Today Cassia Leo’s Black Box stops by, below is my review, the Black Box trailer made by Becca the Bibliophile and be sure to read the exclusive sneak peek from Cassia’s upcoming,
Forever Ours (Shattered Hearts 0.5)
Title: Black Box
Author: Cassia Leo
Release Date: March 10th 2014
♥ Three fateful encounters….
♥ Two heart-breaking tragedies….
♥ One last chance to get it right.
From New York Times best selling author Cassia Leo, comes an epic love story about rewriting destiny.
Over the course of five years, Mikki and Crush cross paths on three separate occasions. Their first encounter changes Mikki’s life forever, but their second meeting leaves them both buried beneath the emotional wreckage of a violent attack. Mikki is left with more questions and grief than she can handle, while Crush is forced to forget the girl who saved his life.
Now nineteen years old, Mikki Gladstone has decided she’s tired of the mind-numbing meds. She books a flight to Los Angeles to end her life far away from her loving, though often distant, family.
Twenty-one-year-old Crush has always channeled his blackest thoughts into his music, but he’s never had great aspirations. He decides to fly to Los Angeles to record a demo of the only song he’s never performed in public; a song he wrote for a girl he doesn’t even know: Black Box. He has no expectations of fame and he’s never felt like his life had any purpose… until he meets Mikki in Terminal B.
When Mikki and Crush cross paths for the third time in Terminal B, neither has any idea who the other person is; until they slowly piece together their history and realize that fate has more in store for them than just another love story.
Black Box was one of my most anticipated reads of 2014 and it did NOT let me down!
I didn’t just read this one, I savored this one. When I was reading it, I was reading it; everything else got blocked out. I ignored everything and everyone, it was all about Mikki and Crush. Their story captivated me completely, I read slowly and carefully because I didn’t want to miss a single word. Meeting again in Terminal B for the third time finds them rescheduling their flights due to bad weather…they agree to go for coffee and hang out while they wait to hear from the airline and this is where they begin to tell us their stories. Black Box is told through both their eyes, through past/present story telling. I want to tell you their story, but you need to hear it from them. What I will tell you is how these two characters were so much more than I thought they would be.
Mikki- I wondered what compelled her to want to end her life and what she tells us just, wow, my goodness the things she went through absolutely shattered me, she thought she was weak for wanting to end things but that is not the case at all. She is one of the most strongest heroines I have ever read; living with, dealing with, what she’s been through for as long as she’s been was a testament to just how strong she really was. She just needed someone patient, kind and loving to help her see that, enter Crush.
Crush- he was perfect, for Mikki. This is one book couple that is absolute perfection together. He realized who Mikki was before she remembered him and because of that he knew how to take care of her. He was determined to be the one to take care of her and heal her broken soul. He wasn’t losing her again. At times this was a hard story to read, hard because I couldn’t see through my crying. Black Box was beautiful and heartrending, it was a powerful story of believing in the power of fate, love, healing and what’s meant to be will always find it’s way. It showed me that once again Cassia’s writing can reduce me to a jumble of emotions all at once, Black Box made me happy smile just as it turned me into a sobbing snotting mess. Parts made me gasp and think “Oh no, please dear Lord don’t tell me this is happening! This can NOT be happening!” It also proved just like with her Shattered Hearts series and Abandon, I will fight falling asleep like a small child because I can not fall asleep until I’m done and still want to start again from the beginning as soon as I finish. You feel Cassia’s words, her characters feelings, she somehow manages to embed her characters so deep in to your heart that they stay with you long after the last page is read.
*I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review in addition to buying the book myself on Amazon*
My first week with Jackie and Chris Knight is the least awkward first week I’ve ever had in a foster home. Jackie and I spent Sunday, the day after I arrived, running all over town to make sure I have everything I need. Then she took me to Athens Drive High School on Monday to get me registered and I began classes on Tuesday. Walking into a new school is always nerve wracking, but walking through those front gates with Chris on Tuesday morning made everything less awkward. He has so many friends and most of them are just as nice as he is. They greeted me like I was one of them. Which is why I didn’t hesitate when Chris asked if I wanted to sit with them in the cafeteria for lunch.
Rachel and I are the only girls in the group, but she didn’t look too relieved to have another girl join them. But Chris was pretty good at diffusing the awkward questions that are inevitable in my situation. When his friend Tristan asked if I was going back to my parents soon, Chris answered for me. “She’s going to be with us for a while.” A couple of days later, when Rachel asked if I had any siblings, Chris’s reply made me blush. It was just a simple no, but the way he looked so uncomfortable with her question gave me butterflies. I may be totally wrong, but I feel as if his response was meant for me.
And the way they talk about music, especially Chris, is awe-inspiring. I’ve never heard kids my age talk about the future the way they do. I’ve heard some of my foster siblings talk about college and getting jobs, but the way they talk about music is not at all like that. It’s like a calling for all of them—even Tristan who seems to have fallen into playing the bass sort of by accident. The only thing I didn’t like about hanging out with Chris and his friends this week was how temporary it all felt. I’m getting a strong feeling that Chris wants to drop out of high school after this school year ends in three weeks. If I manage not to get myself kicked out of the Knight house by the end of the summer, will his friends still consider me “one of them” if he’s gone?
When I come down from my bedroom on Saturday morning, Jackie has gone to work at the bakery, as usual. She usually leaves for work around four a.m. and returns sometime between four and seven p.m. Chris and I take the bus to school every morning, though he claims he’s going to get a motorcycle on his birthday in four weeks so we can get around while his mom is gone. The thought of being that close to him, straddling a motorcycle and wrapping my arms around his waist, makes me nervous. But it seems like no big deal to him.
Chris is sitting at the kitchen table with a bowl of something yellow that may be scrambled eggs and a glass of something white. He grimaces as he brings a spoonful of the yellow food to his mouth.
“What are you eating?” I ask, wondering if maybe Jackie left us some breakfast to heat up before she left. She does that often.
He swallows the food and shakes his head at me. “The worst scrambled eggs I’ve ever had. They taste like ass.”
“You know what ass tastes like?” My eyes widen as I realize what I just said and he laughs. “I mean, did you make them?”
“Yeah, I tried to make them the way I saw my mom make them, but I think I might have forgotten a step.”
I step closer to the table to peer down into his bowl and I try not to laugh. “I think you forgot the step where you cook the eggs. Those scrambled eggs are practically raw. That’s disgusting.”
He narrows his eyes at me, looking slightly offended. “Can you make better scrambled eggs than this?” I don’t answer right away and he answers for me. “I didn’t think so.”
I chuckle as I grab his bowl of eggs. “I’ll make you some real scrambled eggs. It’s one of the few things I know how to make. What are you drinking?”
He grabs his glass off the table and follows me into the kitchen. “It’s a banana protein shake. It’s not so bad.”
I place his bowl in the sink then head for the refrigerator to get the carton of eggs. “A protein shake and eggs? Are you trying to build muscle?”
He’s silent for a moment. When I look at him, he looks like he’s calculating a response. “Why? Do you think I need to build muscle?”
I laugh as I set the carton of eggs on the counter and reach into the cupboard beneath the counter for a large bowl. “No, I’m just curious. That looks like a body builder’s breakfast.”
“You know a lot of body builders?”
“No, but I’ve had some foster siblings who were into that.”
He stands next to me as I crack the eggs into the bowl, taking each discarded shell and tossing it into the garbage for me. His arm and hand keeps brushing against mine and I have to keep taking deep breaths every time he turns away to calm my nerves.
“Have you ever…?” He shakes his head as he seems to decide not to finish this question.
“Have I ever what?”
“Nothing. Do you need the salt or something?”
I don’t press him for an answer. I finish making us some scrambled eggs and we eat in relative silence until he asks me something that catches me totally off-guard.
“Do you miss your mom?” I clench my jaw and stare into my bowl as I try to think of an appropriate response. “I’m sorry. You don’t have to answer that. I just…. My dad left when I was six and…. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Just forget I asked.”
I nod my head and when I look up from the bowl he’s looking straight at me. “Yeah. I miss my mom.”
He smiles at this answer, but something about his smile makes me feel like I’ve shared too much with him. I quickly wipe at the tears that begin to fall, then I bolt up from the table to take my bowl to the sink.
“I have to clean up.”
He quickly stands up after me and follows me into the kitchen. “You don’t have to do that. I’ll clean up. You cooked.”
He catches up to me at the sink and squeezes in next to me so he can do the dishes. As soon as his arm grazes mine, the tears come faster.
“Hey,” he says, grabbing my elbows so he can turn me toward him. “My mom always says that the easiest, cheapest gift you can give someone is a hug.” He holds out his arms and beckons me. “Come here.”
I stare at him for a moment, then I let out a deep sigh and allow him to take me into his arms. My arms feel awkward at my sides, so I slowly raise them and wrap them around his waist. I feel him let out a breath, as if he were waiting for that, then I cry. I cry on his shoulder for so long, I know he must think there’s something deeply wrong with me. But he doesn’t mention it. In fact, he just encourages me, telling me every so often to let it go and that it’s okay to feel this way.
And I believe him.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cassia Leo grew up in California and has lived in three different countries. She loves to travel and her dream is to one day score a record deal based on her awesome shower singing skills. She is the author of the Shattered Hearts series (Relentless, Pieces of You, Bring Me Home, Abandon) and the Luke and Chase series.