I read The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden back in late December 2012 and loved it. Yes, it wasn’t without its flaws, mainly little typos and such, but the story swept me so much, I decided to give it a 4.5 star rating, despite of the horrible cliffhanger ending.
And then I found out the next installment was due February 2014. Can we say mad? I was very mad. For me, reading is probably my number 1 hobby and I don’t like it when I’m so invested in a story and it ends the way Coincidence did, only to find out I’ll know what happens next more than a year later. It felt like a publicity trick. A bad one. Then, a couple of months ago came the news that the publishing date for Redemption was been changed for fall, and a few weeks ago, another update that it will be out early August.
I was happy. I thought that even with the whiplash of all the date changes, I’ll get the resolution I was waiting for.
The Redemption of Callie and Kayden picks up right after Kayden is found on the floor bleeding to death after having been stabbed by his father. I believe I was pissed off right off the bat with this one, but only because there are some characters that are just horrible. Horrible people, parents, friends. But there is a way to deal with those, too. Callie chose to deal with her infuriating mother by avoiding her, mostly. She closed herself off and only dealt with Seth, her best friend, and slowly got closer to Luke, Kayden’s best friend from childhood. Kayden, on his part, was hospitalized and after waking up, accused of self mutilation and attempted suicide. Hmm… nice work, mom. That’s one show of support.
Redemption deals with Callie and Kayden dealing with their demons. Dealing with their families, friends and each other.
Callie to me seemed the stronger of the two. Maybe because living with her trauma for many years, and not having to experience it, physically, again and again, made it different than continuously being abused like Kayden was by his father. She pushes him to realize his feelings, his self worth and by doing so, she realizes some things about herself.
Then we have Seth. Seth in my opinion saved this book. He was the happy-go-lucky voice of reason in Callie’s life. He supported her, no questions asked. He loved her and saw her sorrow and her needs and was there to guide her to understand what she must to in order to heal, both her and Kayden.
I feel like Jessica Sorensen wrote a beautiful, traumatic and very sad story. It was mostly expected, but the gradual progression of the entire story (both Coincidence and Redemption) was done in a realistic way. However, I think it should have been proof read a few more times. The book is littered with typos and a homophone issue or two.
Another issue that I think was problematic is that by the time this book came out, and yes, 8 months between publications, when the story is so intense and is broken up in a life and death issue type cliffhanger – that’s just bad. I felt like I read it only to receive a resolution for the messed up situation, and not much more. Which makes me sad.
I think if a reader overlooks the editing issues, reading both books in succession will be a better experience. I would definitely recommend it that way.