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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Review: Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

Storm

The Elemental Series, #1

by Brigid Kemmerer

Publisher: Kensington (April 2012)
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Format: Paperback (353 pages)
Source: Won in Giveaway
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Summary
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.


At A Glance
I want more!!!!! Now!!!!

The Good
I have been dying to read this book after Sarah at Saz101.com fangirled all over it. Now, I am so happy she went cray cray because I would have never picked this book up otherwise. Storm really is its namesake. I felt a storm of emotions with every page (OMG, that was cheesy). It's weird, but I truly can't label this book at all. It has all these elements--action, romance, and fantasy--but none of these words really describe Storm. It's in its own category. It has both a laid back feel as well as intense suspense and action. And that's the crux of it, Storm kept me on my toes because it wasn't a linear plot, it was complex. It has something for everyone.

We start out with a bang. One of the Merrick brothers, Chris, is getting the crap beat out of him and Becca comes to the rescue. It was an awkward rescue, but it started the ball rolling. We are sucked into Chris and Becca's story. They have secrets, dark secrets that both draws them together and pulls them apart.

Becca is not your typical heroine. She has a promiscuous reputation around school and she can't seem to leave her past behind as bullies continue to berate her every day. But we slowly learn that her reputation has nothing to do with the truth and everything to do with a cover up for what truly happened one fateful night at a party. Becca was so brave and strong. I don't know how she could get through each day with the extent these bullies went to to ruin her life. But she has kept her compassion and learns to let people in again. Becca's life gets even more complicated as enemies of the Merrick boys start to turn their sights on her, because Becca is more than she seems, and she doesn't even realize it.

Chris is the quiet brother. His brothers and him can control the four elements, and his element is water. But even his power doesn't seem to help him from his own bullying problem. But it's not like he can really use his powers like he wants to. Because drawing attention is a bad idea. There are people who look for strong elementals like Chris and his brothers, and they don't ask questions, they just straight up kill. Chris really comes alive when he is around Becca. They have this intense connection that is hard to describe. But their secrets keep them from really getting together. Then in walks Hunter.

Hunter is the new kid at school and Becca can't help but be attracted to him. He doesn't care about Becca's supposed reputation. He doesn't go along with the crowd. Hunter walks his own path. Hunter was the most intriguing character for me. He had this air of confidence and mystery that was so addictive. Though I wanted Becca with Chris, I was actually happy to see Hunter and her together. He treated her with respect and kindness, but he also joked around with her. He had a take charge attitude, which Chris lacked. I was so conflicted because at one point I didn't want Becca to even be with Chris, I wanted her to stay with Hunter.

I really enjoyed meeting the Merrick brothers. They all had unique personalities that contributed to the story. They had flaws as well as redeemable moments that made you want to jump up and down in joy.

The action was really awesome. With a Guide trying to kill the Merrick brothers for being too powerful, with the bullying that goes too far, and with the accidental power shows the boys try to keep under wraps, this book keeps you glued to the pages. I loved the mini plots that kept me guessing and how evil Kemmerer made her bad guys. Kemmerer has a way of drawing us in, even when we want to turn away as the characters we love continue to get hurt.

This book also deals with tough issues. This is one of the worst cases of bullying I have ever seen. And the sexual harassment and attempted rape scenes are hard to read. Becca is amazingly resilient and strong considering what she has gone through. I don't know how high schools are like now, but I thought there should have been more action taken on all the bullies and the people who knew about the sexual assault and supported it. Do teenagers really get away with stuff like this in school? I sure hope not. It's a scary thought.

The Bad
I have been going back and forth on the star rating for a couple days.  I almost gave it 4.5 stars. There are two things I didn't like about this book. I was looking forward to reading about Becca and Chris building a relationship but we don't get that. We get Becca and Hunter building a relationship with Chris on the sidelines. I just wanted to see more of Becca and Chris together.

I also didn't really enjoy some of the sexist things the Merrick boys said, especially Gabriel. Gabriel warns Chris away from Becca because of her sexual reputation, but based on conversations and actions, most of the brothers are manwhores and that seems to be okay. Oh, sweet double standards.

But in the end I gave the book 5 stars, because I really did enjoy it 5 stars worth.

The Snuggly
This is definitely a YA read when it comes to sex. We pretty much get kissing and a little touching. However, there is a sexual assault scene that may be hard for some people to read.

Final Thoughts
I would recommend Storm to everyone I know. Like I said before, this book has something for everyone. It is the perfect blend of supernatural, romance, action, and mystery. It's also emotionally exhausting but it's totally worth it. I love books that make me feel so much that I feel like I was part of the story and action. Kemmerer is now one of my favorite authors. I can't wait to see what she has for us next. Highly recommended.
Quotes
Gabriel: "Finding a girl in the kitchen isn't exactly and oddity around here."
Becca: "Charming."
He glanced up at that, a glint of wicked humor in his eye. "I'm sure you're special, though."
It should have pissed her off, after Michael's brusque attitude and Nick's hey-baby-why-don't-you-come-inside. But Gabriel's teasing was straightforward, challenging, in a way. He expected her to girl it up, to huff and fold her arms. She could tell. "Not special at all. I just heard my number called and thought I better show up." 

*****

“So let me get this straight. He threw the note at Tommy and then told him to fuck off? Or do I have it backwards?”
“I’m detecting some sarcasm.”
“And then got himself sent the principal’s office because he was ready to defend your honor?”
“Quinn.”
Her friend waved a hand. “No, I think you might be on to something. This is clearly an elaborate plot to screw with you. He asks you out, he defends you from that meathead—what next?” Quinn’s eyes flashed wide in mock surprise. “Crap, Bex, do you think he will do something truly horrible like buy you flowers?”
 

*****

“So…why is your brother mean to girls?”
“Because,” said Michael from the doorway, “I have three younger brothers who think it’s hilarious to parade jailbait through here on a daily basis.”
His tone was enough to make her glad she’d worn the pullover into the house. “No one told me there was a parade,” she said acidly. “And here I forgot my banner.”
 

*****

“Touch was funny like that. How one movement could choke you and kill you, but another meant nothing more than a caress and an invitation. How sex and rape were just a few motions apart.” 


11 comments:

  1. Ahahaha, re: the cheesy? The puns? I don't know what it is about Brigid's book that make them impossible to pass over, but EHRMIGERD. JENNIFER. RIIIIIGHT? EEEEEEEEEEEEE! I AM SO GLAD YOU LOVED THIS!

    And and and... YES.
    The bullying is the one thing which has stuck out for me the most. It's brutal and raw and and and *whimpers*

    And... oh, yes. I think you make a good point, re: the sexist comments, and, more specifically, Gabriel. I almost wonder if Brigid wasn't specifically trying to highlight that type of double standard? I mean, for one, that it's OK for guys to, erm, 'play the field', but a girl does the same and she's a slut? *fumes*
    Then there's the whole... if a girl warned her BFF off a guy because he had a bad rep, it'd just be girls looking out for each other. If a guy does the same (G to Chris), it's different there. Which is INTERESTING.

    ANYWAY. I AM GETTING SIDE TRACKED.
    You're reading Spark now? OMG OMG OMG. J. I think I liked it even more... the whole... finding out what's BEHIND Gabriel? Why he's always sticking his foot in his mouth?

    EEEEEEE! I can't wait to see what you think ♥

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    1. That is true, the girls can be warned off guys for a bad rep, but if boys do the same thing for their guy friends, it feels more sexist. I never thought of it that way. I think because as guys, it's "okay" for them to be players, but for girls, they are just sluts if they decide to sleep around. So us girls are more protective of each other since we just get harrassed for sex while boys get high fives. It's so hard to figure out what's right and wrong in this situation.

      I love Spark so far.

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  3. I'm sold. Went and added it to my to-read list. Sounds like something I would really enjoy and the excerpts were great.

    I like it when an author tackles hard topics and it turns out well done. Of course it would have to make you FEEL but it's all about the outcome. Regardless of some flaws, you felt this one was a five. I think these guys Becca and Quinn seem worth exploring. Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven

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    1. I so hope you do read this book. It is awesome. I was surprised how much I loved it.

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  4. This sounds great, with Rebecca as different heroine, and Chris had piqued my interest too.
    Thanks for review, it makes me want to read it even more now.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  5. Dang! Adding to the TBR, love it when things are tough but work out. And all the fangirling helps too :)

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    1. I swear, this is a huge fangirl type of book.

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  6. Yaay, I'm really glad you liked it. I think that one of the things you didn't like - lack of development between Chris and Becca - will be totally sorted in the next book. Spark has a massive build up between Gabriel and Lainey and it's very splendiferous.

    Plus, the FEELS will drive you to emotional breakdown.

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    1. I read Spark. I liked it but I still wish I got to see more of Chris and Becca becoming a couple.

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