J.A. Redmerski’s The Edge of Never became a New Adult blockbuster when it was published in 2012, just as this vanguard genre was finding traction in the literary world and with readers. The story swept readers up in the romance between 20-year-olds Camryn Bennett and Andrew Parrish, capturing the wild, sometimes reckless desires to leave home and live an authentic, fulfilling life—both defining themes of this new category of fiction. Add in sexual discovery and emotional growth, and you get a true archetype of the genre.
The Edge of Always begins with the couple living in Texas. In love, engaged and with a baby girl on the way, they are looking toward the future: where they will live, what they will do and how they can stay true to themselves in the process. Andrew’s love for cars has him working at a garage, even though his hefty inheritance is more than enough to keep them afloat for a good long time. And Camryn is mulling over whether they should move to North Carolina or stay in Texas. Meanwhile, they indulge their passion for music by playing in clubs at night, with both of them singing and Andrew playing guitar. But life doesn’t always follow an easy road, of course. When tragedy hits, Camryn tailspins into old patterns of withdrawl and new levels of self-destruction. This time it’s Andrew’s turn to take her hand and lead her back to life.
One of the book’s biggest strengths is the dialogue, which is striking in its honesty. There are no pretentions, and the characters aren’t trying to sound smarter than they are. The slang, the cursing, the earnest admissions seem to be what would actually come out of the mouth of a 20-something.
No matter what question or obstacle they face, Andrew and Camryn always answer with "I love you." And the inexorable forever assumed in their love is a model of perfection one hopes exists in the real world. With this base of strength, the characters are able to face challenges on their own terms and fully realize themselves in the process. They are not relegated to norms or the normal path in life, because they have the courage (and the bank account) to pave their own way.
The Edge of Always is at heart a testament to the staying power of true love, and a reminder that, no matter how hard life gets, if we are lucky, there is someone there to see us through our trials.