Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never #1) by J.A. Redmerski

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Recommended for ages 17 years+

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?

I had one single thought as I began reading The Edge of Never, “why haven’t I read this sooner?”. I had bought the book almost a year ago. It sounded so appealing at the time but somehow life managed to get busy as usual and I got distracted by other shiny objects and this had to wait. There has to be something said for things coming about at the right time or place because this time around, there were no excuses to set this aside.

I think what I liked most about Camryn is that she spoke for those of us who have this sense of wanderlust. How many of us wish that we could just chuck aside adult responsibility a bit? I relished living vicariously through her as she decided one day to screw work and her mundane routine to head out on a bus to that mecca of awesomeness – Idaho.  I didn't see her as pessimistic or whiney. She needed to make drastic changes in her life because she knew she was restricted by her current circumstance.  Going away for a while allowed her that distance to think freely and just breath. Then Andrew gets on the bus at one of the stops and the contemplative, quiet bus ride becomes interesting.

One word to describe Camryn and Andrew together: electric. They’re sort of opposites-attract who are in similar places in their lives looking for freedom. After being in Camryn’s head for a few chapters, I was happy (and surprised because I wasn't expecting it) to read Andrew’s narrative because his take on her is so spot on. The fact that she finds him rather obnoxious in the beginning doesn't hurt their chemistry. In fact, there were a few times where I laughed out loud because they reminded me of me and my hubby – he likes to rile me up, tease me and mess with me just the way Andrew does with Camryn.  It’s no surprise that she eventually goes from sour to light-hearted when they eventually go off on their road trip.  As for Andrew, he’s just a dream. Looks aside, the guy is good-hearted and even looked out for Camryn (unbeknownst to her) before they got to know each other. He's a stud who carries no pretense or insecurities. He snaps her out of her funk. He wakes her up to new possibilities, encouraging her to let loose and throw caution to the wind every once in a while. He's not perfect and he's secretive about his problems so Camyrn gives him the space he needs. She's there for him as much as he is for her.  

In this day and age where everyone is skeptical and overtly cautious, I was happy to read about a couple taking a gigantic leap of faith. Traveling around the country with a stranger is not exactly the brightest thing to do but once again, being there at the right time and place, there was a reason these two were drawn together. The longer they're together chipping away at their exteriors, the deeper their affection grows. And that chemistry I mentioned earlier? WOW! Their intensity makes sense after their time together and how they've grown to feel about each other. That's not to say there weren't a few details that bothered me as their relationship intensified but still they're amazing together.

I say if you’re a romantic and love adventure, this is your book. Even with the few minor issues I had, the greatest joy I had was reading how Camryn and Andrew, through their own personal pain transform each other into better people. Oh and Redmerski provides us with a pretty stellar soundtrack for this road trip. I really liked it and I hope you do too!

~ Bel

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