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Song of the Fireflies

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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 friendshi 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… New Adult Contemporary Romance - Standalone Novel


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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 friendshi 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… New Adult Contemporary Romance - Standalone Novel

30 review for Song of the Fireflies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    DNF @52% I'll start out by saying I love J.A. Redmerski's other works. I think she's a very talented author and I will continue to read her stories. TEoN is one of my favorite books, and I love her in the Company of Killers series. This book... well, it just wasn't for me. I could tell by 20-25%. I didn't connect with either one of the main characters and didn't like the direction the story was taking. I'm not a quitter, so I kept at it. Once I hit the half way mark, I couldn't keep going. I DNF @52% I'll start out by saying I love J.A. Redmerski's other works. I think she's a very talented author and I will continue to read her stories. TEoN is one of my favorite books, and I love her in the Company of Killers series. This book... well, it just wasn't for me. I could tell by 20-25%. I didn't connect with either one of the main characters and didn't like the direction the story was taking. I'm not a quitter, so I kept at it. Once I hit the half way mark, I couldn't keep going. I wasn't interested to see how it ended. I don't usually DNF books. In fact, this may be the first I've ever DNF'd. I may come back to it some point, but probably not. There are just too many books I want to read right now to spend more time reading something I'm not at all enjoying. That being said, this may be a case of 'It's just me' so if it sounds like something you might like, try it for yourself! **ARC kindly provided by Grand Central Forever publishing via NetGalley in exchange for honest review**

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lady Vigilante (Feifei)

    No rating. What a torturous and agonizing reading experience. It's about to get really wordy so bear with me. Song of the Fireflies is one of those books I'm scared to recommend because who knows what kind of emotional damage it'll do to you, but without reading it, you'd never experience the harrowing, tumultuous, but heartfelt journey that Bray and Elias went through. *blows out breath* How can a book be so infuriatingly addicting BUT be a trainwreck at the same time? There is literally no comp No rating. What a torturous and agonizing reading experience. It's about to get really wordy so bear with me. Song of the Fireflies is one of those books I'm scared to recommend because who knows what kind of emotional damage it'll do to you, but without reading it, you'd never experience the harrowing, tumultuous, but heartfelt journey that Bray and Elias went through. *blows out breath* How can a book be so infuriatingly addicting BUT be a trainwreck at the same time? There is literally no comparison to other books I can make to give you a point of reference. At times, it certainly had that thrilling yet heartbreaking vibe like when I read Arsen by Mia Asher, but there's something else. Maybe because there was always an underlying sense of doom throughout the story? Or because these characters, particularly Bray, were so messed up and broken that desperate times called for desperate measures? I don't know. I still don't know and I've read the book! This is also one of the few times I had a very strong visceral reaction to a book. I physically felt sickened by these characters but there were times I really wanted to jump in the book and give hugs all around. To me, this book deserves both 1 star and 5 stars so in order to reflect both sides I’ll be splitting my review into two parts: the definite 1 star and the reluctant 5 star. The Definite 1 star: first 52% Unfortunately, this part was mindblowingly bad. I had a moment there where I wondered if Ms. Redmerski did indeed write this book (I know!!!! *hangs head in shame*). The plot pacing was off, the characters were unbearable, and the book fell apart page after page. I felt like I was reading the book in 10 different languages and trying to decode it all. But more importantly, I picked up on a couple of things that completely derailed me from enjoying this portion of the book, no matter how emotionally evocative or addictive the writing: 1. Only at the 10% mark and 17 years already passed. I was more concerned with the way the time gaps were portrayed and not necessarily against the "17 years." Readers were left practically clueless about who exactly were Bray and Elias (only briefly mentioned in The Edge of Always) so going into the book, I hoped that the author would, you know, elaborate/set up the background so I'd know who exactly these characters were. And she did do that...for a while. Then suddenly, out of the blue, there'd be a time gap and it would be three months later. Then just when I'd get to a part where it's perfect for more character development or a place where I felt comfortable in really letting myself settle into the plot pace, BOOM! Another time gap and this time it'd be 4 years later. These kind of scenes just kept happening until 17 years have passed and both Bray and Elias are in their late twenties. This may work for you, but for me, I felt like I didn't get to know them well enough or at least, get a sense of their character before the author delved right into something entirely new. I just wished those parts were explained a bit more and the transition done more tactfully. 2. I felt so disconnected with the characters. Part of the reason is because of the untimely transitions that took away from the beauty of me understanding and the author explaining Bray and Elias's relationship. I'll be honest here and just tell you I did not feel a connection between the characters at all. From the brief glimpses of Bray throughout the years, she's portrayed as a rather clingy and bipolar person, and it was a real struggle for me to comprehend just how Elias could have fallen in love with such a woman. Perhaps it's because the two of them have always been together, first as friends and then to lovers? It felt too much of an insta-lust/insta-love kinda thing and I'll never know if it's not that case because the pacing of the book here didn't convince me of their bond. 3. There is something fundamentally wrong with Bray. Even in some of the most gruesome dark reads I don’t get disgusted easily, but surprisingly enough, Bray sickened me. She’s like a cloud of poisonous miasma and whatever she clings onto, she.brings.DOWN. My emotions were torn between feeling heartbreak on Elias's behalf, feeling pure fury and anger in my veins because of Bray's selfish, immature actions and most of all, disappointment and sadness that her actions forced Elias into a place where he had no choice but to go along with her. 4. The dreaded 52% mark. That was my extreme breaking point and HUGE WTF MOMENT out of all the WTF moments. The book was already nosediving its way down before then, but the culmination of events and then BAM this 52% mark put together was just enough for me. I had to DNF (did not finish) for a full hour and calm down before I could go back to reading. For Andrew and Camryn fans, I assure you that you'll feel agony, pain, and extreme and utter disbelief when you read this scene. I'm not a violent person, but never before have I wanted to bitch slap a female lead SO much. Bray pushed my buttons like no other heroine. The Reluctant 5 stars: second half after 52% This second half was just as B-A-N-A-N-A-S as the first half so why does it get 5 stars instead of 1 star? One, I finally could grasp a connection between the characters so what they did wouldn't feel robotic or clinical. Two, there was emotion (other than anger and fury) evoked. Three, the writing style was distinguishable as Redmerski's unique signature, not the aoifhoiawefhfksdfnsdfsdfk writing from part 1 that quite honestly needs some maturing. But most of all, she explained. The author went into detail about Bray and Elias’s psyche so I was more understanding of why Bray did the things she did and why Elias would always cover up for her. Surprisingly, I fell for Tate, the head leader of the group down in the beach scene where Andrew and Camryn make a cameo appearance. Though it was painful and harsh to read, this second half portrayed an evil side of love I found necessary to both the plot development and character growth. The moral of this story boils down to one sentence: How far are you willing to go for a loved one? And based off of Elias and Bray’s actions, very far. Of course, there were still a number of WTF moments that had me second-guessing my decision to continue reading, but because of how accurate the author portrayed these very real, very dark issues that plagued the characters, I feel compelled to give her 5 stars on this aspect. After all, the truth is ugly. The ending was a cheese fest, and that normally is a little bothersome but in this case, I don’t care. There were way too many negative emotions running high throughout the book so I found the happy, cheese ball moments remarkably refreshing. Would I recommend this book? I have no clue....read at your own risk. ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Patrycja

    Title: Song Of The Fireflies Series: Standalone Author: J A Redmerski Release Date: February 4th, 2014 Rating: 1.5 stars Cliffhanger: No HEA: (view spoiler)[Yes (hide spoiler)] I found it difficult to review this book. Though, I've loved previous books by this author, this one was not for me. I didn’t like Song of The Fireflies and if I’m being entirely honest, I kind of hated it. I totally didn’t feel connected to the story and characters. And what’s worse, for the most part of the book, I felt di Title: Song Of The Fireflies Series: Standalone Author: J A Redmerski Release Date: February 4th, 2014 Rating: 1.5 stars Cliffhanger: No HEA: (view spoiler)[Yes (hide spoiler)] I found it difficult to review this book. Though, I've loved previous books by this author, this one was not for me. I didn’t like Song of The Fireflies and if I’m being entirely honest, I kind of hated it. I totally didn’t feel connected to the story and characters. And what’s worse, for the most part of the book, I felt disgusted by the main couple. I can’t believe, I’m even writing this here, but I had a moment of complete disbelieve that J Redmerski actually wrote Song Of The Fireflies. Her other books were beautiful, subtle and sensual, however this novel was a complete disaster that literally was falling apart with every chapter. Elias and Bray were best friends for as long as they remember. Every memory from childhood involves one another. They were inseparable. Through middle school and high school to college, Elias and Bray were always together, day after day, experience after experience. But when they reached their twenties and gave themselves a chance in true relationship, everything fell apart. Bray screwed up everything and left Elias with broken heart. Now, almost five years later without seeing each other, Bray and Elias decided to try one more time. But despite the time that passed, Bray still has some serious issues. One terrible night shortly after Elias and Bray got together, she made a appalling mistake. Fearing consequences and prison she and Elias had to run away. Song Of The Fireflies isn’t a book, that I would recommend for readers who expect mesmerizing tale of friends to lovers romance. This story was bordering on insane. I felt very uncomfortable while reading some parts and I had a dozen of problems with the content. Firstly, I was turned off by the ‘party scene’. Lots of drinking and drugs that totally cheapened the book and were the biggest portion of the plot. Actually, it made me disapproving toward characters and finally made me dislike them both. I was shocked and horrified by the constant drug’s using, which happened in almost every chapter. Secondly, Bray was horrible character, I was appalled by her behavior. She was destroying this story and I was quickly hating her guts. As much as I tried to be understanding toward her, because of her history and everything she suffered from, I wasn’t very forgiving. I just couldn’t be. She rapidly made me loathe her, her endless drama and tantrums and while the action always was centered around her and her foolishness, there was no way for me to enjoy this book. (view spoiler)[ I tried to not be judgmental, as Bray had serious mental problems and was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, but I couldn’t handle it more. (hide spoiler)] I also wanted to like Elias. I really wanted to see the good in him. As wonderful it was to read about his love for Bray, I couldn’t stop thinking about his horrible actions and perpetual partying. What’s more, I quickly had enough of him being Bray’s knight in shining armor. I was under the impression, she was only weighing him down and destroying his chances. I desired he finally grow some balls and kick her in her ass, just like her parents. I was very sick of her. Summing up, Song Of The Fireflies was exhausting novel. Reading it was like trying to decipher manuscript written in foreign language. I was wishing the book had less pages, so I could finish it quicker and be done with it. I really liked other Redmerski’s books, so if you share the same sentiment and are not afraid of some partying or madness, you could really enjoy reading this standalone novel. * ARC provided by publisher, Grand Central Forever, via Netgalley in exchange for honest review *

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞

    Elias and Bray met when they were kids and became best friends. They've always been a part of each other lives until they decided to become more. When I saw that JR was coming out with another book, I was really excited, that is, until the reviews started coming in. So many of my friends DNF it and that's never a good sign. But...something pulled at me to read it. I mean how bad could it be? We've already met Elias and Bray from The Edge of Always and they seemed interesting... Anyway, my curios Elias and Bray met when they were kids and became best friends. They've always been a part of each other lives until they decided to become more. When I saw that JR was coming out with another book, I was really excited, that is, until the reviews started coming in. So many of my friends DNF it and that's never a good sign. But...something pulled at me to read it. I mean how bad could it be? We've already met Elias and Bray from The Edge of Always and they seemed interesting... Anyway, my curiosity got the better of me and I'm glad it did. I guess I'm going to be one of the odd men out that actually liked the book. And I did like Bray...that seemed to be the main sticking point that people didn't like her and couldn't connect. (However, I haven't read many reviews yet so there may be other problems.) Bray is a handful so I can totally understand why people didn't like her. But...there is a good reason and ultimately, she loves Elias and a lot of the things she does is because of her feelings for him. Speaking of Elias, he is pretty wonderful...although to be fair, he is no Andrew. Still, he is devoted to Bray and he does A LOT for her. The story is told in both POVs and goes back and forth in time. You get to read about them growing up together, their first kiss, first dates, and first sexual experiences. And boy are there some sexual experiences and unfortunately, not always with each other. They are both young and willing to explore. We even get a threesome scene although it's not very graphic. Theirs is not the typical love story though. There's some pretty heavy drama that stems out of that threesome and the couple end up on the run. Trouble seems to follow them and they end up living on the goodwill of Tate (and some of his friends), a guy they run in to and consequently get into even more trouble by being around him. I did like Tate, his brother...not so much. But I think getting to know some of those characters leaves an opening for books about them. I certainly wouldn't mind one about Tate (although maybe not with Jen) and one about Grace, another person in the group. As I said before, this isn't your typical love story...it's not all sunshine and rainbows. It's more about the ugly side of love and standing by someone no matter what. There's a lot of partying, drinking, drugs and crimes. Thrown in some other issues and it's a potent mix. I was happy with the way things turned out although it got pretty rough there at the end. The epilogue was wonderful and I just loved Elias' surprise. Favorite quotes: ♥ “Promise we’ll always be best friends,” Bray said, lying next to me. “No matter what. Even if you grow up ugly and I grow up mean.” ♥ “I know you remember. But you’re more to me than my best friend. You always have been. My heart beats for you. If you die, every part of what makes me human will die.” ♥ "I'm not going to leave you," I stopped her, turning around to face her. "I'm not going to lose you. It's you and me, it always has been. It always will be."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kelli C

    Have you ever read a book and sat wandering whether or not you "got it" or whether or not it worked or you...well, that is where I find myself at the end of this one! I have honestly loved every JA Redmerski book she has written to date, so the idea of a new stand-alone romance had me practically doing cartwheels. I was prepared for a bit of angst and I knew that there would be damaged characters but I was looking forward to how she clears out the dark clouds and brings warmth and light to into h Have you ever read a book and sat wandering whether or not you "got it" or whether or not it worked or you...well, that is where I find myself at the end of this one! I have honestly loved every JA Redmerski book she has written to date, so the idea of a new stand-alone romance had me practically doing cartwheels. I was prepared for a bit of angst and I knew that there would be damaged characters but I was looking forward to how she clears out the dark clouds and brings warmth and light to into her love stories. I was so not prepared for complete mania and darkness that was Elias and Bray’s relationship. Their story begins with such promise of young love and amazing friendship that had me anxiously waiting for them to fall into each other, yet when that finally happened it was almost heartbreaking. The one true connection they could rely on was severed and they were destroyed causing the end to their lifelong relationship. Well, fast forward through four years of “moving on” away from each other, Bray returns to claim her man and proclaim her love, and in my opinion way too easily does Elias fall into her arms. Of course this moment is much more emotional and connected, but it was just missing something. I think the main problem for me was my inability to connect with the characters individually and then together. Elias and Bray were surrounded by alcohol, drugs and sex. Reading their tale put me in the mind-frame that I myself was under the influence. Everything was so bad yet laid back, so distorted and just off. Nothing seemed to faze them and it always felt as if they were on the verge of something bad. Obviously tragedy occurs and the choices made and actions taken were so dark and abnormal that I was a bit stunned. Perhaps this is the crux of the story as Bray is inherently dark and warped inside thus leading to the overall disturbing tone of the read. I just could not wrap my head around Elias’s character who in my opinion was way too good for Bray. It was crazy how his love for Bray transcended all sanity. He truly could not live without as he even declared that her choice to die or leave would be the end of him. Elias was determined to love Bray in life of death, whatever came first. This book is not a sappy romance, nor is it a passion filled read. Nope, it is a hard jagged edge with a despondent tone and many dark actions. The love between Bray and Elias bordered on unhealthy yet it withstood the test of time. There was no two people who needed to be together and no way would they ever live without one another. n the end, it was a somewhat soothing to know that there was some light through all the darkness and that no matter what the future held for Elias and Bray their love would keep them alive. Full review to Post on Netgalley and http://thewindowseat13.com

  6. 4 out of 5

    Aestas Book Blog

    OMG!!! A new Standalone New Adult Contemporary Romance from the author of The Edge of Never !! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Can't wait!! 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 Bra OMG!!! A new Standalone New Adult Contemporary Romance from the author of The Edge of Never !! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Can't wait!! 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…

  7. 4 out of 5

    Pavlina Read more sleep less blog

    Yayyy I got my arc :))) * ARC provided by publisher, Grand Central Forever, via Netgalley in exchange for honest review * Yayyy I got my arc :))) * ARC provided by publisher, Grand Central Forever, via Netgalley in exchange for honest review *

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    “We’re all different. We all have our own quirks and flaws and dark secrets. All of us are [email protected] up on some level, whether or not we want to admit it to ourselves. And I like to believe that not every problem or issue that we deal with in our daily lives must be labelled with a fancy title.” While this is true, it's hard to read a romance where one is putting everything at risk to save the other, literally and metaphorically. You can't play around with anxiety and depression and cer “We’re all different. We all have our own quirks and flaws and dark secrets. All of us are [email protected] up on some level, whether or not we want to admit it to ourselves. And I like to believe that not every problem or issue that we deal with in our daily lives must be labelled with a fancy title.” While this is true, it's hard to read a romance where one is putting everything at risk to save the other, literally and metaphorically. You can't play around with anxiety and depression and certainly not when the sufferer tends to lean towards avoidance and self-destructive behavior. Suicide is a big, blinking sign in this scenario. Song of the Fireflies was a sad, painful read and I don't think it was intended to be in its entirety, but I could see around every corner and I knew exactly where this story was headed. J.A. Redmerski is one of those one-click authors for me and she can do no wrong in my eyes. But I won't be re-reading Song of the Fireflies and I can certainly attest that this is targeted for that drama-filled age group who love it when their characters are saved by love and (view spoiler)[pregnancies and babies (hide spoiler)] no matter what that means for their future. However, Ms. Redmerski does incorporate realistic consequences for these characters' actions which isn't something always brought into the new-adult genre. Another shout out I'd like to give to Ms. Redmerski...thank you for making Song of the Fireflies a standalone novel! There were two distinct turning points in this story that could have been drawn out into a duology or trilogy but Ms. Redmerski powered through and showed that she isn't just after her readers' pocketbooks...she's also motivated by delivering great reads to her fans. Overall, Song of the Fireflies was engaging and realistic in terms of emotional health concerns. My favorite parts were seeing Andrew and Camryn (from The Edge of Never duology) from an outsider's perspective. If you are a fan of the new-adult genre, check out Song of the Fireflies. Consider pairing it with Ms. Redmerski's The Edge of Never duology. You'll meet most of the characters briefly in The Edge of Always. Note: (view spoiler)[Romance authors, please please consider sanitation when writing sex scenes. No one likes to be distracted with thoughts of all the infections that will surely come after mixing anal, vaginal, and clitoral play. Seriously. (hide spoiler)] My favorite quote: “...but love isn’t always roses and rainbows and butterflies in your stomach. It’s equally cruel and painful and the world’s worst villain.” 1/12/2017: Yes, I have officially exited the new-adult genre...but...Redmerski is one of those authors that never disappoints me and I have historically loved her new-adult books. Fingers crossed!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline's Reads

    2 VERY disappointing Stars Before I start this review, let me just say, I gave The Edge of Never, Killing Sarai and Revitalizing Sarai 5 stars. I’m a HUGE Redmerski fan. I was very excited about Song of the Fireflies. I love reading new series, especially from authors I love. I have never been more disappointed than I have been with Song of the Fireflies. It was awful, from start to finish. Let me just convey to you my emotions throughout the read. I was bored I was shocked, then pissed. I was annoyed 2 VERY disappointing Stars Before I start this review, let me just say, I gave The Edge of Never, Killing Sarai and Revitalizing Sarai 5 stars. I’m a HUGE Redmerski fan. I was very excited about Song of the Fireflies. I love reading new series, especially from authors I love. I have never been more disappointed than I have been with Song of the Fireflies. It was awful, from start to finish. Let me just convey to you my emotions throughout the read. I was bored I was shocked, then pissed. I was annoyed I was frustrated I wanted to punch the Heroine in the face. I simply did not understand the story line nor plot. I couldn’t relate to the characters, nor could I find redemption for the Heroine. [Summary] Songs of the Fireflies is about two lovers, Elias and Bryaelle. Their love is undying, kind of like Romeo and Juliet. Bryaelle accidently commits a crime and goes on the run with Elias because she is scared of going to jail. This is their story on the run, their crazy, crazy, crazy story of meeting new people, getting into trouble and running away from the police. [Review] I didn’t read the summary because I was such a fan of Redmerski, I didn’t think I needed to. I wished I did. I had no intentions of reading about a girl getting into trouble and going on the run with her boyfriend. The WORST part of the book is Brayelle, she killed the story. She ruined it for me and because of her awful character, I couldn’t get into the story. Brayelle is by far the worst female leading character. She’s selfish, she’s a baby, and she’s crazy and VERY ANNOYING. What does Elias see in her? The only good thing is Elias. I love his love for Brayelle, it’s the can’t-be-without-each-other kind of love I crave for in a read. Even though he should have just forced Brayelle to go to the police, he does everything he can to protect and take care of her. I wasn’t the only guy running around doing stupid things for a person that he happened to love. Because we belong together! In life and in death! Because with you I’m dead anyway! On the run, the two meet up with a group of friends, which you would think would make the book more interesting, ug, no. I got more annoyed and frustrated. Why would you ever hang around with druggie, partying people, who are open to having sex in the same room as you. I know that scene was so not necessary, it just didn’t fit the tone of the book. I took a break at the mid mark and didn’t pick up the book for a month! A lot of times I wanted to label it DNF, but I needed to see the story through. It was a complete waste of time. I finally get to the climatic ending and I was left feeling rushed, more annoyed and more pissed at Brayelle. Not only do I not like Brayelle, but I hate her and I almost wished she died at the end of the book. Not only this book didn’t work for me, it was a train wreck and I wished I got the hours back from reading it. This is the part where I need to vent and get things off my chest. Below is a spoiler of what really angered me. (view spoiler)[WTF!!!! Brayelle, goes to jail and Elias stays with her the WHOLE TIME, writing letters EVERY FUCKING DAY and she tries to kill herself?! ARE YOU FUCKING INSANE! JUST DIE BITCH, JUST DIE!!!!! (hide spoiler)] An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review AMAZON

  10. 4 out of 5

    Geri Reads

    2 Conflicted Stars! This book... I would have loved this if not for the fact that Bray is just so unlikable and so confusing it made my head spin. Definitely not the kind of heroine you want to root for. I get damaged characters. I get it. They make for great reading. But there is fine line between a damaged and an unlikable one. Bray was just unlikable. If I'm reading a book about effed up characters, I still wanna be able to root for them too. Honestly, I almost wished Bray didn't (view spoil 2 Conflicted Stars! This book... I would have loved this if not for the fact that Bray is just so unlikable and so confusing it made my head spin. Definitely not the kind of heroine you want to root for. I get damaged characters. I get it. They make for great reading. But there is fine line between a damaged and an unlikable one. Bray was just unlikable. If I'm reading a book about effed up characters, I still wanna be able to root for them too. Honestly, I almost wished Bray didn't (view spoiler)[survive her last attempt (hide spoiler)] and just have Elias find another girl to fall in love with. One that doesn't need saving every fucking time.Harsh. But that's the way I feel about it. I liked Elias. He carried the whole world on his shoulder and the stuff that Bray put him through were just too much. He's a saint for putting up with her. But he's in lurve with her, so he pretty much took everything she dished out. Tate is another one that I really liked. His relationship with his brother Caleb mirrors that of Elias and Bray except that they were bound by blood while Elias and Bray were bound by love. So two stars. One for the author's writing and one star for Elias and Tate. ARC provided by Forever via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    Initial reaction:I think for the most part, I'm 0 for 2 in terms of books I've read from J.A. Redmerski that I've actually liked, but this actually had potential to be a good read. Which actually makes me angry because if it'd had a good vetting out to deal with the inconsistencies and presentation, it could've been better. The writing in this was terrible, and that's what ruined the book for me. Full review: I'm a little more than upset after reading this book and probably not for the reasons tha Initial reaction:I think for the most part, I'm 0 for 2 in terms of books I've read from J.A. Redmerski that I've actually liked, but this actually had potential to be a good read. Which actually makes me angry because if it'd had a good vetting out to deal with the inconsistencies and presentation, it could've been better. The writing in this was terrible, and that's what ruined the book for me. Full review: I'm a little more than upset after reading this book and probably not for the reasons that many people think. Let's talk a bit, guys. I'm struggling to put this into words that may be helpful for people to think upon, and it's difficult because I'm conflicted on how to do so. But I'm going to do my best with it and pinpoint the problems with "Song of the Fireflies" without going too long with it. Believe it or not, it's a simple problem that a veteran writer and a damned good editor worth their salt could've fixed before this book hit primetime. I firmly believe that. Reading and writing aren't completely separate spheres. I consider myself both a passionate reader and writer - have been for a long time. When I look at "Song of the Fireflies" as a reader, when I consider what the narrative was trying to do in its intentions for overarching story and character and such, there's a part of me that's more forgiving because I see the potential in the narrative for what it offered. I see that this is a love story that's rooted in problems involving drug use, alcohol, mental illness, sexual insecurities, crime/murder, among other elements. Normally I would say that's really ambitious and as long as the narrative can carry it and convince me of how serious, deep, and detailed these elements are presented, I can get behind it. As long as the overarching tale of the characters and their struggles are palpable, it'd be a narrative I'd enjoy. But this book did not hook me. My criticisms of "Song of the Fireflies" have very little to do with New Adult cliches and offenses (though I'll address those in brief shortly), and have mostly everything to do with how this narrative had absolutely atrocious writing and presentation. My reaction to the writing in this was so visceral it could compare to Bradley Cooper's character flinging Hemingway out the window in "Silver Linings Playbook." The first thing I'll say about this is that there are reasons why we writerly peeps have writing rules that we adhere to when we tell stories. This is basic stuff that you're taught since middle school or high school when penning a narrative. "Show, don't tell." "In late, out early" when it comes to scene transitions. "Don't use direct address/breaking the fourth wall" unless you have a good reason for doing it, and usually it's best to use it in comedic measures (like "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" or even in Tom Stoppard's play "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead"). "Don't use your characters as tension killers by telling the reader the conflict that's about to come up shortly. It doesn't build anticipation, it only serves to break it." I don't rehash/mention these rules on the point of trying to sound pretentious, but following these rules actually make it easier for a reader to follow the story you're trying to set up. It makes it more enjoyable for them, and they don't ask questions like "Why is the story going so slow?" "Why does this sound so repetitive?" "Why can't I follow the characters better?" Redmerski ignored every single one of these rules. And not just ignored them, I think she purposefully broke them. As to the motivations behind doing that, I can't say, but the narrative clearly suffered from those decisions. The beginning of the narrative was an epic mess of massive info dumping in places about the characters and I could barely feel any sense of emotional intimacy regarding their situations and insecurities. It was clearly told to me, not shown. Even "The Edge of Never" wasn't this bad for presentation. I may have not liked "Edge of Never" with respect to the melodrama and cliches that offered, but heck, it was better written than this for structure and presentation and even character emotional intimacy. I could tell what Cam and Andrew were thinking in a given situation and somehow feel how they reacted to certain situations. Here, it wasn't the same for Bray and Elias's narrative. Bray and Elias have been lifelong friends, pretty much since they were young kids. If there was any part in the beginning I was actually okay with, it was the presentation of this. When it came to them meeting as youth and connecting, that part was fine, but then there were massive time jumps that I couldn't make head for tails of in the narrative. I couldn't connect with Bray and Elias after that for a time. I kept being told how the characters were "fucked up" and there was massive info dumping on that note. Why couldn't that have been shown? Why did the author have to direct address those particular points? Why is it that despite Bray not having a "fucked up" past (and honestly, I saw that as a narrator's insecurity because NA tends to have many characters who are sexually assaulted or abused or with pasts of that nature), that such was mentioned in that way? If the narrative bothered showing the details of Bray's bipolar disorder and her family's indifference/inability to help her from the get go, I could've felt more for that on its own terms. Instead it feels like the narrative jumps and repeats and rehashes it without intimacy. It's not until much later in the narrative where it's actually shown, and by then, it feels like I'm beaten over the head with the knowledge of it. It doesn't make sense. The narrative takes a few twists for harrowing events about 20% into the story, and Bray and Elias go on the run as a result. They meet a bunch of unsavory characters along the way while trying to hide from the secret that threatens to get them both in trouble. I won't say the twist. I actually thought the twist was decent in itself, but I couldn't help but think that the way it was handled as a bridge point (especially with the way that Bray and Elias defer to sex so shortly after this massive transgression) that it was just a shallow plot point for drama. I hated it for that, because the emotional congruence was very lacking. It's also a terrible thing when you realize the sex scenes have more intimacy to them than the issues of the characters themselves. You can't just tell those points, you have to vet them out. If you make mention of your character's sexual insecurities over having threesomes, then that's a fascinating conflict point in itself - why NOT delve into it? You can't just write that off and say "Hey that's fine," and glaze over it - because it's a more complex issue than that. Or, if one of your characters was falsely accused of rape, served time, and it ruined the scope of his life including losing the love of his life over the accusation, that's a fascinating story in and of itself and it needs to be treated with not only vetting, but sensitivity as well. (I almost think that could've been its own story seed for how it was presented in this narrative for the character. But I didn't like the one-sided handling and presentation. Not at all.) The drug use scenes in this were pretty gratuitous and bothered me as well. I mean, I've read narratives that had fascinating looks at the fall of characters who get caught up in the use and abuse of drugs (and they're very dark in their overarching presentation), but here, it almost feels like it's treated in a non-serious, flippant way. I know that's probably not what Redmerski intended, but honestly - it just wasn't developed well for the scope of the narrative, and added to the mess of the meandering that the story took in its turns. I really didn't start seeing the merits of "Song of the Fireflies" until about 70-80% of the narrative in, when it reverted to the Present Day and the characters we've been introduced to get involved in a tense police standoff. To me, that was where the REAL story started. I don't understand why the story didn't just start there, and develop accordingly. I felt like I was reading a narrative on a different level at that point and it was the most interesting thing offered up to that time. I shouldn't have had to wade through 80% of the novel in meandering repetition and told circumstances just to reach the point of that standoff because it wasn't worth that much. I wonder if Redmerski wrote that part first, and then said "Okay, I have to write to that, because that's the payoff emotionally that these characters have to face." But it was too long. It was far too long. And I can't imagine that many readers with less patience than me would be willing enough just to get to that point. Even then, with the issues of the characters in notation, some of it does come across as melodrama. I did respect Elias's speech to Bray's sister over her disorder, but it was still so late in the narrative for events. And there was a scene of near death that was so reminiscent of "The Edge of Never" and suddenly reverted that I felt a bit thrown back by it. It was out of place. It was almost an exact replication of the problems I had with Andrew's situation in "The Edge of Never" - the reversal of the course of events felt too out of the blue and jarring for me to feel shocked by, and then the course toward relief. Still, I think I'm being generous for giving Redmerski 1.5 stars for this narrative, because it was a long, terrible slog just to get to parts of the story with more resonation. I hope the next book I pick up by her is better than this. I'm willing to try again. Oh, and for what it's worth - Cam and Andrew make an appearance in this story, so this is set in the same timeline/universe as the "Edge of Never" books. I don't know how I felt about that personally, but maybe people who liked that narrative will get a kick out of the reference. This could've been a heck of a lot better story than the way it was presented though, and ultimately, the presentation was what killed it for me. Overall score: 1.5/5 stars Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Forever (Grand Central Publishing).

  12. 4 out of 5

    [~Ami~]♥Sexy Dexy♥

    3 stars Maybe seeing all the low ratings had my expectations low. For me it was actually an okay read. Bray and Elias are best friends turn lovers but dont be fooled, this wasnt a sweet love story. I felt like I just come off the crazy train and my head is still spinning after I finished. I couldnt feel any romance and I didnt like the main characters but there was a good amount of sexy time. Be warned there are scenes of: (view spoiler)[threesome, drug use, backdoor action (hide spoiler)] If your 3 stars Maybe seeing all the low ratings had my expectations low. For me it was actually an okay read. Bray and Elias are best friends turn lovers but dont be fooled, this wasnt a sweet love story. I felt like I just come off the crazy train and my head is still spinning after I finished. I couldnt feel any romance and I didnt like the main characters but there was a good amount of sexy time. Be warned there are scenes of: (view spoiler)[threesome, drug use, backdoor action (hide spoiler)] If your up for a crazy ride with questionable main characters, give it a go. ARC provided by NetGalley

  13. 4 out of 5

    AJ

    “Love isn't always roses and rainbows and butterflies in your stomach. It’s equally cruel and painful and the world’s worst villain.” This is not your usual love story. Don’t get me wrong, it features an incredibly strong romance, with deep, deep love on both sides, but it also explores the lengths that people will go to for those that they love, and this one takes a trip straight into crazy town! I loved the beginning of this story and the set up of Elias and Bray’s story. It’s the oh-so-pop “Love isn't always roses and rainbows and butterflies in your stomach. It’s equally cruel and painful and the world’s worst villain.” This is not your usual love story. Don’t get me wrong, it features an incredibly strong romance, with deep, deep love on both sides, but it also explores the lengths that people will go to for those that they love, and this one takes a trip straight into crazy town! I loved the beginning of this story and the set up of Elias and Bray’s story. It’s the oh-so-popular backstory of inseparable childhood best friends growing up together, falling in love over the years, but both too scared to progress their relationship for fear of pushing each other away. “It’s my worst fear,” she confirmed it and her gaze dropped toward the floor. “Things between us changing. I know, Elias…I feel it…if we change the way things are, the way they have been, nothing will ever be the same again. We’ll break up and grow apart and just thinking about not having in my life hurts my heart.” But instead of having a whole book with the two of them dancing around each other, the story progresses at great speed as they do, in fact, get together and then push each other away. Miserable without each other, they come back together in a big moment full of epic declarations that had me swooning madly (even though it was only 10% into the book, and I barely knew them!). “I love you so much, Bray. So fucking much!” Sobs rattled my chest briefly until I managed to calm myself. Bray finally gave in and lunged forward, wrapping her arms around me. I scooped her up into them, squeezing the life out of her and into me. We shared that life. We always had. And from this day forth, we both knew that we always would. Even if it killed us.” Dun, dun, duuuuuuun. Ominous, huh? Elias and Bray’s blissful reunion comes to a screeching halt in one tragic moment - when a horrific accident provokes them to make a decision that will set their lives on an alternate course that sends them spiralling out of control in ways that neither of them could even imagine. They quickly find themselves travelling without a destination, hooking up with a group of strangers, going on drunken benders, dabbling with drugs, and completely ignoring all of their responsibilities and the drama brewing in their wake - all while shagging madly, declaring undying love and promising to be together forever. But during their overly trippy road trip, Elias learns things about Bray that he never knew – things that happened while they were apart, and it plays heavily into the story and adds a whole new layer of ‘fucked up’ to their situation. I will admit I had issues with the big moment of stupid, but as the story progressed, I felt more comfortable with it as both Elias and Bray acknowledged that they acted stupidly, and there was a bit of exploration into why they acted like they did, and how they were struggling with the consequences of their decision, and I was so thankful that they weren’t as idiotic as I thought they were. But by that point, things have progressed so far beyond the normal, that they both feel powerless to stop it. And it all comes crashing down around them in a massive clusterfuck that left me wondering how the hell the whole thing was going to be resolved. “I didn’t think that things could get any worse, but lately rock bottom was just never the bottom anymore. “ Brayelle is an interesting character. Self-declared “fucked up”, she makes a lot of dodgy decisions, and I can see why so many readers don’t really like her. I’m ambivalent towards her. I don’t hate her, but I don’t love her either. Her journey was definitely an interesting one, and even though I was interested to see how the story would play out, I didn’t care as much as would have liked to. And then there is Elias. Also making stupid decisions, but his are all based around Bray. Protecting her, supporting her, and making her happy. Nobody knew, understood, or accepted Bray the way that Elias did, and his absolute love and devotion to her is truly beautiful. “Perfect. Beautiful. She could never shatter my image of her, no matter what she did.” I have no doubt that Bray felt exactly the same about Elias, it’s just that with everything that she had going on, Elias got the opportunity to show his feelings more, and therefore I felt more for him. My heart actually broke for him as the story progressed, and I could see him suffering with all that the two of them were put through. It wasn’t fair, and he had to deal with more than his share of fear and grief, but he stays true to the girl he loves, fighting hard to protect and help her, and you’ve gotta love him a bit for that. There’s a lot going on in this book. Even after the massive clusterfuck, the shocks and heartbreak just keep on coming. It’s full of unexpected twists and turns, and it does get very intense. But I felt really up and down with it. The writing is beautiful, but I didn’t love the story, and I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I wanted to. There were times when I was fully invested, and others when I really didn’t care what they were doing. But by the time the ending came along, my attention had been sparked, and I did enjoy the faster pace that allowed us a full finish to the mad rollercoaster. A difficult book to rate. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it. Taking the middle road - 3 stars.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Nose Graze — Book reviews & blogging tips I didn't like Song of the Fireflies . It was well written and J.A. Redmerski is an amazing author and person, but this book wasn't for me. It's not the kind of book that I would tell everyone to avoid, it's just the kind of book that didn't click with me personally. For starters, Song of the Fireflies has a lot of drinking and a bit of smoking/drug use. Those kinds of things don't click well with me. That's just an entire scene that I'm not into. I'm no Nose Graze — Book reviews & blogging tips I didn't like Song of the Fireflies . It was well written and J.A. Redmerski is an amazing author and person, but this book wasn't for me. It's not the kind of book that I would tell everyone to avoid, it's just the kind of book that didn't click with me personally. For starters, Song of the Fireflies has a lot of drinking and a bit of smoking/drug use. Those kinds of things don't click well with me. That's just an entire scene that I'm not into. I'm not a party girl, I don't go out drinking, I don't do drugs, etc. But a very large portion of this book is about those things. When Elias and Bray are on the run, they hit party after party after party. It just slowly wore me down over the course of the book. It wasn't fun for me to read about and I slowly started disliking it more and more. The other thing that turned me off Song of the Fireflies was Bray herself. This complaint is sort of about that last bit in the synopsis: Elias knows the truth about Bray’s painful history, and in the end he may not be able to save Bray from herself... I'll try to avoid spoilers so I won't tell you exactly what that "history" is. But basically part of it involves Bray complaining about how her parents weren't very loving or accepting of her. They went through the motions, but eventually they just got sick of dealing with her and were ready to be rid of her once she turned 18. As we learn about this, Elias always makes a big point about how he'd never do that and he truly loves her no matter what, etc. But the problem is... I felt myself feeling just like Bray's parents; I got tired of her. By the end of the book I was honestly so sick of Bray's drama and problems. (view spoiler)[I know she has a good reason for them.. she is diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, which results in her having some MAJOR lows and she has numerous suicide attempts. That's why I feel so bad saying this, but I can't help it.. I was sick of her problems. I was sick of her constant depression and desire to commit suicide. I kind of feel like a bad person for admitting to that, but I couldn't help it! :( (hide spoiler)] I was so ready for the book to end just because I couldn't stand Bray. On the bright side, I loved Elias. I loved his moral struggles and his fierce love and dedication to Bray. Even if I didn't like Bray myself, I could really appreciate how much Elias loved her! Their relationship was so sweet and it's amazing how it could truly withstand anything. If you like J.A. Redmerski's other books, then I do encourage you to give this one a try! I didn't like it, but I'm sure plenty of people will. The romance is really quite sweet, especially at the end. The Verdict:

  15. 4 out of 5

    Suzana

    This has been one hell of an emotional ride ... I actually cried ... what can I say, I'm emotional person ... I've seen many bad reviews and ratings for this book, so I had low expectations ... but it turns out that for me it was a good book ... This has been one hell of an emotional ride ... I actually cried ... what can I say, I'm emotional person ... I've seen many bad reviews and ratings for this book, so I had low expectations ... but it turns out that for me it was a good book ...

  16. 4 out of 5

    *P

    I have to admit I was worried when I started this one. Many people who read the same books as me were not as pleased with this work of Redmerski. Like them, I love Redmerski's writing and The Edge of Never was probably one of the best books I've read. I agree this book was definitely different, but I enjoyed it, kind of how I liked Thelma and Louise way back when. Bray was definitely one messed up character but I love the devotion that Elias has to her. These two were definitely made for each oth I have to admit I was worried when I started this one. Many people who read the same books as me were not as pleased with this work of Redmerski. Like them, I love Redmerski's writing and The Edge of Never was probably one of the best books I've read. I agree this book was definitely different, but I enjoyed it, kind of how I liked Thelma and Louise way back when. Bray was definitely one messed up character but I love the devotion that Elias has to her. These two were definitely made for each other. They were faced with a crazy situation and unfortunately, bad choices were made. Everything comes to a head but eventually everything works out. Some scenes had my heart breaking for Elias. He went through so much for Bray and I think that makes him an awesome book boyfriend. I love how they showed the connection to Andrew and Camryn and we relived that crazy beach scene. Make no mistake, this is a very dark story with elements of drugs, mental illness and suicide. But I also found it to be a book of healing and hope and find it worth recommending as Redmerski's writing is always great!!! Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mallory

    2 stars This Book Right Here. I'm seriously giving 2 stars to Elias and Redmerski's writing. Bray is a nutcase, and Elias a saint for putting up with so much from her. 2 stars This Book Right Here. I'm seriously giving 2 stars to Elias and Redmerski's writing. Bray is a nutcase, and Elias a saint for putting up with so much from her.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Arlene

    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. 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 ever 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 home. Intense!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Natasha is a Book Junkie

    “… love isn’t always roses and rainbows and butterflies in your stomach. It’s equally cruel and painful and the world’s worst villain.” I genuinely believe that our lives, our past and present experiences determine our enjoyment of most of the stories we read, each book gently touching our memories like the keys of a piano, and merging them into the grand symphony of its storyline. But each reader’s life will compose a different melody, each book thus finding a ‘different home’ in eve “… love isn’t always roses and rainbows and butterflies in your stomach. It’s equally cruel and painful and the world’s worst villain.” I genuinely believe that our lives, our past and present experiences determine our enjoyment of most of the stories we read, each book gently touching our memories like the keys of a piano, and merging them into the grand symphony of its storyline. But each reader’s life will compose a different melody, each book thus finding a ‘different home’ in every one of its readers. While this particular story, as outstanding as it is, might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I don’t think there has ever been another book that has hit so close to home for me and made me understand the characters as well as this one. This is not just a truly stunning love story, albeit somewhat untraditional, but it is also an extremely vivid account of a woman’s silent battle with mental illness and its dire effects on the only emotional bond she has managed to form and sustain in her life. I found myself stopping several times throughout this book, taking long moments to reflect on the memories from my own lifetime that were being recalled, making this story a heart-wrenchingly evocative experience for me cover to cover. “What I want is to be with you. That’s what I want. It’s all I’ve ever wanted.” Bray and Elias have been best friends since they were young, their every happy childhood memory being a shared one. Over time, their deep love for each other has blurred every friendship line that has ever existed between them, their gradual transition from friends to lovers later on in life being natural and inevitable. But while their connection has always remained strong, Bray’s reluctance to embrace the new nature of their relationship eventually tears them apart and takes their lives in different directions, breaking both their hearts in the process. “… if you were ever going to scare me away or make me think badly of you, would I have made you the center of my world for seventeen years?” Four years later, Bray returns to the only home she has ever known, to the only man she has ever loved, but the girl that returns is not the same girl that left four years before, an inner turmoil constantly haunting her like a fog that never lifts. It has taken them seventeen years to become the couple they were destined to become from the moment they met as kids, but it takes one fated mistake, one huge lapse in judgement to change their lives forever and for them to find themselves on the run. With no destination in mind or set plan to follow, they drift aimlessly from place to place, trying to escape the consequences of their actions by embracing care-free happiness, only to find more trouble along the way. “I’m not going to lose you. It’s you and me, it always has been. It always will be.” While the majority of this story is comprised of their life on the road and the many experiences that test every aspect of their relationship and their resolve to keep running, the focal point of this story from beginning to end is the deep connection between these two characters. By hearing both their voices, we become intimately acquainted with their every thought, every fear, every hope. We see how unhealthily co-dependent they slowly become as we are given the very unique opportunity of witnessing the effects of Bray’s psychological disorder on both of them individually, as well as a couple. “I can love a lot of people… But I could never love anyone the way I love you.” Bray is a heroine whose every imperfection and vulnerability made me love her even more. Having lived all her young life with this secret and very taboo inner struggle, internalizing rather than asking for help, she has retreated psychologically from the world and the people around her, except from Elias. Bray has always felt free to be herself with him, even though she has kept the darkness that lives inside her hidden even from him, afraid it would drive him away from her, just as it had done with every other person who was meant to love her unconditionally. This book explores the fine line between being someone’s lifeline and being their enabler, the difference between helping someone heal and being their crutch in life. “I love you, Bray… I love you more than you will ever know.” “How is that?” “Because I would do anything for you… You just don’t realize yet what ‘anything’ truly means.” “I love you, too, Elias. More than you could possibly ever know.” “How is that?” “Because I’d never ask you to prove your ‘anything’.” If you have ever been touched by the dark tentacles of a person’s mental illness, regardless of its severity, if you have ever watched a loved one struggle with the debilitating effects of a condition they are ashamed of and have no control over, their desperation to be or feel ‘normal’, then you will see the beauty of this story in all its glory. This is a story of hope. Devotion. Sacrifice. And love in one of its purest and most unwavering forms. Flawlessly and compellingly written, this is a story that made me live every page, every emotion, every unconventional facet of this truly epic romance. “There’s nothing you could do or say to make me leave you.” See this review on my blog! | Follow me on Facebook! | Follow me on Twitter!

  20. 4 out of 5

    CasPerfitz~SLiTsReaD

    I love the storyline in the beginning, being that they grow up together, bonded, fell in love… and you can tell from the start that Brayelle a.k.a. Bray is trouble. And Elias has a love and patience of a saint for Bray! Might just be me but I just couldn’t seem to like Bray…. and even to the end…. Could be cause it felt like the ending was just summed-up? And Elias, I should say that he is such an amazing guy cause his love towards Bray is strong and unwavering, it’s unreal! But I’m saying it’s un I love the storyline in the beginning, being that they grow up together, bonded, fell in love… and you can tell from the start that Brayelle a.k.a. Bray is trouble. And Elias has a love and patience of a saint for Bray! Might just be me but I just couldn’t seem to like Bray…. and even to the end…. Could be cause it felt like the ending was just summed-up? And Elias, I should say that he is such an amazing guy cause his love towards Bray is strong and unwavering, it’s unreal! But I’m saying it’s unreal cause she is just too selfish, and a wreck… and like I said, trouble, who seriously needs help and is bringing him down with her. So yeah, as much as I should love Elias for his undying love and all, it just didn’t felt right in the end cause I thought he’d be smarter than all that. Whatever happened to “tough love?” Then there was just too much partying, living the wild side so they say! At first I’m like, okay…. Then at some point, it just has got to end! Aren’t they lucky or rather isn’t it too convenient for them that they’d met a group that lets them party and crash with them and paid for everything… and who just happens to be on somewhat same situation as they are? The fact was, Bray would have kept running if she wasn’t cornered and Elias would have just thrown away his life to be with her. I guess that is why things happens for a reason. It just felt like the story failed from this point forward. And as for that big secret she’s been keeping from Elias? It’s ironic that she’s finding it hard to tell him when she’s done practically worst by him. Ugh. Anyway, I love J.A. Redmerski’s writing…. but this one though, emotionally I had a hard time connecting, it was too exhausting. In the end, the story and characters are just a fail for me. Written under Bray and Elias POV. Review also posted/shared here : http://slitsread.wordpress.com/2014/0... https://www.facebook.com/SLiTsReaD

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gaby

    What good love is if it can destroy you? I didn't like this book, but not because it was badly written, it was beautifully written, or because the story was bad, it was a great story, but because I got frustrated reading it. I watched Bray messed up Elias’ life, I dare to say selfishly, although, some would say because she was sick, and I couldn't do anything about it. I wanted him to leave her because it was like watching a train wreck that never ended. On one hand, she was ruining his life, but What good love is if it can destroy you? I didn't like this book, but not because it was badly written, it was beautifully written, or because the story was bad, it was a great story, but because I got frustrated reading it. I watched Bray messed up Elias’ life, I dare to say selfishly, although, some would say because she was sick, and I couldn't do anything about it. I wanted him to leave her because it was like watching a train wreck that never ended. On one hand, she was ruining his life, but on the other hand, he loved her so much (I would say too much) that leaving her was not an option. But when is the right time to say enough? is that the time when your love is so deep that you are willing to be destroyed for her? “Everyone deserves someone who loves and cares for them enough to see them through life’s obstacles. Especially people like Bray.” And in the end I felt selfish and stupid because I didn't understand her. And then I loved this book. “I know that I never would’ve made it through anything if it weren´t for Elias and his unconditional and unwavering love for me. He, in every sense of the word, was everything to me. He was my parents, my sister, my friends, and the love of my life. He was my conscience, my will, and my direction.” I guess love is always good, if you know what to do with it. So, would I recommend this book? I would definetely do, but beware that you might feel frustration, fury and pain mixed with the inmense love that he had for her.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea B

    This was an emotional roller-coaster! I'm not going to put any spoilers in this review, because I think it's best going into this one without any background. If I had to compare it to The Edge of Never and The Edge of Always, I will have to say that I enjoyed those better, but I still recommend this one, because her writing is phenomenal! J.A. Redmerski develops such beautiful characters that are hard not to feel for. I recommend this to new adult lovers! This was an emotional roller-coaster! I'm not going to put any spoilers in this review, because I think it's best going into this one without any background. If I had to compare it to The Edge of Never and The Edge of Always, I will have to say that I enjoyed those better, but I still recommend this one, because her writing is phenomenal! J.A. Redmerski develops such beautiful characters that are hard not to feel for. I recommend this to new adult lovers!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Ok so this is one of those books that you need to skew your vision of what it’s going to be before starting it. This is not a steamy NA like the cover portrays. This is one of those stories that needs to be read with the eye of a critical reader and appreciate the writing and story, not the characters. This is a chew you up and spit you out story of a tragically toxic relationship where none of the characters are particularly likeable. So while it wasn’t an enjoyable story and it didn’t give you Ok so this is one of those books that you need to skew your vision of what it’s going to be before starting it. This is not a steamy NA like the cover portrays. This is one of those stories that needs to be read with the eye of a critical reader and appreciate the writing and story, not the characters. This is a chew you up and spit you out story of a tragically toxic relationship where none of the characters are particularly likeable. So while it wasn’t an enjoyable story and it didn’t give you the warm fuzzies, it makes you feel. You feel raw emotions for the whole story and it portrays some dismal things in relationships and life in a realistic light. Not all love stories are fairytales.

  24. 5 out of 5

    *P*u*r*p*l*e* Masochist

    ***Arc provided via Netgalley in exchange for honest review*** This review is posted on Way Too Hot Books. "They say you never forget your first love, and I have to say that they are right. I met the girl of my dreams when we were both still fans of the tree houses and dirt cakes- she made the best dirt cakes in Georgia- and today , seventeen years later, I still see her smile in everything good." The (in)famous curse of first love- there are lot of things and people throughout our life which t ***Arc provided via Netgalley in exchange for honest review*** This review is posted on Way Too Hot Books. "They say you never forget your first love, and I have to say that they are right. I met the girl of my dreams when we were both still fans of the tree houses and dirt cakes- she made the best dirt cakes in Georgia- and today , seventeen years later, I still see her smile in everything good." The (in)famous curse of first love- there are lot of things and people throughout our life which time can erase from memory, but everyone seems to remember their first true love. The sweetness of the first kiss. The bitterness of the first heartbreak. This is a story about that type of love, but don't expect your typical fluffy romance, because this is a dark read with a troublesome and not easily likable couple, Bonnie & Clyde of nowadays. The story is very complex and therefore I foresee a lot of mixed/ pro & con reviews. The book had 2 things that are on top of my list what-I-don't-like-books-to-have and those are: 1. not exactly likable main female character 2. drama But I also have to say that there was an important reason and explanation for that and that's why these things didn't bother me that much as usual, but they made story more real. Another reason and more important one is that the story was very interesting, unpredictable and well-written. J. A. Redmerski is a new author to me. I've recently read her two books from In The Company Of The Killers Series and loved them both, so I was very excited when I got a copy of this book for review and I'm glad to say that, even though this story has no similarities to those books, it also didn't disappoint. Elias Kline and Brayelle Bates have been inseparable BFFs since the moment they met as little kids. Bray was the incorrigible troublemaker and Elias was the cute kid next door who always had her back. They have always been there for each other, in good and bad and with time their relationship was growing in something more than friendship. To take the friendship to the next level or not to? That was the one fear they were constantly battling against and failing, but no matter what they did their life roads kept taking them to each other and when it seemed that things finally were starting to get better *something* happens which changes their life for good and turns their world upside down. "It took one night in a waterfront beach house to know that I didn't know my girlfriend, the love of my life, as much as I thought I did. And it broke my fucking heart." Elias and Bray are far from your usual perfect lovebirds. They are two young people with lot of flaws and baggage from past. They will make a lot of bad decisions and choices throughout the book that at times it was really hard to like them, especially as far Bray is concerned, but at the same time it was also hard not to feel sorry for them and later their friends. The story is written from both, Elias' and Bray's, point of view. It wasa very emotional, adventurous and definitely way-too-hot read which will keep you on edge til' the last page, because it is written in such way that the past and present events are mixed and we are getting the most important information piece by piece and I loved that. At the beginning when I really didn't know what to expect it seemed to me that it will be one of those fluffy romances, but then soon enough, something big happens and I was so glad to be wrong. From that moment the story kept surprising me over and over that I stopped racking my brains about what will happen next. There were some situations that made me eye roll, but despite them I enjoyed the story very much. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy dark, emotional reads with a little drama and stories with best friends falling for each other. Is love enough when everything else lets you down and how well can you really know someone? Will there be a happy ending for this couple? Buy the book & find out. "I'm not going to leave you," I stopped her, turning around to face her. "I'm not going to lose you. It's you and me, it always has been. It always will be."

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    There were so many things wrong with this book, I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s just start with the one quote that’s said multiple times throughout this book, “If you’re not guilty, then why did you run?” At least 75% of the trainwreck revolves around that question. I’m going to try to make this review as spoiler free as possible, but I may need to reveal a few details so to understand my position. Let’s start with our cast: First, there’s Elias Kane. He falls in love at a very early age There were so many things wrong with this book, I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s just start with the one quote that’s said multiple times throughout this book, “If you’re not guilty, then why did you run?” At least 75% of the trainwreck revolves around that question. I’m going to try to make this review as spoiler free as possible, but I may need to reveal a few details so to understand my position. Let’s start with our cast: First, there’s Elias Kane. He falls in love at a very early age only to have the love of his life bail the minute they decide to have a real relationship. He tries to move on, only to end up back in the arms of the girl who caused him so much pain. He’s fiercely loyal to the extent that his personality resembles a lost puppy following around their master. Then there’s Brayelle Bates. She’s obviously the love of above said puppy. Bray, as everyone calls her, runs so hot and then so cold that it’s really hard to tell where she stands on anything. Everything is always about her – no one understands her, the darkness follows her, she can’t live like this, blah blah blah. I get that she has a mental disorder, but the author set her and her disease up horribly that the whole time I was reading, I was like Then there’s the plot – or lack thereof. Bray and Elias end up together after Bray flees the state to get away from her feelings. She comes back and everything is ok, they’re in love after all. Then there’s a party that ends up with a dead girl at the bottom of a cliff. Bray, convinced that she’s going to prison, decides to run and Elias goes with her. They pack up their car and hit the road. Side note: I’ve decided that Redmerski is incapable of writing a story without the main characters living out of a car or on some roadtrip. Anyway, I digress. Along the road, more drama happens and they find themselves without a car, money, or even clothes. But never fear, there’s a group of strangers that let them freeload off of them for months. Months spent partying on the beach just doing drugs and having sex. Literally, that’s the story. Oh wait, there’s a police standoff at the end – can’t forget about that. There was just so much wrong with the writing and with the plot that I ended up skimming the last 20% because I was bored and annoyed. I understand that as a NA novel the characters have more freedom, but the amount of drug use in this book bordered on extreme. Same with the amount of sex. Sex was used as a transition. The author needed to end a scene but didn’t know how – sex. End of a chapter – sex. End of a fight –sex. And not even good sex scenes, I skimmed over those as well. And I’m sorry, but if you’re doing anal for the first time, there needs to be prep, you can’t just stick it in and have it be pleasurable for the girl. I figured that was common knowledge. This is this third book I’ve read from Redmerski and despite my hopes that maybe it will get better, it just keeps getting worse. Needless to say, I will not be reading anything else by this author. I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley for my honest opinion and review. This review can also be seen here on my blog.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Review: 2 out of 5 stars I wanted to love Song of the Fireflies, Killing Sarah by J.A Redmerski was amazing and I have heard great things about her The Edge of Never series but unfortunately I didn’t connect with this one whatsoever and was left underwhelmed and disappointed. The beginning of the book was quite promising as we meet Elias Kline and Brayelle Bates, best friends since childhood but as the book progresses and a huge mistake is made it all went downhill from there and the only saving g Review: 2 out of 5 stars I wanted to love Song of the Fireflies, Killing Sarah by J.A Redmerski was amazing and I have heard great things about her The Edge of Never series but unfortunately I didn’t connect with this one whatsoever and was left underwhelmed and disappointed. The beginning of the book was quite promising as we meet Elias Kline and Brayelle Bates, best friends since childhood but as the book progresses and a huge mistake is made it all went downhill from there and the only saving grace for me was a satisfying ending but there was a lot of emotional turmoil and drama-filled moments to get there. Bray wasn’t a likeable character whatsoever; I sympathised with what she went through but I couldn’t find any qualities about her that I could connect with emotionally or personally unfortunately. I did like Elias but there were many moments that left me shaking my head and wanting to shake some sense into both of them. I found their love, dedication and commitment to one another to be wonderful but it was a fragile, toxic relationship and one I was waiting to crumble right from the onset. I won’t reveal what happens to avoid spoilers but over the course of the book there was a lot of partying, drug use and alcohol – this isn’t me so I couldn’t connect to the lifestyle or to their reckless behaviour and new friends whilst on the run. The overall storyline wasn’t believable and I was detached through a lot of it. Overall, I couldn’t fault J.A Redmerski’s writing but the general dark tone, characters actions and the storyline just wasn’t for me. Thank-you to Forever Grand Central Publishing via Netgalley for the opportunity to read Song of the Fireflies

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sassy Savvy Fabulous

    J.A. Redmerski did it again and I loved it!!!!!!!!!!! Once again Redmerski leads me down a road of absolute perfection in a book! This is a heart wrenching story of a girl suffering from a painful and troubling past and her journey to find peace and feel loved. The intensity begins with a beautiful friendship that turns into an undying love. Elias's devotion to Bray is unwavering and he stands by her through all the poor decisions she makes time and time again. Together they must face the consequ J.A. Redmerski did it again and I loved it!!!!!!!!!!! Once again Redmerski leads me down a road of absolute perfection in a book! This is a heart wrenching story of a girl suffering from a painful and troubling past and her journey to find peace and feel loved. The intensity begins with a beautiful friendship that turns into an undying love. Elias's devotion to Bray is unwavering and he stands by her through all the poor decisions she makes time and time again. Together they must face the consequences of her actions and face a reality of her depression. Some serious issues were touched on in this book and I felt the author did a wonderful job exploring them. 5 full box of tissues stars

  28. 4 out of 5

    ~♡AB♡~

    Bray and Elias have been best friends since they were 9 years old. Fear stops them from becoming closer but when they eventually give in to their true feelings things spiral out of control. If Elias had known that Bray had BiPolar Disorder before they went on the run could things have been prevented? How far is he willing to go for love? I really enjoyed this book, no hearts and flowers here but a tale of true love.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Juewelz - SMIBookClub

    Sadly i just cant get into this book stopping at 18% right now. I will have to try at a later time.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Glass

    DNF at 36% I just can't... DNF at 36% I just can't...

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