Sunday, March 16, 2014

Blog Tour: Review, Playlist, Excerpt, and lots more: Black Box by Cassia Leo

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.


WOW. That book. That story. It was… I don’t even know where to start with it. It was so good. I finished a few days ago and I’m having quite a hard time moving on from it. Totally left me reeling from all of the emotions I experienced while reading it. If you can only buy 1 book this week, make it Black Box. You won’t regret it.

Now my review. Cassia Leo is an author who I buy her books automatically. I love her style of writing and I love how it immediately sucks me in. This one was no different. But it was completely different. What I mean is that while it *immediately* sucked me in and captured my attention like her stories always do, but the content was so very unique and unlike any of her other stories.

“And I’m just so tired of being me.”

Mikki is such a heartbreaking character. Not only does she have her own personal demons, but she’s got experiences that I hope nobody ever has to endure. She is dealing with things that nobody wants to talk about, but everyone knows someone going through something similar. Mental illness is something that is very close to my heart – it’s my career. I admire an author who can write about this subject with sensitivity, accuracy and awareness. Cassia really hit this character out of the park. I felt like Mikki was brought to life immediately and her story was told with great compassion.

“…because when you stumbled into my life that night, you saved me, too.”

Crush. That boy. He has his own demons to deal with, as well. Though he isn’t dealing with what Mikki is in the terms of mental health, his experiences are just as intense. They are just as soul shattering as Mikki’s. He just didn’t also have his mental health impacting his way of coping. That boy is so perfectly imperfect. He has plenty of faults and that makes him relatable, but he has such a genuine spirit and gentle heart with Mikki that you fall in love with him. He is talented, but humble. He is kind & caring, but he isn’t afraid to call her bullshit. He is just amazing. Cassia portrayed him and told his story with ease and grace.

So, what I’m trying to tell you is stop wasting your time and GET. THIS. BOOK. Right now. Spend the rest of this day reading it. Let your heart feel compassion for Mikki and her life while it falls in love with Crush.




Character Casting




Staring into Mikki’s green eyes, I swear I’m looking into my own. She’s hiding something from me that I haven’t quite figured out yet, but I’m positive it has to do with her trip to L.A. There has to be a reason someone as skittish as her decided to have coffee with me rather than go home when her flight was canceled. And there’s definitely a reason greater than curiosity for the question she just asked me.

If it weren’t her asking, this would be the point in our conversation where I begin to suspect her of being an undercover cop or journalist. But it is Mikki. And something about this girl tells me she’s not here to find out what happened in a dark parking lot three years ago.

“That’s a trick question,” I reply. “If I tell you I’ve never killed anyone, then you’ll think I’m a good guy and you’ll stay, because even though it’s not a very exciting answer, it means you’re safe. But if I tell you I’ve killed someone, you may find it intriguing or frightening. Either way, intrigued or scared, you’ll probably try to get the fuck away from me, and I don’t think I’m ready for that.”

She smiles as she looks down at her fingers, which she’s tapping on the surface of the bar. “That’s a real suave way to dodge the question. It also sounds like something a murderer would say.”


She looks up and meets my gaze again. “Who did you kill?”

I pause for a moment as I try to figure out where she’s going with this conversation. Then it hits me. “Do you want to die?”

“What?” she asks, shaking her head far too adamantly. “That’s … that’s a stupid question.”

“Why is it a stupid question?”

“Because,” she snaps at me. “It’s just stupid. I don’t want to die.”

She continues to look down at her hands, which are still trembling as she fidgets with her silver thumb-ring. I get an urge to grab her hand again, to stop the trembling and fidgeting, but I don’t.

“I’m sorry. I guess that was kind of a stupid question. I was just wondering why a pretty girl like you would hang out with me when you could be at home in your warm bed with your pjs on. Or out with your friends … or your boyfriend.”

She finally chuckles. “So, accusing me of wanting to die is your way of avoiding my question or is it just a really messed-up way of asking me if I have a boyfriend?”

“It’s just me being a total dick. And … do you have a boyfriend?”

“No.” She looks up and fixes me with a steely glare. “Most guys don’t appreciate a girl who’s crazy and also doesn’t put out.”  I’m not quite sure how to respond to this statement. It’s probably best to change the subject or reach for a joke. “Yeah, I know how you feel. Most girls don’t appreciate a guy who can cite Shakespeare and won’t put out. Actually, I think that’s a line from Macbeth.”

Her glare melts into a reluctant smile. “You’re not a total dick.”

“Still not putting out.”

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, Abandon) and the Luke and Chase series.

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