Sunday, 18 August 2013

The Edge of Never by J. A. Redmerski

Title: The Edge of Never
Author: J. A. Redmerski
Publisher: Harper
Released: November 13th 2012
Pages: 480 (eBook)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Add on Goodreads

Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett thought she knew exactly where her life was going. But after a wild night at the hottest club in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, she shocks everyone-including herself-when she decides to leave the only life she's ever known and set out on her own. Grabbing her purse and her cell phone, Camryn boards a Greyhound bus ready to find herself. Instead, she finds Andrew Parrish.

Sexy and exciting, Andrew lives life like there is no tomorrow. He persuades Camryn to do things she never thought she would and shows her how to give in to her deepest, most forbidden desires. Soon he becomes the center of her daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But there is more to Andrew than Camryn realizes. Will his secret push them inseparably together-or destroy them forever?

NOTE: This review does contain a few swear words, all words directly used from the novel.

I first attempted The Edge of Never about a month ago, and eight percent in, I knew I had to DNF it. However, after reading raving review after raving review, I put my instant dislike down to my current reading mood. So I decided to pick it up again and, ugh, why did I bother?!

Camryn is a very deep and soulful girl. Unlike others her age, she spends her time thinking about travelling the world and organising her clothes by colour code because she is sooooo OCD. After she gets hit on by a hot guy and takes offence, she runs off to a station and gets a bus to Idaho, where she meets Andrew. Andrew is gorgeous and sexy and Camryn tries desperately to ignore their obvious attraction to one another. How tragic.

Let's just take a step back and examine the NA genre, shall we? It's basically YA with crass language and lots of sex. I'd say about sixty percent of NA books follow the same pattern - goody-goody girl meets gorgeous bad boy, they have a lot of brutal sex where the man is dominant, and then they fall in love. The Edge of Never is no exception to this pattern, and is perhaps one of the worse ones that I have read. I can deal with the language and the sex and even the cliché romance - but add onto that a dull storyline, sexism, misuse of mental illness terminology, dodgy tenses, and bad can you expect me to like a book like that?

As soon as you pick up The Edge of Never, you are immediately privy to  the authors awful writing style. The tenses are just plain messed up - it's uncomfortable to read, like a fifteen year old school girl wrote this for her end of term English assignment. It's written even worse than Twilight - yeah, I know; crazy, isn't it?

Although Redmerski tries to put across the image that Camryn is a very deep and thoughtful person, all she comes across as is judgemental. Anyone that even thinks about sex is a slut - slut here, slut there, sluts everywhere! Though isn't it a curious thing that when Camryn starts to think about sex non-stop, she's not a slut? Because when she thinks of it, it's perfectly normal. Oh gather around everyone, and give a round of applause to Camryn the Saint!

But if all of this is in it, I hear you ask,  how is it a New York Times best seller, with an average rating of over 4 stars on Goodreads? The answer comes in the form of Andrew Parrish.

That's another thing about NA books - the love interests are always the same! Is it too much to ask for a slightly geeky one who isn't all about testosterone and having sex far too much? Andrew was hot, I get it; he's every females wet dream. But this has just been done over and over again that I found everything he did cringe-worthy (including calling Camryn babe and baby - shudder!)

I think what really rubbed me up the wrong way was the dominance thing. To quote the book - 'if you were to let me fuck you, you would have to let my own you.' Is this what women of the 21st century find hot? Guys 'owning' them? To be honest, I just find that insulting. Andrew could say 'If we were going to have sexual intercourse, I would love it if we were in an official relationship first,  as I value you and want to be with you properly' none of this 'owning' nonsense!  And the cuss words every other sentence? I know I can have a foul mouth, but I don't swear just for the hell of it - like with Camryn and Andrew making her say 'pussy'. Doesn't that word just make you CRINGE? It's a part of your body not a cat, so just stop and use the politically correct term before I punch you in the face!

Speaking of using the wrong terminology - 'You're OCD too'. Firstly, 'you're Obsessive Compulsive Disorder too' makes no sense. Secondly, I resent the fact that she compares herself to those who suffer from OCD just because she likes to arrange stuff neatly. That is a sign of a control freak, not someone who has a mental disorder! Loads of people throw about the term OCD loosely, but as someone who genuinely suffers from it - and has done for about seven years - I can say that it's incredibly annoying when people compare it to certain ticks they have. Yes, some suffers of OCD do arrange things by colour and obsessively wash their hands - but it is far worse than anything Camryn did, and I resent her and the author for the misuse of the term.

Lastly, before I force myself to end this review, let's examine the 'plot twist' at the end. To be fair, I didn't see it coming - I knew something tragic was obviously going to occur at some point, but as to what it was, I was clueless until it was revealed. However, that very plot twist wasn't as great as I think the author imagined it would be. It was just cheesy and predictable, obviously thrown in to make the reader pine for Camryn and Andrew's relationship, as well as shed a few tears. And shed tears I did - of laughter! It was so corny! Way to take a serious issue and turn it into something unbelievable! (I'm going to be frank here, so the rest of this paragraph is spoiled-infested) Of course Andrew wasn't going to die! Of course he'd make a miracle recovery and Camryn would get that cheesy tattoo which would be a big mistake if they ever split up. You know, I saw all that coming when the twist was revealed - BUT THEN THE ENDING! It just took that cheese and made me want to shove my head repeatedly against a wall! LOOK HERE EVERYONE, CAMRYN IS PREGNANT AND ANDREW PROPOSES TO HER! Dear god -
I can't write any more for this review. I am just done. The Edge of Never is awful - both by NA standards and literature standards! I gave it a second chance, something I don't give a lot of books, and it made me regret my choices. There are so many NA novels out there for you to read, so if you're intrigued by the synopsis, go and pick up a different book of the same genre, as the plot will be pretty much the same.  I'll now leave you with some of my most favourite quotes.
Rating: 1/5

'...taking him into a big hug, practically squeezing him with her tiny body. Andrew must be at least three full inches taller than she is.' three FULL inches! Wow, woman must be tiny.

'Even before Ian died, I always thought out-of-the-box. Instead of sitting around dreaming up new sex positions, as Natalie often does about Damon, her boyfriend of five years, I dream about things that really matter.' Well aren't you just so damned deep, Camryn???

'It fits tight and your boobs are perfect.' Gorgeous protagonist with an amazing body? I wonder where I've seen this before...

'...the jerk who cheated on me with some red-haired slut.' HOW DO YOU KNOW SHE IS A SLUT, YOU JUDGEMENTAL POO-FACE?


  1. It's all the same in New Adult these days - and I don't know why, but they are the rage now. I went to my library this week and guess what - all the latest New Adult books are there - but not the new YA ones! I am like - NA is just YA + erotica - you take late teen or 20-something protagonists and make an erotic story about them - that's what is counted as NA these days! Oh, and this book was just the most awful one I have come across. In fact, I've sworn off NA after this one.

  2. YES, thank you for this! This New Adult thing can be very sexist so I stay away from it. I guess there are some exceptions, but the majority of these books has always the same characters and lots of slut-shaming.
    I completely agree with you 100%. I won't be reading this book, I already saw in other reviews how sexist it is. I really don't get it what other readers see it these books.
    Great review!