Book Review: Finding the Edge: My Life on the Ice by Karen Chen
June 28, 2022
Earlier this year, I had a slow week at my day job. Since I had time on my hands, and no other sewing and knitting projects to work on at that time, I decided to challenge myself to read as many books as I could in a week. I did this years ago, but I haven’t had the time to do it until earlier this year.
One of the books I read is Finding the Edge: My Life on the Ice by Karen Chen. Karen Chen is an ice skater and U.S. National Champion and two-time World Champion. Finding the Edge, her memoir, is about her life becoming a figure skating champion and the struggles along the way. At the time, the 2022 Winter Olympics had ended, so I thought reading a book about one of the members of Team USA would be a fun way to commemorate the event.
The blurb of the book on Amazon is as follows…
Figure skating icon and U.S. National Champion Karen Chen tells the amazing story of her rise to the top, featuring never-before-seen photos and behind-the-scenes details from her journey on and off the ice!
At seventeen years old, Karen Chen has already achieved what some girls only dream of—and yet it’s only the beginning for this incredibly talented athlete.
The daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, Karen began to figure skate at just five years old. Ten years and many grueling training sessions later, she broke out at the 2015 US Championships with a bronze medal. This was after sustaining a nearly career-ending ankle fracture a year earlier.
In 2017, Karen became the US National Champion, winning gold in two programs and receiving the highest score ever recorded for the short program at the US National level.
Now for the first time, Karen shares the story of how she got where she is today—and where she’s going next. Karen has already overcome astounding obstacles, and her grit, determination, and positive attitude have made her future truly limitless.
In Finding the Edge, she shares, in her own words, what it’s like to be Karen Chen—and what it takes to achieve the impossible.
Features a foreword from Kristi Yamaguchi, the Olympic champion, two-time World champion, and U.S. champion.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It does talk about Karen’s life from childhood to around the time when the book was published. Since the book was published in 2017, it doesn’t cover the 2018 Winter Olympics, 2022 Winter Olympics, or anything that happened in her ice skating career post 2017. Even though some may not like this, I was not bothered by it.
I enjoyed reading about her life and struggles to become a world class ice skater. In the book, Karen talks about how she fell in love with ice skating, her struggles with injuries, and how her family supported her pursuit of ice skating. It is written for children between grades 3 to 7 (8-12 years old) and is 224 pages long. Because of this, the pace of the book is very nice and the way the book is written makes it easy to read. I can see it as a perfect book for anyone looking for someone in that age group to read or for an adult, like myself, who wanted to read something lighter and enjoyable. The book does omit any sort of details that may upset children, such as an in depth description of one of Karen’s injuries, which is something I look for whenever I see a book for the target age group this one is for.
Overall, this book is a great book. This is not an in depth biography meant for adult readers, but it is still an excellent book. If you are curious about how modern day (2010-ish to today) ice skaters became champions, this is a great book to read. It gives you plenty of information about what one girl when through to become a modern ice skating champion. True, this book is worded and the pacing is meant for 3rd to 7th grade readers, but it just makes it a faster and easier read. I really enjoyed it and hope other adults (And children) will enjoy it as well.