Friday, July 13, 2012

Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

Spark by Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Publisher: K-Teen

Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally.  Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Like the fire that killed his parents.  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.  More than Gabriel’s pride is at stake -- this could cost him his family, maybe his life. And no one seems to hear him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Layne understands family problems, and she understands secrets. She has a few of her own.  Gabriel can’t let her guess about his brothers, about his abilities, about the danger that’s right at his heels. But there are some risks he can’t help taking.  The fuse is lit… - Goodreads.com

I wasn't sure what to expect from Spark.  I absolutely loved the first book in the series, Storm, and Chris was a wonderful character in it.  But Spark surpassed my expectations as a sequel, as did Gabriel.  I love the fact that this story was from Gabriel's point of view.  So many series' pick one or two protagonists and the entire thing is from their perspective, which is great.  But every now and then, it's nice to find a series like this one where each book gets to change perspective.  It allows you to really get to know all the characters, care about all of them, and really root for them all.  And Gabriel had been a favorite of mine from book one, so when I opened Spark and saw that I was going to get to see Gabriel as the main character, I was so excited.  And he did not disappoint.

Gabriel's story was so heartbreaking at times.  Of all the brothers, Gabriel is the most volatile (which really goes perfectly with the fact that he's a fire user), the most 'in his own head' and the most alone.  His other brothers are pretty good at dealing with their issues, but none of them have to live with the fact that their parents died in a house fire that he caused.  Gabriel has a big chip on his shoulder that causes a rift between him and his closest brother, Nick.  So while he begins to pull far away from his brothers, somehow, Layne is able to open him up a little at a time.  She was such a sweet compliment to Gabriel's volatility, and I loved watching how she softens his edges.

Brigid Kemmerer is great on characterization, great on interactions, especially with the brothers dynamic.  Their relationships with each other are one of my favorite parts of this series.  Kemmerer has a great flare for characterization, for making the writing have soul and emotion, and for keeping you on the edge of your seat.  This is such a phenomenal, unique series and I can't wait for the next one to come out.

If you liked this book, check out the first book in the series:














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