Monday, February 3, 2014

New Release & Review: Song of the Fireflies by J.A. Redmerski

Song of the Fireflies by J.A. Redmerski
Expected publication: February 4th 2014 by Forever
"I loved every last word! Beautiful, heartfelt, consuming--I couldn't put it down. There's pure magic in J. A. Redmerski's pen." --- KATY EVANS, New York Times bestselling author of the REAL series

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Edge of Never and The Edge of Always
Brayelle Bates has always been a force of nature. Even as a child, Bray's wild and carefree spirit intimidated everyone around her. The only person who's ever truly understood her is her best friend, Elias Kline. Though every fiber of her being wants to stay with Elias forever, Bray can't bear the thought of him discovering her agonizing history. She's done everything she can to keep him at arm's length, including moving away. But their undying bond was too strong a pull to deny, and Bray couldn't survive without him. Now she's back home with Elias, and things have never felt more right--until one night changes everything.

Elias vowed never to be separated from Bray again. So when she decides to flee in a desperate attempt to escape her fate, Elias knows he must go with her. As the two try to make the most of their circumstance, taking up with a reckless group of new friends, Elias soon realizes there's a darkness driving Bray he can't ignore. Now in order to save her, he'll have to convince Bray to accept the consequences of their reality--even if it means losing her.

My Thoughts
I’ve been a huge fan of J.A. Redmerski since she published her novel The Edge of Never. However it was her In the Company of Killers that showed me how Redmerski can really light up the pages with a solid story. She always seems to captivate my attention with her easy-to-fall-for characters, well-paced plot and hard hitting drama, so when I heard she was releasing a new novel, I was definitely excited!

Song of the Fireflies is probably one of the more difficult reads I’ve come across in a while. This story was told in two powerful perspectives as Elias and Brayelle share their volatile love that begins at a very young age. The novel includes tough subjects such as depression, suicide, homicide, drugs and all sorts of dark themes that may not be for the faint of heart, so needless to say it took a concerted effort for me to plow through this book.

In the novel, we learn that Elias has always loved Bray, but their relationship has never taken off mainly because of Bray’s fear of losing the one person who’s accepted her for who and what she is. See Bray has fought a long and hard journey with depression, which ultimately gets diagnosed as Bipolar II Disorder. Her family and friends have taken the easy way out by pushing her away, but Elias refuses to never give up on her as she faces her demons and struggles with the darkness that consumes her.

When Brayelle comes back to town after running away from Elias for two long years, he takes her back and they finally begin to catch a cadence to a healthy relationship. However, all of that comes crashing to a halt when a weekend at the river turns deadly and Elias finds himself on the run with Bray. As they hide from questioning and team up with a party group that has their own set of problems, Elias begins to see Bray fall deeper and deeper into a dark abyss that he fears will consume her once again.

Overall, there were moments in the novel that tugged at my heart and I mainly experienced those heartfelt emotions when Elias was narrating the story. Throughout most of the novel, I had a hard time connecting with Bray simply because I didn’t quite understand her. It wasn’t until the final chapters when her condition fully reveals itself and she self-destructs that she finally shattered my defenses.

As I mentioned, the novel carries some difficult themes, but I feel Redmerski did a great job bringing all of the characters full circle. I even enjoyed coming across Andrew and Camryn when they made an appearance in this novel.

Tough book to read, but I feel the author did a solid job of getting her message across and casting it with the right characters to bring it hit home. Intense!
3 Suns

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