This will contain a few near-spoilers, so please don't read on if you haven't read this book yet.
Some of you might disagree with the next paragraph, but it should be noted before you decide to burn me at the stake that this is a definite 4 stars on Goodreads since I don't have a numerical rating system.
So there are tragedies that have the reader reeling and feeling like they've been hit by a Mack truck. It's excruciating to breathe; absolutely difficult to concentrate; feeling of utter loss washes over you and your body experiences unreal pain that you couldn't fathom having over fictional characters in a novel.
Then there are 'tragedies' that feel like paper cuts. You feel nothing for the first three seconds, then it stings for a minute or two, and after the Band-Aid is applied, you forget about it. This is how the beginning of the story started out for me. I was honestly expecting Cam's issue to be soul-crushing. I think if there was more of Ian's story, I might have understood Cam a bit better. In the beginning, I just didn't get her.
Then about four hours before Denver, I noticed that I was devouring the pages faster, and my anxiety levels were beginning to increase. Oh thank God! The way that people speak of this book, I didn't want to be the one that didn't get it. And four hours before Denver, I began to think that this was not about Cam living with her tragic event but finally growing a figurative pair and living her life.
Andrews constant shouldn'ts gave me whiplash. I was convinced he was a psych-ward escapee. I was certain that he was a wanted man in certain states. I was sure that he somehow caused Ian's death. Then when they were in Galveston, I actually thought he might have been Ian's long-lost (but never written about) brother. Great writing causes my mind to run wild. I was so exhausted and angst-ridden. I didn't see 'it' coming, and that made me appreciate the story even more.
There are so many moments after Denver that I realized that this was going to be an epic kind of love. The story was no longer about Cam and her journey, but rather Andrew and Cam together as a single entity. New Orleans seems like the ideal setting to have significant change take place. Maybe because the city itself persevered.
When Andrew gets the call, I see the headlights in the distance. When he leaves, I finally see the 18-wheeler. I know I'm going to be crushed (I had this image of myself running down the streets of New Orleans trying to find him, and dragging his ass back to Cam - maybe my effort would keep the Mack away...). There is the moment of reprieve when the truck swerves and you sigh with relief. But something is wrong because you still hear that very distinct engine. Over breakfast, it crashes into you. It breaks you. Your lungs are about to give up and you can't breathe.
In the end, I thought it was very fitting that two people who have had their share of blight have their relationship solidified by another 'catastrophe'.
I knew there was going to be a follow-up to this novel. I finally read the synopsis to The Edge of Always after I finished The Edge of Never. The way the first book ended would have been enough for me. It gave a perfect sample of the kind of life they would have, and I was content with that. After reading the synopsis, I'm tied up in knots.
I finally get this story and the effect it has on people.