Monday, December 9, 2013

Review: THE EDGE OF ALWAYS by J.A. Redmerski

THE EDGE OF ALWAYS by J.A. Redmerski
Category: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Pub Date: November 5, 2013 (Out now!)

ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Dannie says: kiddie pool conflict left me looking for the deep end of this story. 

While pursuing their love for music and living life to its fullest as they always swore to do, Andrew and Camryn find their relationship is put to the ultimate test when tragedy befalls them. While Camryn deals in her own way, Andrew does everything in his power to hold their lives together, proving that love really does conquer all.

First and foremost I was super excited to get the invitation to review this galley because the first book in this series is one of my favorite New Adult titles to date. I found the characters so engaging and I was totally hooked by the out-of-the-typical-NA-box storyline. 

So I was a little confused and more than a little disappointed when this sequel didn't live up to the read I adored in book one. 

What I Liked

The characters. Andrew is one of my favorite NA book boyfriends, and I'm keeping him no matter what. Though I did want him to be a little less perfect. 

The chapters with deeper level conflict--particularly those that bordered on addiction issues. I think that these are important topics for the NA audience and I felt like the author handled them with some authenticity. It's a like instead of a love, though, because I really wanted her to take the conflict further. 

What I Loved

Some of the questions from Book 1 got answers--and I won't say more than that so as to avoid spoilers, but there were some things I felt like I was left hanging on for and the author didn't disappoint. 

Little twists that I didn't expect. And again, I won't list them due to spoilers. There were times when I was anticipating one thing would happen and she took the story in a different direction. I love books that still surprise me. 

What I Wanted More of

Deeper character development. We've already followed these two for a book, so I was expecting the author to add complexities and layers to the characterization that I didn't find. There were many times throughout the read that I felt like I was experiencing some hard core "Mary Sue" symptoms--and that's for both MCs. Neither of them ever really got mad at the other, which I guess makes sense because neither of them royally screwed up. 

Which relates to the second thing I wanted, which was more conflict. I felt at times like I was reading a soap opera. Major ish would happen and it wouldn't boil over to bleed into chapters down the line. Most of the conflicts were resolved in a couple chapters at most, and for me that made the story less engaging because it felt superficial. I didn't experience that at all with book one so it really surprised me here. 

More authentic dialogue. Related to both points above, if your characters are surface-deep and your conflict is short-lived, part of that is due to the dialogue. I made a note as I was reading that the dialogue felt like dialogue. I was reading a book, not engaged in the story, and dialogue was a huge part of that for me. 

Overall I was extremely disappointed in this book. I loved the first book so much and I was looking forward to continuing the journey with these two characters, but for me their journey didn't deepen or grow more complicated, even when legit obstacles were thrown in their way. And for me that made the whole thing feel very inauthentic. 

At the end I was still standing in the shallow end of the swimming pool, never having found the deep end.

Have you read THE EDGE OF ALWAYS yet? What do you think? Tell me I'm wrong! 

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