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Once upon a time Sydney Tarr and Elliott Vance were friends: fast friends, ride or die, pledge of allegiance, take it to the mat, “friends”. And the fact that Sydney loved her friend more than she should didn’t matter until finally... one unusual and spectacular night, it did. It mattered very much. Still, not every story is a fairy tale is it? Friends do part -- sometimes forever -- but, not always. When Sydney bumps into Elliott again on a crowded subway car, after so many years apart, she’s a different person from the woman he once knew. Elliott’s changed too. For one thing, he no longer takes no for an answer.

323 pages, Kindle Edition

Published December 23, 2016

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About the author

Lily Java

9 books37 followers
Lily is a freelance writer, blogger, and novelist who writes fiction in numerous genres. When she isn't writing, Lily raises money for arts and cultural organizations or plans special events in iconic landmarks throughout her beloved hometown: New York City. A resident of Brooklyn, Lily is a true ambivert, who enjoys solitude just as much as she likes meeting and talking with other passionate readers and writers.

"I think every story is a love story of some kind. The whys and wherefores are usually as interesting as who or what you love, but you only know that if you delve deep. So in life, in love, and most definitely on the page, that's how I like to do it." --Lily

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5 stars
45 (54%)
4 stars
28 (34%)
3 stars
7 (8%)
2 stars
1 (1%)
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1 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 19 of 19 reviews
Profile Image for Musings of A Romance Junkie.
308 reviews85 followers
March 26, 2017

This story reads like a long, luxurious soak in the tub. This is organic love that's not rushed but cultivated from a friendship that morphs into something deeper and more emotional than I expected. Sydney and Elliott are two relatable characters whose lives are hardly perfect. Their time together is sometimes upbeat, sometimes solemn, sometimes complicated, but always real.

The symbolism of the blackbirds was a true aha moment for me. Part One was featured in The Friends to Lovers anthology. Part Two is the aftermath. Will Syd and El make it? Whew... Great story.
Profile Image for Vondetta Carter.
732 reviews6 followers
May 28, 2017
Elliot and Sydney were working for a PR firm in NY. Sydney was infatuated with Elliot who was a hot shot in the company. However, a great photo shoot causes their paths to cross. The story is one of how tragedy struck their budding relationship. However, fate and love brought them back together.

Sydney discovers much about herself along the way. Elliot knows that no one will fill the void Sydney left in his life. However, now 8 years later he has to think of someone else as he pursues Sydney again.
Elliot learns that the past can hold keys to the future as well. Elliot discovers there are things in his past that were lies but mimics his life with his mothers.

Someone from each of their paths try to derail their relationship. However, Elliot and Sydney must unite to overcome the things that would try to destroy them. Noel is a product of their determination and a wonderful ending to this story.

I loved this author and her writing. I was drawn to the characters from a short compilation with Nia Forrester, Jacinta Howard and Rae Lamar...great read..just great...
Profile Image for Deloris.
925 reviews32 followers
January 3, 2017
APB Perspective Review:
Four authors got together and wrote a book of Novellas with a tag line written in each story " Because My Heart Said So. " I call their writing style Neo ,Sexy and Soulful.

This book !! I really enjoyed this book ! The author Lily Java is on a journey and I am so proud and happy to come along with her as she writes amazing stories. The story of Sydney and Elliott is unlike anything I have ever read , I like that she tells her stories in a different way. Sometimes it formal , but next you see just how young this couple is . I often thought that Elliott is young man with an old soul , but as I read his responsibilities I understood why . Sydney has issues with trust which with love and patience E l hopes to show her he is worthy of her trust and her love. Eli has his issues too. But the writing and the telling of their story is an enjoyable read, one that I hope the author continues write.
Profile Image for Teresa Mcmillian.
448 reviews10 followers
February 25, 2017
Full book made me love this story

I purchased the book of short stories because I loved two of the authors. Blackbirds was my first story by this author and I enjoyed it, but when that full story dropped I didn't want to put it down. I understood the characters more and everything just fell in place for me. Great story.
Profile Image for Rena.
39 reviews1 follower
March 3, 2017
Definitely one of the BEST books I've read this year! I loved Sydney and Elliot's story. It was so realistic. I often found myself rooting for them throughout the story. I love authors that use great imagery and Lily Java definitely has a way with words. Her descriptions of the characters' feelings did an excellent job of drawing you into the story. I absolutely loved this book and I look forward to reading more of this author's work.
69 reviews
June 4, 2017
Captivating read!

This is the first book I've read by this author but it won't be the last. The characters and story line was very rich and vivid. I didn't know the lead female characters' secret until she told it. Normally these books are so predictable. I had to read the entire book to see the story. It was a wonderful journey. I appreciate the author sharing her talent.
373 reviews4 followers
January 6, 2017

I enjoyed Lily Java's, "Blackbirds", the completion of Ell and Syd's story. It was great getting their full backstory as well as that for the supporting characters. I definitely wouldn't mind hearing more from this couple in the future.
Profile Image for L.S. Bergman.
Author 33 books29 followers
November 11, 2017
I just loved reading Syd and Elliot's story, and further getting to know this author's writing. Syd and Elliot fell hard for each other years ago, but a host of reasons ended-up derailing their past relationship leading them to part ways. In this light, stumbling into each other again by chance on the New York subway seems more than providential, it feels like fate has dealt them another chance to fix things as they slowly begin to rekindle what never truly died.

Lily Java has a skilled writing voice, one which lends itself to depth and plot complexity, with lovely symbolic flourishes along the way. I really enjoyed the layering of this story, for example, the depth of the other characters (e.g. especially Elliot's mother Serena) and the shifting timeline used to add texture and explanation to a complex love story. Lily Java accomplishes this expertly, keeping an air of mystery, which draws you further into Syd and Elliot's relationship, keeping the reader rooting for their HEA!

Overall, 'Blackbirds' is a beautifully written love story, one which I enjoyed on many levels. Not only will I look forward to reading more of this author's work in the future, but can only highly recommend this cool read.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
4,612 reviews46 followers
October 20, 2019
Back to The Basics

This story took me back to the basics of understanding a not so typical relationship story. Lily Java nailed this story dead on. I can see the wheels turning in Sydney's intricate brain. Equally as compelling was Elliott's penchant for knowing and feeling every minute emotional stages of Sydney's persona. I liked that Elliot chose to wait for Sydney to come to grips with her deep seeded love for him and sweet Laura. A few times I was out of sync with his mother. Miranda and some of the background characters added umph to the story. I especially found Laura to be a fitting muse to bring out the innermost talent and child-like wonder in Sydney the photographer, and the woman loved and cherished by both father and daughter. This story had so many emotional stages and Ms. Java delivered a Matisse worthy masterpiece
Profile Image for Gloria.
169 reviews2 followers
January 10, 2017
Another Great Story To Add To My Library

Elliott and Sydney's story broke my heart and then put it back together. It showed me that true love lasts forever. It showed me that when/ if that person is the love of your life and you were ment to be together no matter how much time passes by, love will find its way back to you. Life has its lessons and Elliott and Sydney both learned some hard lessons through the years.
51 reviews1 follower
December 29, 2016
Birds of a feather

This is a tale about 'what is mean to be, will be'. Ell was a ladies man who needed to grown up and Syn just helped him do that. Syn has some problems of her own and needed time & love to help her thru them. Overall it was a good story on growth from your 20's to your 30's.
Profile Image for Deirdre Davis.
524 reviews5 followers
January 10, 2017

I enjoyed this story from "Because My Heart Said So". Lily Java has written an inspiring piece with Part 2! It's been nice to see more in the lives of Elliott, Sydney, Laura and Serena. There are strong bonds that bind the second chance at love for Ell & Syd. Good work Ms. Lily, very good work!
Profile Image for Kay Morris.
33 reviews1 follower
February 15, 2020

Beautiful story about love lost and love found, and all the things that make love worthwhile. The relationship between the two main characters as well as their relationships with the secondary characters are genuine and heartfelt.
273 reviews
January 31, 2017
It was refreshing to read about a real couple, facing real-life issues together. The best part was their honesty with each other and their family. This was my first story by this author but definitely won't be my last. Loved it!
44 reviews
January 6, 2017

Bought on a whim, read through, couldn't put it down! Sydney and Elliot were perfect for each other. ..working thru personal issues. .Loved this book...A must read..
31 reviews1 follower
January 11, 2017
Lily Java’s Blackbirds takes a vivid look into discovering and losing love and the road taken to reunite. Her writing is thought-provoking and profound and layered with a wealth of symbolism. The book cover alone is one of my favorite visual representations of a story. Java incorporates real life issues of post-partum depression, non-consensual intercourse and abortion in a way that is impartial but also offers perspective. Reading Blackbirds felt like watching an artist painting a masterpiece. At times I followed her brush, stroke for stroke as she defined each contour of Elliot and Sydney’s story. Something about Blackbirds was very familiar and almost felt like déjà vu. Although I read part 1 previously, there were sections of part 2 that almost made me feel I’d read them before somewhere else.

This love story was to me vastly different from all others in the Because My Heart Said So compilation. I enjoyed the quiet strength shown in Elliot’s character as a loving man, father and son. Sydney in a number of ways is still enigmatic to me and perhaps the one area of the book I wanted more detail about. I still don’t feel like I got a sense for who she was completely. On the surface she seemed to be this passive talent who seemed to watch life from afar instead of being an active participant. Although we find out a bit more about her past towards the end of the novel, I still had some difficulty connecting with her character.

The use of blackbirds as a metaphor can easily be interpreted many different ways. When I originally read part 1, I thought that Elliot was the blackbird with Sydney serving as his source of healing. After finishing part 2, I realized that Elliot played this role for Sydney as well. Both Elliot and Sydney were blackbirds. They are both complex and mysterious characters who although broken by various circumstances are able to heal each other and soar again through their love for one another. At the start of the novel we are introduced to a blackbird that Sydney acknowledges is an omen. By the story’s ending it is clear that all omens are not necessarily ominous but may in fact precipitate positive change.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel and give it 4 stars. It was an interesting and refreshing read. Although this is my first time reading this author’s work, it will definitely not be my last.
Profile Image for Rita .
1,473 reviews
December 31, 2017
This was a little confusing. Reading it from an anthology, think it was cut short. Could have been a great read.
665 reviews2 followers
July 1, 2019

Leaving the nest vacant can sometimes be the only way to let the love you know you have inside of you is enough to withstand the separation...........
Profile Image for Smile 2 Day.
136 reviews3 followers
April 29, 2017
Love at it's best

This book is a wonderful love story. It is refreshing because it doesn't retell the same thing. It will make you laugh and cry. Do yourself a favor and read the book!!!
Displaying 1 - 19 of 19 reviews

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