Tuesday, August 28, 2012
"Spark" by Brigid Kemmerer
From Goodreads: "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…"
While I feel head over heels for Gabriel in "Storm" (I mean, swoon-worthy or what with all of his bad-boy attitude or what?!?) I must admit that it did take me a while to get into Gabriel's head in this book (I was just so acclimatized to Chris's from "Storm" due to reading these books back-to-back), however once I did I LOVED it- I found Gabriel to be a much, more more complex character than his younger brother.
That being said, I found Layne to be somewhat of a weaker character than Becca. In some cases I had differences differentiating them as they share many personality traits- constantly licking their lips (since I read "Twilight" with Bella constantly doing this, I can't help but notice it in other books)- and having deep, dark secrets which aren't revealed until the latter half of the novel. I would love for one of the love interests to just lay everything out on the table from the get-go. However, I did like her much more than I liked Quinn (hopefully future books in this series can convince me to like Quinn)- I loved the relationship that Layne had with her brother (she was selfless beyond belief when it came to him) and I really liked the fact that she actually grew as the story progressed, becoming more than the somewhat mousy/ shy girl we were introduced to- no longer afraid to stand up for what she believed in and doing everything in her power to protect those around her.
Another complaint that I had had was that unfortunately at times I found myself rolling my eyes at the high school situation- it felt quite over dramatic. I understand that bullying goes on in school, hell, I was on the receiving end of it for the large majority of my middle school career, but I just didn't find it realistic- I mean, what are the chances that out of an entire school there are only a handful of 'nice'/ non-bullying people (since it is made out to seem that almost everyone is a bitchy cheerleader, a serial killer, a thug, or a rapist)? I know that my high school (and many others according to my friends) was nothing like the high school portrayed in this book- there weren't really any cliques, everyone knew everyone else whether to see them in the hallway or by name, and generally everyone got along really well.
Complaints aside, as mentioned I found Gabriel to be much more complex than his brother- as I did Michael, the older brother. I loved learning more about him and I wish that we will continue to do so in upcoming books (especially with the revelation at the end of the novel). I also really enjoyed the relationship between Hunter and Gabriel- one of the best bromances I have seen since that time that Jace and Simon went grocery shopping in "City of Fallen Angels". And I LOVED the little bromance that formed between Simon, Layne's younger brother, and Gabriel- it was just so innocent, genuine, and cute. As I did with the brothers in general, Nick, Gabriel, Michael and Chris- they aren't the perfect/ stereotypical family which sits around the dining room table, enjoying a home-cooked meal every night in their house surrounded by a white picket- they are a real and raw family which makes them all the more relateable.
All in all, despite my complaints I did really enjoy this book- it was just as good, if not better, than "Storm" and one of the best disappointing sequels I have read this year (in a year where I have been disappointed by all sequels save for 2). I am very much looking forward to what the third book in this series, "Spirit", has in store for us!
I received this book from the publisher to read and review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.