The Edge of Never, by JA Redmerski

>> Monday, January 20, 2014

TITLE: The Edge of Never
AUTHOR: JA Redmerski

PAGES: 481
PUBLISHER: Self-published

SETTING: Contemporary US
TYPE: New Adult
SERIES: Not that I know of

Twenty-year-old Camryn has always felt different from everyone else around her – not content to be tied down by life's conventions, she’s always known that she wants a life less ordinary. But when tragedy forces her to abandon her plans, she vows never to let her walls down again – and never to fall in love.

But one night in the hottest club in town, her world is turned upside down. Desperate to escape, Camryn packs up the bare necessities and boards the next Greyhound bus leaving town, to find the true self she knows is out there. What she finds instead is a young man who is more like her than she knows. Andrew Parrish needs to find himself too, and harbours his own dark secrets…

Zig-zagging across the country together, Camryn finds herself doing things she never imagined, as Andrew shows her what it’s like to live by your own rules and what it feels like to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. Before she knows it, he’s become the centre of her world. But as the electric love and lust between them intensifies, a dark shadow is looming. Will Andrew’s secret push them together – or tear them apart?

The Edge of Never tells the story of Camryn Bennett, who sets off on a bus journey to nowhere after a fight with her best friend (it's one of those 'blame the messenger' deals, where the best friend flips out and blames/doesn't believe her when Camryn tells her that the best friend's boyfriend has made a pass at her).

On the bus to Idaho she meets Andrew Parrish, who's on the way to Wyoming to his father's deathbed. They get talking, and end up continuing their running away from themselves together.

I had big issues with this one, so much so that I gave up after reading about 40% (it was, at least, a quick read).

The main thing was that Camryn and Andrew were so hilariously up their own arses it was unbelievable. There's a point at the beginning when Camryn, after mocking her best friend for fantasising about sex with her boyfriend, boasts that she "dream[s] about things that really matter. What the air in other countries feels like on my skin, how the ocean smells, why the sound of rain makes me gasp. 'You're one deep chick.' That's what Damon said to me on more than one occasion". Oh, yes, Camryn, your utter twaddle has got a depth that amazes me! And please note that later she and Andrew also have a "really deep" conversation about the mystery of why there are often single shoes by motorways. She shares that conversation with the reader. It wasn't deep.

In addition to having the depth of a puddle, Camryn is annoyingly holier-than-thou and judgemental. I got tired of her calling all other women "sluts" and using it to set herself off against them and reinforce how much better she is.

As for Andrew, we have some scenes from his point of view, though fewer than Camryn. I found him marginally less annoying, although in the section I read he does show a worrying tendency towards violent possessiveness, which is presented as oh-so-sexy. He's also just as much of a pretentious teenager as Camryn, even though he's 25. He doesn't feel 25. There's this conversation they have about music, with Andrew questioning Camryn's supposed taste and being really sententious about how only classic rock is good. Camryn makes the mistake of claiming to like a band she thinks he'll think are cool, and then she's scrambling around trying to remember the name of one of their songs when Andrew dares her to name one. I had those conversations in my teens. Camryn's 20, so I don't really blame her, but at Andrew's age, surely you grow out of this crap?

I suppose that's the thing about this book. The characters feel really authentic as very young, heads-up-butts kids, but those are exactly the sort of annoying teens that I don't really feel like spending time with.

These two can keep driving on their own, I'm getting off.



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