Camryn Bennett has never been happier. Five months after meeting on a Greyhound bus, she and her soul mate Andrew Parrish are engaged—and a wedding isn’t the only special event in their future. Nervous but excited, Camryn can’t wait to begin the rest of her life with Andrew – a man she knows in her heart will love her always. They have so much to look forward to—until tragedy blindsides them.
Andrew doesn’t understand how this could happen to them. He’s trying to move on, and thought Camryn was doing the same. But when Andrew discovers Camryn is secretly harboring a mountain of pain and attempting to numb it in damaging ways, there is nothing he won’t do to bring her back to life. Determined to prove that their love can survive anything, Andrew decides to take Camryn on a new journey filled with hope and passion. If only he can convince her to come along for the ride…
You guys! I think my high hopes may have tainted my reading experience with The Edge of Always. Let me just say that I loved, loved, LOVED The Edge of Never. It gutted me. When I think about it now, I get teary eyed. The story’s progression from Camryn wandering aimlessly alone to her finding true love with Andrew hit me in my solar plexus. It knocked the wind right out of me. So when I had the opportunity to read The Edge of Always, I was excited to say the least.
The tragedy that really catapults the story into another road trip adventure for Cam and Andrew did not affect me in the way I expected it to. Perhaps it is because I figured out what the tragedy was going to be by just reading the synopsis. I thought with Redmerski’s previously proven talent for writing gut wrenching scenes that she’d make me see it or feel it in a different way. However, I didn’t. The scene fell a little flat for me and it totally made me feel like an uncaring biotch that I couldn’t connect with it.
Cam and Andrew go out on another road trip to cope with what has happened. It’s not as romantic as the first one that included Cam learning she had a singing voice. No, this time, they sing when they can for money. Compared to the first novel, I did not see much character growth in Camryn or Andrew. They seemed to be playing their roles that we have become accustomed to. But I wanted more. There was something missing in the scenes; a spark or a connection. One scene in particular seemed unnecessary. I never found the point of it and it could have easily been cut.
The Edge of Always includes some callbacks to The Edge of Never so if you haven’t read the novel, you’ll miss out on meaning. It was bittersweet to read those callbacks. On one hand, it reminded me of the love story that made me message my friends and tell them they had to read the novel. They also made me think of the puffy eyes and red nose that my husband asked me about after reading the final chapter of The Edge of Never. On the other hand, they made me angry because I was not reading a book of the same emotional calibre.
The book is told from dual perspectives so we get insight on what each of the characters is thinking. What they are mainly thinking about is the afore-alluded-to tragedy and Camryn’s depression. She withdraws from life or she simply puts on the face that other people expect her to have. That is an easy trap to fall into and I think Redmerski did a good job of describing that aspect of human nature. The mask of happiness does not fool many and it does not fool Andrew at all. Although Cam is carrying her newest burden and the burden of things she never fully dealt with in the first novel, there is a certain point in the novel where it seems to just come to a conclusion. A few hours alone made Cam come up with the resolve to move forward.
I’m glad I had the chance to visit Camryn and Andrew again. It was nice to remember them on the road trip and think about whether or not they can honestly sustain the life they are trying to create with one another and not live under a bridge. Honestly, I felt like I was a mother secretly reading my daughter’s journal and hoping she’d make better choices for herself. So, would I recommend this read? If you really want to see what Cam and Andrew are up to, give it a whirl. If you want to stay in the perfect bubble of love that hurts so much you have to burst, reread The Edge of Always.
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About the Author:
Born November 25, 1975, J.A. (Jessica Ann) Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries and is a huge fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead.