Spark by Brigid Kemmerer
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...
Publishes in US: August 28th 2012 by Kensington
Genre: YA paranormal
Series? Yes. Spark is the 2nd in Elemental series. Storm is the 1st and you can read my review here Elemental (Elemental, #0.5), Fearless (Elemental, #1.5) are out. Breathless (Elemental, #2.5) releases Apr 30 2013, Spirit (Elemental, #3) releases May 28th 2013, Untitled (Elemental #4) releases Jan 2014, Untitled (Elemental #5) releases July 2014.
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It took me a bit to get connected and warmed up to Gabriel. It didn't make me want to put the story down or anything because I was definitely looking forward to more in this paranormal world. It helped though with the characters of Layne and Simon. They are amazing secondary characters and I loved what they added to the story. I related with Layne because of hiding from popularity and adored the fact she was a brainiac. Simon is an athlete, but he's labeled a retard because he's deaf. The connection that he and Gabe form over basketball is amazing and it really transforms both of them.
Layne pointed out though that Gabriel lashed out when he thought people was on to him--the real him hidden under the gruff and rude at most times exterior. I thought that was really deep, and it was neat to see him internalize it and start to change.
I also got to know Hunter more in Spark because of his friendship with Gabriel, and I think that its cool that he helped Gabriel to come out of this shell as well.
I hated how his family doubted Gabriel at times in Spark, but I also was frustrated with him that he didn't let them in. But on the other hand, I totally got why he didn't want to tell them. He was finally doing something good with his power and learning control, so he didn't want to be forced to stop.
It was also sad that he and Nick went through separation in here, but I know that in the end helped Gabriel to learn more about himself as an individual. There was also this great epiphany about how they all saw themselves as weak, with the least control, and as a liability to the others.
Brigid has such a great style of writing. There is an amazing dynamic within the Merrick family and chemistry between the guys and the girls they like. The action scenes especially the ones with fire here in Spark are very vivid and beautifully and terrifyingly well done.
While it wasn't a cliffie, there are definitely more questions that I need answered, and tied up. But we got answers and a semblance of a hea for Gabriel and his love.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you think its fair Simon (deaf boy) can practice with team but not play? (Coach reasoning he can't hear whistles or teammates during game--makes a liability too)