September 14, 2013

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

September 14, 2013
J. A. Redmerski’s bestselling New Adult Contemporary novel The Edge Of Never will take you on a fun and adventurous journey that will pull at your heartstrings. The amount of laughter and tears can atest to that. I can see why this novel received the praise that it has. 

Due to sexual content and language, this book is recommended for ages 17 and up.

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?

Almost every person at some point in their life had felt the need to break free from everyday routine, and craved to escape and live in the moment. This adventurous story strayed away from overused plotlines. It may be yet another story about roadtrips, but Redmerski did a well job of showing that there are roadblocks. The Edge of Never broadened the stigma of roadtrip stereotype. There was great dialogue, a careful pace, thoughtful editing, easy flow between the duel POVs, and the plot was never lost which makes for a likable story. The story is told in dual alternating POVs between Camryn and Andrew. Having dual alternating POVs between multiple characters can be troubling to follow at times, but Redmerski wrote them in a way where it was easy to jump from one mind to another. All the while, whomevers mind we jump to, the characters briefly rehash their thought about something that happened in the previous chapter when we were in the other characters mind.
The story maintained an inspirational vibe in life, adventure, loss and love. There is so much we take for granted and not even realize it. Discover new things, take chances, try new experiences, take nothing for granted and live with no regrets. Fate has a knack for timing and playtime, whether you believe in it or not. The romance in the story isn’t like a typical cheesy love story. Like I said, it breaks from the sterotype and avoids the stigma. What sets it apart is that since the characters share a crass and dry sense of humor, they can’t help but express it in terms of their dynamic and relationship. The points that are made on the concept of love and it’s involvement with young adults made for some valid reasoning. For instance, Camryn made a point where adults think that teenagers/young adults don’t know anything about love because of their age, presented a valid argument on whether love can be assessed by age — as the law is to the legal age for drinking — or not is something that every young adult can relate to. When I found out that this is about a roadtrip, I decided to pick myself up a copy. And since I read for escape and adventure, The Edge Of Never was a perfect choice to do so vicariously.
I guess my reasons for liking it so much is because of my own biased preferences. I can relate to it all the way down to the characters sense of humor and banter. I’m a sucker for green eyes and dark hair. So love interest, Andrew Parrish, was my undoing. I found myself relating to the story in a way because of my love for road trips and escapades. As the main characters were on the road in their adventure, I was crossing my fingers that they would stop in New Orleans, and when they did I couldn’t stop myself from entering borderline fangirl mode. And they didn’t just pass through, they stayed for a few weeks, so we got to see how it’s like there. And yes, they’ve spent some time on the iconic Bourbon street. After doing much research since I, myself, have never been, a lot of the setting was accurate. Another thing I like was the characters banter, it was witty, crass, sarcastic, foul, dirty, funny, inspirational, and heartfelt. That Walmart scene was very comical. That was by far my favorite. My friends and I do that all the time. I guess I relate to Andrew in that way. Camryn and Andrew’s love for music drew me in, too. Especially when it came to The Civil Wars. All I could think about is how fitting it would be to have Everlong by Foo Fighters be their roadtrip anthem. Also the story of Eurydice and Orpheus that the two main characters shared together was touching because it means so much to them. The characters shared a backstory of Orpheus that was not taught in English/Literary class, so it was nice learning something new. It makes you wonder if a man really can find his Eurydice on the road. Fate has a mind of it’s own and will decide when it’s time to play. Andrew and Camryn need a canon name because I ship them so hard (pun included).
The last couple chapters had me bawling to no end. I’ve had a fair share of shed tears over a book — John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars for example — and The Edge Of Never is the new addition. It really pulled at my heart strings, but I can assure that there is a happy ending.

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