Friday, January 31, 2014

ARC REVIEW ~Song of the Fireflies by JA Redmerski~

Title: Song of the Fireflies
Author: J.A. Redmerski
Release Date: February 4, 2014

My Rating: 2.5 Stars
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…
In short, this book had a lot of potential but, it didn't reach my expectations. Song of the Fireflies was a book where I could simply not connect with the main characters. I actually found myself drawn to one of the secondary couples more than Bray and Elias. This book, to me, was disjointed and had an odd mix of conflicts thrown together. The female lead, Bray, held no redeeming qualities. There are outstanding circumstances but, I wanted her to at least be likable or redeem herself. And in my eyes she was not able to achieve either. Elias on the other hand, held more promise as a character but, he's so wrapped up in Bray that it made me dislike his spineless demeanor. Truthfully, this review is painful for me to write. I still want to love this book. Maybe, if I weren't a hardcore romance junkie this book would have resonated more with me. But given as is, it had more dark moments than light. It was more heartbreaking reality than angsty, getting lost fiction. Don't get me wrong I love a dose of reality here and there. This book however, just made me sad. Not the ending... that is wrapped up a little too neatly, but the rest of the book was just bad decisions galore on the characters' parts.

Song of the Fireflies is a childhood friendship turned adult romance story. Bray and Elias have been two peas in a pod since they were very young. Bray being the reckless, mess of a person for no apparent reason. And Elias being her rock at every step. When they eventually try for a romantic relationship, it all goes down hill. In my opinion, they just weren't mature enough to handle the emotions and responsibilities that came with their relationship. Bray leaves Elias only to return with no word and he receives her with arms wide open. So, this sweet, if not confusing, story then hits a dark bump in the road only to fall off an even darker and steeper abyss. Soon, Elias and Bray are running from their home with almost nothing to their name. After a string of even more bad luck, they meet up with a group- Tate, Jen, Grace, Caleb and Johanna. I still question this whole groups morals right now. Sometimes, they were saviors, sometimes they just caused more trouble. Eventually the past comes back to haunt Elias and Bray. They have nowhere left to turn, and must return back to the problems they left behind. While we do get some explanation for Bray's problems, it was a secret that didn't really shock me, and also didn't help me sympathize with her either. I don't want to sound cold-hearted, but the way the characters dealt with it and the events following just left me in a funk.

Like I said earlier when it comes to the end it was wrapped up too neatly. There is all the drama leading up to the last chapters and then the skies clear and everything is perfect again. It made me feel like the rest of the book had just been a horrifying dream. I think the core of my problem with this book was the lack of connection with the characters. I feel like if I could have connected and felt what Bray and Elias were feeling I could have understood and rooted for them more. Instead, I was left feeling very confused. I understand that the situations presented in this book could, and do, happen in real life and I'm not being apathetic to those who experience it. I'm just saying that I felt like a piece or two of the puzzle was missing. Maybe I wanted more of a connection between Bray and Elias, other than just physical chemistry. Or maybe I wanted less of a twisted plot. I can't really say. All I know is that I really wanted to love this book and it just left me feeling flat, and put-off. As always though, it is highly possible that I'm just a weirdo and you may love this book. Which is great! I would love to hear your opinion on Song of the Fireflies. Whether it be the same as mine or completely different. This was just my opinion, how ever little that may matter :) With having said my piece about the book itself, I want to voice my opinion about the author. I think JA Redmerski is a fantastic writer. If It makes any sense I connected with the words, just not what they meant. I was captivated by her storytelling ability and her voice. And I will most definitely give her other books a go.

Happy Reading!
*ARC provided by the author/published through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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