Rummanah Aasi
  Usually when you think of paranormal your mind instantly goes to vampires, werewolves, zombies, demons, and et. al., but what about highly gifted humans? Storm, the first book in the Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer is a refreshingly human paranormal romance that will keep you glued to the pages.

Description (from Goodreads): Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys all the ones she doesn't want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her. 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.

Review: I had no idea what to expect when I picked up Storm, but after reading many positive reviews from fellow trusted bloggers I knew I was in good hands. Reading Storm was a lot like watching a really good pilot episode of a promising TV show. You get introduced to a large cast of characters, some of which you align yourself instantly after a few dialogues are exchanged while others you release a sigh of frustration when the opposing side appears. The closest thing I could describe Storm to is a paranormal re-imagining of one of my favorite reads growing up: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Both books contain similar elements, particularly the strong bond between a group of brothers that are left alone and struggle to survive along with the feeling of always being on the outer fringes of their society, which enthralled me the moment I began to read the book to the excitement of knowing the story continues in a new installment.
   Storm is not a complex read and the writing may not draw your attention, but the story is very straightforward. The dialogue like the characters feel realistic and natural. The series revolves around the Merrick brothers who all have a very strong elemental connection. Eldest brother and sole legal guardian Michael controls earth, where as the twins Gabriel and Nick control fire and air respectively. Youngest brother Chris can control water. All four of them are far more powerful than they should be which causes the rift among other Elementals and inspires fear and hate.
  When we first meet Chris, he is at his most vulnerable state both physically and emotionally. He has been ambushed and beaten to a pulp by two older boys. Chris can't use his powers to defend himself because he has yet learned to master his strength and is afraid to lose control. Luckily, Becca comes to his rescue, some how wards off the boys, and takes him home. There she is met with much hostility from the other Merrick boys, who are suspicious of her kindness. Chris doesn’t really know Becca though they share some classes together. He is definitely aware of rumors of her promiscuity that follows her like a shadow. Becca, however, is far from the girl she is perceived to be. Smart and snarky, she avoids the spotlight and tries to fight against slander. I think she sees similarities between herself and Chris. Then, suddenly, she is thrust into the middle of Chris’s drama, and a gorgeous new boy is showing a real interest in her.
  Yes, there is a love triangle brewing in the story and normally I would moan and say "Not again" but while reading Storm, I didn't have any qualms about it because I liked how Kemmerer takes her time to unfold all the individual relationships with a natural pacing with just enough surprises to keep us on our toes. I would have liked more romantic moments in the book, but I really do think this is a budding romance that will definitely become sweeter as it grows.
  While there is no cliffhanger per se at the end of Storm, there are many unanswered questions left. I can't wait until I read the next book which features Gabriel. This would be a series that I wouldn't hesitate in recommending to teen boys as there is plenty of action and the romance doesn't overtake the plot. As a side note, I highly suggest reading the prequel found at the back of the book (really publishers? how does that make sense?) to really understand Michael. After reading his beginnings, he may not seem as prickly in Storm. Personally, I think he's an awesome older brother trying to do the best that he can.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: Strong language, underage drinking, attempted sexual assault, and crude sexual humor. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

If you like this book try: Chronicles of Nick series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Intertwined series by Gena Showalter, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
5 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Yay! So glad you enjoyed this one Rummanah! I'm with you on the romance, I would have loved a little more between Chris and Becca, but I still loved this story overall. I think you'll enjoy Gabriel's book - the romance is more prominent and seems to go deeper than the relationship between Chris and Becca and I really loved that about it. Plus, both Gabriel and Layne are damaged in their own ways, and I'm always a sucker for the damaged characters:)

  2. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this one--it's been on my radar for a while, and I've been looking forward to it! :)

  3. Another person who loves this series? Darn, I really need to get around to starting this series! I love The Outsiders so if this one reminds you of that, Rummanah, I know I'm going to like this one too.

  4. Candace Says:

    I have heard lots of raving about this one. Another good review means I really need to pick it up!

  5. Like you, I was surprised by how little romance there was in what's essentially a romance book. It's true, Kemmerer will never be a spectacular writer, but there's something so very likable about her stories that you just can't resist falling right in.
    Great review! I'm so glad you liked it.

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