While I loved the first installment of this series, Storm, I have to say that I enjoyed Spark so much more. I love all the Merrick boys, but when I learned that this book would be Gabriel’s story, I was thrilled. There was a huge difference between reading from Chris’ point of view in Storm and Gabriel’s point of view in this book. Gabriel was full of heat and anger and in my opinion, that’s pretty darn hot.
One thing I can’t get out of my mind after reading this book is the image of Gabriel in a fireman’s suit. Yes, you read that right. Gabriel has decided to ‘play’ with his element a little bit and that involves him gearing up.
I loved watching the attraction and relationship grow between Gabriel and Layne. They weren’t automatically in love at first sight. They had to work for it. That is so much better to read than something that is completely unbelievable. I also loved seeing Gabriel’s interactions with Layne’s brother, Simon. It just made me love him that much more.
I am definitely in love with this series and look forward to the next installment.
- A girl on the cheer squad had once asked Gabriel if having a twin was like looking in a mirror all the time. He’d ask her if being a cheerleader was like being an idiot all the time.
Oh. My. Lord. Where do I even start?
I was so ecstatic to have gotten an ARC of Spark because I was able to start reading it almost immediately after finishing Storm. Personally, I love that Spark starts off right where after Storm ended. While I enjoyed Storm immensely, I absolutely adore and fell in love with Spark and it’s protagonist, Gabriel. Like head over heels, if-I-had-a-physical-copy-of-this-book-I-would-not-loan-it-out-to-anyone. Why? Because I would not trust them with G.
Let me take a step back and tell you a little bit about Spark, which features senior Gabriel Merrick and sophomore brainiac Lanye Forrest. Gabriel is not good in Math, hence why he’s stuck in Trig, but his twin, Nick, excels at it. We previously learned that Nick has taken tests for Gabriel and does his homework for him. The way that Gabriel describes the way Math is to him, I would swear that he has something like Dyscalculia, but no one seems to ever mention any learning disability. Layne and a substitute teacher figure out what’s going on and Layne offers to tutor him. They are so different from each other, but they are so great together.
- “Why do you keep trying to help me?”
“Because you look like you need it.”
There are a string of arsons in town and Gabriel is a suspect. You know, because a bunch of lighters in his backpack don’t make him look innocent. Because his ability is fire, which he still strives to control, his brothers question him. From Gabriel’s point of view, I can totally understand where he thinks they are blaming him for the fires.
In Storm Gabriel comes across mostly as a crass, smart mouthed jock with a short fuse who loves the ladies. However, in Spark, we get to see that there is so much more to Gabriel. He and Nick are drifting apart and he hates it and feels lost without his twin. Gabriel realizes that outside of his own family he doesn’t have any friends. He hates it that he has such a hard time controlling his element. Air, grass, and trees are everywhere. Water can be carried. Though he can control and feed off of things like energy in wires, light bulbs, the sun, and even lightening, it’s hard and complex.
- He knew what it was like to cause destruction. He’d started the fire that killed his parents.
Because he feels as if everyone is ganging up on him, Gabriel tries to help with the fires happening in town. On Hunter’s urging, he goes into a house that is in flames, speaks to the fire, urges it to tell him where someone is, and saves a life. And with that, he’s addicted.
Let me take a moment and tell you about how incredible Layne is. She’s had it tough herself, but she’s strong for her younger brother, Simon. See, Simon is deaf and he’s mainstreamed in public school and he’s been bullied. Enter Gabriel, star basketball player, who saves Simon a time or two…or three and gives the inspiring player some tips. Yes, the deaf kid is on the basketball team, but the coach won’t let him play, only practice. I love the relationship between Gabriel and Simon.
Layne holds a few secrets herself and has to deal with her overbearing father being so busy that he’s not at home much. Don’t even get me started on her mother, who doesn’t live with them. Talk about someone who should not be allowed to breed. Layne is awesome because she doesn’t put up with Gabriel’s smart comment’s and throws some right back at him.
- “Maybe if you thought with something other than your fists, you’d be passing math on your own.”
She felt ready to slide down the lockers and melt into a puddle at his feet.
Honey, I know the feeling.
Layne is another rock-solid female character that I actually like more than Becca from Storm.
I could go on and on about Gabriel, really. He is actually full of so much self doubt and guilt. I want to bake him chocolate chip cookies, sit with him in front of a fire, hug him while I pat his back and tell him that everything will be okay. That does not make me insane, damn it.
I love that we get to see more of Michael, too. There was one scene, which I shall refer to as “the coffee scene” which just tore my little black heart out. While Gabriel’s relationship with Michael is rocky, they really do get each other on some unspeakable level.
- “And why aren’t you shaving yet? Don’t you care that a girl is here to see you?”
His brother, the master of conversation.
Like its predecessor, Spark is an excellent mix of action, romance, supernatural elements, and teen angst. There was not one single dull moment. I wasn’t bored while reading and didn’t want to put my Kindle down. Alas, I needed to go to work and actually sleep. There were twists and turns, and because I never see things coming, surprises too. I felt so much for Gabriel and for what he was going through. He is really up there in my top ten characters I want to hug list.
What? You don’t have a list like that? You should! Even if Spock does not approve.
Seriously though? I need to stop writing and go back to crying in my corner over not currently having anything else in the series to read. I loved Spark so much it’s not funny. Any tiny flaws that I disliked (aka Kara and Quinn), I was able to overlook because there was much, much more awesomeness to enjoy. It took me a while to actually move onto another book after I was finished. I could not let go of the Elemental world or the Merrick brothers.
Seriously, you HAVE to check this series out.