Thursday, April 11, 2013

Book Review: The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski

Title: The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never #1)
Author: J.A. Redmerski

Pages: 426
Published: November 15, 2012

Publisher: Createspace
Book Source: Personal collection
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars


20-year-old Camryn isn't having the easiest time. Her beloved boyfriend was killed in a tragic accident, and she's never been the same. She feels numb and struggles to feel emotional over anything at all. Her parents recently divorced. Her brother is in jail for killing someone while driving under the influence of alcohol. All Camryn has left is her two best friends, Natalie and Damon - who happen to be a couple.

One evening, Natalie convinces Camryn to go with her and Damon to a local night club to try and have a good time; try to forget her troubles. While at the bar, Cam and the bartender begin flirting a bit, chatting, etc. They head outside. Damon follows and ends up in a fight with the bartender over Cam. Long story short? Damon professes his love for Camryn. He's loved her for years and he decides that now is the time to show it with a kiss which, naturally, Camryn shoots down.

The following day, Camryn recounts the events of the evening to Natalie. She doesn't get the reaction she expects. Instead of confirming Cam's belief that her best friend will go the way of solidarity in sisterhood and long-time friendship, Natalie calls her best friend a liar and a bitch. Natalie then refuses to speak to Cam, and their friendship ends.

This one last straw is all Camryn needs to make a decision—one to change her life drastically. Camryn wants to stop simply existing, and start truly living.

What better way than to get the hell out of town? Change the scenery?

During her bus ride to Idaho, Cam meets Andrew Parrish. Andrew is gorgeous and quirky, and makes her feel things she hasn't felt in a long time. He's on his way to see his dying father; something he dreads more than anything in his life.

Two people on the same road for two completely different reasons. Two people who find the solace they desperately need in each other. But all good things must come to an end. Andrew has a major secret—one that will change everything.

- - -

Hmmmm, where to begin? I have too many thoughts bouncing around in my head.

I went into this book expecting something, but I don't know what. What I do know is that I didn't get what I was expecting. I got something entirely different, but in a good way.


Spoilers that are coming literally in the very next paragraph. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!

So, what I didn't like...

I want my romance sexy and erotic, I want my romance angsty and emotional, but most of all, I want my romance romantic! One thing that will kill a romance novel for me is a fucking pregnancy! I am sorry, but I do not find pregnancy sexy or romantic. When I think of pregnancy and babies, I think of HORMONES FLYING, FAT ANKLES, BULGING ABDOMENS, PUKE-FESTS, PAIN, HOURS OF LABOR, NEEDLES IN YOUR SPINE, PAIN, PAIN, AND MORE PAIN, POOPY DIAPERS, DROOL, VOMIT, WHINING, CRYING, PAIN, PAIN, and most of all, the complete absence of SEX and ROMANCE. Maybe I am missing some motherly instinct, but the fact that Redmerski (as well as a hundred other New Adult authors) had to throw that crap in there sort of infuriates me. It sort of disgusts me. I seriously cannot explain how HARD I rolled my eyes when I read that. I just can't.

I. Just. Can't.

Okay, I honestly liked everything else about this book. I just hated the end so hard. SO HARD. Is it evil and iniquitous that I hope Cam has a miscarriage in The Edge of Always? Yes. Yes, it is. Yes, I am awful. I really am. But shit, I want my damn romance back.

Moving on!

The first thing that struck me when reading this book was the character development. Especially in the case of Ian. I find it extremely impressive that this author was able to create a tangible character to fall in love with from just Cam's memories. The memories were sparse, which makes it all the more impressive. I applaud her in that. I found Cam and Andrew to be very relatable and realistic. I think the way Cam reacted to her life situations was realistic as well. I think it's hard to get over some of the tragedies life throws at you, and most people have the instinct to run; to get away from what causes you pain. If I had money in the bank when I went through a couple of my past break-ups and whatnot, I would have hopped my ass on a bus too. Cam was closed off from the world, hidden behind walls she built up to protect her heart. It was beautiful to see Andrew break those walls down, bit by bit. Andrew is incredibly special. I adored this guy! He's sensual and mysterious, yet flippant and hilarious. I LOVE THESE TWO TOGETHER.

The road trip aspect was great! I am a huge fan of road trip stories, and I actually did not know this one was such a story when I first went into it. What a pleasant surprise for me! I enjoyed going on a cross-country journey with Cam and Andrew, all the while being able to see and feel their love bloom over the time they traveled. It really was a beautiful way to tell their story. Redmerski kept me entranced with her words and the meaning behind them. Almost from the beginning I knew there was something dreadful looming in the future of the story, but I couldn't figure it out. I didn't know what it was 'til it was staring me right in the face.

Surely you've read reviews about this book before. That, or you've read the book yourself. I am late to the party, as usual. Anyway, so either way, you know something happens near the end that will literally break your heart into pieces. All I am here to say is that everyone else is indeed correct. The big reveal did break my heart. I cried and cried until I had to put the book down for a bit to be able to finish. It was sad and heartbreaking and completely unexpected for me.

Then Redmerski had to go and ruin it with a pregnancy. *gives her the evil eye*

All in all, I will tell you what everyone else has already told you (along with a rant about people who don't use condoms when they bump uglies!!! HUMPH!!!), and that is this: This book is amazing. It's beautiful and it's sad. It's an emotional roller coaster right from the get-go. It made me feel A LOT of things. It was erotic in a way that felt sort of new to me. It's hard to put into words, but the steamier scenes were unique and different than anything I've read. I loved it! The romance and love aspect were spot-on. No insta-love. There is an instant connection, but it's one that isn't out of the realm of possibility in real life. Cam and Andrew falling in love during a road trip was like a fantasy for me; like a fairytale. I dream of someday taking a road trip across the United States, but 'til then, I will have to settle for fiction such as The Edge of Always to sate me. ♥

The big twist to the story will leave your jaw resting on the floor and turn your world upside down. The climax is very... climactic (yeah, you like that?). You definitely want to read this one! If you enjoy an emotionally-charged romance with an unexpected element of tragedy, this is the book for you. (But don't read it if you think pregnancy as a happily-ever-after is cliché and worthy of much eye-rolling, and that babies ruin sexy times.)

*This book contains SEX. This book contains naughty words. This book contains a girl who is afraid to use the word “pussy” and ends up using it in an awkward, lame way while Andrew is going at it between her legs. AGES 18+, babies (wait... no babies)!*

~ 4 OF 5 STARS ~