Monday, 26 May 2014
Review: The Edge of Never by J. A. Redmerski
Twenty year old Camryn Bennett needs to get away, to take a break and re-evaluate her life. On impulse she boards a bus out of town, destination chosen entirely at random, and sets off for the adventure of a lifetime. Andrew Parrish is also on a journey cross-country, only his trip is born out of necessity. As the paths of these two strangers cross and become irrevocably intertwined, their lives will never be the same again.
This book had me hooked from the very start, and I raced through it in a couple of days. With alternating narratives from both Camryn and Andrew's perspective, we get an insight into their true feelings for each other as they get to know one another, and will them to get together. Although the subject matter isn't exactly ground-breaking, this book packs a punch through its emotional intensity, and believe me it really is intense in places. Other reviewers have said how they were in tears by the end, and although I didn't get that bad - it takes a lot for a book to make me cry - I can completely see why. Raw emotion pours off the pages during Andrew and Camryn's heated arguments and their heartfelt conversations; it's no exaggeration to say that it takes your breath away.
Andrew is just irresistible! The dimples, the quick-wittedness, the adorable personality, and did I mention the dimples? So romantic too, although I have to admit that I tried the whole looking up at the rain thing today and I didn't see much. Maybe American rain is different to English rain. He's also the only person/character I have ever come across to make tattoos seem romantic, and coming from a tattoo-phobic that's really something! Andrew and Camryn's relationship escalates pretty quickly from a sweet teen-esque romance into an adult one, but you know from the start that this is inevitable. I think given that Camryn is younger than me I automatically imagine her to be more naive than she is, but I guess this is the danger of reading YA/NA novels.
One thing that I liked about this novel was its use of music. Initially a point of conversation between Andrew and Camryn when they first meet, Redmerski creates a soundtrack to their story through song references and lyrics. Admittedly I hadn't heard any of the songs when I read the book, but I listened to them out of curiosity afterwards and can see why she chose them.
Andrew comes into Camryn's life like a guardian angel: her protector, her psychiatrist and her lover all in one. Almost too good to be true. We learn early on in the story that Andrew has his own emotional baggage that he's not willing to share, and we only learn of his circumstances a few chapters before Camryn does. What I found odd about his situation was - without giving too much away - that there is no hint at all of what is to come at all until their road trip is over, and he's conveniently back at home before his secret comes to light.
The whole novel, to quote the legendary Ron Burgundy, seemed to be a case of 'well, that escalated quickly.' From the progression of Andrew and Camryn's relationship to the progression of events once their road trip ends, the couple have lived through more in a couple of months than most of us do in five years! That said, I really did enjoy it, and I have to admit that I fell for Andrew too!
5/5 stars: Sweet, sexy and compelling, The Edge of Never definitely lives up to the hype.