Friday, January 3, 2014

NERC Review #1: The Edge of Always

*I received a free copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
*Slight spoilers!

The Edge of Never was one of my top 11 favorites of 2013. I absolutely loved Camryn and Andrew's story, and I adored the road trip they went on full of self-discovery, letting go, and finding true love in the midst of their tumultuous lives. It also left on a happy note: Andrew's tumor is gone and they are expecting a baby.

Rating: 4 stars!
I have to say, though, I felt slighted by this continuation of Andrew and Camryn's story. I knew exactly what the tragedy would be, but I didn't expect what happened in the wake of it. I never judged Camryn for what she did, nor did I hate her. She was grieving and in pain. I never once disliked her character, because she showed such amazing growth throughout these books. I loved what Andrew did for her, what he did for both of them. It was exactly what they needed, but I thought the pain of their pasts and the tragedies were breezed through. I thought I would see more grief, indecision, hurt. I thought there may even be some drama. I should have expected that there wouldn't be, because that's NOT Camryn and Andrew. Even when they disagree, they don't really fight. They just feel blessed to have each other, and their love never wavers.

I absolutely loved Andrew and Camryn's relationship, how they took care of each other, how they helped each other through the hard times. How they made each other whole.
"I promise to always love you no matter where we are in the world, or in our lives. Because you're the other half of me that I know I can never live without." -Andrew
What they found on that road was something neither of them had been looking for. But love snuck up on them, and they both came away from that spontaneous trip with the person they believe they were always meant to be with. It was a slow build-up in The Edge of Never, but in this one, their relationship developed into something so real and so natural for a couple in fiction. I loved it! 

These characters have been through a lot, been beaten down and broken, been thrown through the ringer, and they still came out on top. Especially Camryn, the girl who believes that she can never have happiness because death has ripped away almost every single person she's ever cared about. Camryn hates to show weakness, so she buries everything underneath fake smiles and lots of useless conversation. Andrew breaks down her walls and makes her accept what can't be changed.
"We can't control death. There's nothing either of us can do to avoid it or to hold it off. All we can control is how we live our lives before it comes for us."
With Andrew's help, Camryn finds the strength to become whole again. And with Camryn, Andrew lets himself hope for more out life, even when he was faced with the possibility that he could die. 


***

My only problem with this story was the ending! I didn't like it. I kind of get why she chose to end it with Lily's POV, but it just made me think she was setting up to tell their kid's story. I thought it would have been more effective to cut it off after Lily was born or when they lived across the world for a few years. I don't know, I just felt it dragged on a little. And I just didn't care to read about their daughter's thoughts. Others might find it adorable, but I just felt it was too much.

***

I loved Camryn and Andrew, and I loved their story. The Edge of Always was an amazing conclusion to the characters who stole my heart so quickly last year with their road trip toward living and finding the simple joys in each other and in life.