Book Review: Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

19 Oct

book cover for Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Spark

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Series: Elementals #2

Genre: Paranormal YA, Contemporary YA

Amazon | Goodreads

Publisher: K-Teen

Release date: August 28, 2012

Source: NetGalley

Summary: 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…

So remember not too long ago when I reviewed the first book in this series, STORM by Brigid Kemmerer, and basically said “ignore the man-cheese on the cover and have fun reading about the Merricks”? The same thing goes for the second book, SPARK, which is about Gabriel, the one who can control fire. (He’s the one who’s “I’m too sexy” posing on the cover up there.) Appropriately, what with this book being about an elemental who controls fire, Gabriel’s story is a little steamier, and a little broodier too. It has completely solidified my being hooked on this series.

In SPARK, we get an even more in-depth look at the relationship between the Merrick brothers. See, Gabriel is a little bit of a hot head. (I know. I’m just going to go ahead an apologize ahead of time for all fire-related puns in this review. Gabriel is well-rounded, but he’s also got a totally cliched personality for someone associated with fire.) He’s getting into lots of fights with his brothers over the all the fires that are cropping up around town. In a pretty devastating turn of events, basically all of Gabriel’s brothers–even his twin, Nick–think that he’s an arsonist, setting fires in homes and killing people. It’s sad, honestly, and Bridgid Kemmerer does a really great job of conveying the betrayal and loneliness that Gabriel is feeling. Seriously, reading about these brothers is really satisfying. I’m totally invested in their lives and relationships with each other.

Even though Gabriel is feeling isolated and left out from his family, that doesn’t mean he’s feeling totally alone. First of all, he kind of develops a friendship of sorts with Hunter, the “other guy” in the first book’s triangle. The two of them are trying to accomplish a few things: One, they’re trying to help Gabriel harness his fire power. He’s struggling with it at the beginning of SPARK. Two, they’re trying to figure out who is behind the fires that are raging across town. And three, they’re basically high on heroism. The whole arson angle was ok. Dangerous, for sure, but probably the weakest element in SPARK, and the bad guy is kind of random.

But let’s not forget that I mentioned SPARK is a little steamier than STORM, because that would not be my style. Layne is an interesting girl for Gabriel to be with. He’s struggling in class because he can’t cheat his way through math anymore (there’s a reason for this that doesn’t involve him getting caught) and Layne, a nerdy, tight-laced girl in his class winds up helping him. Their relationship is full of drama and lots of hate-liking. You know hate-liking. It’s that kind of thing where two people PRETEND to hate each other even while they are secretly starting to like each other more and more, except they FIGHT THE LIKE because they still feel some hate and it’s all confusing. That’s what Gabriel and Layne are dealing with. Because Layne has her own baggage, and the fact that her baggage is fire-related was, frankly, a little pat. But the attraction between the two of them is pretty LEGIT, and there’s some choice hook-ups. Brigid Kemmerer doesn’t skimp on that.

SPARK suffers no sophomore slump, friends. If you liked STORM, Brigid Kemmerer‘s second Elementals book will not disappoint you. Gabriel is probably the most emo of the Merrick brothers, but I was really invested in his story and his feelings. I was angry for him, and frustrated. You really get a sense of how much it sucks for him to have brothers who think he is a criminal/loose cannon. As with STORM, though, I found myself even more drawn to the oldest brother, Michael, whom I WISH was getting his own book. (Fingers crossed!) I’m very much looking forward to the third book, SPIRIT. And then hopefully even MORE after that. (Fingers crossed again!)

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3 Responses to “Book Review: Spark by Brigid Kemmerer”

  1. picturemereading October 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    This sounds interesting I may need to check out the first book!

  2. blackinkheart October 22, 2012 at 1:34 am #

    I loved this book so much! I really liked seeing it from Gabriel’s POV and you really felt for him.
    I also want a book about Michael, but I read an excerpt of Hunter’s story and it sounds sooo amazing. The evil girl from this book was in it, so I guess she wasn’t some random character to blame it all on? Anyways, I just wanted to fan girl out over this book so that’s all!

  3. Alexa Loves Books (@alexalovesbooks) October 26, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    Eep! I can’t wait to read this because I loved Storm so much. I did have a soft spot for Gabriel…

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