There are some books you pick up because of the cover, and some you pick up in spite of the cover–for me, Storm by Brigid Kemmerer, the first in her Elemental series, is the latter. I tend to shy away from covers that tell me what a character is supposed to look like, rather than letting my imagination do the work.
But let me tell you, Brigid Kemmerer does a great job of putting to page an engaging story, with characters I believed in and a storyline just complicated enough to keep me invested at every turn. More than that, she created characters I found to be authentic and unique, something hard to do in a crowded YA paranormal landscape.
The story opens with Becca Chandler witnessing a fight between classmate Chris Merrick (the youngest of four “Elemental” brothers) and two older boys, who obviously have their own agenda. She manages to disrupt the lopsided match-up, only to get caught in the middle of the dysfunctional Merrick clan. In addition to Chris, a water Elemental, she meets his three older brothers, all of whom are very much GUY, have their own unique Elemental abilities (earth, fire, wind) and are absolutely engaging in their own way.
Enter Hunter, the new kid at school who exudes danger. He drives a wedge between Chris and Becca, becoming the third wheel in a terrific love triangle. He’s also something of a godsend to Becca, who is dealing with the fallout from an incident from her past that has very much shaped who she is: closed off, distrusting, and the target of ridicule from other students.
Chris and Becca are continually thrown together, and each interaction reveals another side to Chris and his brothers, until Becca is reluctantly sucked into their world, and all the troubles that go with it. The brothers’ enemies conclude she’s an Elemental too, putting her life in jeopardy as she is caught in a feud between the Merricks and the Guides–a group of powerful enforcers bent on destroying the brothers.
Storm is a page turner, filled with great hooks in every chapter. It includes well thought out paranormal elements, and some of the most believable YA characters I’ve read in a while. I fully understood Becca’s reluctance to involve authority figures in the various situations she finds herself in, and laughed out loud at some of the antics of Chris and his brothers.
I said it before, but it’s worth repeating: this is an authentic read, and even better than that–a fun read. Kremmerer nails the voices of these characters and keeps the story moving page after page.
Recommended for ages 16 and up. Some sexual content.
The Elemental Series: Elemental (A novella), Storm, Fearless, Spark and Spirit.
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Interested in reading Storm? Find it at your local library or purchase it below: