Early Review: Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

, by Kt Clapsadl

Spark by Brigid Kemmerer
Elementals #2

Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally.

Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Like the fire that killed his parents.

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.

More than Gabriel’s pride is at stake -- this could cost him his family, maybe his life. And no one seems to hear 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…
 

Gabriel Merrick and his brothers have an affinity for the elements, and can do amazing things with them. Gabriel's gift lies with fire. Although sometimes it seems more like a curse as fire is very volatile and difficult to control, and that loss of control comes with serious consequences as he well knows due to the loss of his parents in one of his fires. Despite his immense guilt, Gabriel can't stay away from the fire no matter how hard he tries. This proves even more dangerous than normal when an arsonist starts setting deadly fires and Gabriel becomes the prime suspect. Even his own family thinks he's to blame, leaving him very isolated and alone. The only one who seems to believe him is a girl in his math class named Layne who he feels inexplicably drawn to, but she has her own secrets to keep. Gabriel will have to find a way to fight the fire raging inside him before he loses everything and everyone he has ever cared about.

I'll be the first to admit that I wasn't Gabriel's biggest fan in the previous installment. He just seemed to be too quick to anger for my tastes. In all honesty, I felt he was a jerk. However, in Spark, I saw him in a whole new light. Sure, he still is quite the accomplished jerk, and rather nasty to people in general, however, now that I understand him a little better I realize it is all a front to hide his massive insecurities. His element is fire, making him very volatile and really a powder keg ready to explode at any given moment. However, he despises himself for the lack of control he has, further frustrating himself and only adding fuel to the fire. He honestly cannot be described as anything other than severely damaged. Every day is such a struggle for him with his guilt and his desire to change and learn the control that seems forever out of his grasp. To make matters worse, everyone around him seems to think the worst of him, but in their defense, he doesn't exactly make it easy for them to believe in him. However, the further the book went on, the more the tide seemed to change as inch by inch Gabriel started to gain ground, and I was only cheering him on the entire way.

Layne is very damaged in her own way, but unlike Gabriel who puts out a very rough exterior, she hides deep within herself, trying to stay unnoticed at all costs. Yet, despite that she has an amazing inner strength of will that rivals Gabriel's even if she doesn't outwardly show it. It really amazed me just how similar they were deep down when you looked past the surface. Appearances definitely can be deceiving, and that definitely holds true here. I think it is that similarity in both strength and damage that really drew them to me as romantic interests. I just felt like they were on rather equal footing, an almost rarity in YA novels, making the romance very sweet and enjoyable. By having both of them damaged, but still incredibly strong, they were able to use their inner strengths to start to heal the other. I really do not think a more perfect match could have been made.

As much as I loved Storm, I have to admit that I was a little hesitant to read Spark. I'm a very loyal person character-wise, and I pretty much drag my feet whenever there is a change in character focus as I get so attached to the original ones that I don't want to let go. However after reading Spark, and getting to know Gabriel and Layne, that natural hesitance I have may very well have to change. In all honesty, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually may care for them even more than I did for Chris and Becca. So much so, that I wish there would be more focus on them in the future books. But then again, if the series trend is any indication, I'll probably wind up having a new favorite couple by the time I finish the next book. That being said, with this latest installment,  Brigid Kemmerer has fully cemented herself as a heavy hitter in the Paranormal YA genre. Trust me, she will definitely be one to watch out for and I cannot wait to see what is in store next. I highly recommend Spark to anyone who loved Storm as it will definitely rock your socks off. And if you haven't check this fabulous series out yet, well what are you waiting for, trust me you won't regret it. An absolute must buy!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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  1. Storm
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