Friday, May 10, 2013

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Title: Spark
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elementals, book #2
Publisher: Kensington/KTeen
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Source: finished paperback from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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 sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Layne understands family problems, and she understands secrets. She has a few of her own.

Gabriel can't let her guess about his brothers, about his abilities, about the danger that's right at his heels. But there are some risks he can't help taking.

The fuse is lit...

*This review contains mild spoilers for Storm, the previous book in the Elementals series.*
**You do not have to read Storm to read this book. But I'd recommend it.  ;0)**

How very fitting that the brother with the shortest fuse is the one who controls fire?  I've jokingly been called a pyromaniac in the past, but I've got nothing on Gabriel.  And from what I've read so far, neither do any of his brothers!  ;0)

Chris's story in Storm was pretty great, but I found the moments featuring Gabriel to be the funniest...and some of my favorites, when he wasn't acting like a complete douche.  I knew there had to be some underlying reason for said douchiness because no one can harbor that much resentment without some basis for those feelings.  And there is.  Gabriel's temper stems from his own anger toward himself.  But instead of doing something about it, he turns it outward and takes all of his frustration out on his family.  It's a defense mechanism, and a pretty effective one at that.

I realize that some readers felt his character was chauvinistic and that he objectifies women based on comments made to or about Becca in the first book.  And, sure, he jumped to conclusions or made undue assumptions about her character without knowing her or any of the facts.  But he owns up to it.  He makes no excuses for his behavior and jumps to Becca's defense when he realizes he was wrong.  I knew he had it in him.

And, apparently, so did Layne.  She's the shy, studious girl that Gabriel's never even given a second look to...until one day when he needs to borrow a pencil.  This innocent gesture is a catalyst, a vehicle that brings about significant change in both of their lives.  But it takes them awhile to figure that part out.  I loved reading as they pulled back the layers, discovering each other's complexities and flaws.  Brigid Kemmerer writes about some seriously hot guys, but she also writes multifaceted characters that tug at your heartstrings with their sincerity and rub you the wrong way with their brazenness.

And then there are the powers she's given these kids.  And they actually use them!  Gabriel even talks to his element, convinces it to burn more intensely or pushes it back when it becomes too destructive.  It's all very entertaining.  But never more so than when Hunter decides they should be their own fire-fighting duo and save innocents from the arsonist who is plaguing their town at the moment.

That bromance between Gabriel and Hunter was so unexpected but sooo appreciated.  Gabriel feels like his family is against him at every turn, and Hunter's kind of the outcast of the group, having been spurned by Becca in favor of Chris.  (Okay, okay...maybe spurned is unfair...he was lying about who he was and that's hard to come back from.)  Anyway, it makes sense for them to become friends, and even though I didn't see it coming, I'm so glad for it.

I had so much fun while reading this book.  I swear there was a slap-happy grin plastered on my face the entire time I was reading.  I know the series isn't finished yet, and I don't want to take attention away from the other guys, but I think Spark just may go down as my favorite, with Gabriel being my favorite Elemental.  That said, I do have a soft spot for Hunter, and I don't really feel like I know Nick well enough to really judge him yet.  But look at all the pages I marked with favorite scenes or quotes!  I think it's pretty obvious I enjoyed this story quite a bit.

Rating:   photo 5-1.png

Favorite Quotes:

     “I can get my things,” said Gabriel.
     “I'm not letting you out of my sight.”
     Layne was caught between them, flustered. She was nearly wringing her hands. “Dad, it's not--”
     His eyes cut to Layne. “Now, Layne.”
     She swallowed and slinked past him into the living room.
     “Don't forget my box of condoms,” called Gabriel.

     Hunter sighed and gave him a look. “Come on, baby, don't be like that. Did you pack your midol?”
     “All right, all right.” Gabriel climbed out of the car, slamming the door behind him. “I don't even know why I like you.”

     She scowled out at the parking lot. “So is this like your place?”
     “My place?”
     “Where you bring girls.”
     “Yes. I bring girls to this run-down parking lot all the time.” He gestured with his cup. “I have a sign-up sheet nailed to that tree. Now that you mention it”--he glanced at his watch--“we should probably wrap this up.”

     But then Chris reappeared. He threw a glance at the wall that separated the lockers from the shower room. “Who's his sister?”
     Gabriel looked back in his bag and kept his voice nonchalant. “Just a girl in my math class.”
     “Just a girl, huh?”
     Gabriel glared at him. “Just a girl.”
     Chris smiled. “So was Becca.”

Don't forget we're discussing this book over on my GR review on Sunday as part of the Elementals Read Along.  You still have plenty of time to join!!!

Elementals series

Elemental (Elemental, #0.5)Storm (Elemental, #1)Fearless (Elemental, #1.5)
Spark (Elemental, #2)Breathless (Elemental, #2.5)Spirit (Elemental, #3)

About the author:

Brigid Kemmerer was born in Omaha, Nebraska, though her parents quickly moved her all over the United States, from the desert in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the lakeside in Cleveland, Ohio, and several stops in between, eventually settling near Annapolis, Maryland. Brigid started writing in high school, and her first real “novel” was about four vampire brothers causing a ruckus in the suburbs. Those four brothers are the same boys living in the pages of The Elemental Series, so Brigid likes to say she’s had four teenage boys taking up space in her head for the last seventeen years. (Though sometimes that just makes her sound nuts.)

Brigid Kemmerer finds the time to write somewhere between caring for her family and working at her day job, but sometimes she ends up mothering her coworkers and managing her family. Storm: The Elemental Series was her first novel.

Find Brigid:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Elementals Read Along


  1. It excites me it see that you're enjoying this series as much as the other readers. Great review, Jen!

  2. I need a good swift kick in the arse for not reading this series yet. I got a copy of book three in hopes that I would get it done, and I still havent' gotten to it. I need a series to make me smile and I am excited to check out the bromance! Happy weekend, Jen!

  3. I've been meaning to read this series. I have a couple of NetGalley (I think maybe #1.5 and #2) and I just need to schedule it in and do it! ;) Loved your review!

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings


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