Monday, 9 September 2013
Review: The Edge of Never by J. A. Redmerski
Released: July 4th, 2013
Twenty-year-old Camryn has always known that she wants a life less ordinary. But when tragedy strikes, she boards the next bus leaving town, destination unknown. On a journey of self-discovery, she meets another lost soul, Andrew Parrish, who harbours his own dark secrets… Andrew shows Camryn what it’s like to live by your own rules and how good it feels like to give in to your deepest, darkest desires. But the dark shadow of Andrew’s secret is looming. Will it push them together – or tear them apart forever?
Prior to reading The Edge of Never, I'd heard nothing but positive things about it. It has hundreds of 5-star reviews on various platforms and is said to be one of the best New Adult novels ever written. Did I think it lived up to the hype? Sadly not, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. For me, Cora Carmack's books are still top of my NA list, and a book is going to have to be unbelievably good to top them.
The Edge of Never starts with twenty-year-old Camryn having an argument with her best friend and leaving town on a bus the next day. Road trip plot? Check (yay!). It's on this very bus that she meets Andrew Parrish, twenty-five-year-old perfect boy and all round sex god. Or something like that. They eventually get talking and the rest, as they say, is history.
I liked Andrew, I did, but for me he was just *too* perfect in Camryn's eyes. At least for the first half of the book, anyway. Both Andrew and Camryn were pretty realistic, though their conversations and dialogue could easily veer off into cheesy territory. Also, there was far too much graphic sex in this book for me. I like my NA a bit tamer than this, and occasionally I did skip a couple of pages. It was unnecessary, to be honest, but that seems to be what twenty-something readers want. *shrug*
I didn't see the big twisty reveal coming, and the ending was a bit of a shocker. Not the direction I expected things to go in, but it got my interest back after slogging through four hundred and odd pages. Which brings me to my next criticism: it's too long! It took me ages to read and I could have done with a good hundred pages less. It wasn't gripping enough through the middle to keep me furiously reading, though it did pick up again towards the end.
The Edge of Never isn't one of the best NA novels I've read but it also isn't the worst. The character development is top notch, the road trip setting is up there with my favourites and the writing is better than I thought it would be, considering it's another self-published e-book phenomenon. It could have done with tighter editing and a sex scene rethink but, aside from that, it's an enjoyable, if overly long, glimpse into the lives of Camryn and Andrew. I'll read the sequel at some point, though I'm not entirely sure why it needs one. This is a self-contained story that works well as a standalone, but I'm sure the demand is there for more. All in all, not a bad addition to the NA genre!