The Border

Reviewed by Melanie on September 18, 2017


I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I began The Border. The first chapter of the book certainly wasn’t what I was expecting, but it grabbed me and made me want to know what the cards had in store for the four main characters; Pato, Arbo, Marcos and Gladys.

The plot takes off quickly, but also slows down quite a bit. This isn’t a bad thing as the incident that sets off the chain of events happens quickly and a bit unexpectedly. The plot develops well with plenty of smaller conflicts occurring while the main plot line moves forward. The slow spots are few and far between considering 95% of the book takes place in the Sonoran desert.

The characters are well written for the most part, with Arbo being my least favorite. I didn’t feel like he contributed much to the story, or added value to the journey. While I understand that all four characters were in shock, Arbo acted a lot like a petulant child than a character who held his own throughout the book.

Marcos, unlike Arbo, at least brings a long term plan and his physical attributes to the group. Other than being strong enough to carry a ton of water and supplies, his short temper and over-protectiveness of Gladys keeps him from being more well liked in my opinion.

Gladys is a breathe of fresh air. She’s smart and optimistic. Even after everything that can go wrong has gone wrong, she has the uncanny ability to see the silver lining. This made the way her story played out both a blessing and a curse because I tried to see things as Gladys would, no matter the circumstance.

Pato is…complicated. He wants to survive with his small group of friends. He wants to out run the people that are looking for them, but he isn’t overly confident, or too scared to move forward. He keeps his head straight and this helps them throughout their journey.

Overall I enjoyed the book and the group of characters as a collective group. Their journey across the border made me realize a lot about the trials that people will go through not only to feel secure, but to improve themselves.

The Border Book Cover The Border
Steve Schafer
Young Adult, Thriller, Action, Mystery
Sourcebooks Fire
September 5, 2017
Kindle eBook

One moment changed their lives forever.

A band plays, glasses clink, and four teens sneak into the Mexican desert, the hum of celebration receding behind them.

Crack. Crack. Crack.

Not fireworks―gunshots. The music stops. And Pato, Arbo, Marcos, and Gladys are powerless as the lives they once knew are taken from them.

Then they are seen by the gunmen. They run. Except they have nowhere to go. The narcos responsible for their families' murders have put out a reward for the teens' capture. Staying in Mexico is certain death, but attempting to cross the border through an unforgiving desert may be as deadly as the secrets they are trying to escape...

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