Saturday, May 5, 2012

[Review] Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

(#1, Elementals)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 01/05/2012
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Source: For review
Precautions: Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity
Pages: 368
My Rating:
Amazing read

My thoughts: 

Final thoughts: Storm is perfect if you're looking for something action-packed AND full of well-developed, fleshed out characters. This book really surprised me, and by the end of it I was left wanting more!

WHAT IS THIS BOOK ABOUT? In my own words...

STORM starts off with a fight. Becca is heading to her car late one night after self-defence class when she comes across a few big guys beating up another guy. Having always done what she felt was right, Becca saves the guy's life. His name is Chris, one of the highly acknowledged Merrick brothers at school.

What follows is a series of events where Becca gets caught up in a twisted state of affairs. The Merrick brothers are what is known as Elementals, people who have a higher connection to the elements. Which means they're dangerous, because they can control these elements and cause wide-spread chaos, such as earthquakes and tornadoes. Every single natural disaster has occurred by the hand of an Elemental, and that is why they are marked for death by the Guides. And when history tries to settle the score, things get messy.

In among all this, Becca has internal struggles in finding herself again and coming to terms with past traumas; in her growing feelings for Chris and the mysterious new boy at school, Hunter; and also in coming to terms with the reappearance of her father.


I had no intention to read this book, but the blogging community speaks LOUD(ly)! Thanks to some convincing words by fellow bloggers (you know who you are), I gave this a try, not really expecting too much. I really got more out of this than I'd meant to!

I loved the concept of these Elementals, people who have a higher affinity for the elements. For this book, the element of focus is water, which gave ample opportunity for beautiful scenes and powerful, emotional instances.

I simply cannot get over these brothers!

Becca becomes entangled in the lives of four brothers when she saves the life of one of them. The Merrick brothers were perfectly nuanced, made even more amazing when you think that Brigid Kemmerer went to an all-girls high school. Michael is the oldest brother, who has had to assume the parental role from an early age; Gabriel and Nick, twins--Gabriel is hot-headed and energetic and a bit of a player, while Nick is the peacekeeper, intelligent and cunning; then we have Chris, the youngest, who is our focal male character for this book.

There is never a dull moment with these guys! Their dynamic works really well and I especially love the way these relationships develop over the course of the novel. 

Michael = earth
Gabriel = fire
Nick = air
Chris = water 

Becca = a strong-willed victim/survivor of rumours

This is a paranormal/supernatural story, and yet, there were instances where it felt contemporary, as the characters also dealt with 'normal' teen issues. Our main girl tackles issues about her identity and the way she is perceived by her peers at school, which serves as a rather intense side story. I really liked that Brigid Kemmerer wasn't afraid to delve into this hard-hitting topic and ultimately I felt that it was handled fairly well. This side plot allowed the reader to feel sympathy (or even empathy) for Becca, as rumours and the effects of being subjected to a rumour are things that people can relate to. Despite this, Becca remains to be a strong and compassionate character who makes mistakes but tries to draw strength from those mistakes.

Romances are not always black and white, but they kind of are in this case.

The roooooooomance! There is a bit of bad romance, but then we have the good romance too. There are some swoonworthy scenes and some great dialogue exchanged between Becca and Chris, as well as Becca and Hunter. I was cheering on Chris most of the way through, and also it kind of didn't feel as much like a love triangle when compared to some other books out there.

I think a bit of my preference for Chris was the fact that we get to see things from his perspective. So not only do we get to SEE him, we get to really get INTO his head and know what he's thinking and feeling. Whereas Hunter comes off a bit too "mysterious, dark and brooding" that it's off-putting.

For me, the writing and plot delivered; bonus stars for the dialogue!

In Storm we have pretty standard YA writing levels. Not a bad thing, since it made it easy to read. It was very easy to slip back into the story at any point, and this means you will have be forced to turn those pages FAST.

So I called a couple of the twists, but some of them literally had me yelling at the book and slamming my forehead against it. The ending was...okay. It did feel way too quick and especially the last chapter suffers from severe anti-climax (reminds me a bit of Twilight, but more like Kemmerer was making fun of Twilight because Becca is not Bella!).

A word of caution: I think I should give proper warning that there are issues of rape and bullying in this book, so if you're extremely sensitive to that stuff, just yeah, be aware that it's there. I don't have much personal experience with that, but when I read those parts I was hard to read and I was tearing up and I don't know I guess the feelings that this character felt was contagious for me.


First lines: "The self defence class had been a waste of sixty bucks. Becca hadn't felt like a victim going in, but she sure did now."


"'Scared of storms?'
... 'No', she lied, starting to turn. 'I'm just--'
Face-to-face with hotness.
(p. 10)

"Touch was funny like that. How one movement could choke you and kill you and another meant nothing more than a carress and an invitation. How sex and rape were just a few motions apart. (p. 184)

"'How do you take your coffee?' her mother called.
Michael glanced down the hallway, then back at Becca.
'I won't think you're any less of a jerk if you act like a normal human being and have a cup of coffee', Becca said. 'I promise.'
He sighed. 'Black,' he called.
Figured. (p. 294)




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I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

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