Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Published: August 28, 2012
Read: April 29, 2013
Paperback, 345 pages
From Goodreads: 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…
I was hoping to really enjoy Spark, because I was looking forward to getting inside Gabriel Merrick’s head. I am thrilled to report that I was not disappointed one bit. I loved Spark!
What I loved:
- Pretty much everything Gabriel. Kemmerer painted a great picture our snarky, bad boy. He has serious baggage that we learned in Storm. Gabriel carries around this huge burden of guilt everywhere he goes, and he wins at the blame game… always finding new reasons to blame himself for everything. He just can’t shake this self fulling prophecy in that he “knows” he’s just a fuck up, so he’s going to keep acting like an asshole fuck up to keep proving his point. (Psych 101). Underneath the fiery nature is an insecure, loving guy. He loves his brothers like crazy, but he just can’t stop blaming himself for their tragic past.
- When Gabriel would reminisce on happy memories of his childhood… I died. (when he said that when he and Nicky shared their room, he thought twin beds were just for twins. Could.Not.Stop.Smiling from cuteness overload. It reminded me when I thought the “Air and Space Museum” was called the Erin Space Museum for my older sister. I was jealous!) Anyway, picturing little boy Gabriel was so much fun. I also enjoyed his memories of coffee + boardgames with his mom, but it was heartbreaking to picture him the day after his mother died. Wah, our poor, broken Gabriel. My heart breaks for you.
- The Hunter/Gabriel bromance… loved it.
- Honestly, I really looked forward to all of the scenes with the brothers. It was nice to see Michael break out of his rigid shell and bond with Gabriel… (not to mention his new love interest). The Nick/Gabriel twin relationship was very sweet. There is so much love there, so I hated that they were at odds in Spark.
- More Elemental mysteries…. I thought it was very interesting what happened to Layne after the fire. Really like that each book builds on the previous one, so we get to find out more about the brothers and their powers.
- Layne: I’ve seen this before in other books, when this out of this world hottie loves the average looking girl. I know these sorts of things aren’t realistic, but I did think BK did a job setting up this unlikely pair. Gabriel was going through a definite rough patch, and he was looking for someone to believe in him. Layne was the right amount of innocence, kindness, and strength. She threw him off balance and accepted him when he felt terribly alone. Gabriel wanted to change to be a better guy… someone Layne could care about, and together they made an adorable couple. The scene at the party was a little over the top, but that seems like a common high school book theme. Insert crazy, dramatic party with drunken fights here…….
What I didn’t like:
- Is it just me, or did it seem like Becca was way too comfortable with the Merrick brothers all of a sudden? I like that she was still in the book (& how cute Becca and Chris were), but I thought it seemed a litttttle strange for the new GF to go try to play peacemaker with the badboy twin. Right?
- As I previously mentioned, the party scene was not my favorite.
- Quinn…. yeah, I just don’t like her. She is the loud mouthed, overly confident, skanky dresser. And Nick likes her, because…? Hope to see a better side of her in Breathless.
Not much that I didn’t like about the Spark! After getting a taste of what the 4 Merrick boys + Hunter were about in Storm & Elemental, I was already excited to see what kind of adventures and trouble that they’d encounter. I SO can’t wait to read Breathless & Spirit this month, but I’m afraid that I’ll go into a Post-Elemental depression when I’m done. Life can be so hard!!! Parting words – I just want to say, what are you waiting for!?! Go read the Elementals books now!