Storm (Elementals, book 1) by Brigid Kemmerer
Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they have more power than you dream.
Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her, Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys—all the ones she doesn't want. 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 . . .
Right up front I'm going to put it out there: I don't think this book was worth all the buzz.
That said I enjoyed it. To me it was a fun read, I liked the idea of a YA version of Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series. Elemental does well with the idea that I never thought that it was a rip off of said series. The writing was pretty fun and I enjoyed all of the brothers, and added hottie. The brothers have a very interesting dynamic to them and I look forward to each of their books, oh and the hottie AKA Hunter.
What I didn't like was the overall plot. Gosh is was so obvious that I felt like I should have just put the book down because I knew exactly what was going to be “revealed” and la-dee-dah. However, I kept reading because it looked like Becca—oh, and let me get to that mess in moment—and Chris were the leads telling the story, but Hunter entered as the new hot transfer student and it seemed like he had a real chance with Becca. Of course his “plot” twist meant drama that I'd usually say dump the guy for. The problem was the majority of the book evolves around Hunter and Becca dating. Even with Chris telling part of the story he felt like a third wheel and not part of the main romance. Even the ending was so, eh. Eh.
It didn't help that I loathed Becca. Loathed. Not disliked, loathed. Dear authors making a nice and empathetic character does not mean you need to make them feel like blank slates. Becca felt like a telling character, you know the author is telling me she's supposed to be really brave and all this. Oh, and the blushing. I'm a blusher, but I don't freaking blush like that!! I'd pass out. Over heat and probably kill myself. I will give props to Kemmerer for addressing the subject of sexual pressure among teens. For how a girl can blame herself and simply want the whole mess to just disappear. However, what I don't get is if you're afraid of going to a party because your ex might rape you in front of everyone (and that's only her 5th worry, hate to know what the other top 4 are) don't effing go to the party! Oh, and no matter how kind you are do not wander off alone no matter how safe it looks.
Becca-Becca-Becca! You dumb girl. She put the whole too stupid to live thing into the light. She gets mad at the wrong people. If something traumatic happens and your passive and just taking the kicks, I understand. However, Becca would have these moments to show readers how strong she really was, but she was being aggressive to the wrong people. Which I get in a way, but most of the time it's a game as to what really happened with Becca and she's dumb enough that I really started to wonder . . . if she even knew what happened. Or if it was like a forced kiss gone wrong and or something mild blown out of proportion. That's how bad she was.
Beside the cast of brothers being really cool and my enjoyment of Hunter, I will say I was really disappointed in the lack of Chris. Honestly this felt more like Hunter's book, only he didn't have narration time. And no it's not a spoiler, we all know how these books work! The flip happens and Chris gets the girl, only I didn't give a fudge. Ya know it's gonna happen, and sadly both love interests are underdeveloped. Becca's best friend Quinn even got on my nerves and I'm worried about the book she'll have as she's pretty uncaring, an over the top drama queen, and a bitch—no I didn't think she was very “spunky” just mean.
Back to that plot. Storm is a really cool concept with the Elemental universe, like I said I'd been waiting for a YA title to do this idea. Yet the plot felt like someone's connect the dots on how to write a book. Within the first 30 pages, once all the elements are introduced—and even before those elements are added—I was all “oh, this is going to happen and then they'll go with this whole schpeel and try to do this silly plot twist.” And yeah, I was write on. If you're one of those people who can anticipate plots and know where a story is going this is one of those books.
Overall with the predictable A to B plot, with an unshocking twist tossed in, and a lead I loathed, it's puzzling as to why I enjoyed this book. Especially since the subject of sexual harassment, sexual pressures, and rape were such . . . props in the story. It was insulting. Especially since it was supposed to be a huge part of this book. Either go all the way, or go home! Please do not tip toe around subjects like this. And don't . . ugh. The world is interesting, but underdeveloped. The writing is nothing to bedazzled over. And besides the brothers and Hunter, the other characters and generic and cut outs. Oh, the brothers and Hunter are cut outs/generic characters too. Maybe it's the potential. Yes, I will be looking into the rest of the books. Let's hope the next ones buck up.
Sexual Content: Sexual humor and some dark sexual content. Nothing over the top though, the kids will live. Though I don’t have a drug content, but white out on nails . . . pretty sure that’s how kids in my grade got high. Why wasn’t that ever addressed? Or was the Kemmerer just unaware, or thought it was normal to add it . . .
2/5- Average/disappointing, library check-out.
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