends, not his. James is the bad guy and Siya, his friend, is the hook-up that everyone is trying to get Ashley together with, the ‘balancer’ to holds the group in an even number.

These six profiles create the puzzle-pieces that complete the image of intrigue, each character a story within themselves. Led on a voyeuristic journey into their psyches, the reader discovers the issues and fantasies that drives them.

Almost painfully, 'Sharp Edges' is a reminder of when our own parents could do nothing right and is a cutting warning to today's youth.

S.A. Partridge seems to scoff at the self-absorbed thinking of teens who make themselves the victims of their own circumstances, her words caustic and often regretful. Or perhaps that is our own opinion as we walk again through this right of passage?

In intense detail, the group's mistakes are glaring in their need for acceptance and it is a story that should be shared and spoken about, although I have to wonder how many boys will lift a book with the cover of a dancing girl upon it.

Sharp Edges is a quick and seamless read that profoundly touches the inner layers of the readers soul and lingers on the edge of ones consciousness for weeks after.


11/25/2013 7:54:57 AM
11/25/2013 7:54:57 AM

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