January 28, 2014

Latest Read: Secret by Brigid Kemmerer

Here are the basics ...
Secret (Elemental #4) by Brigid Kemmerer
Publication date: Jan. 28, 2014
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Category: Young Adult - Paranormal
Source: Received from publisher via Netgalley (Thanks!)

Summary: Nick Merrick is stretched to the breaking point. Keep his grades sky-high or he’ll never escape his hometown. Keep his brother’s business going or the Merricks will be out on the street. Keep the secret of where he’s going in the evenings from his own twin—-or he’ll lose his family. Keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who’s supposed to be his “girlfriend’s” partner. Of course there’s also the homicidal freak Quinn has taken to hanging around, and the Elemental Guide counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. There’s a storm coming. From all sides. And then some. Can Nick Merrick keep it together? (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
[Note: This is the fourth book in the series; you may not want to read this review if you haven't read the previous books and novellas. Just so you know!]

The good: The Elemental series doesn't get nearly enough attention and I wish I knew why. But at the same time, it's fun that the awesomeness of these books feels like a well-kept secret between Alexa and I (if you're a fan, I want to know!). The books are well-written, entertaining and I find myself caring very much about each character as a new point-of-view is introduced. Secret, the fourth book in this series, is Nick's story and it's definitely one of my favorites. It's a close tie between him and his twin, Gabriel's story (told in Spark). Clearly, I have a soft spot for hot twin brothers.

Secret completely turned around my views on many characters. And for the better. Nick has always been in the background when it comes to his brothers. He's the kind and dependable one. But it wasn't until Secret that I considered Nick might be tired of this role. That maybe beneath his calm exterior could be a myriad of emotions he's just dying to let out but feels afraid to. We finally get full exposure to all those feelings and man, how I felt for the guy. He's hiding while simultaneously exploring who he is, worrying about his family's finances (and potential judgement), hoping to go to college and you know, trying not to get killed by the Guides. It's a lot to take in. But in the middle of all the chaos is Quinn's dance partner Adam, the person Nick can't stop thinking about. I loved the exploration and development here. It allowed us to see a side and a passion to Nick we hadn't known previously and also delved into some pretty serious issues.

Almost in parallel is Quinn, Nick's "girlfriend" and Becca's best friend, who has annoyed the hell out of me from the moment she was introduced. And again, my opinion of her totally changed. It was so different to finally to see Quinn's story from her eyes versus the perspective of everyone else. Like Nick, she hides so much from the people who care about her. Her home life sucks, to put it mildly, and the persona she exudes is just a front for her low self-esteem issues. I finally understood why she acted the way she did and quite frankly, it was heartbreaking. Then a certain unpleasant character from the past (*cough* Tyler *cough*) gets involved in Quinn's life and while I can't say I trust the guy (he does have homicidal tendencies!), Quinn and eventually the Merricks bring out something in him that humanizes his character beyond just being the bad guy.

(No) reservations: None! It ends on just the right cliffhanger-y note and we only have to wait until September (of this year) for the next book.

Do I recommend?: Yes! The way the author intertwines the characters' individual stories with the overarching plot throughout the series is so well done. I have a feeling the next book (still not sure if it's the final one) will be explosive and I can't wait.

Collaborative feature with Alexa! 

Which of the five "elements" would you want to have?
I'd have to go with Nick's element - air. For starters, air is everywhere so that power is accessible at any given moment. But most of all, I liked how Nick could sense people's emotions by how the air changed around them. I'd love to be able to read emotions better and know (with some certainty) if someone is getting upset or felt happy. 

2 comments:

  1. I'm so happy you said that Quinn annoyed you, but that seeing things from her perspective changed your opinion of her. Quinn is easily my least favourite character of this series, so it's nice to see that she's redeemed.

    I can't wait to read Nick's story! Breathless was NOT enough!

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  2. I loved Secret! The way Brigid is developing this series, particularly in terms of the characters she's coaxing us to fall in love with more with each new books, is absolutely BRILLIANT. I'm really glad she wrote Secret, as it's one of the most powerful books yet in the series and I believe a lot of people will like that. So excited for Sacrifice!

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