Song of the Fireflies
By J.A. Redmerski
My Rating: 3 Stars
You may be familiar with J.A. Redmerski already if you have heard of or read her Edge of Never series. I loved this series and was eager to gobble up another piece by Redmerski. Song of the Fireflies seemed like a great place to start. And frankly, I was intrigued by this book. It’s not part of the Edge of Never series but the two main characters in this standalone book show up in the Edge of Never series. While their appearance is brief, it’s enough to pique interest into these two characters so I was thrilled when Redmerski decided to tell Bray and Elias’ story.
Brayelle Bates and Elias Kline have been best friends since they were children but that is all they have ever been albeit friends who do more than normal friends. Then one day Elias pushes the idea of them being together and Bray argues against it. But Bray is attracted to Elias and she can’t deny her feeling for him any longer. The problem is that she never stays with anyone for very long and she doesn’t want to ruin what she and Elias have. Elias, however, is confident that their relationship will be different and that he is different when it comes to Bray. When it doesn’t work out Bray skips town and is gone from Elias’ life forever. Elias is devastated but knows he has to go on with his life. Four years later, Bray returns and everything is right with their worlds. Elias and Bray are ready to start their lives together but just as they begin making plans for the future, Bray makes a mistake that will change their lives forever. Bray only sees one option and Elias knows all he can do is follow. He’ll do everything he can to make Bray choose the right path even if it means losing her in the end.
Sigh….I really wanted to love this book. I’ve loved J.A. Redmerski’s other books and I really thought I would love this book. These characters were straight out of the Edge of Never series and I loved those but I suppose I shouldn’t have assumed. It’s not that I hated it, because I didn’t. I ultimately gave it three stars because it was a good read. I just had a hard time connecting with the characters. To be honest, I found myself becoming very frustrated with them. Much of the time I thought Bray was being an overdramatic, selfish girl and Elias was being a complete and total pushover. I know I was supposed to see Bray as being broken and afraid and Elias as her savior and completely devoted to her no matter what but I just didn’t feel it. Bray didn’t seem to need saving, she really just needed a swift kick in the ass and Elias needed to stop being a pushover and letting her Bray make all the decisions. It’s like he just couldn’t tell her no, despite being in way over his head. He was doing so well in his life without her, albeit he was completely and irrevocably in-love with her and would do anything for her. But there are usually limits. Ruining your life, being one of those limits. He had no sense of self-preservation. Is anyone really worth that? I guess I don’t think so since I found this to be hugely disturbing and unrealistic and frankly, it kept me disconnected from the story and the characters. In the end, my three stars was mostly because of this issue and not with plot or character problems. The book is very well written and worth a read. Others may not feel how I did. And honestly, other readers may see Bray as the broken and scared character and Elias as her unwavering support system and ultimately her life.
If you haven’t read any J.A. Redmerski, I highly recommend her books. The Edge of Never series is excellent and Song of the Fireflies is well written even if I found myself wanted to slap the main characters. I have several other books by Redmerski on my to-read list. Check her out if you are a fan of contemporary romance or new adult.