Paperback Launch Day Blitz: Song Of The Fireflies by J.A. Redmerski~Bianca's Review, Excerpt and Giveaway
I received an ARC courtesy of the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Song Of The Fireflies has earned it's place as one of my favorite books EVER. As an avid reader, I look for books to make me feel. Well I didn't just feel this book, I LIVED it. I didn't just read this book, I EXPERIENCED it. This earth shattering, heartbreaking, yet beautiful story took me under it's spell. I am forever ruined because of this book. Every book I read from now on will be compared.
“...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.”
Bray and Elias were childhood best friends. As they grew older, this friendship blossomed into love. While Bray is reluctant to try anything other than friendship, Elias is persistent in proving to Bray that their love is so strong and that to be together is inevitable. Soon after, Bray allows fear to get in the way and live pulls them a part. Four years later, Bray returns to the love of her life, Elias. While older, their connection has never been stronger. One night, something happens, and it spirals into an adventure where they are on the run. Throughout this adventure, their love is tested. Secrets are exposed. Their lives are never the same.The Bray and Elias you meet at first, are different. If you think you know what will happen, you have NO idea.
“I can love a lot of people… But I could never love anyone the way I love you.”
The love between Elias and Bray is unlike anything I have ever read. Their bond goes beyond anything measurable. Their love knows NO boundaries. Their love goes places where love doesn't go. I don't think soul mates even begin to describe them. Their all consuming love is felt through every moment in their story, during the good and the bad times.
“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’.”
To love with a love like Elias and Bray is something that most people dream about. This raw and genuine story will leave you breathless, speechless, and at times emotionally spent. Your heart will ache. This is not your average hearts and rainbows story. This love is dark. It is cruel. It is beautiful. It is real. The writing style immerses you in Elias and Bray's story. I said goodbye to real life as I became so engrossed in their story. It is days later as I write this review and I am still reeling over it. I haven't cried over a book in a long time. Song Of The Fireflies went where many books dare to go, but are unsuccessful. LIVING this book reminded me of my love for reading. The writing is breathtakingly beautiful and flawless.
“What I want is to be with you. That’s what I want. It’s all I’ve ever wanted.”
In darkness, there is always light. Light drives away the darkness. How much can that light withstand? Elias and Bray are characters that will be with me for a long time. Their dark, heartbreaking, passionate story is one that I will probably never forget. Elias? He loves Bray beyond words. He loves wholeheartedly and with conviction. He is the epitome of loving someone despite their faults. Love perseveres. Love always wins. In all things, choose love. Thank you to the author for writing such a deep, thoughtful, beautiful story.
Edit: It has been MONTHS since I've read this book. And it continues to resonate with my heart.
When I made my way back to the top, I found Bray wasn’t sitting near the edge of the ridge where I had left her I moved farther out into the clearing with our blankets draped over one shoulder.
“Bray?” I said, looking around.
I brushed it off for a second, thinking she was probably just taking a piss behind a tree somewhere, and I set our blankets on the ground.
But then I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I walked quickly toward the edge and looked over. My heart started to bang against my rib cage. I peered down as far as my sight could penetrate the darkness, but took a step back upon realizing that if she had fallen there was no way I’d be able to see from way up here.
She had to be somewhere around close by. She had to be.
“Bray?” I called out again. “Where the hell did you go?”
Still no answer.
Panic set in quickly. I stood there as still and as quiet as I could for several long seconds in case she was coming through the woods, but I heard nothing. I arranged both hands around my mouth and shouted, “BRAY!” and my voice echoed through the wide-open space. But still nothing. I felt sick to my stomach. She wouldn’t have left like that way out here. And if she did, I would’ve seen her on the path coming down as I was making my way back up.
I ran toward the tree line, searching for any sign of her, for another path she might have taken. I refused to believe that she had fallen off the edge.
Just as I noticed another path through the woods that seemed to head south and I started to go toward it, I heard footfalls in the leaves. I didn’t wait to see if it was her, I ran blindly straight into the woods. A skinny branch slapped me across the forehead on my way, but I didn’t stop.
Bray and I nearly crashed into each other.
“Shit, baby! Where the hell did you go? Scared the hell out of me!” I started to pull her into a hug, but something about her was off and I stopped. She didn’t respond or even raise her head to look at me.
“Are you all right?”
I took her hands into mine. Hers were shaking. Her whole body was shaking.
I cupped her face in my palms and raised her head so that she’d look at me. She was crying, and something in her eyes…I couldn’t place it, but it haunted me. I wondered if she even knew I was standing right in front of her. Her hair was messy, with pieces of leaves stuck within a mass of strands. Dirt was smeared across her left cheek. She looked like she’d been in a fight.
I touched her split lip, where a thin line of blood glistened near the corner. “Bray, you’re scaring me. What happened to you?” I shook her gently and then more aggressively when she still didn’t respond. “What happened? Talk to me!”
Her lips trembled and more tears seeped from the corners of her eyes. And then as if a floodgate had been opened, she started screaming through her tears, “It was my fault! Elias! Oh my God!”
“What happened?” I roared, scared for her and for myself, my heart about to burst through my chest.
Sneak Peek! The cover for The Moment of Letting Go!
He kisses me passionately for three brief seconds, his hands gripping the sides of my face, and we’re both breathless when he says, “I wanted to tell you about Landon. I wanted to tell you a lot of things, but I knew you had to go home and none of it would’ve mattered.”
I touch his lips with two of my fingers. “You can tell me whenever you’re ready. I’m here to listen, and I’m not going anywhere. There’s nothing you can say to scare me away. I won’t leave again unless it’s what you want. I still have four days left of my vacation and I want to spend them with you.”
“I want you to stay.”
“Then I’m staying.”
“What about after that?”
“We’ll figure it out.”
He gazes into my eyes, searching for something, I could never know what, but I think he finds it because his lips smash against mine and he kisses me hungrily. I feel my body being lifted into the air, my legs wrapped around his waist, and the air in the room hitting me as he carries me quickly through it, never breaking the kiss. In seconds I feel the comfort of his bed beneath my back and his lumpy pillows I missed so much, around my head.
We strip off each other’s clothes clumsily and Luke is on top of me before I can even catch my breath. But I don’t need my breath when I have his, and his kiss is deep and forceful and it alone makes my body dizzy with need.