Mini Reviews: The Edge of Never and The Edge of Always by J.A. Redmerski

Posted February 1, 2014 in Review / 3 Comments

The edge of neverThe Edge of Never (The Edge of Never #1)
By J.A. Redmerski
First published November 13, 2012
Forever / Hatchette
423 pages
New Adult | Contemporary Romance
Source: purchase
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About the book:

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?

 

Are you brave enough to STOP and take a break from life?  Could you stop being the person everyone expects you to be, take off that zombie shell you’re wearing that doesn’t fit right and isn’t you?  I don’t know if I could.  The Edge of Never is about a girl with nothing to live for, no direction.  So she just lets go and gets out.  What and who she finds on this trip, which is anything but a clichéd coming of age road trip, glued me to this story and had me in tears before all was said and done.  You’ve no doubt seen the hype on this book – everyone loved it.  I loved it because it ended up being so much more than what I was expecting.

When I read a synopsis, I always try and form an idea of what the book is going to be about.  But Ms. Redmerski is such a talented writer, extremely creative, and quite the wordsmith that she was able to create a story for both Camryn and Andrew each that both were able to intersect and build upon each other.  At first glance, it looks like Andrew is the one helping Camryn discover herself as she recovers from a fight with her best friend and the loss of her high school boyfriend in a car accident. 

But there is so much more than this to the story.  So many subplots and subtleties to these two intersecting lives that you just can’t help getting mesmerized while you watch them dance around each other.  Even though Andrew has just met Camryn on the bus and they’ve just agreed to drive together, he takes it upon himself to make this trip the trip of a lifetime for Camryn.  He demands nothing but the truth from her and pushes her to come out of her shell and try new and exciting things.  

You’ll get from Ms. Redmerski many awesome moments and a few plot twists you will NOT see coming (if you’ve been good and not snuck a peek anywhere) that all lead to a most satisfying ending that will definitely require at least half a box of Kleenex.  Unless you’re a robot and then maybe only a third of a box. 

This was one of my favorite books of 2013 and I think it represents the new adult romance genre perfectly.  OH!  And technically, Ms. Redmerski is a flawless writer: her pacing, grammar, spelling, EVERYTHING was perfect!!!  She is a favorite author of mine just on that alone…

 

 

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edge of alwaysThe Edge of Always (The Edge of Never #2)
By J.A. Redmerski
Published January 14th, 2013
Forever / Hatchette
412 pages
New Adult | Contemporary Romance
Source: received from Forever / Hatchette (via NetGalley) in exchange for an unbiased review (Thank You!!!)
rater-3.5

 

 

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About the Book:

Five months ago, Camryn and Andrew, both dealing with personal hardships, met on a Greyhound bus. They fell in love and proved that when two people are meant to be together, fate will find a way to make it happen.

 

Now, in the highly anticipated sequel to The Edge of Never, Camryn and Andrew are pursuing their love for music and living life to the fullest as they always swore to do. But when tragedy befalls them, their relationship is put to the ultimate test. As Camryn tries to numb her pain, Andrew makes a bold decision: To get their life back on track, they’ll set out on another cross-country road trip. Together they find excitement, passion, adventure-and challenges they never could have anticipated.

Hoooooo boy… a second book.  A sequel to the greatness of The Edge of Never.   I was just discussing this with another blogger today; I was wondering if authors are asked by their “bosses” to write sequels to books that do very well.  Honestly, I thought Camryn and Andrew’s story could have ended and been neatly closed right at the end of the first book.  

On the other hand, I could see that readers wanted to know what happened after.  Unfortunately it wasn’t all pretty for Camryn and Andrew.  They dealt with great loss and again, we saw both sides courtesy of dual POVs.  The stress the tragedy put on their relationship only showed how young their relationship was. But in the end, it also showed how well suited Camryn and Andrew were for each other.  I was so happy to see that their unconventional love had built a wonderful home.  I especially enjoyed the last chapter of the book.  Nice….. 

If you read book one, do you have to read book two?  Nah…  unless you want a bit more closure and you’d love to escape into their world again.  It’s a much different story that I found darker, edgier, even uncomfortable at parts.    If you want to read book two, should you read book one?  YES!   I don’t recommend going into this book blind.  You won’t get the full effect or enjoyment out of it if you don’t know Camryn and Andrew’s backstories. 

The Edge of Always gives us the opportunity to meet Bray and Elias of the forthcoming book, Song of the Fireflies (due this Tuesday, February 4th!)  You meet these two in such an odd situation that you can’t help but NEED to read their book, although it’s listed as a stand alone and not part of this series (or duology). 

 

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j.a. redmerski

About the Author:

Born November 25, 1975, J.A. (Jessica Ann) Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author who juggles several different literary genres. She lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries and is a huge fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

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Kristin

About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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3 responses to “Mini Reviews: The Edge of Never and The Edge of Always by J.A. Redmerski