Saturday, March 15, 2014

Amber reviews Black Box by Cassia Leo. #giveaway

About Black Box:

♥️ 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.

Amber's Review:

5+++ Breathtaking Star Review by Amber Presley Boyd

This Black Box is yours to keep, to stash your troubles away. Just lock it up and call my name, and I’ll be there always…”

It has taken me a week after finishing this book to be able to put words into how it left me feeling. I have read most everything that Cassia Leo has published it seems and she has yet to disappoint in my opinion. I knew Black Box was going to be a different kind of love story, but it was so much more than I was prepared to experience. It is a love story, it’s a mystery, it’s a story about loss, a story about feeling hopeless and connecting so deeply with another person that hope begins to look possible again. It’s about fate and what can happen when you put something out in the world expecting nothing and then getting a chance at everything. Seriously, this book was such an emotional roller coaster of a journey, so get ready and I mean get some wine (or bourbon), some chocolate and a truckload of Kleenex.

“There’s a little blackness inside all of us.”

This book follows the encounters of Mikki and Crush, two souls that have experienced more hurt and loss than anyone that young should ever know. When they meet at the start of the book in the airport they are both drawn to the other, but it’s like they aren’t sure why but they need to be around the other. As a counselor, it was sometimes hard to read Mikki’s thoughts and how hopeless she felt and how she feels so out of control in her illness despite the best efforts of treatment. I must also say that there were times initially that I got really pissed at Mikki for her somewhat blasé attitude she had about her plan; the way that she knew how it would hurt her family and then when she connects with Crush but is still willing to walk away. I was angry with her because suicide has touched my life more than once and it’s something that those left behind struggle with probably as much as the person committing the act struggles to find peace in their world. But as much as I got frustrated or angry with Mikki, I empathized with her, the source of her pain, and feeling that nothing would ever be okay again. On the other side of this is Crush and I pretty much loved Crush from the word “Go”. He figures out pretty quickly that Mikki is “the girl”, the stranger that saved his life and he in turn saved hers. He just had this quiet intensity about him that made you want to know more, and seriously, he utters some of the most amazing lines in this book. I think he knew that Mikki was not ok and that need to find her and be with her for a while was made possible by another twist of fate in the form of Mother Nature. The snowstorm that drew them together and started bringing to light memories for the both of them, that made them discover each other’s hurts and hopes, was probably the greatest twist of fate and the third final encounter that changes everything.

“A consequence of loving someone close to you is that you also lose a piece of yourself. And you never really know when it’s safe to give away another piece…”

If it’s possible for a story to be both heartbreaking and heartwarming then Black Box certainly fills that bill. Because as Mikki and Crush come to the realization that they are tied to one another in ways that they never thought possible, they must also start to confront the demons that keep them from moving forward. In Mikki’s case her demons are not only from the horrendous traumas of her past but also those of her mental health. Crush knows that he loves this beautifully fragile and somewhat broken girl with all he has; watching him try to convince Mikki of that love, of the possibilities that their loving each other could bring was sweet and just made me cry at times because he just wants to show her that she is worth it. Man, for someone to love that deeply someone that they’ve really only had three brief but oh so powerful encounters, we should all be so lucky.

I know that it seems reviewers are always raving about books these days, I mean is every book I read exceptional? Well, no. But when a book touches my heart, or makes me scream out loud while reading, or makes me need over a week to come to terms with the fact that it has ended? Yeah, well that is exceptional in my book! Black Box took some twists I didn’t see coming. It went places that no teaser could prepare me for and had me highlighting so many beautiful passages, plus that fact that Cassia includes a fan-freakin-tastic play list and throws in some references to some of my all-time favorite 80’s movies (hello Pretty in Pink!). So really I don’t know what else to say but GO GET IT NOW!!

I pre-ordered it so I got a deleted scene that was also amazing. So if you follow Cassia Leo’s Facebook page and get the book, she has a link, if you can find the post, to get that scene if you leave a review wherever you get your books from. It was perfection to me and I encourage you if you have the opportunity to get the scene, do it.  (Click here for the post about the bonus scene. Cassia Leo is also giving away a Kindle Fire, so click here to enter)

A few of my favorite lines…

“I don’t want to just exist. Existing is not enough. I want to feel everything. I want to live my life my way, not the way everyone else thinks I should, suffocating...”


“I want to kiss you, but I want to do it when you’re least expecting it.”


“You think I don’t understand how you feel? I do know how you feel. You’re afraid.” I reach for her face and she turns her head. “You’re afraid of being vulnerable, physically and emotionally. You’re afraid of loving completely. Most of all, you’re afraid you’ll live your whole life without ever being truly happy because you don’t even know what it is…”


“Mikki, I fell in love with a girl I knew three years ago for all of twenty minutes. A girl who want even conscious. Either I’m one sick bastard or I don’t really care about whether or not you’re the kind of girl who doesn’t fuck.” He reaches for my face so I’m looking at him. “Look at me. I knew when I saw that tattoo on your chest – the bunny - that you got that tattoo because I had saved your life the day we met on Twitter. And I hate that you had to go through what you went through for us to meet again in that parking lot, but I knew the moment I carried your limp body into my car that that was it. I knew that fate would never stop bringing us together. No other girl could ever – will ever – compare to the only girl who’s meant for me. Do you understand that?”


 “It’s not just people who change. The world changes when we change. You can’t deny it or prevent it. The minute you glimpse a future that isn’t entirely filled with loneliness and despair, the world becomes a different place. Maybe the world isn’t black. Maybe it’s more like a murky gray with flashes of color here and there. Blink and you’ll miss them…”


 “Fate can save you and it can kill you. Either way, fate binds us through an invisible web of circumstances. Change one undesirable fate and another desirable fate is canceled out.”


 “Fear is crippling. Fear of the future can convince us that there is no way out and nothing is ever going to get better. Fear is blinding; it can make us miss the warning signs flashing right in front of our eyes. It can also make you miss those brilliant flashes of color, when the world isn’t so gray. But, if you think about it, being afraid isn’t such a bad thing. Because fear is a reminder that you still have something to lose. Something worth holding onto.”

Book Links:
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Goodreads Giveaway:
Click here to enter to win a signed copy of Black Box on Goodreads.

About the author:

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). She is also the author of the popular Luke and Chase series.

Come chat with her on Facebook: or

Or you can follow her blog at to stay up to date on new releases and giveaways.

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