Behind the Bars by Brittainy C. Cherry ~ Sarah A’s 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.

Caged.

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.

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It’s no secret I love books deeply emotional, make my soul weep, destroy me, and put me together books; Behind the Bars fit that bill wonderfully.  It included all the things I love most when I’m reading: horrific loss, destructive coping methods, dubious characters using the main characters for their own gain, and ultimately the thing every reader wants, hope, healing, and happiness for the characters we’ve come to know and love.  Add to that a heavy musical theme and this hit almost every bullet-point I could list for a book wishlist.

Behind the Bars is the first book in what looks to be a promising start to a new series from Brittainy C. Cherry.  Based on the series title, Music Street, I can only assume that music will be the string that holds the series together – and that makes me eternally thankful, I don’t get enough books that hit on the musical parts of my soul.  Behind the Bars is written in dual first-person perspective by Jasmine and Elliot.

Music played such an important role in this book I would be remiss to not speak about it.  I know there are music people and non-music people, and Behind the Bars may not speak to non-music people the way it spoke to me.  Music is the language of my soul, I’ve been playing for most of my life, so I deeply connected with the characters and how they related to music and let it speak for them when words were not enough to convey the depth of their emotions.  When a musician doesn’t have that outlet, it causes an essential piece of who they are to become untethered, so it hurt my heart when the music of Elliot and Jasmine’s souls wasn’t available to them.

Jasmine and Elliot both suffered unimaginable heartbreak and loss, though it was served to them in vastly different ways and I’m not sure which was more painful.  The loss of a loved one, no matter what the circumstances, causes a shift in a person, one that can make them stronger or destroy them, occasionally the destruction comes as a prelude to the strength; both Jasmine and Elliot dredged through both outcomes before they found the way back to their happiness.

I could wax on about this book for ages; there were just so many things I absolutely loved about it.  So many things that spoke directly to my heart and soul; this is a book that I’m sure I’ll come back to time and again when I need to read something that moves me in a way few things are able.

Brittainy C. Cherry won me as a loyal reader with The Air He Breathes, and she just keeps showing me new reasons to keep her on my must-read list.  She writes from the depths of her soul, and you can feel each part of her heart she lays bare in her books.  I only hope she continues to give us, her readers, the privilege of looking into her soul and seeing the world in the way she views it.

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.

Love.

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.

Hi! I’m Brittainy! Join me as we travel through my mind as a Romance Author. This includes such things as my random thoughts, tricks, tips, things I’m learning, things I’m re-learning, things I’m forgetting, and my weird ways of crafting stories.

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