The Redemption of Callie & Kayden by Jessica Sorensen (The Coincidence #2)
Released: July 30, 2013
Reviewed by Tori and Mandi
Mandi: Recently, after seeing much squeeing and hype on Twitter over The Coincidence of Kayden & Callie, I read it (it’s $1.99 on kindle if you want to try it) and I really enjoyed it. It’s a very angsty New Adult story about two people who meet and fall in love, but it is far from simple. They both have SO much pain in their lives, it is very hard for them to trust and let themselves fall in love. We are not going to rehash book one in this review, although I do strongly encourage you to read it before reading book two. (spoilers for book one below)
The Redemption of Callie & Kayden picks up right where book one left off. Kayden has been stabbed by his abusive father, beaten up Callie’s rapist and his secret of cutting himself is now out in the open. The beginning of this book deals with the ramifications of all of this. Kayden is so overwhelmed, he pushes Callie away. Tori – What was your reaction to the beginning of this book? Does Kayden have the world’s shittiest parents ever??
Tori: At the end of book one, I sat in stunned silence, unable to fully comprehend what just happened. My imagination went insane, thinking of possible outcomes but even I couldn’t imagine the beginning of Redemption. The pain Kayden and Callie both carry within them reaches out and literally chokes the breathe out of you. These poor kids. What a burden to carry. How do you survive feeling there is no hope? No escape? And Kayden’s parents are the absolute worse. O.M.G. While I completely and utterly hate his father…it’s his mother that fills me with disgust. I wanted to reach in the book and punch her in the throat. How do you allow that to happen to your children? I’m getting angry all over again. One area that confused me was the town. Kayden had been to so many doctors and hospitals, someone should have picked up on the abuse. Did that surprise you, Mandi?
Mandi: It did. I can understand Callie being able to keep her secret internalized (the rape and the vomiting) but Kayden – damn. The extent he had to go to, to keep his cutting hidden is really shocking. It must happen in real life, but yes – it surprised me. I liked in this one how Callie and Kayden found strength in one another to first of all – share all of their absolute truths. And secondly, want to become stronger people, individually and together. They were there for each other, but also were both mature enough to know that just the two of them alone were not enough to fully recover from their trauma . Which brings me to two wonderful supporting characters. Seth and Luke. I adore Seth – sometimes I feel like he gets the shaft as he is constantly dealing with Callie’s issues. But Luke. OH LUKE. There is one scene in this book that takes place in Luke’s house that gave me the shivers. And not the good kind. I’m very creeped out and dying for his book (which is out next). Does Luke intrigue you as much as me?
Tori: YES! Luke is an anomaly. Sorensen has given us just enough on Luke to let us know he plays a far larger role than any of us ever assumed. I am on pins and needles waiting to read his story. You and I have already discussed some of the issues surrounding him that we need answers on NOW. His mom, for instance. *shudder* Seth is a delight and I love his unconditional love regarding Callie. I also enjoyed his humor. His dry wit adds a bit of levity to another truly depressing state of being. Jackson also surprised me. I’m glad he finally stepped up to the plate and became the brother he should have been the whole time.
Since first reading Sorenson, I am in awe of her voice. She has a gift for bypassing the normal external high school issues and divulging deep into the emotional issues and problems that are often hidden because of shame or fear. I like that she doesn’t take an easy path with her characters. There are no easy answers or pat solutions. They have a hard journey to travel in order to find their way back to the light. Though it starts out slow and I was dismayed by some of Callie and Kayden’s actions, I could understand them. Sorensen MADE me understand them. You can’t easily break free of your prison when you’re jailer stands over you everyday. Sorensen does an amazing job of addressing the fear and shame that accompanies such abuse. The fact that either of them is even able to connect emotionally with another human being is amazing in itself. I will admit I was a little shocked by the amount of sex scenes in here. While I could understand their need to connect on that level…I did feel that sometimes it overwhelmed the story. What did you think of them, Mandi? Too many or just right?
Mandi: By the end my eyes were glazing over the sex scenes. At first I found it a nice payoff for all the angst we were put through, but by the end – yeah, it was a little too much. We get it. They are in LOVE. And they are horny. LOL.
The end was not as much as a cliffhanger as book one. There is resolution between Callie and Kayden, although they still have many issues to work on and a long way to heal. The ending is more of a cliffhanger of sorts for Luke. We get a big shocker at the end regarding him. *HOLD ME TORI*
Overall, this book is angsty, cracky goodness. There is a lot of angst, but I liked it. I really think this author knows how to write hurt and broken people, and I’m happy to say she knows how to show their healing too. They are far from perfect. Overall, what are your thoughts?
Tori: I got you, Mandi. *pets softly* I did like we aren’t left with such a heart stopping cliffhanger like in book one. Kayden and Callie end on a high note with plenty of hope towards their future. I think Luke’s story promises to fill in some blanks that are sprinkled throughout the last two books. I REALLY hope the town’s reaction to all the events revealed is noted in book three. There are some adults who, in my opinion, need to take responsibility for failing these kids.
Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. Sorensen isn’t afraid of the dark or addressing uncomfortable issues concerning young adults. I am happy that she offers us hope and healing, but at a realistic rate. Frankly, I think Sorensen is a premier voice in YA and fans of YA should be rushing to read her books.
Tori’s Favorite Quote: “I’m afraid of what I’m forcing to stay locked away inside my heart will break free and I’ll have to deal with it.”
Tori’s Rating: B
Mandi’s Rating: B
Goodreads l Author Website l Series Listing
I think it was your tweets that got me to read the first one, which I loved, and once I finish Magic Rises, I will start this one. It may not make sense but I am dreading it and looking forward to it at the same time.