Spark by Brigid Kemmerer
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…
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
This was really good. I mean it, this was really, really good. In fact STORM (Elemental #1,) a book that took me totally by surprise in its awesomeness might even pale in comparison to this one. Who would have thought that stories of four hot brothers with super powers word turn out so good? So, if that first one was good, this one was so much better… perhaps because past the introductions, we get to have a closer look into what made one of them tick. Book One allowed us those introductions to the one who dealt in fire, in earth, in water and in air, but here it’s all Gabriel and his pain. I honestly thought there wouldn’t be much to him. In my mind it was as simple as this: secret pain = hot head. Except, his secret pain? It could get pretty angst-y painful indeed (and I’m not even being a smart ass about it right now.) The combination of him feeling the way he was then inconveniently overhearing something from someone else had my throat closing up for him.
Bad ass…or perhaps the not so bad ass after all. Yes, this is just still action-filled as the first one. Yes, there’s more than one heart stopping sequence to do with fire here. And yes, we finally do witness Gabriel in action, but big shocker here: it’s his drama that sucked me in. When we first meet, it’s obvious he’s unhappy. And though normally the ‘everyone doesn’t get me; everyone is against me’ schitck would not be my thing, Gabriel’s moments had me lump-in-throat. He’s this reputation of being a screw up hot head… and apparently the boy bought into it as well. Here, it’s only made clear why. Factor in a growing gap between him and the one who has always been there with him beating himself up over things he couldn’t change. And I did hurt for him, save the fact that things could get frustrating in how typically boy his reactions were: close up and push out.
When I wasn’t feeling sorry for the guy, I was laughing… because this book is mostly fun (though you probably couldn’t tell from how gushy I am over Gabriel’s drama.) It is fun! Take him and Layne, a pairing that’s initially an obvious one: straight A girl + hothead = LURVE. And maybe it was obvious, but there is the fact that she’s her own baggage; that there are things she’s dealing with too. So them together was funny… with all that running away from then closing off; with all those thoughts of “does he/does she?..” Simply, they had me wondering (and laughing a little), why were they making it so hard?
A bit more interesting is how the rest of them reveal more of themselves. Take Michael, when first introduced, he was all overbearing and controlling. He remains true to those, but all for good reason. Or Nick who’s always been good, well, not so stellar here. While the same brings him down, it made him more real too. Basically, he’s not prefect. Funny thing though: since Chris has had his
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