Author: Jessica Sorensen
Release date: July 30, 2013
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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?
I almost don’t know where or how to start this review. One thing I do know is that I will ramble. A lot, most likely. (Also, this will probably be the most unsophisticated and informal review of all time but… I don’t care.) But that’s only because this series and Jessica Sorensen does mad crazy things to me; things I can’t even understand. The Redemption of Callie and Kayden (TROCAK) was a highly anticipated sequel that I’ve been waiting on for forever. The funny thing is, I read book one, The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (TCOCAK), just earlier this year… yet, it felt like decades upon decades until TROCAK was finally in my grasp. Anyway, I absolutely loved every single moment in TROCAK. I knew before I even started it that my heart would be in shreds 90% of the time but I was so ready to dive back into Callie and Kayden’s heart-wrenching world.
My emotions and feelings are all across the board because Sorensen blew my mind away with this one! Because my feels are scrambled eggs right now, I’m going to write this review a little differently than I normally would in the hopes of thoroughly covering all that I want to talk about. ;p
I wish for happiness in a world full of sorrow.
There’s always so much pain and I wish for all of it to be gone.
Of course, wishes are just wishes, just hope for a speck of light in a dark field.
Storyline/Plot—At times, I felt like things were dragging along but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way because it made sense for the characters and for the story and where it was going. I loved the progression from start to end. I went in with such a heavy heart because of where TCOCAK ended and then my heart got even heavier at how bleak and desolate Callie and Kayden’s circumstances seemed to be in the beginning of TROCAK. But I felt like things went exactly where they were supposed to when they were supposed to and I loved seeing the characters get there. TROCAK starts out being very hopeless and heartbreaking to empowering and hopeful that your emotions are a crazy whirlwind by the end.
The only way I can best describe it is by using an analogy of some sort. I felt like I was in this long, wide, dark tunnel—one that was wet and cold and empty and very scary—alongside Callie and Kayden. As events started to unfold, I felt like the pair got lost and confused and further and further apart from each other. They both wanted out of the tunnel that somehow they both got stuck in and the only way out, was with the help of each other. As the end approaches, you can’t help but root for them and hope that they make it to the bright light at the end of the tunnel that will lead them out of all that darkness. In TROCAK, you see Callie and Kayden come together in a way that is so touching and powerful that I was blown away, amazed.
Characters—First of all, I have to give a standing ovation to Jessica Sorensen for creating these two wonderful characters that have crawled so deeply into my heart. I applaud her for getting into the dark and heavy of reality, for giving me such an honest and true and real depiction of Callie and Kayden’s lives, and for shattering me into a billion pieces and then having the magic to put me back together again. Pure brilliance!
Callie Lawrence—I love her. She’s different from some, if not most, leading females. She’s quiet, more so than most, she’s very timid, almost like… in the words of Seth, a skittish kitten. But she’s got such a strong, quiet spirit that you almost miss if you don’t take a closer look. Since TCOCAK, she’s grown tremendously and Kayden plays a huge part in that. I love how she finds herself doing things that just a year ago, she would have never done. I love that she understands Kayden and that she doesn’t press or push him. I love that she has such a big and sincere heart.
“Besides, you’re one of those people.”
“What? Understanding and accepting?” I shove a handful of popcorn into my mouth.
His smile lights up his whole face. “The kind of person who can see things in a different light, who’s been to hell and back. The kind who has had and gave redemption.”
It was amazing to see her grow throughout the book. I was rooting so hard for her. There were numerous times when I felt so helpless for both Callie and Kayden. I was angry at what was happening to them and how unfair it all was. But Sorensen played it all out so true to her characters that I couldn’t have asked for more.
Kayden Owens—Oh my sweet goodness! I don’t even know where to start with him. As with Callie, Kayden grew a lot in TROCAK. Throughout the book, he began to realize that the way he grew up didn’t have to dictate the rest of his life and it was great seeing him reach that conclusion. There were times, though, when I felt like I didn’t understand him at all. He seemed so detached from the world, constantly in his own head. When I was reading in Callie’s point of view, I often got as lost and confused as Callie herself. But as soon as it switched over to Kayden’s point of view, the puzzle pieces started to click. With Callie by his side, he overcame huge roadblocks and just like with Callie, I pulled out my pom-poms and rooted like crazy for him.
“You gave me good… I’ve never had good before.” I place a soft kiss on her neck and whisper, “You showed me that it was okay to feel both the good and the bad. It just took me a while to get it balanced.”
Kayden Owens has the most special place in my heart. I can’t really put it into words (because I suck) but the way how Sorensen wrote him just did something to me that I can’t undo. I love that he was broken, truly broken. I love that he was so supportive and… there for Callie. I love that he never pushed or pressured her. I love that he was so sweet and gentle and kind and caring. I just… love him, all of him. To infinity and beyond.
He looks like he’s about to splinter apart and I’m verging into the same place. I want to clutch onto him. I want him to clutch onto me, because I know if we can just hold onto each other then we can make it through this.
Jessica Sorensen took all my overwhelming emotions from TCOCAK, bottled it up and stuffed it into the amazing-ness that is TROCAK, and shook and shook and shook and right when I thought I couldn’t breathe anymore, she popped off the top and… wow, that feeling. It was like a bomb that went off inside me because from the beginning to the end, you fly back and forth from an array of emotions that you don’t have time to analyze and before you know it, the end hits you with an impact so uplifting and satisfying that you almost don’t know how to handle it. I didn’t know what to do so I cried. And cried and cried and cried.
The Redemption of Callie and Kayden is a story about overcoming the bad and the ugly, that when you hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere else to go but up. Jessica Sorensen delivered an amazing sequel that left me wanting to smash something to crying buckets and buckets full of waterfall tears to dancing and fist-pumping like I’ve never fist-pumped before. There’s so much more that I want to say but I think by now, you all get the point or… the gist of it. ;p And now, before you guys go, here’s what I’ll leave you with:
I’m looking into his eyes and he’s looking into mine and I wonder if maybe it wasn’t coincidence that brought me to him that night in front of the pool house. Maybe it was fate that guided me there so I could save him and he could save me and then it could lead us here to this moment where we are both completely content and free and glad we’re alive.