Title – Song of the Fireflies
Author – J.A. Redmerski
Publication Date – February 4, 2014
**This is a STANDALONE novel, however, there is a cameo appearance of characters from The Edge of Never and The Edge of Always**
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…
Wow. I don’t know that there are enough words to accurately describe the emotional rollercoaster that this book took me for a ride on. It starts off with a flashback of Bray and Elias as children and how they met. From the teasing and kicking in the gut, you get the impression that this story is going to flow into that friends…friends with benefits…lovers…break up cycle. Then you’re slammed with this reality that, if you’ve read books by Redmerski before, you know she doesn’t follow anyone else’s tracks, but instead blazes her own. I admit that I forgot that for a few minutes.
What follows is a tale of a lost girl, and I don’t even know that I can say she’s on a journey to find herself. She’s battling severe depression and later we find out bipolar disorder. For anyone who is familiar with this illness (whether through their own struggle or someone they know), I think you will find kindred spirits in these characters. The ups and downs in Bray’s personality were so well portrayed, in my personal opinion. Furthermore, I could really empathize with Elias and his feelings as well as his actions. He was stuck in this position of wanting to support Bray and be there for her, but realized more and more that she had this problem and needed help. However, it wasn’t an easy thing to convince Bray to do – especially after having a bad experience with getting help previously. So he continued to go along with her, telling himself he could make her see and make her change, even though it put him at further risk. He just wanted to save her – no matter the cost to him.
The dual viewpoint also really helps to further the book, as well as the emotions, along. Being able to see inside both characters’ heads gives you such a great understanding of both emotional journeys. It allows you to really see how both Bray and Elias differ in their thought processes, thereby allowing us to see the spiral of Bray’s sickness.
The author just writes such beautiful and captivating characters. Even Tate and Jen, Caleb, Grace. I mean, I want more of all of them because you get this vibe that they all have a story. They all have a past that you just have to uncover. Side note – I loved that Cam and Andrew from The Edge of Never duo also make a cameo! This book was definitely much darker than I had expected but I’m so glad I read it. I think it shines a light on the severity of mental illness while also not being a completely depressing read. It was heartbreaking. It was gut-wrenching. It was absolutely beautiful. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to see what J.A. Redmerski comes up with next!
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(As seen on J.A. Redmerski’s Website)
- Led Zeppelin – Bade I’m Gonna Leave You (Main theme song for the book & song inspired a dramatic scene near the end.)
- Ben Howard – Oats in the Water (A very moving song that I visualize SONG OF THE FIREFLIES every time I hear it.)
- AWOLNATION – Sail (Song playing in the Jeep during a dramatic scene)
- INXS – Never Tear Us Apart (Book inspired by song)
- Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko – Stay (Book inspired by song)
- Dax Riggs – Night is the Notion (Song playing from Jeep in the bonfire/beach scene)
- Sinéad O’Connor – Nothing Compares to You (Book inspired by song)
- Ben E. King – Stand By Me (Book inspired by song)
- Ginuwine – Pony (Song playing at a party)