The Edge of Never—J.A. Redmerski
I gaze toward the wall briefly, thinking about it. So often I sit around and think about life and wonder about every possible aspect of it. I wonder what the hell I’m doing here. Even right now. In this coffee shop with this girl I’ve known practically all my life. Yesterday I thought about why I felt the need to get up at exactly the same time as the day before and do everything like I did the day before. Why? What compels any of us to do the things we do when deep down a part of us just wants to break free from it all? (8)
I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say this is the worst book. Of all time. Trite dialogue, misogynistic, offensive, potentially racist. Just terrible.
I really only read this book because it popped up in my recently acquired Amazon Kindle account (reading on my new smartphone). And it was only $1.99. So I thought, why not? How could any book not be worth $1.99?
It may be a bit harsh to say, but that might be a bit steep of a price for this book. This is coming from someone who can find something redeeming in almost every book. I felt a bit crazy for a moment, because I went on GoodReads and there were PAGES of reviews with 5 stars. Out of 5 stars! I thought, “Surely, all of these must be from those tween girls who also love Twilight.” I’ve mentioned my general abhorrence of Twilight several times before, and this book is on par with that series. Turns out, nope. Even grown up women are loving this book. What the hell? Do they have no appreciation for writing or finesse of language?
Then I kept reading and I figured it out. It’s because of the sexy times between Cam and Andrew. I mean, who doesn’t love a good sex scene? I know I do. But it’s definitely not worth reading the other 400 pages to get those 10 cumulative pages of sex. (The line that most people seem to love is preceded by Andrew offering to…help Camryn, but not actually sleep with her and she asks him why and he responds: “If you were to let me fuck you, you would have to let me own you.”) I would suggest that if you’re looking for romance or even just sexy time books, there are far better alternatives.
The premise of the book is essentially that this girl feels that her life has gotten off track and so she runs away. On her trek cross-country on a bus, she meets this boy. Of course there are sparks and they take off on a road trip together – after he saves her from an attempted rape, of course. Towards the end, after they actually start sleeping together – we learn that (SPOILER ALERT) Andrew has a brain tumor and is probably dying. His father, coincidentally enough, also died of a brain tumor. Ugh. Gag me.
To me, it seems that in the guise of attempting to create dialogue that is “realistic,” Redmerski has created stereotypical characters who say things in a completely inorganic way. It’s also eminently obvious that she is a woman attempting to write in the voice of a male character, during those portions of the book when she is writing for Andrew. She tries so much to make him seem hard, seem as she thinks a typical (read: stereotypical) man should be. It reads so false to me.
Not only that, some of the dialogue is downright offensive, most especially when we’re looking at things from Andrew’s point of view. Some other guy is flirting with Camryn (before she and Andrew actually start sleeping with each other) and he thinks to himself: “How insanely pathetic was that? She’s not even mine and I just got raped by a crazy-jealous reaction.” Um, I’m sorry, what?! You got “raped” by a reaction? I suppose I understand that the concept is the emotion came over you without your control. However, I do not think that the term “rape” should ever be used in this context, and it especially shouldn’t be used so flippantly by a male character.
In addition to all of this, she seems intent on setting women back about fifty years. The female lead, Camryn, is maybe sexually awakened, or at the very least loses her inhibitions with Andrew. Then after that night, because she became more aware and actually asked for what she wanted, she says that he turned her into “a foul-mouthed, perverted, nymphomaniac.” Why is a girl who is in touch with her sexuality a pervert and a nymphomaniac? She also asks Andrew if he would think she was a slut if she had a one night stand. He says it depends: girls who have one or two one-night-stands are probably fine, but any more than that, and you definitely run the risk of becoming a whore.
When Cam and Andrew get to New Orleans, they meet several natives; however, it’s interesting that only the black man has a “Cajun” accent. Now, I’ve never been to New Orleans, so it’s entirely possible that it’s actually a Cajun accent. But it’s very suspicious to me that all of the white New Orleans residents somehow managed to evade that particular accent. For example, the fun loving, jazz-playing black man, Eddie says to them, “Ga, dere come Parrish!...Galee! You look like dem lad’es in dem magazines, you do!” WHAT?!
In addition to the ridiculous, offensive writing, there’s also just lazy writing. Instead of ending quotation marks in order to add something that is happening out of the dialogue. Example: “I’m giving you advance warning that I’m not going to be your next lay, or fall in love with you (he’s grinning from ear to ear right now and it’s very distracting) or anything like that…” (emphasis mine)
I cannot even adequately express my anger after reading this book. Please avoid it if at all possible, or if you’re in the mood to be infuriated, this is the book for you, definitely.