Friday, July 26, 2013

New Adult Review: The Edge of Never, by J.A. Redmerski

Release date: November 15, 2012
Publisher: Createspace
Format: ebook, 423 pages

Goodreads description:
Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.

Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.

But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?


The following reviews is based on a copy that I purchased myself.


Review
I’ve wanted this book basically since the first time I laid eyes on the cover and read the description. It’s been on my kindle for months and when I was lounging on a couch at a hostel in London and couldn’t get into the anthology I had for review, I thought this was the time. Being kind of on the road myself, I found it easy to slip into Camryn and Andrew’s story and identify with them. It was surprisingly hard to tear myself away from the book even if it was to catch some sleep so I’d have the energy to go exploring the city in the morning!

I’ve read a couple New Adult novels so far and this was definitely among the best ones! Camryn had real problems to deal with but she wasn’t whiny. She was depressed (her boyfriend died, her brother’s in prison), couldn’t muster the energy to feel much, and felt trapped in a life she never wanted that way. So one day, she simply got on a bus and left. On that bus, she met Andrew and slowly came to trust him. The way their relationship developed from wariness to being comfortable with each other and eventually developing stronger feelings felt natural and right to me. They challenged each other and helped each other grow. They stood by each other in very difficult situations. And during their time on the road, they managed to live the spontaneous life both of them had dreamed of. But every trip has to end at some point…

I was surprised when the book first switched to Andrew’s point of view after staying with Camryn for so long, but I quickly got accustomed to the more frequent switches and appreciated getting a glimpse of Andrew’s mind. It let a few of the previous scenes appear in a new light and really added to the overall story. I also simply liked him as a person. There were moments when I thought he was too impulsive but it always remained on a level I could still understand and didn’t get too out of hand. I really enjoyed how he liked to push and tease Camryn but would never do anything that really went against her will. The two really got one another and the chemistry was sizzling.

Well. Where that would eventually lead was pretty clear from the beginning, but let’s just say that once the sex happens it’s at a point where they know each other well enough for it to mean something, which is always makes those scenes more enjoyable for me as a reader. I have to add though that even for New Adult, I thought the scenes were pretty explicit. I didn’t mind because they were well-written, but I thought I’d mention it for those who don’t like that kind of thing. However, I liked that those two were so sexually comfortable with one another.

The Edge of Never is a story about awakenings and moments that turn your life around on many levels. It’s about being young, feeling trapped, about breaking away from the routine and trying new things. I also enjoyed the significance that music had for the story and that both Camryn and Andrew’s families were so important and involved. Despite being 20 and 25, they didn’t have that ‘cut-off’ from their roots aspect to them that I often see in YA and NA.

However, I also have to say that I liked the last third or fourth of the book less than the previous parts. It was like everything disappeared for Camryn apart from Andrew, and I felt that at the end of the book, there were a couple things about her old life that felt rather unfinished as she kind of slipped into his world. Also, the big revelation about why Andrew always held something back from her and thought about leaving a few times didn’t sit all that well with me. Part of that is because it’s one of my plot peeves (and I need to add that it’s something a lot of people actually like to read about), but partly it was also because I felt like it came out of nowhere. The ending, then, was also kind of sudden and incorporated another two elements that felt clich├ęd to me. Nevertheless, the novel was rounded off and can be read as a standalone, though I saw that there’s a sequel to be released.

Overall, I really want to read the sequel because I loved Camryn and Andrew as characters and want to see what else life (or, you know, the author) has in store for them. Redmerski’s prose flows well and she manages to write romantic scenes without being sappy. If you’re looking for a contemporary summer read with a road trip and romance that is both fun but also treats serious themes, you should definitely give The Edge of Never a try!


Have you read The Edge of Never? What were your thoughts? What do you think of the New Adult trend in general, and now that there are so many NA books out, how do you decide what to read?

4 comments:

  1. Great review Carmen! I've had this one for awhile and have heard some really awesome things about it. I like the sound of the romance from your review. I can't stand insta-love scenarios.

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    1. Oh, it's definitely not insta-love ;) There's an attraction, but it takes quite a while for the two of them to really give in to anything. You should really give it a try! The interactions are awesome :)
      Thanks for commenting!

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  2. I've had this one in my queue for quite some time now. I helped with a blitz or something, I don't remember. But I've seen such mixed reviews for it. I'm new to New Adult, so I'm rather picky about which ones I spend my time with. Great review, though...you've given me much to think about.

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    1. It really is good! I read Tammara Webber's Easy today though and that was just simply amazing :)
      Edge of Never is great as well though, and I like that it's dual POV. Thanks for commenting, Jen :)

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