Saturday, January 11, 2014

Review: Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Storm
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: YA Paranormal Fiction
Publishing Information: 353 pages; April 24, 2012 by Kensington
Series: Elemental #1

Where I got it: E-book from the library

Synopsis 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

Main characters: 3/5

Becca definitely had some spunk, but I never really found what made her a unique and interesting character. Chris & Hunter on the other hand, broke some of the stereotypes about the love triangle.  Both Chris and Hunter were really likeable characters to me, which is interesting for a love-triangle. I feel like normally you are supposed to favor one character over the other or one is the "bad boy" character, but I felt that both were really balanced and for a while there was no front-runner. I like how both of them struggled with their powers and dealing with their families. 

Secondary characters: 3/5

The interactions of the brothers was alien to me, as I'm an only child, but I thought that it demonstrated their personalities well. Michael has to balance being a parent to his brother with being their actual brother and his interactions with Gabriel show that well. The scene where Michael meets Becca's mom also serves to humanize him more and allow both Becca and the reader to see him as a young adult or kid rather than a "dad" figure.
Quinn was cute and fun. We see some tension between her and Becca because of the amount of time they spend together and how often Quinn is over at Becca's house, but I liked the fact that Quinn was portrayed as almost a "party girl.

Writing style: 2/5

I noticed that some of the language seemed pedestrian and repetitive, for example using the same verb like "look" or "walk" multiple times on one page. I would have appreciated some variety in verb usage. The pace was a little slow in some parts and didn't flow very well; sometimes I would get distracted on a sentence because it just didn't sound right, and it would pull me completely out of the story.

Plot: 3/5
I liked how the supernatural powers served to emphasize the real drama that was already there, at least in the personal relationships between the brothers. Just some minor research problems I came across: Becca taking two shots and starting to stumble already within 2 minutes? A little overdramatic. The plotline itself also wasn't anything original, but it was entertaining at least. I liked how Becca saved Chris at the beginning, but then I felt like she fell back into a stereotype and didn't have any awesome moments like that again.

Ending: 3/5

The big plot twist at the end was overdramatic and obvious, but I enjoyed the way that it ended without a cliffhanger, but definitely open for future books. The plot twist also opened up a whole new can of worms regarding Becca in a way that I thought was overdone. It would have been unique to leave her out of the action, but this plot twist throws her right back into that stereotypical character.

Best scene: Becca punching Gabriel

Positives: Strong female main character who can stand up for herself, thought-provoking use of the love-triangle, good family interactions between the brothers

Negatives: Mediocre writing, stereotypical plot & some characters, overdone plot twist

Cover: Yuck, I hate this cover. It looks so 90s.

Verdict: Another paranormal romance that gets lost in the crowd

Rating: 5.6/10 (3 stars)

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