Realms of an Open Mind

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Review: The Edge of Always by J.A. Redmerski

The Edge of Always  - J.A. Redmerski
 
Five months ago, Camryn and Andrew, both dealing with personal hardships, met on a Greyhound bus. They fell in love and proved that when two people are meant to be together, fate will find a way to make it happen.

Now, in the highly anticipated sequel to The Edge of Never, Camryn and Andrew are pursuing their love for music and living life to the fullest as they always swore to do. But when tragedy befalls them, their relationship is put to the ultimate test. As Camryn tries to numb her pain, Andrew makes a bold decision: To get their life back on track, they'll set out on another cross-country road trip. Together they find excitement, passion, adventure-and challenges they never could have anticipated.


 
 
I think I've started writing this review ten times, only to delete, delete, and delete again. I really don't know how to start.... I fell in love with Camryn and Andrew, their relationship, their passion and spontaneity, and their fearlessness. The Edge of Never blew my mind, but I'm not sure I can say the same about its sequel. 
 
**There are minor spoilers in this review.
 
Camryn has a moment in The Edge of Always in which she decides she doesn't want to try to relive great times because it might ruin the initial memory. That's kind of how I feel right now. Like I wish I hadn't revisited Camryn and Andrew and had just held on to the memory of reading a truly amazing book.
“It’s like, you know, it doesn’t matter what you do, even if you try to replicate an experience down to every last detail, it’ll never be the way it was when it happened naturally the first time.”
That's not to say The Edge of Always wasn't worth my time; it just wasn't what I hoped for. I felt like it dragged on, and while the message the book gives is one I can admire and hope to aspire to, it seemed redundant. 
 
The tragedy to which the blurb is referring was indeed that, but it didn't feel like it could have been the main event that put their relationship at risk. It was obvious what was going to happen, and the way it played out made this twist fall flat. I was pretty annoyed with Camryn for how she acted, and while everyone handles grief differently, I felt like Andrew's feelings were totally ignored. 
 
In true Andrew fashion - where all his worries lie with Camryn - he decided to "fix" things on the road where everything began. 
“Because this is our life. We met on the road; we grew to know and to love each other on the road. It's where we were meant to be for however long, and it's what we're going to do until it becomes clear that we're meant to do something else.”

This is where I got excited, because it is what I loved so much about the first book. It reminds me of my husband and I and how we took a road trip from Texas to Maine where we settled down. Totally spontaneous, totally the most amazing thing we've ever done. Enter nostalgia again... 

We experience some more epic scenes with Camryn and Andrew, but like I said, a lot of it felt redundant. Some of it even irrelevant. There are some major time gaps in which we skip over months, even years, and it made everything feel rushed. Like the author just wanted to get it over with. 

One aspect that irked me was how Camryn and Andrew are always saying how they don't want to end up like "those people," meaning people who settle in one spot, work to pay bills, and raise a family in a single location. Yes we all have a choice, but when you have a child, it's not just about what you want to do anymore. Your life isn't over, but money is important if you want to keep the heat on and your baby fed. I'd love to just up and go on a whim when my little man got a little older, but not all of us have a six figure trust fund to fall back on... I guess it just seemed unrealistic and accusatory. (I have a separate post about this topic - Bookish Rants.)

All that being said, I still felt the electricity between Camryn and Andrew and J.A. Redmerski's writing style always gets me hooked, no matter what. I'll always remain a huge fan, but I'm kind of wishing that The Edge of Never was a standalone novel. The Edge of Always is still a great read - the emotion is very real and if you were hooked by the first novel, you won't be able to help yourself - but...it just didn't live up to its predecessor. 

3/5 Stars.

Cheers!!