Monday, September 05, 2011

Book Review: "Over the Edge" by Brandilyn Collins

Summary from Janessa McNeil's husband, Dr. Brock McNeil, has spent his life "proving" chronic Lyme Disease doesn't exist. Because of doctors like Brock many Lyme patients remain untreated. One embittered man--who lost his wife to the disease--has seen enough. He breaks into the Mcneil's house and places an infected tick on Jannie while she sleeps. After Jannie develops Lyme symptoms the man states his demand--or her daughter will be next. Jannie must convince her husband to publicly change his opinion about Lyme. But her marriage is already rocky. She's so sick she can hardly walk or think. And her husband denies that she has Lymes at all.

Feel free to call me ignorant because I had no idea what Lyme's Disease was until I read this book. I had heard of it but I never really looked into what it was and its symptoms. It's actually very sad that it's not more publicly known. Which is precisely the premise of this novel and exactly what kind of statement the story is trying to me.

Jannie has been infected with Lyme Disease. This has been done by someone who is angry at her husband for the research he has done to prove that the disease doesn't exist. The book goes through her suffering and the consequences that take place because of actions and non actions of the people involved in this situation. The book takes place in real time so we witness Jannie's pain day by day as she tries to find out what happened to her and how to get help.

I really could not stand Jannie's husband. Wow, he was an ignorant jerk. Actually I have harsher words to describe him but I shall refrain. I can understand from a scholarly point of view why he would want to defend his research. But once he realized what was actually happening to Jannie, those walls of denial just kicked in and he refused to accept what he was seeing. I hurt for her so much throughout the book. To not only be physically go through the pain she was in but to do so alone with your husband refusing to help you is terrifying. I was so thrilled to see the ending of this book involving their relationship. It is not something you normally see in Christian fiction but if it didn't happen after events in this book, I would have thrown this book across the room in anger.

This book really opened my eyes to the suffering and plight of those who have Lyme's Disease. Reading Collin's afterword about her own personal story, the research she did as well information about the truth about the disease was extremely beneficial and really adds another layer to the story. I really hope that people will read it and take a stand in bringing more awareness to Lyme Disease and those that suffer from it. This is an excellent suspense novel as well. If you've never read Collins' other books you are in for a treat. If you have, then you know to expect a bunch of twists and turns. It's an extremely thrilling ride where you can't wait to find out what happens.

Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins is published by B and H Publishing (2011)

This ARC was provided by the publisher


  1. I really enjoyed this one, too.

  2. Deborah, thanks for your honest and insightful review. I particularly applaud your insight about Jannie's relationship with her husband at the end of the book. You are so right. I push my poor characters into a LOT of trauma. Fact is, life is messy. When someone's been through that much trauma, even if the danger is finally over, there's still a lot of emotional fallout to be dealt with. I want to end my books with hope and yet on a realistic note. Thank you for noting this aspect of OVER THE EDGE.

    BTW, OVER THE EDGE is on sale right now in all e-book forms for $2.99. Great bargain, but it won't last long.

    Blessings, Deborah. I've always appreciated the honesty in your reviews and opinions.

    ~ Brandilyn

  3. I can't believe I didn't see this review before...

    I loved Over the Edge. As a Lyme patient, it's really exciting to see a novel that deals with the screwed up politics of this disease! Reading this book was so personal for me, and at the end I was SO relieved that Janessa and her husband separated. Like you, I probably would have hurled the book across the room if it had ended any differently. Especially since I had the faces of all the horrible doctors which made up the composite of Brock McNeil flashing through my head as I read.

    Anyways, GREAT review!


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