Shelly is very passionate about books and music, and I was so happy when she offered to review this book. You can find more of her reviews at Goodreads.
Before reading a novel I usually take a few minutes to check out the author; look at their website, other works, their bio, and (if they have a goodreads page) what books they read or recommend. I feel like I can better understand their voice and work of art, if I understand a little bit about who they are as a person, author and reader. Well imagine my surprise when I discovered that Ms. Redmerski was not only my age but also from my home state. I thought what a strange coincidence. The first book I have the opportunity to read and guest review for this site is from a talented voice in my own home state. Then, the next ironic twist was that this book was about that same concept of random coincidences in life. Two random people in the world, making random choices that lead them to coincidentally find the same path and in doing so, find each other.
This is the story of Camryn Bennett and Andrew Parrish, two people who have come to a cross roads in their life where they realize they have to find something else, some other way to cope with the struggles they are facing or they will slowly fade away from the world entirely. They both have their own emotional issues that they are facing all alone; so they both decide the path they have to choose needs to be something different and unconventional. As luck would have it, they both find themselves coincidentally on the same bus, traveling to different places, and hoping to find some type of internal peace.
“I hate to say it, but shit really does happen. You just have to get over it. Beat the hell out of it by doing things that make you happy.”
Ms Redmerski does an incredible job of painting us a heroine who is an emotionally empty girl. She is numb to the world. She can no longer find a way to believe in love, hope or dreams. She is just looking for a way to find complacency. The book had me feeling a rollercoaster of emotions for Camryn. I could feel her loneliness. At times, I felt angry with her character because she was so empty inside that she was hurting those around her by being emotionally unavailable. Yet at other times, I just felt sympathy for her because her internal dialogue kept reminding me that she really couldn’t help but remain numb.
“Depression is pain in its purest form and I would do anything to be able to feel an emotion again. Any emotion at all. Pain hurts, but pain that’s so powerful that you can’t feel anything anymore, that’s when you start to feel like you’re going crazy.”
Camryn’s random travel choice puts her on a road trip with, the oh so sexy, Andrew Parrish. The book’s hot, stubborn, funny and determine hero, who doesn’t really take no for an answer. Although Andrew is struggling with his own pain and issues, he finds Camryn intriguing and worthy of saving. Andrew to be just my kind of literary savior. He is stubborn and doesn’t back down but remains patient and gentle.
“Maybe sometime during this road trip you agreed to, we’ll be able to tell each other the things we don’t want to tell”
The book is what I call a slow burn. It starts out slow and doesn’t really grab you tightly until about 40% into the story. But once it hits you, WOW. I kept turning the pages wondering; what is he hiding, what is she thinking, DID HE REALLY JUST SAY THAT HOT SEXY THING TO HER AND HOW DID SHE NOT COMBUST ON SITE?!?
“I won’t have a one-night stand with you, but I will make you come, if you let me.”
Not enough to clearly paint how hot and sexy Mr Andrew Parrish is? How about this?
“If you were to let me fuck you, you would have to let me own you.”
Oh yeah, he is all alpha and all kinds of sexy. I would have to say Andrew is my favorite part of this book.
As the book develops, these two find out that sometimes with the right person, you may be able to find some type of salvation. They come to terms with their own issues as well as each other’s issues. Camryn grows as a character and she begins to let Andrew and the world back in, despite all her attempts to remain emotionless. At one point in the book, I actually shed tears.
“I hope you’ll never forget me. One more thing: don’t feel bad for not telling me that you loved me. You didn’t need to say it. I knew all along that you did.”
I fall to my knees in the center of the hall, Andrew’s letter clutched in my fingertips.
This is a sweet love story that deals with some serious emotional issues and a little angst; it builds slow but eventually won’t let you go.
Most of the time when I read a book I find myself relating characters and/or situations to certain songs, since I am also an avid music lover. Some books are easy and I have a full soundtracks going off in my head while I am reading. Other books are harder and I only have a few songs come to me. This book was the latter, most likely due to the authors own use of music throughout the book. This portion of the review is dedicated to the songs that portray emotions felt while reading this book:
The Brilliant Dance by Dashboard Confessional – Camryn at the beginning Wasted Years by Cold – Andrew at the beginning
Poison and Wine by The Civil Wars – as the love story develops (also one of the author’s songs)
Take Tomorrow (One Day at a Time) by Butch Walker – the love story
And of course all the songs the author used throughout the story were a constant soundtrack.