The edge of nowhere by Elizabeth George
Hodder and Stoughton, 2012.
This is Elizabeth George's first foray into the realm of young adult fiction and The Edge of Nowhere is the first novel in a series. As such, much is being set up for the continuation of the story with unanswered questions and mystery surrounding many of the characters.The protagonist, fourteen year old Hannah Armstrong, takes a new identity as Becca King to hide from her stepfather on the isolated Whidbey Island in the state of Washington, while her mother remains on the mainland to establish a safe existence for the two of them. Becca has an usual talent for 'hearing' other people's thoughts and both she and her mother believe that her stepfather wants to kill her due to what Becca has overheard of his business dealings.
Unfortunately, Becca loses contact with her mother immediately she arrives on the island and the unexpected death of her secret protector leaves Becca completely alone and reliant on her wits and the unknown islanders. Among others, Becca meets Diana Kinsale, who also has paranormal abilities but seems to understand Becca and is often there to help her. Eighteen year old Seth Darrow, a high school dropout, steers her to Debbie Grieder, the owner of the Cliff Motel who gives Becca a place to stay in exchange for work around the motel. Both Debbie and Seth accept Becca's story and seem to be on her side constantly but it is Derric Matheson, a sixteen year old Ugandan orphan, adopted as a young child by the town's Deputy Sherriff, with whom she has a special connection. When Derric is injured in a fall, Becca is the one who brings him out of the coma by discovering his secret.
Of course, not everyone she meets is sympathetic and she must be patient in establishing relationships and careful in whom she trusts in order not to give away her secret and true identity. The adult characters are, in the main, trustworthy and helpful, although the story ends with Becca seeing her stepfather at the front of the Cliff Motel and begging Seth to take her 'some place safe'; the perfect hook for the next book in the series. Readers who like series will love this and it is eminently suitable for a Middle School library.