Saturday, January 19, 2013
Book Review: Spark
Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally. Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can't. Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he's not doing it. And no one seems to believe him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Because Layne has a few secrets of her own...
This is one of those rare instances where the sequel is better than the first book. I adored Storm, but Spark is just better in every way. Better characters, better action, better romance...it was perfect. Also, it helps that I'm kind of in love with Gabriel. :) He's my favorite out of the Merrick brothers - I just love his sense of humor - and it was so fun to read a book from his POV!
Oh, Gabriel. Where do I begin? He's such a complex character. I love how he's tough on the outside but hurting inside. He feels like no one in his family understands him or believes in him, no matter what he does. I love the close bond he has with his twin brother Nick, and I felt so bad for Gabriel as he and Nick grow farther apart.
And Layne! Oh my word! She and Gabriel are adorable together. One thing that's great is that, even though they fall in love over a span of two weeks, it really never feels like insta-love. (I know. I can't believe I'm saying that.) But their relationship is just so well-done, and I love how they connect on an emotional level too.
As much as I love the romance, Kemmerer's writing really shines through when she writes about family relationships. Everything about the Merrick brothers feels so real: the way they interact, the way they treat each other, the way they stick up for each other even when they're mad. She's an incredible writer!
Can I just mention the minor characters? Because they were FANTASTIC. Take Layne's younger brother, for example. I love his role in the story. And Hunter, too, is great, though there's a twist at the end that surprised me! I loved Layne's parents as well. Her dad has a great character arc, and her mom...well, okay, I pretty much couldn't stand her mom, but I like that Layne learns to stand up to her.
I could go on and on about the plot, too, but this review is already long enough. So suffice it to say that the plot is pure awesomeness. Lots of action, lots of tension, and some really cool scenes with Gabriel trying to control fire. I couldn't put this book down!
If you enjoy YA urban fantasy with lots of swoon-worthy boys, unique storylines, and action-packed plots, then this series is a must-read. I can't wait for the third book, Spirit, to come out!
My rating: 10 out of 10 (5 stars)
~ The Bookworm