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A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Blog Tour: Song of the Fireflies by J.A. Redmerski {Review, Top 5, Excerpt, +Giveaway!}

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Welcome to my stop on the Song of the Fireflies blog tour!
Today I am excited to share my review, a top 5 list, as well as a giveaway with you all!

Song of the Fireflies (The Edge of Never #3)
   by: J.A. Redmerski

Publication Date: Feb. 4, 2014
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 464 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes
My Rating: 3.5/5 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…

New Adult Contemporary Romance - Standalone Novel


Bray and I spent the whole night in the field chasing the fireflies and laying on the grass, staring up at the stars. She told me all about her sister, Rian, and how she was a snob and was always mean to Bray. I told her about my parents, because I didn’t have any brothers or sisters. She said I was lucky. We talked forever, it seemed. We may have been young, but we connected deeply on that night. I knew we would be great friends, even better friends than Mitchell and I had been, and I had known him since first grade, when he had tried to con me out of my peach cup at lunch.

And before the night was over, we made a pact with each other that would later prove to see us through some very troubled times.

“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 laughed. “You’re already mean!"
She elbowed me.

"And you’re already ugly,” she said with a blush in her cheeks.

I gave in, though really I needed no convincing. “OK, I promise.”

We gazed back up at the stars; her fingers were interlaced and her hands rested on her belly.

I had no idea what I was getting into with Brayelle Bates. I didn’t know about such things when I was nine. I didn’t know. But I would never regret a moment with her. Never.

Bray and I were found early the following morning, fast asleep in the grass. We were awoken by three cops; Mr. Parson, who owned the land; and my frantic mother, who thought I had been kidnapped from my room, stuffed in a suitcase, and thrown on the side of a highway somewhere.

"Elias! Oh dear God, I thought you were gone!” She scooped me into her arms and squeezed me so tight I thought my eyeballs were going to burst out of the sockets. She pulled away, kissed me on the forehead, embarrassing the crap out of me, and then squeezed me again.

Bray’s mom and dad were there, too.“Have you been out here all night with him?” Bray’s dad asked with a sharp edge in his voice.

My mom immediately went into defensive mode. She stood up the rest of the way with me and wrapped one arm around the front of me, pressing my head against her stomach.

“That daughter of yours,” my mom said, and already I was flinching before she finished, “she has a mouth on her. My son would never have snuck out unless he was influenced."

Oh geez…

I sighed and threw my head back against her. "Mom, I—”

“Are you blaming this on my daughter?” Bray’s mother said, stepping up front and center.

“As a matter of fact, I am,” my mom said boldly.

Bray started to shrink behind her dad and every second that passed I felt even worse about her being blamed.

Before this got too out of hand, I broke away from my mom’s arms. “Dammit, Mom—!” Her eyes grew wide and fierce, and I stopped midsentence.

“Watch your mouth, Elias!” Then she looked at Bray’s mom again and added, “See, Elias never uses language like that.”

“Stop it! Please! I snuck out on my own, so leave Bray out of it!”

I hated shouting. I hated that I had to put my mom in her place like that, but I spoke what I felt in my heart, and that was something my mom always taught me to do. Take up for the bullied, Elias. Never stand back and watch someone take advantage of someone else, Elias. Always do and say what you know in your heart to be right, no matter what, Elias.

I hoped she would remember those things when we were back at home.

My mom sighed deeply and I watched the anger deflate with her breath. “I apologize,” she said to Bray’s parents. “Really, I am sorry. I was just so scared something had happened to him.”

Bray’s mom nodded, accepting my mom’s apology with sincerity. “I understand. I’m sorry, too. I’m just glad they’re safe.”

Bray’s dad said nothing. I got the feeling he wasn’t as forgiving as her mom had been.

 I was grounded for the rest of the summer for that stunt I pulled. And yes, I met the fly swatter that day, after which I vowed never to sneak out of the house again. But whenever it came to Bray, from that time up until we graduated high school, I did sneak out. A lot. But I never got caught again after that first time.

I know you must be wondering why after so many years of being best friends, attending the same school, working together at the local Dairy Queen, even often sharing a bed, why we never became something more to each other.

Well, the truth is that we did.

                                                                       Read the first 8 chapters of Song of the Fireflies on J.A. Redmerski's Facebook!

I was in no way emotionally prepared for Song of the Fireflies. It is a journey that is filled with beauty and heartbreak. When we briefly met in Elias and Bray in The Edge of Always, I had no idea just how much these two had gone through to be together what they will have to undergo to stay that way. This book is so much darker and heavier than Camryn and Andrew's.

My heart broke for Bray. She suffers from something beyond her control and affects who she is and how she handles situations. She has loved Elias since childhood but has so many fears when it comes to him. He is the one constant in her life who doesn't disappoint her or feel she isn't enough and she is terrified of losing him.

Elias has been in love with Bray since they were kids also. His most cherished memory is one where they caught fireflies together. It is symbolic of a time where things were simpler. Both burned so brightly and were unchanged by the world and its expectations. The night with the fireflies symbolizes freedom which is why both of them hold it so close to their hearts.

Bray was such a challenging character. Elias is everything to her and she has no idea just how much she means to him. She knows he loves her, but he will literally go to the ends of the earth for her, which is why it was so hard to see her hurt him. She tries to push him away in the beginning, but realizes she doesn't want that. She needs him in her life and believing otherwise is a sad excuse for the truth.

I couldn't believe the direction this novel took. It was unexpected and completely bound Elias and Bray together in a way neither planned. Their love for one another is what keeps them going and is tested in every way imaginable. Both are terrified of the consequences of their actions and are afraid of what it will mean for them. Elias is the voice of reason, but when it comes to Bray- all reason flies out the door.

As serious of an undertone this book has, Bray and Elias's vagabond lifestyle reminded me of Kerouac and the Beat Generation. The people they meet along the way play a significant role in their lives and they find both unexpected friendship and betrayal as they continue on their journey.

Bray loves Elias but knows its wrong to keep him from living his own life. He is always there for her and she starts to feel as if she doesn't know how to stand on her own. This is a really big revelation on Bray's part, and as much as she tries to distance herself, he won't allow it.

The whole book I was afraid Elias would start to resent Bray for her choices and how they affected him. He does a bit, but his devotion to her far outweighs that resentment.

Overall, this was an emotionally taxing book filled with its ups and downs. I felt Redmerski did a great job with her pacing and creating such deeply broken characters.

The struggles both Elias and Bray must overcome will break your heart but their absolute love for each other will leave it full and hopeful that these two can come out on the other side still intact and together.

~Top 5 Things About Elias that Drive Bray Crazy~
1. That Elias didn't ask her to Prom.
2. It drove her crazy for a long time that he never tried to find her when she moved away.
3. Elias is the best sex she's ever had, and it drives her absolutely crazy that he likes sex all the time and isn't afraid to get kinky.
4. His deep, dominant kiss.
5. The way he looks in sweatpants with no shirt.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

J.A. Redmerski, New York TimesUSA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children, two cats and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries and is a huge fan of AMC's The Walking Dead.

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  1. I've heard this is a very emotionally heavy one. It sounds like an overall good read though. One day I will have to get to this series. Great review!

    1. Thanks Teresa! The other two are good, but pretty slower in the pacing department. I was glad this one was more fast paced.

  2. I love emotional books! I have only read the first book in the series, and I'm definitely curious about this one! It does sound like a good read, and a good addition to the series :D

    Lovely review!!!

    1. Thanks Magen! I am all for emotional books, but wow this one took me by surprise! LOL. It's J.A. Redmerski though- I should have seen it coming!

  3. I like that list! I don't even remember these characters from TEoN, I don't know why! I'm glad you liked this, and that Bray didn't drive you away.
    Thanks for the review, Jessica!

    1. I thought it was a cute list too! I'm pretty sure Bray and Elias don't show up until The Edge of Always, as Cam and Andrew have their tattoos in the scene.

  4. As a HUGE fan of The Edge of Never and Always I should definitely pick this one up but if I'm being totally honest...meh theres only so many road trips this girl can handle.

    1. Completely understandable girl! If you do end up reading it, I definitely want to hear your thoughts!


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