Book Reviews

Book Review: A Field of Fireflies by Joey Jones

Welcome back for another Friday Book Review! Being a resident of eastern North Carolina and a hopeless romantic, I’ve easily fallen in love with books by Joey Jones, an indie romance author from NC. Today, I’ll be reviewing Jones’s newest release, A Field of Fireflies, a tale of forbidden romance packed with loads of wisdom about acceptance.

AFieldofFireflies

A while back, my cousin’s wife introduced me to a new local author’s books that are similar in style to Nicholas Sparks. I read one of them, Losing London, and adored it. For Christmas, she gave me the author’s two other releases, A Bridge Apart and A Field of Fireflies.

A Field of Fireflies follows a 24-year-old former baseball prodigy, Nolan Lynch, as he begins a PE instructor job at a community college in the eastern North Carolina town of Washington. On his first day, he meets 24-year-old Emma Pate, a student who is going to school to better her career options. Nolan and Emma hit it off instantly and it seems too good to be true. Because, in reality, it is. Nolan doesn’t realize Emma is a student, and Emma doesn’t realize Nolan is her teacher until the next day of classes. But both know one thing: student/teacher relationships are forbidden. Will their romance survive all the curveballs that are thrown their way?

Highlights

Focus on Race Issues in the United States

When I first realized this novel was going to discuss current racial division in the United States, I was nervous that it was going to be similar to what the media and politicians spew and pit races against one another. I’m elated to say that does not happen in A Field of Fireflies. In fact, the characters accurately blame the media for creating the divisiveness in the first place. Readers are left with a firm, endearing message that the media, churches, and US citizens should stop labeling people as black, white, etc. and just call people what we are… people. My review is truly not doing this section justice, but the author really hits the nail on the head on the subject.

Portrayal of New Adult Characters

Being in my mid-twenties, I feel the author portrayed Nolan and Emma perfectly as a New Adult couple. The couple was both nostalgic for their childhood, something both have just emerged from six years prior, and are openly admitting that they’re struggling with adulthood choices. Sometimes I feel as if this age range is not portrayed realistically in books, but the author really captured the mid-20s age range.

Romance

Going back to the previous section, Nolan and Emma’s relationship is true to that of the mid-20s age, mostly highlighting the easily triggered insecurity and jealousy when someone openly flirts with who we’re dating. The dates these two go on are adorable, and I loved the firefly field element. For more conservative readers, though the couple does get physical prior to marriage, the act is not shown in detail.

Small Details Woven Together

My favorite aspect about Jones’ writing is that he sprinkles seemingly meaningless details into the story and weaves them together to produce a pleasantly surprising plot that keeps readers invested throughout. My emotions ranged from gushing to nearly crying over the perfectly placed and moving details.

Thank you, Joey Jones, for writing clean romance based in eastern NC. It’s an honor to have you representing our state in literature! Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars.


Thanks for stopping by, Arrowheads! Be sure to check back here on Monday for Week 7 of my Character Names by Letter Series, where I’ll be sharing names that start with “G”!

Later, Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

Advertisements
Book Reviews

Book Review: Losing London by Joey Jones

Good afternoon, Arrowheads! Several months back, my cousin-in-law (pretty sure that’s a made up word, but anyway 😋) told me about a new author who is similar to Nicholas Sparks in that he writes romance books based in North Carolina. So of course, being the hopeless romantic North Carolinian that I am, I was completely down for trying one of his books. And. I. Am. So. Glad. I. Did. Get ready to hear me rave about the heartbreaking love story that is Losing London by Joey Jones!

LosingLondon

Okay, so now that I’m emotionally stable (since this book is quite honestly the saddest story I’ve ever encountered), I can at last write a review.

At first, I was a bit wary. I mean, what if the book ended up reading like a cheap imitation of Sparks? Well, I’m ecstatic to inform everyone that Joey Jones is a brilliant, talented author who wholeheartedly deserves to be ranked in high esteem on his own merit.

In comparison to Sparks, Jones chose a setting in eastern North Carolina, in the town of Emerald Isle and wrote a romance; however, the author’s description of the more heated romance scenes aren’t described in detail as much as some of Sparks’s novels, and he uses much cleaner language. I don’t recall seeing a cuss word in the entire book, which is rare for romance geared at a general audience.

One aspect I liked most about the book was its subtle message of Christianity. Although Losing London is not marketed as Christian fiction, the characters’ relationship with and thoughts on God are inspiring. I also loved the fact that while the couple stumbles into sin, the characters later realize the error of their ways and make efforts to do what’s right in the sight of God. It was endearing to see a romance novel address this topic!

Now that I’ve rambled on for a few paragraphs about vague components of the novel, let’s get to the real review!

What I Loved:

The Characters:  Even when Mitch was struggling spiritually at the beginning of the book, I fell head-over-heels for his characterization. Mitch Quinn is the epitome of a gentleman (minus one scene, but he redeems himself later). His selflessness and love for his adopted daughter, Hannah, made him a stand-out male lead that I won’t soon forget. Although Harper made me ill because she chose to withhold information from him, I could understand why she chose to do so. The secondary characters also brought life to the novel.

The Plot:  This author knows how to formulate a brilliant plot and execute it in a way that leaves the reader both emotionally ruined yet begging for more. About halfway through I thought I had figured out the ending… nope. Nope. Not at all. I wasn’t prepared for all that one bit. 😭 And even though the plot shattered my heart, it was still amazing.

Literally Everything:  I apologize for being so vague in writing this review, but there are so many aspects I feel need to be kept quiet as to not spoil anything for other readers. But truly, to me, this is one of those books that are difficult to pinpoint just why you love it so much. There’s no real specific thing… just everything. ❤️ Although I did ADORE the mentions of bowling, Snoopy, and teddy bears. Those are my life. 😂

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars (An entire galaxy of stars)


Thanks for stopping by, Arrowheads! Be sure to check back here on Mondays for special character interviews this month with characters from my soon-to-be released middle grade novel, Speak Your Mind!

Later Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀