Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Song of the Fireflies by JA Redmerski

New York Times bestselling author J.A. Redmerski brings us a stunning and heart-wrenching new novel about a couple who find each other in their darkest moment.

Since they were kids, Elias Kline and Brayelle Bates have been inseparable. When Bray moves to South Carolina, separating the two for the first time, they both at last realize that their innocent childhood friendship has developed into something much more. So when Bray finally returns to Georgia—and to Elias—things between them couldn’t be more perfect…until one fateful night changes everything.

Desperate not to go to prison for a terrible accident, Elias and Bray decide to run. As they try to make the most of their freedom, the two find themselves relying on a rebellious group of people who tempt the duo into a wild and daring new life. But they can’t run from their troubles forever.

As the consequences of their past catch up to them, the couple must finally face reality. Even if they can make it through the unimaginable, Elias knows the truth about Bray’s painful history, and in the end he may not be able to save Bray from herself…

* ARC provided by publisher, Grand Central Forever, via Netgalley in exchange for honest review *

I have seen some reviews about this book and well I was kind of sad. Many of them gave up about 20% in. While I will admit I understand where they are coming from, I stuck with it because for me that is exactly how The Edge of Never and The Sea of Tranquility were for me. I wanted to be a giver upper, but if I had I never would have experienced the awesomeness. Same with this book. It wasn't that it was even slow it was that well...when you get to about 30-35% in, I got it. It literally hit me in the face. I finally understood the up and down, the craziness. As I continued to read I became sad. I understood why Bray acted and did things she did. Now I am not one to do spoilers but let me just say that as a mom who has a child that is currently going through the things that Bray is I got it. I am saddened and that is in essence why I continued to read. I got to see a glimpse of what my son is going through. It crushed me. I cried. I wanted to take all the hurt away from both this character and my son. This is the first time I have publicly acknowledged what has been happening in my private life, but I can not help it. JA brought it out front and center and I realized how much this happens and sometimes people pass it off (especially in teens) as a phase not really realizing that they are in fact sick and need love and support. Bray doesn't do things just to get attention. Most of the time she is feeling as though she is not good enough. After that faithful night that set her and Elias in a tailspin it really starts to show. She has her moments where she is carefree and funny. Elias tries so hard to do what he can. I loved that he loves her unconditionally and is there no matter what the circumstances are. There are a few scenes that were so hard for me to get through. I cried so hard because I felt Bray's pain. The feelings of not wanting to hurt the ones you love because you don't feel worthy enough. I know how Elias felt also. He wanted to do any and everything in his power to prove to her that she was worthy. There is one scene where Elias says that he notices Bray "slipping deeper into the darkness that lives inside of her" I know exactly how that feels, to watch the person you love so deeply slipping into their own head and wishing you could cure it. Wishing there was a magic pill you could give to take the darkness out, so that the person you once knew would be there again. 

It wasn't all sadness and heartbreak. In this book you get to see how the love of these two characters came to be. While on their "adventure" they meet many people. Some where sketchy, while others proved to be loyal friends till the end. Andrew and Camryn make an appearance. A brief one but that whole part was crazy. 

Once I got into the book and realized what it was about my kindle literally stayed stuck to my hand. I can not express how much I enjoyed the book. Yes, it is sad. Yes, I did cry. Yes, my heart broke but it was a journey that opened up my eyes and helped me understand my son just a bit better and for that there is no way that I can ever express my thank you to J.A. It hit so close to home that now I can see things I missed with my son. Things I never would have known to ask, or to look for. I will be forever grateful for that. It is not often that an author can get certain feelings and emotions in a character so right that I am feeling that pain for them as well as for my loved one. It was an emotional and deep read and I truly hope that when you read this that you will keep in mind what I have wrote. Its never easy for me to write about my family in this way but I felt it so deep that I could not not write about it. 

I gave this book
4.5/5 hearts

Born November 25, 1975, J.A. (Jessica Ann) Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries and is a huge fan of AMC's The Walking Dead.

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