Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: The Elementals, #2
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: KTeen (Imprint of Kensington)
Date Published: August 28th, 2012
Source: ARC (Provided by Author)
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. Because Layne has a few secrets of her own…
Full of action, suspense, and a slow burning love story, Spark takes us back to the world of Elementals. In Storm we learned about Chris, who is connected to, and can control, Water. In Spark we get to dive into Chris’ brother Gabriel’s life who is connected to the Fire element.
I seriously loved Gabriel from the moment we first met him in Storm. In Chris’ book he was snarky and had this edge to him that came out sometimes in sarcastic yet funny ways. In his own book Kemmerer peels away the layers that make up Gabriel and we get to better understand why he hides, and sometimes runs, whenever someone starts to understand him. After his book he remains my favorite character in this series, but also has become one of my favorite characters in general because while on the surface he can seem predictable, he’s very complex and layered. He has so much going on inside his head and his heart and he’s constantly struggling to control his element while at the same time wanting to interact with it. Unlike his brothers who can safely interact with their elements on a daily basis, the danger Fire can bring forces Gabriel to stay away from it and hardly practice controlling his abilities — leaving him feeling an emptiness that he can’t quite fill with anything else.
When we first meet Layne, the potential love interest, it’s hard to see what Gabriel and her could possibly have in common. She’s a smart girl who is a bit of an outcast and finds it hard to make friends because of a lot of baggage she carries, but hides very well. But as her layers are also peeled away we come to a place in the book where it’s impossible not to see why Gabriel and Layne are perfect for each other and balance each other out in ways that a girl Gabriel would typically go for in the past just simply couldn’t.
In the midst of Gabriel and Layne’s building friendship and relationship an arsonist is attacking homes within the town and even those closest to Gabriel are finding it hard not to doubt his involvement in them. So he is finding himself more and more isolated from those he would normally turn to and more and more drawn to something he sees in Layne, and also a surprising friendship developing with Hunter.
Brigid Kemmerer has a descriptive yet flowing writing style that makes it easy for the world around you to fall away while you’re reading her books. She is also quite good and building relationships — friendships and otherwise — between characters in a way that is gradual and realistic, making her characters so easy to relate to that you just want to jump into the book and befriend them yourself. The plot, characters, and relationships are beautifully written and I simply can’t wait to read more from this series and anything else she comes to write in the future.