Title: Storm (Elementals #1)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Genre: Romance, Young Adult, Paranormal
Published: 1 May 2012 by Allen & Unwin
Format Read: Paperback, 368 pages
Synopsis: “Earth. Fire. Air. Water.
When Becca Chandler saves Chris Merrick from being beaten-up in the school car park, she has no idea how dramatically this one action will change her life. Chris is no ordinary guy and neither are his three older brothers. The Merrick boys are Elementals. Hot. Powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.
Then there’s Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time. With her life at stake, Becca doesn’t know who to trust or whose secrets she should keep. and with two boy vying for her affections, and pressure rising all around her, will she find out in time who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all?
The storm is coming!” (Taken from Goodreads)
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I think it’s a testimony to how good a book is when I put it before more important things like finishing off my 40% assessments due the next day. I devoured this entire book in two days (would have been less if I didn’t have to go to work or go to my softball match) and was still realing from it a few days later. That’s how much I liked it. With all these paranormal stories coming out, I’m glad that Kemmerer had come up with a somewhat original concept. I mean come on, who’s not sick of the vampires/angel/demon genre by now?
Storm begins with Becca saving one of the Merrick brothers from a beating in the middle of the deserted school parking lot. From the start, I’ve liked how much of a bad ass Becca seemed to be. She literally drove her car towards the bullies to scare them away! While I’m not endorsing this sort of violence, it was pretty sweet just reading about it. Becca proved to be quite a likeable character throughout the novel, so I became quite invested in her. She was genuine, and she felt real – like how a high school girl should be.
Unlike other readers I’ve come across, I do like reading about a love triangle if it’s done properly. Kemmerer really managed to do it right – I kept jumping back and forth between Chris and Hunter as both seemed to be equally fascinating. There was a point where I did become very suspicious about Hunter (I mean, how the hell did he know where Becca lived…), but I still really adored him. I think his interactions with Becca felt more genuine than the ones between Chris and Becca. I really think I do prefer him over Chris, especially with Casper by his side. He really is such a sweetie. But Chris is super amazing in his own way as well, especially in the parts where we meet his brothers. All the Merrick brothers have their own unique personality that fits so well with their elements.
Plot wise, the book kept me guessing at times, yet was predictable in other sections. I liked the pacing and I never felt like I wanted to put the book down. However, I must say that the novel’s depictions of American high school dynamics rubbed me in all the wrong ways. I’m sorry, but I just can’t seem to comprehend how a group of guys aged 18 and above still think it’s a good idea to rape a girl in the middle of the school field with dozens of students and teachers a few hundred metres away. Even the most arrogant guys I’ve come across are never as awful as the ‘jocks’ that seem to pop up in all American depictions of high school life. And don’t get me started on the depictions of cheerleaders. I think it’s awfully unfair to classify them all as a community of sluts just because they are cheerleaders. Why are they always the villain in every story? Actions like the ones shown in this book are usually a result of bad parenting … but it’s just not believable when half the characters seem to get excited about a girl being raped. Perhaps growing up in Australia has clouded my outlook on the world, but I have never met teenagers that are excited about the concept of rape or ruining someone’s reputation just for the sake of it.
That is the main reason why I could not give this book five stars. These cliche depictions of American high school just don’t sit right with me. I really, really loved this book, but it’s not perfect. I do however recommend it to people seeking something a little different amidst the sea of paranormal novels on the shelves today.