Review: The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski
The Edge of Never
by: J.A. Redmerski
Publication Date: Nov. 15, 2012
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC received from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 426 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars
I have had my eye on this book for quite some time now, but wasn't able to fit it in until now. I confess, I already knew Andrew's dark secret that the blurb tells of, so at least I was emotionally prepared when we found out what that was. However, even knowing his secret, this book still made an impact on me. My only qualm is that I felt there were times where the story really seemed to drag and I found myself a bit bored. However, even with the slower pace, Redmerski does such a great job of setting the scene and focusing on building and developing her characters. It's easy to see why so many have fallen in love with the beauty of this book.
The book is told in dual POV between Camryn and Andrew, which I wasn't expecting. However, being the dual POV fan that I am, I loved it. I felt it was important to see things from Andrew's perspective. Both characters are dealing with some heavy emotional issues and my favorite part was watching them unravel each other bit by bit. Redmerski didn't rush their relationship and I found myself going crazy from the tension between them. But once they finally gave in, OMG- I swear that was the hottest scene I'd ever read.
Andrew storms into my room, letting the door smack the wall on his way in. He grabs me by my upper-arms, digging his fingers into my muscles.
"Why are you still afraid?!" Tears lace his eyes: furious, painful tears. He shakes me, "SAY WHAT YOU FEEL!"
His thunderous voice makes my body go rigid for a moment, but I shove his hands off me. I'm so confused. I know what I want to say. I don't want him to go but-
"Camryn!" His face is full of wrath and desperation. "Say whatever it is that you feel! I don't care how dangerous or stupid or hurtful or hilarious- TELL ME HOW YOU FEEL!" His voice sears through me.
He doesn't stop:
"Be honest with me. Be honest with yourself!" His hands wave outward toward me in gesture. "CAMR-"
"I want you, godammit!" I scream at him. "The though of you leaving and never seeing you again tears-me-up inside!" My throat burns like fire. "I can't fucking breathe without you!"
"SAY IT! Son-of-a-bitch," he says exasperated, "just say it!"
"I want you to own me!" I can hardly stand on my own anymore. Sobs rock my entire body. My eyes sting and my heart twists like it never has before.
Andrew grabs me, twisting my wrists together behind my back with one of his hands. He pulls my back harshly against his chest. "Say it again, Camryn," he demands, the heat of his breath bathing the side of my neck, sending chills throughout my limbs. I feel his teeth graze the flesh just below my ear. "Fucking say it, baby." His hand tightens painfully around my wrists.
"I belong to you, Andrew Parrish... I want you to own me..."
I love passionate scenes and this one really takes the cake. You may think it strange Andrew has tears in his eyes here or why he is absolutely so desperate for her to admit she wants him, but it makes sense later. And my heart was still unprepared for the onslaught of emotions I felt.
Camryn has been through a lot and so her heart has been closed up behind steel walls. She has seen the way her parents have interacted over the years- two people who may have been married to one another, but certainly weren't in love. She lost the one person she did truly love to a car accident, and then discovered her most recent boyfriend was cheating on her. With the exception of the boyfriend she lost, Camryn has not seen love in a very favorable light. After an incident with her two best friends, Camryn realizes she feels suffocated- she is drowning in the memories of her ex-boyfriend, of her family, her brother. I love that Camryn makes the decision to get away. It seems like the first real thing she's done for her in a long time and I think it was overdue. While it may not have been the safest decision she ever could have made- jumping on a Greyhound and traveling by herself- it was by far the best one she could have ever made. Not just because she found Andrew this way, but because she also found herself in the process. Andrew challenges her in every possible- makes her think about what she wants for her life, and really makes her reexamine her stance on love. After being betrayed by her best friend, Andrew is the one she finds herself opening up to- he is the one who makes her feel alive for the first time in years. It isn't without work though. Camryn feels it would be selfish for her to give herself to Andrew without really knowing what she wants. She doesn't want to hurt him and she certainly doesn't want to be the one hurt either.
"The heart always wins out over the mind. The heart, although reckless and suicidal and a masochist all on its own, always gets its way. The mind may be what's best, but I don't give a shit what my mind is telling me anymore. Right now, I just want to live in the moment."
However, Andrew is not without secrets. As easy as their camaraderie is, you can tell he holds back from her. At first we believe it is because well, they just met on a bus and he didn't want to come across as the guy who just wanted to get in her pants. And then you start to see it's something more. Andrew won't stand for just a bit of her- he wants all of her. He wants her to want him and know without a doubt he's the one she wants. Emotionally, Andrew is a bit closed off himself. He won't deal with his father dying, won't be the one to stay and watch him deteriorate in a hospital. In fact, he won't even attend his funeral. Yet, all of this doesn't mean he doesn't love his father or grieve for him when he passes. It does make you really wonder what is going on inside of his head. I adored Andrew's character, though. He is not afraid to put himself out there or go after what he wants. I love his spontaneity and he really does bring out the best in Camryn.
While this is mainly Camryn and Andrew's tale, Camryn's best friend Natalie, did play an important role. The two have been friends for a long time and their friendship is seriously tested in this novel. There is an incident with Natalie's boyfriend, and where Natalie should have taken her friend's side, she chose her boyfriend and that really stung Camryn. However, Natalie has been with her boyfriend Damon, for 5 years now, and I think she really struggled with the knowledge that he is a dirtbag and that Camryn would never lie to her and so she lashed out against the one person she knows would never hurt her. You want to hate Natalie for acting like such a bitch, but she does come around after having some time to really let what Camryn told her sink in. She ended up being there for Camryn during a very difficult time and I think that was what counted in the end. People make mistakes when they are hurting and I'm glad Camryn forgave her.
As many obstacles as these two go through, it really is a heartwarming story about two people finding one another, overcoming their fears, and simply learning how to live and feel alive. I will warn you- the last 1/4 of the book is an emotional one and you really find yourself cursing fate, as Camryn and Andrew already had enough to overcome as it was. But you know what they say, 'what doesn't kill you, only makes your stronger'. And this sentiment couldn't be more true in their case.