Tuesday, January 21, 2014

ARC Review: Secret (Elemental #4) by Brigid Kemmerer

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Kensington Teen
352 Pages

EARTH. FIRE. AIR. WATER.

Nick Merrick is stretched to breaking point. He's trying to keep his grades sky-high or he won't get in to college. He's trying to keep his brother's business afloat or the Merricks will be out on the street. He's trying to keep the secret of where he's going in the evenings from his twin brother Gabriel - or he fears he'll lose his family. And he's trying to keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who is his 'girlfriend's' partner.

And then Quinn takes to hanging around his sworn enemy, and an Elemental Guide is counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. Storms are brewing. On all sides.

SECRETS IN THE WIND. DANGER IN THE AIR.



 
It’s not a secret how much I LOVE this series. These boys, these are my boys. All of them (including Hunter). When I received an ARC of Secret, I may or may not have danced around my kitchen clutching the book to my chest. Think Kristen Bell and the sloth excited.

Yes, I was that excited. 

Secret is Nick Merrick’s story. Nick is an Air Elemental, he’s the responsible one, always does the right thing…but he’s hiding a secret that is starting to destroy him from the inside. He enlists the help of Quinn to keep up his fa├žade but even that begins to crumble quickly as Quinn is dealing with her own troubles. 

What I adore about these books is the relationships and bonds between the brothers and Hunter. I look forward to their interactions more than anything and I love seeing how they grow from book to book. Nick and Gabe have always held a special interest because of the fact that they’re twins and feel almost everything that the other is feeling. They can sense when the other is in danger, etc. However, Nick is terrified to reveal to Gabe his true self. 

Gabriel knew how to cut to the quick, and this felt so fragile and untested that Nick was afraid to bare skin in the face of that blade. 

What’s worse is that Gabriel knows that Nick is hiding something. From past books we know that Gabe doesn’t always handle things correctly and the brothers come to blows here in a scene that just rips out my heart. I don’t like it when my boys fight with each other. 

Each book also has to have the female counterpart, and in Secret, that’s Quinn. Let me just start off by saying that Quinn is broken. So utterly and completely broken. There’s a line early on that describes her life perfectly:
It seemed fitting that the best relationship in her life would be just as dysfunctional as all her other ones.

Basically, every relationship Quinn has is a lie. She’s Nick’s fake girlfriend. She’s not talking to her best friend, Becca. Her mother is abusive and her brother is a druggie. In the beginning, I felt for her. Her situation is messed up. But as the book progressed, I really wanted her to grow up. She becomes this petulant child who pouts and moans about every little thing being unfair. She complains how nobody knows what she’s dealing with and they don’t care, but she never tells them anything. How are they supposed to know??? And her constant fishing for compliments was annoying. Honestly, she’s the reason why this book wasn’t 5 stars.

There are two additional characters added in this book: Adam (Quinn’s dance partner) and Tyler (who we’ve met in other books). They were both brilliant additions. Adam was gentle and kind, and balanced out Nick’s neurosis perfectly. Their relationship was a slow burn, but extremely worth it in the end. Nick’s confusion about what was going on was so real that you couldn’t help but root for them to make it. 

And then there’s Tyler. Tyler who we know from other books as always trying to hurt/kill the Merricks because of their pasts. Kemmerer really delved into his character and as we got to know more about him, I began to actually like him. Yeah, I know. I was shocked too. He was still a dick to the Merrick’s but I loved the way he dealt with Quinn. He called her out on her bullshit and made her face reality. 

Aside from all the drama in their everyday lives, there’s also the issue of the Guides. And believe me, they aren’t forgotten here. This ending had to be the most nail-biting, suspenseful and heartbreaking one yet. Not gonna lie, I legit screamed at one point. I cannot wait to see where Kemmerer takes it next, but I know that I won’t be disappointed. 

Brilliant. 

I received a copy of this book via the publisher in return for an honest review.

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