Song of the Fireflies JA Redmerski - 3 STARSSynopsis
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…
*Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Song of The Fireflies was really interesting and different. It was extremely well written, and the themes in this book are intense. This book is very dramatic, but quite sensual. And while there are some great moments and beautiful and powerful pieces, I have to say, this book was not for me. I read a couple of other reviews, and I have to agree with them in many different ways, in the end my agreement with their thoughts and opinions reiterated by feelings for this book. I think most difficult for me was the amount of partying in this book. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a good party, but it felt like 65% of this book was a Bray and Elias jumping from party to party. The drinking and drugs didn't bother me, but I frequently wondered "where is this going." I felt a complete lack of direction throughout the book which for a romance novel was frustrating.
Elias and Brayelle have been friends since they were kids. Their childhood story is really beautiful and adds quite a bit to the train wreck that is Bray and Elias. But Elias loves Bray, almost too much, and when they attempt to be together, afraid of him leaving her-she does it first. After a few years apart, they try their hand at a relationship again. Until one night, forcing Brayelle to go on the run, bringing Elias with her. Their string on the run doesn't turn out so ideal, and problem after problems leaves them, with very few choices, if any. Their story, is different, its not rainbows and butterflies. Its not one big adventure with lots of love and romance. This is a heartfelt story of a different kind, where some problems cant be fixed with love, and sometimes love isn't enough. People can't be fixed easily.
The story of Elias and Brayelle is not only emotionally draining because of Bray but its draining because of their behavior. Unlike in Running on Empty, where it felt that the characters were trying to figure things out, Song of the Fireflies felt like no one cared about what happened and forced them on the run. Brayelle's insane behavior, while explainable became increasingly annoying over the chapters. While I loved Elias, he was so caring, and wonderful, and his point of view was very powerful. His moral compass was internally at war and he struggled with Brayelle's decisions daily, his love for her though overshadowed all other thought and choices. But their story is painful, not only does nothing go right for them, but Brayelle constantly puts them in even worse decisions. She refused to make any good decisions for herself. As understanding as I can be, given the situation, I didn't relate to her. Prior to learning about her history even I wasn't connecting with Brayelle. Her free-spririt was fun at first, but I found her hard to connect to. Elias, as lovable as he is, just couldn't make up for her. The perpetual darkness that these characters lived in was unpleasant.
|Jessica Lowndes as Brayelle|
I found myself trying to read quicker just to finish the book. And to be honest, by the end of the book, I was really frustrated. There are two parts to this. For one, I have to say, JA Redmerski didn't provide any POV chapters from Brayelle after a certain event (until the VERY end), and this really annoyed me. As much as Brayelle annoyed me, seeing into her head helped a lot. I also didn't like the constant darkness that cloaked this novel from beginning to end. Even the first chapter had such a negative tone, it was not setting me up for a good read. I have loved JA Redmerski's books before but this was just not for me. I gave this book three stars though because I felt that it was well written and a difficult story for anyone to tell, but that sometimes you feel just needs to be told. I think the redeeming point of the book is the end, there is finality and a conclusion that I am pleased with.
Do I recommend this to other people? Eh. Read at your own risk.