Review: Storm (Elemental #1) by Brigid Kemmerer (Plus Mini-Reviews of Books #0.5 & #1.5)

August 2, 2013 All-Time Favorites, Reviews 9 ★★★★★

StormbyBrigidKemmererStorm by Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elemental #1
Published by Kensington Books in 2012
Genres: Young AdultParanormal
Pages: 432
Source: Library
My content rating: YA (The book contains a few sexual situations, including an attempted rape, but nothing is described in any detail)
My rating:
5 Stars

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.

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My Take copy3

I just have to say that I LOVED this book.  It was exciting, romantic, exhilarating and sometimes heartbreaking.  I literally did not want to put it down—I was up until 3:30 AM reading it before I finally decided that I had to turn out the light, but I immediately picked it back up this morning and kept reading until it was over.  Then I read the prequel.  I have book two (Spark) sitting next to me at this moment and I can hardly curb the compulsion to quit writing this review right now so that I can pick it up and start reading.  I think I will have to feed my kids today, so I guess I’ll have to stop reading at some point, but I won’t have to like it!  (They’re old enough to feed themselves, right?)

I actually read this book without reading the blurb first – I had read it at some point a long time ago, but not right before I read the book.  I do this a lot and I think that it often enhances my experience of the book because I’m not expecting anything specific when I start to read.  This was one of those cases where I feel like I loved the book even more because I didn’t have expectations about where it was going!  So, I’m not going to go into a long description of the book here (the blurb says it all pretty well).  Instead, I’m just going to jump into what I did and did not like about the book.
A couple of notes:

  • This book deals with rape (in what I considered to be a very powerful and ultimately positive way).  I struggled with whether or not to mention this in my review or not because it’s slightly spoilery. However, I feel like I need to point it out when a book includes rape (or an attempted rape) because there are some people who, for one reason or another, are very sensitive to the issue and DO NOT want to read about it, no matter how well it is handled. I was actually VERY happy with the way that the issue was handled in this book. I don’t want to go into any detail about when/where/how the attempted rape in this book occurs (it doesn’t all happen in an obvious way), but I will just say that nothing is described in detail and that I think the whole situation shed a light on a very real issue in a way that teen girls (and boys) will be able to relate to.
  • Bullying.  The book also deals with bullying in a very realistic way, but it doesn’t hit you over the head with a message that says “This book is about bullying.” Any kid who has felt mocked, teased, taken advantage of or out of place will really relate to this book. Plus, while the book obviously tackled some pretty tough issues, this book didn’t feel heavy or depressing. While there were definitely some deeply emotional moments, the overall tone of the book was upbeat and exciting, not dark.

A couple of negatives:

  • The Twists.  Of course, the twists themselves weren’t the negative – it was the fact that I had them all figured out pretty early on.  Now, I have to say that I tend to see most twists coming – my husband always teases me when we watch TV together because I can usually figure out “who did it” or what “the big reveal” is going to be before it happens.  It’s not that I’m super-smart or anything, I just understand storytelling (and sometimes, in the case of TV, directing) enough to see the clues that are placed along the way.  Still, I LOVE it when books surprise me and throw in a twist or two that I didn’t see coming.  In this case, I can’t really say that happened.  However, I will say that the writing was so excellent in this book and I was so enraptured with the story that I didn’t mind at all that I had guessed the twists.  If a book is good enough, you will find yourself anticipating what you are sure is coming and it doesn’t bother you one bit – that was the case with this book for me. I almost gave the book a 4.5 rating because I saw the twists coming, but in the end I decided that my overall feeling about the book was that I loved it and it deserved 5 stars.
  • The cover.  Okay, this is silly, but it really bothered me that Nick and Gabriel are supposed to be identical twins (who no one could tell apart) and none of the four guys on the cover are identical twins.  Did someone not get the memo?  Maybe they couldn’t find identical twins that fit the description and they thought were hot enough?  Really, someone needs to tell them about Photoshop – they could’ve just used the same guy in different outfits and put him in the picture twice!  Okay, silly rant over – just had to get that off my chest. [Update: I just figured out that they guys on the cover are Chris, Nick/Gabriel, Hunter and Michael – apparently since Nick and Gabriel are twins, they only get one spot on the cover – That’s NOT how I pictured Hunter, though – where are all his piercings?]

What I LOVED:

  • The action and pacing.  I can honestly say that there was not one single minute where I was bored with this book.  From the moment it started, I was completely engaged and couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next.  Literally, during the first chapter, I found myself grinning and thinking, “I am going to love this book!”  and, well, I did.
  • The love triangle.  Yep, this is one of those cases where I felt like the love triangle angle really worked.  First of all, Becca didn’t spend the whole book fretting and pining about the two boys, wondering who she was meant to be with.  The triangle happened much more organically than that – it seemed real.  I really believed that Becca was a teenage girl who kind of liked two guys and who sometimes had inklings that they might both like her back.  She sometimes felt a bit confused about it, but she didn’t whine or act like the world was going to end if she didn’t make some sort of monumental decision that would affect the rest of her life.  Instead, she just went about her life, focusing on the much more important (and crazier) things that were happening to her, and let things happen as they may with Hunter and Chris.
  • The  humor.  I love a book with wit and humor in the dialogue and this book had me laughing out loud in some parts!

Storm was a fast-paced, high energy book with paranormal action and a lot of heart. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series! (Actually, I didn’t – I started reading book #2 in the middle of writing this review – and you can read my mini-reviews of book #0.5 and #1.5 below!)  5/5 Stars.

All -Time Favorite


Mini reviews

elementalElemental by Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elemental #0.5
Published by Kensington Books in 2012
Genres: Young AdultParanormal
Pages: 50
Source: Purchased
My content rating: YA (Some violence)
My rating:
5 Stars

As an air Elemental, 17-year-old Emily Morgan doesn’t have much power. That’s okay—she knows what happens to kids who do.

Like Michael Merrick. He’s an earth Elemental, one with enough power to level cities. Which makes him sexy. Dangerous. And completely off limits. At least according to Emily’s family.

But her summer job puts her in close contact with Michael, and neither of them can help the attraction they feel. When forces of nature like theirs collide, one misstep could get someone killed. Because Emily’s family doesn’t just want her to stay away from him.

They want him dead.

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NOTE – You should read this short prequel AFTER you read Book 1 in the series (Storm). I don’t think it would have nearly the same impact if you read it first.

I was actually really surprised that I loved this little novella just as much as I loved Storm. Reading Emily and Michael’s story and knowing how it all turned out was heartbreaking. It made me much more invested in Michael as a character and filled out the story of what happened between Emily and Michael.  If you’re a fan of the series, I would go ahead and pick this one up!

I don’t always know if it’s worth it to buy the novellas that go along with books, but now I think I’ll have to get them all for this series!



fearlessFearless by Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elemental #1.5
Published by Kensington Books in 2012
Genres: Young AdultParanormal
Pages: 59
Source: Purchased
My content rating: YA (Some violence)
My rating:
3.5 Stars

Being a force of nature doesn’t keep you safe. Hunter Garrity is used to watching his back. The kids at school sense something different about him. And they’re right.

Hunter has powers that have nothing to do with how hard he can throw a punch.

Maybe that’s what Clare Kasten is picking up. She s shy, quiet, and intense, but she’s sought him out. There’s no telling what she wants from him.

But Hunter knows enough to sense a secret when it’s close. And getting close to Clare is a danger he’s ready to face

My Take copy3

This novella gave us some background on Hunter and, almost more importantly, insight into the Guides and how they think, etc.  It was a good story, but I didn’t feel as connected to Hunter as I would liked to have (and Clare isn’t a character in any of the other books, so I didn’t really have enough time to really feel invested in her either).  I think maybe the novella could have been a little bit longer to help establish those connections, but I know that this was really supposed to just be a quick book to whet our appetites for book #2.  In that way, it was successful.

I was a bit surprised by the cover model (NOT how I pictured Hunter at all), but then I realized that this was supposed to be him how he would’ve looked pre-piercings, etc. (since he apparently got those after his dad died – I liked the reference thrown in there about how he would like to get all rebellious and get piercings!)  [Update: I just finally figured out that the fourth guy on all the covers is actually Hunter – he doesn’t have piercings on any of those covers either, so I guess they decided to ignore that when they searched for models?]

 

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