Sunday, December 2, 2012

Review: The Edge of Never

Title: The Edge of Never
Author: J. A. Redmerski
Genre: Contemporary "New Adult"

Goodreads rating: 4.72 out of 5.00 (1, 000+ ratings)
Goodreads link
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 Raleigh, 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?

Review by Chantelle

I honestly do not understand the hype about this novel. 
The protagonists have superiority complexes, and the plot is horribly paced.

The Edge of Never follows twenty-year-old Camryn Bennet who wants to have worldly experiences outside of North Carolina but knows of no one who wants to go with her. One night, she makes the decision to go by herself and boards a greyhound bus with no agenda other than leaving - which is where she meets Andrew Parrish. In Parrish, she finds a kindred spirit and together they go on a road trip.

I understand that "New Adult" coming-of-age novels are to appeal to those aged anywhere from 14-35, however, the plot seemed to be a jumble of young adult and purely adult fantasies that Redmerski tried to stuff all into the one novel no matter the lack of relevance or coherency it afforded. Nothing flowed, and certain aspects of the novel appeared abrupt, unnecessary or just plain weird. 
The beginning is your average YA novel, misunderstood girl meets incredibly hot boy and so it begins... 
The novel's premise is strongly based on the tragedy of Cam's past which supposedly obstructs her ability and desire to love again. Upon meeting Andrew she is portrayed as head-strong in not wanting love, however this resolve soon crumbles such that after one week, the sexual tension basically erupts and morphs into a full on certified crude, graphic, submissive/dominant erotica.
Yeah, bet you didn't see that coming. I certainly didn't, which is why, instead of appreciating the scene, I was sitting there thinking, what the f%$# is going on.  Another week of "waiting" supposedly justifies (not sex, but) making love. So by the two week mark, it turns into an incredibly cheesy 'can't live without each other, you complete me' cliche romance that simply does not come across as genuine! The conclusion is a tribute to Nicholas Sparks when there is the typical, insert rare and fatal medical disaster, "twist". 
Basically, I'm saying that this novel is a Frankenstein; just an abhorrent compilation of 3 different genres that should have been three different novels. 

If that wasn't repellent enough, the main character Camryn Bennett is that arrogant, self absorbed, beautiful-and-knows-it girl that you wouldn't bother talking to. She is "lucky in the perfect hair department", with every single guy in love with her including her best-friend's boyfriend of five years (overkill much?). Upon reflection, she believes her deepest flaw is being "too deep", and oh, did I mention the superiority complex?
"What is it with people and their willingness to follow? Not me." 
Wow! Introducing your likeable and by no means condescending heroine!
Apparently, she is also the only person who knows the true meaning of depression:
"When I was in high school, girls would often talk about how they were ‘depressed’ and how their mom’s took them to a shrink to get on medication... whenever I heard someone play the depression card, I’d roll my eyes and go about my business... Those girls at school had no idea what it really means to be depressed."
Someone please give this girl a copy of Perks so that she can realise that suffering is relative. 
Hmmm, and fun fact, guess what was Camryn's opinion about her brother being in jail...
 "And now he's where he deserves to be."
 Such compassion!

Redmerski also writes from Andrew Parrish's perspective, unfortunately this proved repetitive and (sorry) boring as irrelevant scenes such as a regular day in the greyhound bus were forced upon the reader twice through both narratives. Necessary? Not exactly, especially as Cam so eloquently states that "his thoughts already make me feel like I’m staring into a mirror when I look at him."
Yes that's right, Redmerski is giving us dual narratives from characters that are essentially identical. What a riveting read. 

The Edge of Never was not an enjoyable read for me. It was irritating, inconsistent and dull. 

What to read instead of The Edge of Never!

  1. Easy By Tammara Webber
    (Introducing the novel that inspired publishers to create the new genre of "New Adult")
  2. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour By Morgan Matson
    (A sweet young adult road trip novel that also deals with grief)
  3. Sweet Evil By Wendy Higgins
    (A paranormal road trip novel)

P.s whoever shelved this as "Young Adult".... a plague on both your houses

Overall: 3/10
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 2.5/5
Characters: 2.5/5
Cover: 4/5