Title: Glow of the Fireflies
Author: Lindsey Duga
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: October 1st 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Briony never planned to go back to the place she lost everything.
Firefly Valley, nestled deep within the Smoky Mountains, is better kept in her past. After an unexplained fire gave Briony amnesia, her mother disappeared and her dad moved them to Knoxville.
But now her grandmother needs a caretaker and Briony’s dad volunteers her to help. The moment she returns, her whole world shifts. She feels a magical connection to this valley, as if it’s literally part of her somehow.
And when she meets a hot guy who claims he was her childhood friend but now mysteriously keeps his distance, Briony starts piecing together her missing past…and discovers her mother didn’t leave to start a new life somewhere. She’s trapped in the hidden world within the valley.
Now, Briony will do whatever it takes to rescue her, even if it means standing up against dangerously powerful nature spirits. Even if it means giving up her first love.
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Lindsey Duga is a middle grade and young adult writer with a passion for fantasy, science fiction, and basically any genre that takes you away from the real world. She wrote her first novel in college while she was getting her bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University.
Other than writing and cuddling with her morkie puppy, Delphi, Lindsey loves catching up on the latest superhero TV show and practicing yoga.
Glow of the Fireflies is a fast-paced and character driven story. Briony wants to uncover the childhood she can no longer remember and also figure out why her mother left her and her father.
“Falling through the mist, I expected to feel wet, or at the very least, damp, but I stayed dry. I also expected to die.”
Briony is a strong and determined main character, especially after she goes back home to take care of her estranged grandmother and stumbles upon an impossible magic valley. A magical valley she feels deeply connected to. I really enjoyed watching her develop throughout this story; as she pieced her past together, she discovered a new part about herself, which really came full circle for her as a person. She knew there was always a part missing from her and that it was hidden in her past, so seeing Briony discover that was great.
One of my favorite parts of Glow of the Fireflies was the magical valley. I thought it was unique and wonderfully described. I knew that the valley would be a place I would definitely have to visit, if I could. The nature spirits in this valley were really cool; the imagination flowed off the pages and made me feel like this valley and the stunning spirits could really exist, and it makes me wish I had the ability to visit them. But I did feel like I was visiting the valley through Briony and Alder, which was a great reader experience.
“Maybe he was more like heat lightning. A storm off in the distance, where the thunder was too far to hear and the summer lightning would flash against high clouds on the horizon, illuminating the sky. He had all the mystery and wonder of a storm, but none of its destruction.”
Alder was such a great character. He’s thoughtful, protective, loving, and, of course, gorgeous. He was Briony’s closest childhood friend but now keeps his distance for unknown reasons. Alder was definitely part of some of my favorite scenes, especially when little pieces about who (and what) he is comes together. The connection between Briony and Alder felt natural and I really loved their shared moments
“It shouldn’t have hurt as bad as it had. Had I even loved her yet? Maybe not then, but I’d trusted her. Trusted her to be there for me, to help me navigate a world without memories, without a past. Without an identity. And she’d failed me.”
The relationship between Briony and her mom is fragile and almost nonexistent. Briony believes her mom left her behind to start a new life. But as Briony explores this magical valley with Alder, she comes across shocking and alarming news: her mom never wanted to leave her behind, but had to to keep her safe. And if Briony wants her mom back, she will have to go against gods and guardians to retrieve her spirit and body. But, of course, nothing is ever that easy. In order to save her mom, Briony will have to piece her past together and finally accept the person she has always been.
Overall, Lindsey Duga’s sophmore novel was beautiful and well-written. Duga does a great job of capturing character moments and describing intense and romantic scenes. If you like fast-paced books with a captivating fantasy element and dashing characters, then I recommend reading Glow of the Fireflies!
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Gold Prize (Grand Prize- US only)
Amazon Gift Card $25
Commissioned Art Print
Catching Fireflies Soy Candle
Fireflies Key Chain
Two Silver Prizes (Runner-Up Prizes-US only)
Amazon Gift Card $10
Commissioned Art Print (plus various swag)
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