Series: Music Street, #1
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.
I was the awkward musician, and she was the high school queen.
The only things we had in common were our music and our loneliness.
Something in her eyes told me her smile wasn’t always the truth.
Something in her voice gave me a hope I always wished to find.
And in a flash, she was gone.
Years later, she was standing in front of me on a street in New Orleans.
She was different, but so was I. Life made us colder. Harder. Isolated.
Even though we were different, the broken pieces of me recognized the sadness in her.
Now she was back, and I wouldn’t make the mistake of letting her go again.
When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.
When we met again, she was the darkest storm.
There are stories that we read and forget about the minute we move on to the next one. Then there are stories that are so hauntingly beautiful that they stay with us, days and weeks after we finished it, the words and story ingrained into our subconscious. Behind the Bars is one such story. This poignant love story left me feeling wrung out, but oh so satisfied when I finished it, as most angsty reads tend to. I cried at times, sobbing ugly tears, this story is such an emotional read and I absolutely loved it! It’s divided into two parts; the first takes place when both Jasmine and Elliott are sixteen years old and in high school. The second part is ten years later, after so much heartbreak, and both of them are amazing! Make no mistake about it, it’s a true love story, and of course I cried happy tears at the end, too. I’ve included a warning on the bottom, for those of you that have trigger issues, please read it.
“You were, are, and will always be my Jazz. You are every beat, every note, every bar. You are the lyrics, the harmony, and the melody. You were, are, and always will be my favorite song.”
Jasmine Greene has lived a lifetime at sixteen. Her mother, Heather, is the very definition of a stage mom; forcing Jasmine to ballet, acting and singing classes, homeschooling her only child. It’s her full-time job to become the next big star. Each and every time Jasmine doesn’t land a part, that Heather is sure she’s perfect for, she’s blamed for not trying harder. They’ve moved around her entire life, from city to city, until Heather’s longtime boyfriend, Ray a musician, finds steady work in New Orleans and they settle down. It’s there that Ray convinces Heather to let Jasmine attend high school and she befriends Elliott, who she’s familiar with, after seeing and listening to him playing his sax.
Elliott is counting the days until he graduates from high school. Tall and extremely thin he wears glasses and stutters and as a result he’s bullied by just about everyone in school. His older sister, Katie, tries to defend him as best she can but she’s a social outcast too, because of a scandal she was involved in. His music teacher and neighbor, who he calls Uncle TJ, makes Elliott play his saxophone on a street corner on Frenchmen Street as a kind of therapy. It’s there that Jasmine first sees him.
“We were polar opposites. We weren’t meant to fall for one another, but when we blended together, we were some kind of beautiful.”
In what little time they had together before they were split apart, by so many unforeseen circumstances, they formed a bond that would be forever ingrained in their souls.
There’s so much more, so devastating and tragic, that kept me spellbound and reading through the tears. I absolutely loved Elliott, and the majority of my tears were wept for him, and what he went through. These two may have been complete opposites but they were exactly what the other needed, made for each other, and while they lost their way for years, it seemed there was an invisible thread that tied them together. I consider this book a slow burn, which I love, and when they finally got together it made all the time and distance worthwhile.
**Just a very important note…there’s a very sensitive subject matter that is handled with so much care, it’s dealt with some detail, and what is mentioned is very painful and may be a trigger for some. Please ask someone, if you have any doubts about it, if this is something you shouldn’t read.
Behind the Bars, the first beautiful and emotional standalone in the all-new Music Street Series from Brittainy C. Cherry is available NOW!
By the way, what happened to Todd’s nose?” I asked.
“I broke it,” Elliott said matter-of-factly.
“What? How? Why?”
He shrugged before turning to look out the window. “He called you a bad name.”
“What was it?”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Eli,” I started.
He turned my way and locked his hazel eyes with my browns. “Jazz…” He shook his head. “It wasn’t true.”
I swallowed hard, a big part of me certain Todd’s words held some form of truth.
Elliott saw it in me—my fear. He kept shaking his head and whispered, “I don’t feel sorry for you. Sometimes you look at me like you think I feel sorry for you, and I want you to know I don’t. I think you’re perfect the way you are.”
I quietly laughed at him repeating the words I’d told him earlier. A few tears rolled down my cheeks. “I’m a little messed up.”
“I know.” He nodded. “That’s why I like you.”
He went back to staring out the window, and I kept staring at him.
And there it was.
So small, so tiny, so real.
It wasn’t love, but it was the beginning of it.
I knew I was young, and I knew it was stupid, but in that moment, I began to fall in love with the quiet boy who quietly cared for me. The boy who was scared and still strong. The boy who stood up for me when he was surrounded by reasons not to do such a thing. I hadn’t known much about love. I hadn’t known how it looked, felt, or tasted. I hadn’t known how it moved, how it flowed, but I knew my heart was tight and currently skipping a few beats. I understood the goose bumps covering my arms. I knew this stuttering boy who was sometimes so scared was someone worth loving. He was worth being the first one I gave my heart to.
I knew Elliott Adams was love.
And I was falling into him so fast.
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