The Edge of Always – SPOILER ALERT!!! Not really spoilers for THIS book, but for book #1 (The Edge of Never). If you haven’t read it yet, my suggestion is to read it ASAP (it’s one of my fav books ever) and THEN come back to this review, once you’re done. 🙂
<—- This was so good!!! To tell you the truth, I actually wondered where the author could take a second book , considering just how BIG the first one was. I mean, she wrote an actual full sequel to the first one, (not a different character’s POV, or a book about supporting characters). She actually went there. She took our very delicate HEA and she shook that sucker up! And she did it well.
Now, there comes a time in a person’s life when you have to face something so horrible that you feel like you’ll never be the same person again. It’s like something dark swoops down from somewhere above and steals every shred of happiness you have ever felt and all you can do is watch it, feel it go, knowing that no matter what you do in your life that you’ll never be able to get it back. Everybody goes through this at least once. No one is immune. But what I fail to understand is how one person can go through it enough for five people and in such a short time.
I enjoyed (well, saying “enjoyed” makes me feel bad considering the characters additional hardships ;)) but yes… I enjoyed the direction the author took with this sequel, considering the first book really didn’t even… need one. But when you think about it, were they really already at their HEA at the end of book #1?
Because, you see, even though we jumped over a huge hurdle in the first book, and even though they found themselves in each other, and in their freeing road trip, once they were back on “solid ground” it meant that they were dealing with “regular” life again. Back to life as it was before they met each other. And there was a reason Camryn took off in the first place.
YES, they found their happiness on the road, playing life by ear, living life a little differently with each new place they visited. But… emotionally… what if they lose themselves again, now that they’re living life like they used to? Like everyone “expects” them to. Sure, at least they have each other… but will things between them change now that they’re standing still?
I was afraid that everything would end in Texas, that the exciting life I was living with Andrew on the road would become nothing more than a memory once we made it to our final destination. And in a way… it has…
And this (along with a few other eeeeep!!! surprises) is what the author explores in the second installment. Not only is Camryn coming to grips with (and privately stressing over) being stationary, but now that she’s pregnant, their responsibilities take precedence. They need to start mapping out their future… like everyone else. How will they ever live out their dreams of exploring the world and taking on new experiences? Of never letting themselves get complacent, and eventually, regretting life.
What Andrew and I have been slowly doing without realizing it is what shatters dreams: we’ve been getting too comfortable.
Andrew… he’s solid. Grounded. Healed in more ways than one. He’s amazing, hilarious (birthday suit scene, anyone? LOL!!!!!!), he’s hot and I bet he smells soooooo good! Er… what? *blush* Tee hee! *whoops* I got away from myself, there. But yep. I love him!!
But Camryn’s not quite there yet, and he sees it in her eyes. She’s stressed about… everything. Her pregnancy, their lives becoming stagnant, Andrew’s condition returning, where to live now… where to live… forever. She’s thinking so far ahead, she’s missing every stop along the way.
“Promise me we’ll get back to normal. That’s all I ask, Andrew. I miss the way we were before. I miss our crazy times together and our crazy sex and your crazy dimples and your crazy, vibrant, life loving attitude.”
“Do you miss the road?” I ask, and the light snaps out of her face as if I’ve said something horribly wrong.
Her eyes stray from mine and she seems lost in some deep, dark moment.
“Camryn… do you miss the road?” I need the answer to this question now more than I did seconds ago, because of her unexpected reaction to it.
After a long, silent moment she looks at me again and I feel lost in her eyes, though in an uncomfortable way.
She doesn’t answer. It’s like… she can’t.
But with Andrew’s help (he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve), she (and we) get to live, and love life again (and recognize it’s constant potential, even with responsibilities). It’s quite the journey! But not without a few hitches along the way.
This story picks up immediately after “The Edge of Never” and takes us through roughly a year (or two?) of their continuation. The scary health issues haunt us (I mean, them), along with painful revelations, shocking coping mechanisms, moments of “almost there”, and then back to the drawing board. Amazing feelings, stuff that were SO fun to experience with them again… and then scary moments of “OMG!!! What were they thinking!?!”
At times I felt as if they were running away again, and yet… I got them. And am quite in awe of them and of everything they experienced (in book #1 and in this one). Maybe even a little envious. 😉
Where some need to lay “roots” and dig in deep, surrounded by family, familiar routines and/or aspirations of wealth and success, others are natural nomads. Motivated and fulfilled by experiencing and seeing… everything else. Their wealth and success is just as attainable, but… it comes from a different place.
“You think we’re lost?”
I tilt my head back a little and look up at the stars behind her and say, “In society, maybe. But together, no. I think we’re right where we need to be.”
And I’ve got to stop there. I knew this one would be difficult to review in terms of “what’s it about?” because it’s about SO many different things… but pretty much, the focus is on keeping their happiness alive.
Sure, it’s not the crazy, intense angst-fest that book #1, “The Edge of Never” was (that book was just… HUGE, to me). And maybe we’re not necessarily experiencing that awesome “falling in love” feeling that we loved in #1, but that’s ’cause we’re already there! But! This book certainly throws it’s characters quite a few curveballs. Stuff that had my adrenaline racing, and my heart skipping beats. At times in trepidation ( I was worried for them, and with every reason!) and at times in sheer love and adoration (as these characters continued to grow).
Once upon a time, they met at the worst time in their lives, but together, they discovered that life could be SO much more, and it’s that one true thing (other than their love for each other) that keeps them alive. Not just alive. Happy.
And in the end (not of this book, just in “general”), it’s all about finding your bliss, so that you can be, and stay happy, no matter what “life” throws your way. And I loved seeing life through their eyes, and living it through their hearts. *sigh* The wonders that await us, if we’d just take the chance to live them!
But don’t go thinking the worst is over (’cause of book #1) and that this book will be an easy joy-ride. 😉 There was plenty yet to come. Just as in all things called “life”.
“You’re the world to me,” I whisper onto her lips. “I hope you never forget that.”
“I’ll never forget,” she whispers back and moves her hips very subtly on my lap. Then she nudges my lips with her own and says just before kissing me,
“But if I ever do, for whatever reason, I hope you’ll always find a way to remind me.”
P.S. Thank you to the publisher for providing me with the review copy! J.A. Redmerski rocks!
P.P.S. Not a cliffhanger, and is complete BUT!! There will be a book #3 coming out and it WILL be about characters from this book. I already have a feeling I know who.