Book Review: Secret by Brigid Kemmerer

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Young Adult > Fantasy > Paranormal

(Elementals #4)

EARTH. FIRE. AIR. WATER.

Nick Merrick is stretched to breaking point. He’s trying to keep his grades sky-high or he won’t get in to college. He’s trying to keep his brother’s business afloat or the Merricks will be out on the street. He’s trying to keep the secret of where he’s going in the evenings from his twin brother Gabriel – or he fears he’ll lose his family. And he’s trying to keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who is his ‘girlfriend’s’ partner.

And then Quinn takes to hanging around his sworn enemy, and an Elemental Guide is counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. Storms are brewing. On all sides.

SECRETS IN THE WIND. DANGER IN THE AIR.

Book 1: Storm review       Book 2: Spark review       Book 3: Spirit review

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Okay, so I like Hunter now. and Michael’s cool (as always). but Chris? The coolest of them all. *grins*

Secret is all about Nick. He wishes for many things, but being the responsible Merrick that he is, anything and everything that he wants will just need to take a backseat, because family comes first.

Nick‘s nerdiness was adorable! I like that he’s responsible, and takes family matters very seriously. I hate it when he thinks he needed to hide his true self because of his fear to be judged, and to get it from his own twin brother, no less! He deserved more than he got from Gabriel.

Nick’s elemental power? So cool! It’s like a science geek fantasy coming true. Heh. I thought it was awesome. 😀

Quinn was okay. I expected her to be more annoying than usual, but she did good for Nick and the Merrick brothers. That foe-turned-ally twist? I liked that, too.

Michael is such an amazing brother, and Chris as well (he’s still my favorite Merrick). The maturity that went with these two, in terms of helping Nick with his secret, it was really sweet.

Secret was emotionally intense. I’m kinda off with Nick’s resentment to Gabriel (his twin not knowing his problem, and yet he resented him for not knowing), but other than that, this is a definite must read for Elementals fan like me.

P.S. Swoon-worthy scenes are not lacking for Nick! *ahem*

Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Teen for granting my galley request.

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SECRET by Brigid Kimmerer

Kindle edition, 336 pages

Published January 28th 2014 by Kensington Teen

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4/5 stars

Book Review: Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer

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Young Adult > Fantasy > Paranormal

(Elementals #3)

With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…

Book 1: Storm review       Book 2: Spark review

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I do not like Hunter. That was apparent when I started Elementals series. And reading Spirit does not change that, but my dislike for Hunter was taken down by a degree of two. Why? I have an affinity for characters who had it bad in their lives, and yet they survived. Hunter is a survivor. and after Spirit ended? Even then.

First half was very aggravating. To say that Hunter is constantly abrasive is an understatement. I get it, that I have to understand where his exasperating attitude is coming from, but the constant push-and-pull in terms of trust and relationship with the Merricks? Goodness, it was painfully irritating.

But if there’s one thing that this series is good at, it is the solidity of characters despite different POVs in each installment. And the final twist to hurt Hunter really hurt. Man, that was brutal. The guy just couldn’t catch a break.

I didn’t like her much, Kate Sullivan. Maybe it stems from my dislike of Hunter, thus I dislike her by association? Ha!

Spirit is an easy read, much like the first two books. The Merrick brothers are the same bunch of guys I met, with the exception of Michael who outshone Hunter’s character in this book. The numerous action scenes did not hurt, either. Oh, and the Kimmerer trademark a.k.a. hot scenes overload? You’ll still find them here. Yes, it’s Hunter, but what I can I say? The scenes are still sizzling. 😀

I love you, Michael Merrick. Such an awesome guy.

Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Teen for granting my galley request.

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SPIRIT by Brigid Kimmerer

Kindle edition, 432 pages

Published May 28th 2013 by K Teen

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3.5/5 stars

Mini Book Review: Breathless

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Young Adult > Fantasy | Paranormal

(Elemental 2.5)

Too many secrets. Not enough time.

Nick Merrick is supposed to be the level-headed one. The peacemaker. Since it’s just him and his three hotheaded brothers against the world, that’s a survival tactic.

But now he’s got problems even his brothers can’t help him survive.

His so-called girlfriend, Quinn, is going quick as mercury from daring to crazy. Meanwhile, Quinn’s dancer friend Adam is throwing Nick off balance, forcing him to recognize a truth he’d rather shove back into the dark.

He can feel it—-the atmosphere is sizzling. Danger is on the way. But whatever happens next, Nick is starting to find out that sometimes nothing you do can keep the peace.

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…Oh, Brigid Kemmerer. You sneaky, little…..! Holy sh*t. Nick Merrick!!!

*breathes deeply*

I didn’t expect this kind of curveball from Brigid Kemmerer. Really, I didn’t. And now, I wish Nick‘s full story will come out sooner rather than later! Here is the responsible Merrick. The peaceful twin. Wouldn’t you know, there’s a hurricane raging silently inside of him!

Breathless briefly showcased Nick’s role to the Merrick Family. How being the middleman among his brothers helped him help Quinn with her problems. Me thinks Nick is going to be my favorite Merrick brother, once his story is published after Hunter’s. But for now, he’s coming really close to Chris, who is my current fave. 🙂

So.. secrets, huh? How Brigid Kemmerer managed to write Nick’s POV and he came out as hot as his twin, Gabriel… astounding.

Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Teen for granting my galley request.

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BREATHLESS by Brigid Kimmerer

Ebook, 65 pages

Published March 6th 2013 by Kensington Teen

4/5 stars

BREATHL

Book Review: Elementals #2: Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

Rating: StarStarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Fantasy > Paranormal

(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…

Book 1: Storm review

*****

Two things first:

If I think of action scenes, Storm is way better than Spark.
But if I think of romantic scenes, Spark is way better than Storm.

I was excited to this sequel because of Gabriel. See, I really liked him in Storm. A glimpse here and there of his wicked character is enough for me to root for him. But…Spark came across as a contemporary romance more than a paranormal one. I’d say only 10% of the book showcased the paranormal side of the Merrick brothers. 😦

I missed Gabriel from the first book. Yes, he was still a smartmouth here, snarky and defiant. But Gabriel was always angry, hurtful, and secretive. I was looking forward to reading more about his relationship with his twin Nick, but (surprise!) they didn’t talk half the time! All because of a girl. Ugh. 2/3 of the book was about Gabriel’s drama.

Layne was okay. Not as strong as Becca but not a pushover, either. Except with her father. and what kind of best friend she has in Kara? It was obvious she’s as flaky as she looks. And Hunter… I knew there was something going on. Hunter following Gabriel around like he has this girly crush on him, showing up every freaking time Gabriel needs a friend… only to know he has a hidden agenda. *snickers* I knew it! Becca’s right. Hunter misleads everyone around him. but I liked how he pointed a gun to the firemen holding Gabriel. so bad*ss.

The mystery behind the series of fires was not handled well. Gabriel didn’t even tried to investigate who the arsonist really is because yeah, he’s wallowing in self-blame.

I can wait for the next installment, Spirit, which features Hunter (boo!). As for now, I will settle with Spark and the other novellas of the Elementals series.

Book Review: Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

Rating: StarStarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Fantasy > Paranormal

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys – all the ones she doesn’t want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming.

*****

How I got hooked with Storm: After finishing Sweet Venom, I was quite unsatisfied. So at 11pm in the evening, I picked up Storm. I kept reading until I was halfway through. I loked up and it was 2.30am in the morning! As much as I want to read on, I forced myself to put my Kindle down and get some snooze before my 7am work call time. Yes, I keep sneaking a chapter or two until i finished it after lunch time. Was it worth it? Oh yeah. It was very entertaining!

I think the only frustration I have with Storm is that Becca’s and Chris’ story was not wrapped up in a pretty little bow… until the last sentence of the book. It was torture! But still worth it.

Becca is brave and outspoken despite being bullied, harassed, and assaulted. I was just ticked off when Chris saved her life, one text from Hunter and she got so excited that she invited him over and spent the night with him. Really, Becca?Really? *huffs* I would’ve assumed and said the same thing Gabriel told Chris. *stucks out tongue*

Chris, is dangerously magnetic. His character was not as strong as I would like it to be (I’m more excited with Gabriel), but it still worked well with Becca’s character.

I don’t like Hunter for the sole reason that he got more time spent with Becca than Chris. but Chris has the POV, so I didn’t worry about Hunter ending up with Becca.

The paranormal element was quite a surprise. I liked the fact that Kemmerer portrayed the Elements as abstract entities. The Elementals control the elements, but they can control tthe Elementals as well, manipulate them when the desire for power becomes too strong. It was really unique, to think that the elements have a life of their own.

A lot of curses and violence here, but it’s not something uncommon in YA. And the action scenes are not lacking! Very nice. And the romance? Charming (though short).

Storm is an engrossing read. It reminded me of the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout simply because I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down.