Quick Reviews: Second Book Syndrome?

Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris

- Cover - Review Title: Unbreakable
Series: Unraveling
Book two
Author: Elizabeth Norris
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.

And when Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger. Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she’s in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?

Review

After reading Unraveling and not enjoying it like I thought I would, I went in with low expectations with Unbreakable. I ended up being pleasantly surprised. I quite enjoyed Unbreakable, it had more of an original storyline which was a huge disappointment for me in the first book and I had a lot of fun reading it.

Unbreakable was entertaining, different to the first book and ended up being really intense. My favourite character was Barclay which was surprising. I found myself enjoying this story including the end which broke my heart just a bit.

Second book syndrome? Definitely not! I loved this book a lot better than the first book!

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight by Sarach J. Maas - Cover - Review

Title: Crown of Midnight
Series: Throne of Glass
Book two
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie…and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

Review

When I read Crown of Midnight I wasn’t sure what I was going to expect. I didn’t like Throne of Glass as much as I had wanted to so I was hesitant about this book. I ended up enjoying this book a whole lot more than I had expected to which was nice.

Celaena wasn’t as infuriating in this book, she wasn’t as arrogant or selfish. There were a few things that still annoyed me, like the romance that was obvious from the beginning of Throne of Glass, but overall I enjoyed this a whole lot more. The plot had potential and it ran with it. I even had a moment of “Oh my god, no!” and was instantly heartbroken.

The only thing is that for me, the huge reveal that had everyone gasping when they found out; wasn’t a reveal for me at all. In fact I had thought it was quite obvious from the beginning. I had figured out the reveal from the beginning of Throne of Glass which was disappointing for me.

I’m not really sure where book three will lead but I’m excited to find out!

Second book syndrome? No, I thought this book was way better than its predecessor.

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter - Cover - Review Title: Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
Series: Gallagher Girls
Book two
Author: Ally Carter
Genre: Chick Lit
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

Cammie Morgan is back, and it’s clear that her life hasn’t calmed down since the events of I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You. At first, giddy anticipation is in the air. Gallagher Academy, Cammie’s elite spy school, is hosting a visit from a covert training center for boys. Soon after the boys’ arrival, though, everything goes dangerously awry when a series of security breaches are discovered at the academy. Worse yet, teenage agent-in-training Cammie is being blamed for the penetration. With the school’s top-secret status at risk, the Gallagher Girls have to work quickly to save their beloved school

Review

I really enjoyed the first book I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You so I thought I would love Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy too. Unfortunately this was not the case.

For some reason Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy was only an average read for me. The whole first half of the book was very slow and not a lot happened, I was bored. Then the second half picked up but I was starting to get afraid that there will be a love triangle in this book. Josh was back in the picture but I really wanted him to be gone for good, he annoyed me more than anything else. I found that Cammie was making a lot of mistakes that a spy just wouldn’t do, especially compared to how she was in book one.

Overall this was a light, quick read and wasn’t as good of a read as its predecessor for me but I will still definitely be carrying on with this series!

Second Book Syndrome? Yes, I don’t think the book knew where to go with this one. I can see it was setting up a love triangle, I think this book has pretty much set up the rest of the series after the first book which introduced the series.

Miss J

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[Review #121] The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Elite by Kiera Cass Cover - Review Title: The Elite –
Series: The Selection
Book Two
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: Dystopia (?), Romance
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

Review

I quite enjoyed The Selection, I thought that it had potential and that The Elite would take that potential and make this series huge. However I was incredibly surprised to find that this book is probably the worst second book in a series that I have ever read. By that I mean: I was able to finish this book because it wasn’t boring per se but I dis-liked this book and the main character so much that I actually think I won’t even bother with the last one.

The Elite was very frustrating. The first things I thought when I finished this book and closed the back cover was “What the hell did I just read? What the hell just happened? What the hell is going on? And why the hell does Maxon like America?!”, seriously. This book confused me. The main perpetrator? The romance.

The romance and the love triangle was so forced it felt like America was two completely different people when she was around Maxon and then around Aspen. Whenever Maxon was in her line of sight she was in love with him but whenever Aspen was in her line of sight she was head over heels for him instead. She kept flicking backwards and forwards between to the two like a boomerang. It was ridiculous! She was ridiculous! They were ridiculous! I’m not sure why either of them are even interested in her, she clearly doesn’t know what she wants or who she wants. It just felt like Cass was trying to make the book interesting by forcing the love triangle. It failed, miserably.

In The Selection I wanted to hear and see more of the rebels. In The Elite we got a bit more but the scenes felt placed, it didn’t seem to flow very well. Although the rebels never felt dangerous, they never felt like they were a real threat. Maxon’s father felt more like a threat.

The Elite lost all of the humour that I loved in The Selection. I found America to be whiny, indecisive, pretty horrible. I simply couldn’t find her funny because I disliked her way too much for how indecisive and selfish she was.

In Summary:
– The Elite was probably the worst second book in a series that I have ever read.
– The love triangle was incredibly forced, dry, boring and just plain horrible. There was no chemistry, America loved whoever was in her line of sight. It was ridiculous.
– The rebel scenes felt like they were placed in the story, the story was very choppy and didn’t flow very well. I didn’t seriously think anyone was in any real danger.
– America was just plain selfish.
– I personally did not like this book. This makes me very sad.

Miss J

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[Review #116] Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth Cover - Review Title: Insurgent
Series: Divergent
Book two
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Dystopian
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

Review

I remember loving the first book in this series; Divergent. So naturally I expected to love Insurgent too, maybe I left it too long to read this book? By the time I picked Insurgent up it had been well over a year since I had read Divergent and I couldn’t really remember the specifics of what had happened (Alarm bells ringing? Story and characters not memorable enough…), so I had to find a site that had summarized the book with all of its main points. Once I had refreshed my memory on the story line, the characters, and events that had taken place I delved into this book.

I was pretty disappointed to be honest. The first half of Insurgent was very slow, it took me two weeks to read it and that’s a long time considering it only took me days to read Divergent. I actually read a couple of books in between reading the first half of this book, that’s how bored I was. I’m actually amazed I didn’t put the book down for good because I have little patience when it comes to forcing myself to read books I’m not enjoying.

The second half of Insurgent however was a lot more exciting, I read the second half in a couple of days so in comparison that’s pretty good. I did like seeing Tris having to deal with consequences of what happened in the first book, it made everything more interesting because she was struggling with something personally besides the bigger picture. In saying that though I still didn’t quite love this book, it picked up and got a lot more interesting but the story didn’t move a lot. Everything happened in the last half and I got confused, I definitely do think that some of that has to do with the writing.

The writing confused me sometimes, I found myself having to go back and re-read a few sentences because they didn’t make sense to me the first time around, some sentences still didn’t make sense to me after re-reading them and I have no idea what Roth was trying to say. I felt like those sentences pulled me out of the story and hindered it for me. I found that the whole book wasn’t that memorable and nor were a lot of the characters. I had a hard time remembering who was who the whole time I was reading, for some reason I just wasn’t very engaged in the book and couldn’t place names to characters when I read them. That made me sad.

A lot seemed to happen at the end of Insurgent but I actually have no idea what the big reveal was at first, I didn’t understand what any of it meant. I’m not sure if this is because of the way it was described, written or perhaps I missed something when I was reading it but it was lost on me. After re-reading it I get it now but I’m still not too sure what was going on.

I’m definitely going to read Allegiant soon for fear that if I don’t I won’t remember anything that happened in either book!

In Summary:
– I loved Divergent but found I really didn’t like Insurgent anywhere near as much.
– The characters and the story weren’t very memorable, I had a hard time remembering who was who and what was going on. This could have been attributed to the writing though as I felt some of it was very clunky and unclear.
– I did enjoy getting to see Tris work through things that troubled her and see her overcome it.
– The beginning of the book was very slow and I found myself pretty bored, everything happened at the end of the book and it seemed to confuse me more than excite me.

Miss J

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[Review #114] Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers Cover - Review Title: Dark Triumph
Series: His Fair Assassin
Book two
Author: Robin LaFevers
Genre: Fantasy
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. The convent views Sybella, naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

Review

Wow. Dark Triumph was very different to Grave Mercy, it was darker and more tortured. Sybella’s story was more personal than what Grave Mercy was. Grave Mercy focused more on the political doings of the country and what was happening at the time, while Dark Triumph focused more on Sybella and her secrets. I really liked this book.

Dark Triumph was exciting and entertaining from page one, twists were revealed throughout the book with the first one that I personally did not know already within the first few chapters. I really liked this because I never guessed any of the twists or any of Sybella’s secrets until they were revealed. Sybella was tortured and dark, she was haunted by her past and her childhood. Yet she was still likeable, understandable, and interesting and I found myself really starting to care for her.

The romance between Sybella and the certain soldier was heart warming. To be honest I did find it happened a little too fast, sure they travelled together for a few days but then they didn’t see each other or have a proper conversation for a while afterwards. So when the romance was trying to subtly make its way known I was instead a little disbelieving of it. I guess the word love felt like it was being felt too soon. But I was able to forgive this because this story was so very interesting.

I was addicted to Dark Triumph, I found it hard to put down and stop reading, I had wanted to read it from cover to cover within one go. Which wasn’t possible unfortunately. So I picked this book up every spare moment I had. I am dying to read book three; Mortal Heart already, but I have to be honest that I have no idea what story Mortal Heart will tell. The end of this book left me with questions about the state of the country but it also left questions about what book three entails. I’m intrigued to find out!

Overall, I highly enjoyed Dark Triumph. It was addicting, fascinating, dark yet exciting and intriguing.

In Summary:
– I absolutely loved Dark Triumph.
Dark Triumph was a darker and more personal story than its predecessor Grave Mercy. Making this book different and even more interesting to read.
– I loved that there were twists and turns revealed throughout the book. I never guessed any of them.
– Sybella was tortured yet she was also relate-able and likeable.
– The romance did feel a little sudden with the amount of interactions her and the soldier had. But I was able to forgive this because the rest of the story was thrilling.

Miss J

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[Review #113] The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

Crown of Embers by Rae Carson Cover - Review Title: The Crown of Embers
Series: Fire and Thorns
Book two
Author: Rae Carson
Genre: Fantasy
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone’s power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.

Review

The Crown of Embers surprised me, I liked The first book; The Girls of Fire and Thorns but I didn’t love it like I loved this. I knew this book was going to be good but I didn’t realise this book was going to be amazing. I loved it, I highly enjoyed it and now I’m dying to read The Bitter Kingdom.

The Crown of Embers follows Elisa as she tries to rule a country that is in ruins from the war that has just ended. I loved this book mainly because this book has a bigger picture. Elisa learns through choices and mistakes she makes, she learns by doing the wrong things but at least she’s decisive about it. I loved watching her grow throughout the book, discover herself and gain confidence. The character development that was weaved throughout the story was amazing.

The romance in this book had my own stomach flipping. Stolen glances, forbidden feelings, secret moments. The way Elisa falls in love is deep, she truly cares for the man she has fallen for yet for her country she knows it is not possible and never will be for her to be with him. The pain she suffered from the fact of this was heartbreaking, yet she would put her country first and always. I loved that about her. She was strong and even in times of fear she was still able to appear strong.

Elisa is a strong character, she steadily grows throughout the book as she learns how to be queen of a country she has only recently become a part of. She was a very well rounded, deep character and I felt for her. I was able to connect with and understand her which I always find is incredibly important. All of the characters in The Crown of Embers were well rounded, I loved that. I loved everything about this book.

Overall, there were many, many things I absolutely loved about this book and nothing that I didn’t. The Crown of Embers flew past the first book in the series and is a definite read. It’s exciting, thrilling, interesting, addicting and one of the best books I have read.

In Summary:
The Crown of Embers was amazing, I loved every minute of it.
– Elisa’s character development was astounding and the way it was weaved through the story was enthralling.
– I loved how Elisa grew and learned from her mistakes throughout the book. I loved that she made mistakes when thinking she was making the right decisions. It was realistic.
– The romance had my own stomach in flips, it was captivating and exciting seeing the romance grow.
– This is definitely one of the best books I read in 2013.

Miss J

[Review #112] Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand Cover - Review - Book two of the Unearthly Series Title: Hallowed
Series: Unearthly
Book two
Author: Cynthia Hand
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn’t prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

Review

When I read Unearthly I claimed it to be my favourite book of the year and the best read I had ever read, which was surprising since I don’t often like ‘angel’ themed stories. Now this was back in 2012 when I had just started this blog and I hadn’t been reading a lot but what I had been reading had been books that didn’t interest me. So when Unearthly came along it blew me out of the water. It took me quite a long time to start Hallowed and I’m not sure why.

When I picked up Hallowed I expected to love it and rave about it for months on end like I did with Unearthly. But for some reason, I just can’t rave about this. I just did not love this as much as I seem to have loved Unearthly, I was actually really disappointed about this. Hallowed just did not pull me in like Unearthly did, for me it suffered ‘second book syndrome’. I think a huge part of this is because of the love triangle and the lack of action I had expected.

In Unearthly I was team Tucker all the way. He was sexy and amazing and he accepted Clara for who and what she was. In Hallowed that all went to crap, I wanted Tucker to move out of the way and let Christian take over. I all of a sudden just wanted Clara to stop being stubborn, get over it and go with Christian. The way Hand wrote this book geared readers towards Christian and the way she wrote Unearthly geared readers towards Tucker. I didn’t like it because it was setting me and Clara up for heartbreak. So I didn’t like the love triangle because I loved both of the love interests but I didn’t like how it was all unfolding and I feel like it completely negated the entire first book. One of them has to lose, hell maybe in Boundless everyone will lose? I don’t know. All I know is I will be giving this series a little bit of a breather before I dive in to the last book.

After the end of Unearthly I had expected Hallowed to dive right in with action and black wings all over the place, except I got nothing of the sort. For me the beginning was slow and un-memorable and then the unfolding of events was slow and there wasn’t really a lot of action at all. It was just heartbreaking for me simply because of the love triangle. But then the reveal and the end was heart wrenching and quite frankly pissed me off. Seriously. Just pissed me off. It took me by complete surprise in the bad way, I just wasn’t happy.

Overall, this book was okay but it brought all sorts of anger and annoyance. It left me feeling sour rather than excited for the last book in the series. I have no idea where this story is going now, not even a hint. So I don’t know how I feel about this series as a whole. However, this book is a must read if you have already started this series.

In Summary:
– Hallowed was nothing that I expected in terms of story wise. I was completely surprised at the direction that this book took this series, now I have no idea what’s going to happen in Boundless.
– 
I wasn’t a fan of the love triangle at all, I felt like it completely negated the first book and destroyed all the good feelings I felt in Unearthly yet I was rooting for the other guy the whole time.
 I didn’t love Hallowed like I loved Unearthly and that made me sad. This book just wasn’t as good as its predecessor.

Miss J

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[Review #111] Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer Cover - Review Title: Scarlet
Series: Lunar Chronicles
Book two
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Science Fiction, Fairytale retelling
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth…

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Review

I’ve been highly anticipating Scarlet since I finished Cinder last year. The fact it took me so long to read this when I’ve had this book on my shelf for months is just ridiculous! I loved every minute of this book.

Scarlet was a different read to Cinder yet at the same time it still held the feeling that I felt when I read Cinder. The world was the same, I could crisply picture how the world had become in the future. The world building felt consistent which I was relieved with. This book followed along Scarlet’s path and story which happened to relate to Cinder in a way. I really liked that this book was mainly in Scarlet’s POV although at the same time we got chapters of other characters POV’s to see what they were up to; Cinder was still there and highly involved in the story. Even though she wasn’t the main, main character that this story focused on.

I liked Scarlet, she was fiery and passionate, she was fun to read. But as the book went on I did start to get annoyed at her naivety, her stubbornness and sometimes her childishness. Sometimes I thought she was so stupid for not having things figured out already. I really liked Wolf, he was interesting and alluring yet scary. Thorne was another new character that we got to meet and fall in love with, he became Cinder’s sidekick in a way although he likes to think of Cinder as his sidekick.

I loved how the story of Scarlet worked in with Cinder and how the characters Scarlet and Cinder related to each other. It was fascinating and interesting in how Meyer has worked this series. It only makes me more excited to read the rest of it and see where Meyer takes each story and how she works it in. This series is definitely my favourite retelling of fairy tales without it being a retelling.

Miss J

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[Review #102] Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

Spark by Brigid Kemmerer Cover - Review Title: Spark
Series: Elementals
Book two
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

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 turtle-necks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Because Layne has a few secrets of her own…

Review

Spark is book two in the Elemental series. I loved Storm and couldn’t get enough of it.

Spark is Gabriel Merrick’s story told in his and Layne’s point of view. This story is a little different, in Storm the story was in Becca’s and Chris’ point of view but I felt like Becca was the main character while Chris was the secondary main character. In Spark Gabriel is the main character, but it makes sense because we never met Layne in book one so why would she be the main character when we don’t even know her yet. I guess I found that it threw me a little but I got used to it pretty fast.

Gabriel feels like a failure, he couldn’t protect his twin brother Nick when he needed him the most. So he shuts Nick out and then through events he shuts everyone else out as well leaving him alone where nobody understands. When he’s discovered as cheating in math, by switching with his twin every test so he would pass, he is given a week and a half to prove he can stay in the class and join the basket ball team. He needs to pass math otherwise he won’t be able to join basketball again which is his lifeline. The girl sitting next to him offers to tutor him although he’s not sure why. After a string of fires across the city, Gabriel is accused of starting them, no one believes its not him; including the people he thought knew him the most.

Layne is the quiet one, she gets good grades, studies hard and tries to make her father proud. When her mother left she blamed herself, she thought it was because of an event that happened when she was younger that left her scarred for life, she could no long play the perfect daughter her mother wanted her to be. So when her mother left Layne knews she needed to look after her younger brother Simon, who is deaf, and to keep their father happy. But when she invites Gabriel Merrick over for math tutoring, things don’t go too well and she realises she has no idea what she was thinking because he just made everything worse.

At first I found it hard to really connect with Gabriel because of his flighty, impulsive and aggressive attitude towards everything but he controls fire so it makes sense, him and fire go hand in hand. I found like he exploded a lot instead of thinking logically and sensibly, he could be aggressive and didn’t know how to take out his anger, yet at the same time he was a pretty cool guy when he was calm and nice. I really liked how his personality fit with his element though, it made a lot of sense.

At first I found Layne to be sweet and nice but then the way she couldn’t stand up for herself and how she thought her father knew best started to annoy me. That changed as the story progressed though and I really liked who she came to be. I really liked her little brother Simon, he also grew throughout the book and it was cool getting to see him grow more confident.

I liked Spark a lot, it was very character driven, a lot more than Storm, but it was done really well. The only reason I haven’t rated this as high as Storm (Which I gave 5 clubs) is because even though I liked it I just didn’t love it as much as I loved Storm. Things progressed a little slowly at times, Gabriel’s attitude was getting really annoying and I hated how huge he made things, I really wanted him to open up to his family but he believed all of them were against him. And then to be honest I wasn’t sure I liked how it ended. Then again this series is written so we see these events unravel from each brother/elemental’s point of view, and the next book Spirit looks like it carries on this storyline.

In Summary:
-I really enjoyed reading this book. Even though the character changes threw me off a little I got used to it and read this within a night without even realising.
-I really disliked how Gabriel threw everything out of proportion and made things a lot worse by just not letting people in, he was very good at shutting everyone out and thinking no one cared. He was blind to everyone else’s feelings, he just couldn’t understand them. And that was something I couldn’t connect with.
-This book is very character driven and I loved getting to see how each character grew, including Layne’s younger brother Simon. I liked getting to see him grow more confident of himself.
-I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to seeing where this story goes in Spirit, told from Hunter’s point of view.

Miss J

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