Michelle's Reviews > Spark

Spark by Brigid Kemmerer
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Aug 02, 2012

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bookshelves: netgalley, fantasy, magic, romance, teen
Read from August 02 to 04, 2012

When I read the blurb about four gifted brothers who could each control a different elemental power I was intrigued. This book focuses on Gabriel who can control fire, sort of. Multiple circumstances which all get explained during the story have turned Gabriel into an angry and disconnected teenager. Then the fires start. Suspicion quickly falls on Gabriel. Even his brothers aren’t sure what to believe, which just pushes him farther away. Layne looks like a privileged rich girl, but that just hides a broken, damaged family. Gabriel is a major, major jerk when he first meets her, in fact he’s a major jerk to everyone. As the reader we know it’s because he is hurting, but still not a pleasant character to read. Despite his nastiness Layne is drawn to Gabriel and he finds himself liking her in return.

A large part of the story focuses on the romance between the two. I know plenty of readers will disagree, but I had a little difficulty with the romance because Gabriel is so mean bordering on verbally abusive at times. The responsible part of me kept thinking “run girl, run away as fast as you can.” Of course in fiction a good girl always helps the boy grow and Gabriel does grow some, but not entirely out of his jerkiness. Another factor with the strong romance element is that the fantasy parts seemed to get a little lost. Gabriel and a friend spend a lot of time trying to rescue people from the fires. That is obviously going to blow up in their faces so it seemed a little anticlimactic when it did. Compared to the first book in the series the bigger plotline going on for all the boys was a little hazy and undefined, and often seemed to take second part to the romance and the arsonist. As long as you’re expecting that, it’s still an enjoyable, if not stunning read.

Content Warnings: Strong language, sexuality, violence
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06/05/2013 marked as: read

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