*This review is spoiler free*
Camryn Bennett is a young woman that is unsatisfied with her life. In an attempt to find herself, Camryn leaves on a bus, with no specific destination in mind. Camryn encounters Andrew Parrish on one of the Greyhound busses along her trip and through an unbelieving series of events the two end up going on a road trip together.
I don’t even know what to say about this novel! The premise itself is not that engrossing and doesn’t pull you in right away. You go into reading this novel knowing that there is a person who is displeased with the direction their life is taking. Now, generally you would expect for the reasons or circumstances that caused the displeasure of the characters life to be revealed, well this book definitely does not deliver the answer to that question…or at least not in a way that makes sense. Oh, no wait…I guess it does make sense if your entire identity is wrapped up in someone else…then that person ceases to exist so you feel lost…but then you find a new human to develop your identity around while the story tries to act like you’ve developed any semblance of self or figured out what the hell you want out of life-except the new human and to travel-well, if you think about it that way then I guess The Edge of Never does make sense. I’m a firm believer in the whole concept of “If you can identify that there is a problem, then think of a solution”, but I fully well understand that that process can take time, especially when it comes to matters of self, identity, purpose etc etc etc. So of course it will take time in a novel to come to some solution to the whole “quarter life crisis” that Camryn was experiencing, but I got to the end of the novel and kept shaking my head and wondering to myself…how did we get here? Because there is nothing but absolute Unicorn FECES from beginning to end in regards to conflict resolution of the overall story arc.
This novel is intended to be a romance, or so I have come to believe, but it displays an incredibly unhealthy relationship. This novel is not on Fifty Shades of Grey – or it’s New Adult equivalent, Beautiful Disaster – level, but it’s up there! The levels of misogyny that permeated almost all of the initial stages of Cameron and Andrew’s relationship was pungent. Then there’s the matter of the blatant stalking that occurred and the incredibly sad fact that because Andrew was attractive the reader is expected to not identify that it is stalking. Also, having that act be told from the perspective of Andrew doesn’t alleviate the unhealthy behavior and it should not be written off as, or woven into, a supposed sense of concern. Well, we could go on to discuss ownership of a person, isolation, slut-shaming, abuse of power, and many more things that are jacked up about this novel…but, I’m going to call it quits here.
I have expressed in previous reviews that I don’t want to bash a particular novel because the Author puts in a lot of time and effort to create and bring the story to life. I also don’t think that J. A. Redmerski is a horrible human being just because I noticed and pointed out some things about this novel that are problematic and that perpetuate negative standards, ideas and representations of a romantic relationship. I have a serious concern when the ending, “explanations”, and “reasons” for someone’s behavior negates the red-flags that should have been flying high throughout the novel. Due to the problematic aspects, unlikable characters, unrealistic story, inconsistent storyline and character behaviors, predictability, lack of character development, and not strong writing I give The Edge of Never a rating of 2-out of-10 Unicorn Horns.