He appealed to the rage and fury, promising the fire it could bring the house down if those firemen escaped Promising to help Promising it would be fucking spectacular4.5 stars I dedicate this review to my friend Carina Without her, I would have never been motivated to continue on the path of bullying people into reading books Throughout my GR career, you ve all seen me go through a bunch of random names, but the most infamous one got its origins from dear Carina and a group of our friends who had a thing for the movie Mean Girls While everyone else was claiming Regina George, I somehow ended up as Tina Fey s teacher character The Pusher.I ve never been one to use gifs in my reviews but I had to make a one time exception for Ms Fey because wtf to not being able to find a regular picture of this iconic scene Anyway, back on track I ve found a new series to get pushy about Put away your sappy, angsty, recycled plot YA books and get with this program. It s fun over here I will be pimping out these books every chance I get The chain reaction that started over the past couple of weeks with one, then several friends of mine reading this series only got me excited to want to talk about the books This is going on my must recommend list for anyone who wants a new, fun, and fresh series to read Observations about book 2 in this crazy good world of the Elementals The Mean Girls comparison should probably include guys in there somewhere I d be saying get me away from this school if half the population is out to torment someone It makes for an interesting story, but I feel so sorry for these Merrick brothers and all of the obstacles they have to overcome.I love how all of the characters stories are intertwined Each person has their own set of trials to overcome but they re all starting to work toward a place where they can lean on one another Chris and Becca, Gabriel and Layne, and a couple of other people I can t mention to those who haven t read the booktheir stories and personalities are all individual and unique These books make me smile A lot I think I read the first half with a perma grin on my face Action, romance, snappy comebacksso much goodness Yes, there are FIVE hot guys, each one equally yummy, but the story is about than seeing how much we can drool over the sexiest set of brothers and one extra to come along oh inforever These characters actually do something with their powers it isn t just a vanity aspect of the story The idea of having Gabriel help rescue people from fires because of his ability to somewhat control fire was a brilliant spin on using his ability I also appreciated that Layne and Simon were not the conventional types of characters You ll have to read the book to see what I mean.I did say I was smiling, rightDad, it s not His eyes cut right Now, Layne She swallowed and slinked past him into the living room Don t forget my box of condoms, called GabrielHunter and Gabriel THE BROMANCE I did not see that coming Loved, loved, LOVED this turn of events Btwyou really don t want to look up bromance on google images I just saw an extremely disturbing pic of a naked Tim Tebow riding on top of Josh Danielswhy haven t we invented the power of unsee yet Michael, you sly dog, you Enough said.Nick I want your story right now I love vulnerable Nick He s always skated by under the radar, I think What Spark showed us was that just because he s known as the good brother, this doesn t make him the one with a better life than everyone else It was interesting to see how the dynamics of Nick s relationship with his twin Gabriel might be changing for the first time in their livesNick s hand went over hers Gabriel will find us He ll get us out How she choked How do you know Because he always doesThe stakes have gotten higher The powers are getting stronger and people have become aware of what s going on You know it s only going to get crazier from here on out Just read the series Because I said so And that s how I roll. In Storm we met four brothers, one friend, and a girl stuck dealing with them In Spark, we get into the mind of one of these brothers the reckless and unpredictable Gabriel Hot like the fire that he s learning to control, we delve deeper into this rough edged character who shows us the depth and insecurities inside his tough shell.It took only a couple of sentences before I knew I was going to completely adore Gabriel He was one character that we didn t get to know a whole lot in Storm, but I immediately felt like I understood him through and through His character is incredibly complex, filled with grief and self doubt Besides blaming himself for his parent s death, he s very self conscious of his lack of control on his element I found him to be an extremely well rounded and likeable character His flaws make him who he is a broken, yet kind and loving guy I was happy to welcome his brothers back into my life, as well The family dynamic is, again, one of the best traits of this series They banter and fight, they disagree but ultimately stay loyal to each other Each and every one of these guys are so particular with memorable personalities that mesh perfectly together Even though we only get to see Gabriel s perspective out of all the brothers in this sequel, I still feel like I got to know each of them a bit Especially Michael who I m hoping will get his very own POV in the future as he has quite the fascinating character arc being the oldest sets him apart some What we don t get in this installment is on Chris and Becca They are present, of course, but this book enters a completely different chapter where they re not front players A new character comes into play in Spark Her name is Layne, and she s a bit quirky She s got secrets of her own to go with her inherent unconventional family She gets her small share of perspective in this novel, letting us into her life and mind I was attuned to her right away, curious about her hesitations while she s trying to figure Gabriel out Together, they build a relationship that is true and profound They seem to fit with each other perfectly they simply make sense It s not forced or hasty, it just is Layne also introduces a whole new family dynamic where Brigid proves again her talent for building strong and true relationships, especially among siblings While getting to know Gabriel, we, in turn, get to concentrate on his element Fire Therefore, you will see a lot of heat, a lot of destruction, and a whole lot of intense moments From heartwarming, to gut wrenching, the emotions flowing from certain scenes in this book really emphasize the art that went into writing it Not only is it extremely memorable, it shows us how invested we are in not just the main characters, not even just the side characters, but the story extras and all This is how you bring a story to life.Original, immensely character driven, and absolutely exciting, the Elemental series continues to wow me with the amount of life that shines through it I strongly urge you to start this series STAT if you haven t already An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.For of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads Is there anything hotter than a guy half in a fireman suit Turns out there is GABRIEL MERRICK in a fireman suit And a little ol book called SPARK SPARK SPARK SPARK SPARK SPARK SQUEEEEEEEE And now that is out of the way Tensions are running at an all time high in the Merrick household and Gabriel is right at the centre of it It was fascinating to read from his perspective this time, so different from Chris in Storm His element is fire and that reflects on his personality type explosive Gabriel has a tendency to fly off the handle pretty quickly, but here we get to see the churning emotions behind his harsh words He ll have you slapping your forehead in exasperation at times, when he s prone to acting ten seconds before he thinks, but you grow an understanding of why he is who he is I love how Brigid explored the fire element and how it affects him Gabriel clearly has a much tougher time with his powers than his brothers do That s not to say they haven t their own set of issues, but fire is volatile and it s always craving power, needing to burn brighter Gabriel s struggle to find an amount of control over it in Spark was unpredictable and exciting, just like the boy himself.I was a ridiculous fangirl of Gabriel in Storm oh, you noticed , so I had no doubt he would set my heart aflutter in Spark But I m not sure I was fully prepared for how much he would break it Spark has claws Sharp and unforgiving, they dig into Gabriel s heart and force him to face every dark demon he tries to keep buried Guilt, anger, regret and unworthiness tear at him from the inside and all I wanted to do was hug the crap out of him and then have someone hug the crap out of me He WILL make you hurt, he WILL stab your heart with the strength of his pain and oh, I love it I hate what it does to him, I hate seeing him break the way he does, but I LOVE the emotional angst And even though it feels like the entire world is against him at times, I really think he needed this period in his life To learn from it and grow I love that we explore Michael and Gabriel s messy relationship Things between them weren t always the best in Storm and while there is still plenty of tension in Spark, they re developing a tenuous truce which leads the way for some really touching moments Gabriel also forms an unexpected friendship that had me giddy to see unfold from the minute it was hinted at But it s with Nick, the most important relationship in his life, the one constant throughout it all, where cracks show that are devastating to read What I love about Gabriel and Layne our leading lady and thief of Gabriel s heart is that in ways, they are polar opposites The brainy girl who flies under the radar, and the cocky, sporty guy who s not much of an academic Yet once they enter orbits, they can t ignore the pull the itch to scratch those outer layers and figure each other out They have the ability to challenge and inspire, to push one another of their comfort zones for the better They each battle their own issues Gabriel with his turbulent emotions and trouble with the law, Layne with the ghosts of her past and her complicated family situation I love her brother, Simon , but united, they make a beautiful pair Strengthened by their belief in one another, something no one else has really offered either of them before.Spark is all about the fire there s burning buildings and fiery emotions, but the heat also makes the romance ten times steamier When Gabriel Merrick unleashes his sexy goddamn, HE UNLEASHES HIS SEXY Every moment between Gabriel and Layne is electric whether they re arguing, skirting around one another or just letting all loose and fogging up your windows It s HOT And you re constantly left craving MORE.I began to grow suspicious about part of the mystery midway through, but Brigid still had plenty of surprise in store for me by the end I was not anticipating all of the reveal, nor the explanation behind it, and I m really eager to explore this thread in Spirit Just like we saw in Storm, Spark is full of blazing emotion, pulse pounding action and addictive mystery Every chapter is so INTENSE and it s impossible to pull away, to not pay attention to a single sentence lest you miss a loaded gaze or clue that holds deeper meaning.Brigid Kemmerer has injected something special into the YA world She s given us a family of characters whether by blood, love or friendship that are so dynamic, so full of energy, that you re wishing you could know them in real life And for every new chapter of their story, you fall deeper and deeper under their spell Spark proves that Brigid is an author here for the long run Storm was not a one time hit, but just the beginning of a thrilling series that will still be sending us on a dizzying rollercoaster for years to come One of my most commonly asked questions about The Elemental Series is, Who are the guys on your covers Then it s almost always narrowed down to Gabriel Nick I ve always had to say, I have no idea Well, guess what Today, the cover model for Nick Gabriel sent me an email He s actually a super nice guy He s been chatting with readers on Twitter all evening, much to my delight If you want to follow him, go for it This is one of the most surreal things EVER I just had to share. I LOVE THIS AUTHOR S COVERS.HOLY SWEET JESUS HELP MEH. 3.5 Maybe I really enjoyed the ending so I m rounding up I spent a good portion of this book floating somewhere between wanting to punch Gabriel Merrick in the face and wanting to hug him and bake him cookies Our pyromaniac always has the ability to bring up the most strong feelings due to his personality being so unpredictable In Storm, I down right hated him because, let s be honest, he s a dick But somehow in Spark I started feeling differently Don t get me wrong, I still don t love Gabriel, but I don t hate him any either.Spark reminds me another book I ve recently that features an anti hero as its love interest The Collector The biggest difference is that Gabriel already has a past for really not being very well liked in Storm So he has to overcome a reader s preconceived notions and I honestly didn t think I could like this guy, even a little, after his behavior in Storm Having the story told from his point of view definitely helped the situation I think if it had been told by another character, it s possible I would have still be on the fence with this guy Or driven into a murderous rage.Other than Gabriel, we are introduced to another character I wasn t too sure of at first Layne In the end, I came out liking her much better than I did Becca from Storm I know that this book could easily read as The Player meeting The Virgin and changing his ways, because that does happen That viewpoint is completely valid But for me, I saw this as something a little This isn t you Edward Bella situation Layne is a strong character, albeit flawed, but she does something that other people, specifically girls, usually don t do when it comes to dealing with him She challenges him when he s most vulnerable And while she does admit early on that she is physically attracted to him, she doesn t put up with his bullshitor immediately buy into his charm.In Spark, Gabriel is at a point in his life where he realizes that he and his twin brother, Nick, might not always be together This becomes even apparent when a fight leaves them on non speaking terms for majority of the book Without his twin by his side, he doesn t know who he is or what he wants to do with his life beyond high school He s pushed his brothers away to the point where they don t even know how to handle him To top it all off, he s struggling in school without Nick s help He s alone.Gabriel is a character who is used to having everything handed to him Girls, good grades, sports He s never really had to work for any of those things the way others have But with Layne, it s an experience for him He needs her help to pass math and ends up spending a lot of time with her And she doesn t exactly make it easy for him What made it interesting for me is how much they had in common personality wise They both are guarding secrets from their past, not used to letting anyone get close and both are very lonely So for me, while Layne was the unexperienced one when it came to relationships, I never felt any emphasis really place on that as being a reason for Gabriel s attraction.And if Storm reminds me of Four Brothers , than Spark is She s All That, except there s no bet another favorite movie of mine, by the way Layne is the unpopular girl who gets bullied by the other kids and Queen Bee, Taylor hey, same name as the lead bully from She s All That There s even a scene where Layne is tricked into attending a party and the bullies humiliate her there There s no wine being poured down her dress, but she is sexually assaulted groped by a dude while others get it on camera I didn t really care for the part for the same reasons why Becca s almost rape scene bothered me I don t like it used as a plot device Replace Layne with a male character and it would have been an entirely different prank, but because she is a female, the prank has to do with her sexuality in some way Time Out Why are all the lead female characters sexually assaulted First Becca and now Layne And if they aren t, then some type of emphasis is placed on their appearance Becca s best friend Quinn is regularly teased by Gabriel for being chubby And even Taylor, the bully, is insulted as looking like a prostitute by Layne I m starting to notice a trend here Time In But one really positive thing I can say about Spark is that the writing felt noticeably stronger than Storm I had no problem adjusting the Kemmerer s writing style and I enjoyed it much this time around The dialogue also was an improvement to me That s not to say it was terrible in Storm, but it was funnier in Spark Gabriel is a bonafide smartass and his personality clearly came in loud and clear But I just love how there is someone time enough for his little remarks You know, he said by way of greeting, the night I caught you with Layne, I called you a future felon I didn t realize you d make good on that prediction so quickly That night you dragged Layne out of my driveway, I called you an asshole Guess we were both right And Were you bluffing about getting out Gabriel grabbed the door handle When he was standing in the grit and rubble of the shoulder, feeling the rain trail down his collar, he hesitated before closing the door You know I don t even have a phone Would now be a bad time for a joke about smoke signals Fuck you Truly, it was never a dull moment from Gabriel Merrick s point of view.All in all, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Spark considering my reservations of its leading man But that last 25% GAH It ll be very interesting to see where this story goes next Very interesting indeed.A Finished copy was provided by K Teen as apart of the Spirit Blog Tour, hosted by The Midnight Garden No monies or favors were exchanged for a positive review More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog Are you ready for round two of the Elemental Read Along Join Jen and I as we read Spark Then head over to Jen s review to discuss on May 12th Brigid Kemmerer is one of those rare few authors who know exactly what their readers want She surprised us with Storm by giving us a solid world filled with complex characters and a plot that kept us on the edge of our seats, but in Spark, she took this a step or three further and showed a profound understanding of human nature and readiness to explore the vulnerable side of her characters And who better to bare his heart than the gorgeous and daredevilish Gabriel Merrick While I truly enjoyed Chris in Storm, he was simply too young and his problems too childish for me to relate to But Gabriel s troubles are a whole different story Really, who of us has never been rejected or felt completely alone, even in a crowded room, even among family Gabriel is crippled by guilt over their parents deaths, he feels responsible for their current situation, and, even though it s never discussed or admitted, I believe he refuses to form a connection with Michael because he feels guilty for basically stealing Michael s life You d expect strong and complicated emotions from someone who controls fire, and you d be right Gabriel is explosive by nature, he often acts defensively first and thinks it through later, but in Spark, he slowly learns to control that side of him just as he learns to control his element Even when I disliked one of the characters I ll never be Layne s biggest fan, I m afraid , I always understood why they behaved the way they did For example, Layne s relationship with her father was incredibly frustrating and difficult to read about, but I never blamed her for not being able to stand up to him, and when she stopped her brother from doing the same for fear of driving their father away, it really broke my heart in two Once again, Michael Merrick really stood out for me He is quiet and remains mostly in the background, but the sacrifices he s made are revealed constantly through other characters One of Gabriel s stories about their parents death really showed how much pain and pride Michael swallowed for Gabriel, Nick and Chris He was so young when he started taking care of everyone, but no one was there to comfort him I totally would Yes, I would Shut up, brain With Spark, Brigid Kemmerer showed incredible potential and great imagination I hope she ll keep listening to both her readers and her characters, because what she s been doing so far works I need , please. 4.5 stars Well, it seems like this series gets better with every book D For some reason I couldn t put this series down and if i had the next one too, I would definitely go for it this very moment Yes you can see a whole new star over there, this means that I loved this better and that I agree with all the people that told me this story was worth reading.WHY DID I LIKE IT BETTER THAN STORM Spark was quite emotional, and it kept me on the edge all the time There were laugh out loud moments, and heartbreaking ones, there was penty of action and the characters started to grow on me with every page, and I loved to see them gain control over their powers.I didn t expect Gabriel s power to be so consuming, but this guy was really set on fire in than one way..The main male character.Gabriel is like fire, hot like hell but you also know what happens if you play with fire, right I knew there should be behind his anger and off course I was right.There was so much tension between him and Michael, and I loved how they got to talk, to get to understand each other at least a bit.It was infuriating to see how Gabriel just didn t tell the truth that would ve made this all so much simpler, but I understand how much it must hurt for his own family not to trust him.Also, his relationship with his twin brother, Nick, was heartbreaking They ve been so close, so the distance growning between them was now palpable and shaterring.Layne.She is really great So different from Gabriel, but also so perfect for him she sees through him and he sees through her and they simply match.I liked how slowly their relations started, but still so hot and cold I liked their notes idea from the first book , I liked it when they really talked and started to know each other, well, I pretty much liked everything about them and every moment they had together And there was no love triangle for God s sake, because who the hell needs them Also the moments with her father were extremely funny, as infuriating as they also were nope, I won t spoil this for you Simon.I liked how close Layne was to her little brother and how Gabriel cared for him too I liked how he helped this boy, how he defended him Simon was so good at sports even with his disability that I thought he might have a power too Well, I guess there is still time for that.Hunter.Not sure why but since the beginning the was something about him that kept me on edge With a book written from his POV and a novella pending, I guess he will always be the good guy, but I still can t make myself trust him.But anyways, I like the friendship between him and Gabriel, and I liked the fact that he got past the feelings he had for Becka, or so it seems.WHY NOT 5 FULL STARS I couldn t really explain it.There were some things lacking, like the bad guys from Storm shouldn t there be others like them All the sudden the comunity left them alone, and it made the whole hate from the first book seem somehow silly and less important.Also, I don t get the guide thingy How could so many bad things start and no one would come clean this mess I am on their side don t get me wrong and i don t want them to get hurt, but it seems unalistic, even with the one guide really being there.The bad characters I am not sure if they have a good reason for what they did I am not talking about the one with paranormal poweres, but if i tell I ll ruin the surprise element in the story Anyways it felt forced.The guilt this was the one thing that wasn t touched enough in the story Gabriel should feel for his parents death and maybe it shows in the way he acts, in his anger but it was never enough.CONCLUSIONHmm Now I am less sure about the half star, but I really loved this story It was absolutely awesome and I can t wait for the next one, even though Hunter is not my favorite character I would have preferred Nick to be the narator, but at least we will get a novella from his POV.Happy midnight readingThis review can also be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.comBook source Advanced copy received from the publisher Thank you Blog EN Facebook Twitter Tumblr Bloglovin Blog RO Gabriel Merrick Plays With Fire Literally Sometimes He Can Even Control It And Sometimes He Can T Gabriel Has Always Had His Brothers To Rely On, Especially His Twin, Nick But When An Arsonist Starts Wreaking Havoc On Their Town, All The Signs Point To Gabriel Only He S Not Doing It And No One Seems To Believe Him Except A Shy Sopho Named Layne, A Brainiac Who Dresses In Turtlenecks And Jeans And Keeps Him Totally Off Balance Because Layne Has A Few Secrets Of Her Own Attention everyone If you aren t reading the Elemental series, stop what you are doing and buy it now I swear they get better and better You ll thank me, I promise If you are a fan of awesome YA paranormal urban fantasy, you must be reading this series MUST Put down that crappy book that you have been trying to get through and buy this one No overdone, seen 100 times before story lines here Brigid Kemmerer s writing is just so on point and fresh And excuse the obvious, but she was just ON FIRE with this one I liked this so much than Storm, the first in the series Gabriel was perfect, sort of the quintessential misunderstood bad boy hero It was angsty without being too much, and sweet without being sappy The romance element of this book was executed to a T I loved it, I loved it, I loved it The relationship between Hunter and Gabriel was also great to watch They had this wonderfully complex friendship that felt tenuous and important And the dynamic between Gabriel and Nick his twin was also fascinating I love how this author doesn t leave the other Merrick family members in the dust Each Merrick boy is included and important in every story.I think one of the coolest aspects of this story is that it actually felt like fire , Gabriel s element It was heated, with high emotions and a fast pace, and I just got an overwhelming sense of the energy of fire while I was reading this book I think the author did a fantastic job of getting us into Gabriel s mind and mood I m so so pleased with the trajectory of this series I hope it goes on and on and on and this author never stops writing.
Brigid Kemmerer is the New York Times bestselling author of dark and alluring Young Adult novels like A Curse So Dark and Lonely, More Than We Can Tell, and Letters to the Lost Bloomsbury , as well as paranormal YA stories like The Elemental Series and Thicker Than Water Kensington A full time writer, Brigid lives in the Balti area with her husband, her boys, her dog, and her cat When she
- Kindle Edition
- 345 pages
- Brigid Kemmerer
- 22 May 2019 Brigid Kemmerer