The Edge of Limits

An authentic trip into an adolescent mind, The Edge of Limits navigates CONSENT with honesty, humour, real life, high risk and the perilous judgements.

It is a journey from beach parties, teenage relationships, mateship, sex & consent to the vast wilds of trekking, abseiling, rock climbing, sweaty days & freezing nights. Real experiences of life, are the backdrop to a boys’ school camp. Trekking deep into the mountains, it is eight days of descending into fear, exhaustion, ravines and rivers. It is eight days of reverie where past and present exposes itself.  Ultimately, Knox 17 comes to a sense of responsibility and authenticity that is more powerful than the mystery of the Rave Party or Watts metal tip leather boots or lies.

Gervay compels us, like the river towards the murky place of initiation, the final place of decision.

The sensational book, The Edge of Limits is … compelling, confronting and important. Booksellers Association

In the tradition of Lord of the Flies,  Gervay’s The Edge of Limits looks at the dynamics into adolescence on eight day survival camp. Herald Sun

The Edge of Limits …. feels like an authentic trip into an adolescent mind … refreshingly honest and beautifully written. SMH

About the Author

Gervay is a leading YA author & educational consultant, awarded the Social Justice Literature Award by the International Literacy Association, Order of Australia, Astrid Lindgren & Crystal Kite Award and many others. She is Patron for Monkey Baa Theatre, Regional advisor of the Society of Children Writers & Illustrators Australia East & New Zealand, Writer Ambassador for Books In Homes, Role Model for Books in Homes, literacy ambassador and many other roles.

Gervay is passionate about unlocking the private maelstrom engulfing many young adults, as they navigate their journey between  powerlessness and independence.

Study Guide

Educating Young People about Sex is too Important to get Wrong.

Timely: Gender, sexual consent & life-defining choices.

Chantal Contos’ Teach Us Consent online forum partners with the 7,000 testimonies of abuse of teenagers. A movement founded by activist Chanel Contos, it lobbies for and provides holistic consent and sexuality education for all genders. For information –

Grace Tame, Australian of the Year, is a passionate advocate for survivors of sexual assault and campaigns for and help funds initiatives which prevent and respond to sexual abuse of children and others. For information –


Sam Knox, Fat George, Peter Jones, Spano, Bennie, Luke, Con, Andrew, Robbo and evil Watts.

Sarah, Laura, Annie, Sam Knox’s mother, girls at the Rave.

Grandpa, Navigator.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Tall, athletic, intelligent, super hero Peter Jones seems the obvious leader. He expects girls to ‘fall’ for him. What is real leadership?
  2. Hormones are out of control. How do boys deal with sexuality? With girls? What are their different attitudes to girls? Sam, Peter Jones, Watts, Andrew, Robbo?
  3. How does Sam cope with his grandfather’s death? How do adolescents deal with death? Can they talk about it? Do they grieve? Accept? Hide their feelings? Do they have to confront it alone?
  4. What is true courage? Are there different types of courage and/or different ways to show it?
  5. Why is sport so important to boys? Does it test leadership, courage, group dynamics, power?
  6. Can a person survive alone? Do they need the group or part of a group?
  7. What are the dynamics of male group politics? How does a female like Sarah, influence it?
  8. Boys often don’t elaborate when they speak to each other. There are usually jokes, sarcasm and bravado. How is it different to female communication?
  9. How do males and female communicate with authority such as their parents and teachers? How do parents and teachers communicate with them?
  10. Why is the weakest member attacked? “Fat George”? Bennie?
  11. How can ordinary boys turn to pack violence? What happens to Annie?
  12. What does climbing mountains and forging streams prove?
  13. What is war? How does it make heroes?
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This is a novel which needed to be written and needs to be read.

Reading Time

An authentic trip into an adolescent male mind … refreshingly honest and beautifully written.

Sydney Morning Herald

Confronting in many ways, this novel will certainly find an audience to which it can speak.


An epic story, beautifully written with clear spare prose and the ability to go right to the heart of young males in modern society.

Carol Kayrooz, University of Canberra

More Details

Author : S J Gervay
Format : Hardback
Language : English
Number of Pages : 218
Audience : YA