Title: The Edge of Never
Author: J.A. Redmerski
First published: November 14th 2012, Createspace
Edition: ebook, 351 pages
Genre: Romance, drama
Age group: New Adult
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This story was a crazy emotional ride for me, it turned from sad to happy, from slow to fast, from burning to cold. When I started with it, I knew from the synopsis that this would be a road trip story, and all the other stories of this type that I usually got with, were pretty much boring, predictable and kind of “out of this world”, in the way that every scenes would be so unrealistic, you keep reading knowing that sooner or later reality would break in. It always felt like I read the road trip story just for the sake of that road trip. But The Edge of Never is nothing like that.
I picked this story absolutely at random, but I was impressed with the amount of really overwhelming reviews. There turned out to be so many fans of this book, that I couldn’t just walk away.
The story starts a bit slow and at first it was a struggle for me, as I didn’t see anything that great about it, though this feeling changed later on. The beginning seemed like a typical YA story setting. There is a group of young people who spend their lives partying and having fun, and not thinking about tomorrow. And as it is expected there is somebody who’s not satisfied with it and feels left out, wondering if it’s all life has to offer.
This is 20-year-old Camryn Bennet, who dreams about traveling the world with a backpack to prove that life isn’t just college and work. And she would have done it long ago, but her boyfriend Ian died in a car crash and now Camryn is afraid to do it alone. Her only best friend Natalie ignores her after her boyfriend tried to force himself on Camryn, her parents are divorced and too busy with getting their lives back on track, and her only brother is in prison.
But it takes one eye-opening night in a club for Camryn to make up her mind and next day she lives on a bus, absolutely randomly yet crucially setting on Idaho. Camryn is very scared of going alone, yet she is determined to do it, not as a way to fulfill her and her boyfriend’s dream, but most importantly to find herself, to learn who she really is and what she is capable of.
On the bus Camryn meets 25-year-old Andrew Parrish, and though at first she is reluctant to open up to him, soon they become friends. Camryn can’t help to notice that Andrew is on the road for the same reason she is. Just like her he seems to harbor some secrets, and Camryn is set to find them out and help Andrew overcome them. Just like Andrew helps her.
Slowly Camryn not only realizes that she trusts him with her life, but she understands that Andrew is her real partner in crime. Though it was Ian whom she planned this trip with, she wasn’t that comfortable with it as with Andrew. And Andrew is the one to teach her how to live out-of-the-box, to follow the deepest and strongest desires of her heart.
Together they not only learn every little detail about each other, they fall in love, and the scenes where they are together are probably the most beautiful I’ve read in a book for a long time. Despite the very graphic love scenes, they fit so good into the story and only make their love feel real. I love how Andrew constantly teases Camryn about some of her fears or prejudices and pushes her to do some risky stuff she would never do by herself. And Camryn slowly comes out of her box, becomes more assured of herself and her place in life, which now is wherever Andrew is.
But despite Camryn opening up and Andrew telling her reasons behind his decision on this road trip, there’s still a nagging feeling, that something bad would come up and break their small bubble of happiness. The last chapters of the book were very tough, I just couldn’t keep my eyes from watering and asking myself why. Why these two had to go through this, hadn’t they had enough hurt already?
But that’s probably the main lesson the author wanted to give with this book – to show that we live only once, and it’s our duty to make of our lives as much as we can. It doesn’t mean to be reckless or irresponsible, but it’s about making right decisions and not being afraid of your heart’s desires.
I laughed and I cried with this book, but still I loved it a lot, it was brilliant and touching.