Friday, 10 January 2014

ARC Review ~ Song of the Fireflies by J.A. Redmerski

Song of the FireflieseARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 4th February 2014

Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)

Brayelle Bates has always been a force of nature. Even as a child, Bray's wild and carefree spirit intimidated everyone around her. The only person who's ever truly understood her is her best friend, Elias Kline. Though every fiber of her being wants to stay with Elias forever, Bray can't bear the thought of him discovering her agonizing history. She's done everything she can to keep him at arm's length, including moving away. But their undying bond was too strong a pull to deny, and Bray couldn't survive without him. Now she's back home with Elias, and things have never felt more right-until one fateful night changes everything. 

Elias vowed never to be separated from Bray again. So when she decides to flee in a desperate attempt to escape her destiny, Elias knows he must go with her. As the two try to make the most of their circumstance, taking up with a reckless group of new friends, Elias soon realizes there's a darkness driving Bray he can't ignore. Now in order to save her, he'll have to convince Bray to accept the consequences of their reality--even if it means losing her.

My Opinion

After reading both The Edge of Never and The Edge of Always and loving them both I couldn't wait to get my hands on Song of the Fireflies. When I saw it appear on NetGalley I requested it instantly as I love this author's style. The cover is also beautiful and the title interested me.

J. A Redmerski's other books made me cry, so I was intrigued to see if she could pull it off again. The Edge of Never is definitely a hard act to follow though so I didn't go in expecting to be put through another emotional rollercoaster - and I was glad I didn't. For me, although  did really enjoy Song of the Fireflies, it wasn't as good as her other books. Don't get me wrong, everything I loved in the author's style was still in the book and it was fast-paced, engaging and parts were moving, it just didn't leave me breathless.

Anyway, in Song of the Fireflies I felt the characterisation was good. I loved how it started, with the memories from when Bray and Elias were young and I felt it gave the book an innocent quality that contrasted well with the situation they later found themselves in. For me, it also helped solidify their relationship and made them feel like best-friends. Once again, J. A Redmerski did a brilliant job of creating realistic characters. It was easy to believe that Elias would do anything for Bray and he was my favourite as personally, I felt more of a connection with his emotions.

As well as this, I liked that the author gives a very broad over view of the amount of time that passes. The book is not limited to one year but rather split over many years. The author did a great job of making them flow seamlessly so the book wasn't jumpy and they also helped to keep a good pace throughout the entire novel. 

The main difference for me with Song of the Fireflies, is that it is a lot darker than The Edge of Never. It deals with suicide, drugs, crime and family problems and I think that was the reason I found it less breath taking. For me, Bray had too many issues and by the end, I did find myself losing sympathy for her. It just wasn't what I was expecting. I know issues like this comes as a package with this author, but for me there was too much focus on it.

Also, the only other issue I had was that at one point the story somehow ends up including Camyrn and Andrew (The Edge of Never leads). When I came across this section it took me aback and I couldn't understand the need for it. I thought this book was a stand-alone so I couldn't figure out why the author would link her series to it. It just felt too repetitive.

However, saying all of that, I did find Song of the Fireflies hard to put down. I love this author's writing style and I was pleased at how it ended. It felt a bit abrupt but that was because I was only on 89% of the document and expecting a few more chapters (the rest was an extract from The Edge of Never). I would recommend this book, but I would say not to go into reading it thinking of The Edge of Never and compare them if you enjoyed it. Song of the Fireflies is an intriguing read that hits upon some hard issues, but it does keep you hooked.


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