Title: The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never #1)
Author: J.A. Redmerski
Released: 28th February 2013
Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Hype can be a dangerous thing - and, sometimes, for me at least, utterly baffling. Perhaps on some level I can understand why this book got the attention it did. I did like it enough to give it the midway rating. But those things weren't enough for me to justify anything higher, and I did have some concerns while reading this that put a damper on my enjoyment.
An incident from the past and following the same routine every day leaves Camryn feeling confined by life. Unwilling to follow the same path that society seems to live by, she impulsively grabs a few things and boards a bus, intending to get some answers and just see what's out there. What Cam didn't expect was someone to help her figure out who she was and try things she'd never done before. Namely, Andrew Parrish. On his way to see his dad in hospital, Andrew has secrets of his own that he isn't willing to share, and in a relationship that grows closer by the day, that could be the thing that splits them apart.
I may as well tell you straight away, I did want to keep reading this. Even as I had concerns and wished certain things had been done differently, there was something about this that did pull me in. It was funny at times, and I liked getting to know Cam at the start. It did feel like something of a guilty pleasure at times, but there were character insights that left me intrigued and wanting to see more and even deeper into their minds and personalities. There was also an emotional element that occasionally rose to the surface, and when the ending came, the emotion I felt actually surprised me because it seemed I cared for more Andrew than I'd initially thought. There was a dual POV that I wish had been more equally weighted because I wanted to see more from Andrew about certain events, but I think we get more of him in the sequel? (That is actually a question. Please tell me we do.)
Having said all of this, my issues with this book are not such that I can just dismiss them. Even now I can still recall them, nearly a month after reading it, and I'm unhappy at the memory. One of the problems was the way the author phrased certain things. I'm actually surprised that I came across this. It seems to me that there are some words that are so meaningful, or whose connotations are so strong, they can only be used within a certain context worthy of the meaning. I felt uncomfortable with the way Redmerski was describing little things like goosebumps because the way she described it really seemed both irrelevant and unnecessary. What I also didn't like was how jumpy it all seemed. It felt like there were thought processes missing, things I wanted to see to know more about the characters and actually see them grow. Instead it was like, one minute Cam is not in a million years going to do this; the next she was doing precisely that. Things were left unexplained. The speech and overall flow just didn't feel right.
Those are the more technical issues. On a much more personal level, I was somewhat uncomfortable with the type of relationship Camryn and Andrew have. It wasn't massively bad, but I'm not into the whole dominance thing. Even if it's not completely full on, it's just not for me. Which actually reminds me, this wasn't as deep a book as I was hoping it would be. It was fine until Cam and Andrew were together, and then it just seemed like Cam's development in particular took a backseat. Also, 'baby' as an endearment. The more I see it in books, the more it irritates me.
With all of my qualms, then, why am I even considering the sequel? I'm not entirely sure. There is something about Redmerski's writing, something about Cam and Andrew, that leaves me wanting more. I do want to see it through to the end of the story, find out what more is in store for them - and, by extension, me. I'm hoping that I'll enjoy it more. The Edge of Never drew an entirely mixed reaction from me which wasn't easy to pin down. That does make it more memorable, even if not for wholly the right reasons, which might help to explain why I'm so reluctant to let go. With my complicated relationship with this book, all I can say for certain is that it was not worthy of the hype, yet somehow left me wanting more.