Here we are into my second peek into the world of New Adult books! The second book I decided to try in this genre was Song of the Fireflies by JA Redmerski.
Basic Summary Without Spoilers:
Elias and Bray have been friends their entire lives with a complicated "we're friends but we're more than that" sort of relationship. When they finally decide to be together "officially" in their late 20s, it doesn't take long for drama to start happening. Not just your typical relationship drama though - oh no. The kind of drama that causes them to run away from the law Bonnie and Clyde style. Chaos, romance, booze, and drugs follow.
|Why yes, I do find any excuse to use a Broadway show photo. This one gets extra points for having both Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan.|
Well... this book was definitely more of the stereotype I had heard about for New Adult books. WOW there were a lot of sexy times. (Which... most of the time I personally didn't find sexy. But I'm sure there are some people who enjoyed it a lot. So, to each his own!) There was also a lot of drinking, drugs, and partying. Basically, if you can't handle these things in a book, don't read Song of the Fireflies. I felt like almost the entire book I was sitting there like Beca in Pitch Perfect asking the characters to make good choice and they never listened to my advice. They just kept making poor choices and then freaking out when life didn't happen the way they wanted it to. Then I would go back and forth between "Emily - stop being so judgy about their lives!" and "WHY DID YOU JUST DO THAT??????"
However, one thing I will mention, was that a lot of the behavior stemmed from mental illness (specifically bi-polar). Once this was revealed in the story, things made SO MUCH MORE SENSE. Towards the end, they also addressed a lot of the issues I was having with the characters and how they were choosing to handle their problems and their lives. It gave me a lot to think about and helped me to like the characters much more because I could sympathize with them and try to get into their heads a bit more, even if I didn't like or agree with their choices. However, whenever I read a story which deals with mental illness so much, it makes me want to have someone who actually deals with it to read the book so I can see if it was an accurate portrayal.
As for the writing style, it took me a bit to get used to. The author went back and forth between Elias and Bray's perspectives, which I liked and it was easy to follow. Their narratives read like the characters were telling the police their story. The downfall of this was I felt as though the novel started with too much back story.
Honestly, even though I had issues with all of the excessive partying and such, the plot was intriguing. I wanted to know how they would get out of the crazy situation they were in, would they go to jail, was their ridiculous relationship going to last, etc.
Overall, I'm torn on this book. I was interested in the story the whole time because it was intriguing and sometimes exciting. I also was drawn in so much when we find out about one of the characters having depression and was bipolar because it gave a lot more depth than the novel seemed to have at first. Yet, I can't help but wonder if it was accurate. I did enjoy this story, but I probably won't read something like this again in the near future.
I gave it 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
I received my copy of this novel as an eArc free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.