By: Jessica Sorenson
Synopsis: From the New York Times bestselling author of The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden comes an emotional new story about two troubled souls sharing one all-encompassing love . . .
THE REDEMPTION OF CALLIE & KAYDEN
The dark secret Kayden has kept hidden for years is finally out. Worse, he's facing charges for battery. The only way to clear his name is for Callie to speak up-something he'll never ask her to do. Instead, he'll do whatever he must to protect her . . . even if it means letting go of the only girl he's ever loved.
Callie knows Kayden is going back to his dark place and desperately wants to save him. But that means facing her greatest fear and admitting her own painful secrets aloud. The thought of breaking her silence terrifies her-but not as much as the thought of losing Kayden forever.
Deep in her heart, Callie knows the time has come for her and Kayden to forget the pain of the past. With the help of her friends Seth and Luke she makes a plan to show Kayden the life they could have. But can she convince him they can make a fresh start together-or is she already too late?
Review: As I sit down to write this review it has been almost a full day since I finished this novel. My mind has been mulling over the storyline, the plot, the characters and how it all wrapped up. My opinions and emotions have been all over the place. I have gone from amazed, to loved, to 'eh', to disappointed, to confused, to having my own little EPIPHANY. Now let me explain before all of you Callie and Kayden fans lash out at me. I promise all of those disjointed thoughts will make sense in a little bit.
When I finished The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden a few months ago I was eager to get my hands on the sequel. I mean who wouldn't have been? The author left us all with the mother of all cliffhangers. I was desperate to find out what happened next. I typed the Redemption's release date into my countdown app and watched the days tick by. Suddenly, a full week before its release date, my Twitter feed was blasted with tweets that it has been released followed by my sister blowing up my phone. "It has been released!" "Did you get yours yet?" "OMG It is so good so far. R u reading yet?" Gah! I dropped everything I was doing and dove in head first.
"I can't do this without you."
The Redemption of Callie and Kayden turned the tables from the previous book. Throughout the first novel, Kayden was the stronger of the pair. Sure his demons lie beneath the surface, taunting him, but he had pushed them aside as best he could in order to help Callie break out of her shell a little. Pushing her to face the traumatic events of her past, putting one foot in front of the other to move forward. The Redemption is Callie's turn to return the favor. Callie has brushed of some of the ashes and is beginning to emerge from the flames stronger than before.
"My heart opens up and I feel it all. Every single emotion that'sever been insise me starts pumping through my veins: the good, the bad, the painfulness, the heartache, the loneliness, the happiness, the need, the knowing that there's more out there to life than what I grew up with."
"Sometimes moving forward is the only way we can escape our pasts."
Moving forward from their past means confronting their families. I never understood what was wrong with each of their parents. Kayden's mother is clearly dealing with her own abuse, both past and present. It is no excuse for her behavior, but I guess I get it. What I could never wrap my hands around was Callie's mother and her Leave It To Beaver facade. She couldn't really have been so blind as to not notice the changes in Callie or too naive to believe it was nothing.
The heaviness of the plot was countered by the love between the four characters. I was glad to see Callie and Kayden, along with Seth and Luke form a family of their own. Each have things that they have endured. Each have their own skeletons in the closet. Together they click. They understand the need for quiet reflection and the need to escape it all, even just for a day.
Here comes the part where I was torn. The ending. I have thought about this part in great length. I will make this spoiler free. I will not ruin it by giving the details. As the end neared I kept imagining where the author would take it. I had numerous different scenarios playing in my mind. I was no where close. At first I was disappointed. I kept flipping the pages looking for more.
I am glad I didn't immediately hop on and write a review. This is where the epiphany comes in. The more I thought about it and the more I analyze the details something clicked. I realized the ending was.. perfect. Life is not rainbows and unicorns. It is messy and cruel. It tests you at every turn and you never quite know what is going to happen next. While many stories such us in with the promise of an happily ever after, it is not realistic. Callie and Kayden's story was never roses and sunshine, but together they can weather the storm and find their way back together.