Monday, 9 December 2013

Review: Secret(Elemental #4) by Brigid Kemmerer

Secret by Brigid Kemmerer

Publication Date:
January 28th, 2014
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Pages: 352
Series: Elemental
Source: Netgalley/the publisher
Rating: 5/5
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Nick Merrick is stretched to the breaking point.

Keep his grades sky-high or he'll never escape his hometown.
Keep his brother's business going or the Merricks will be out on the street.
Keep the secret of where he's going in the evenings from his own twin-or he'll lose his family.

Keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who's supposed to be his "girlfriend's" partner.

Of course there's also the homicidal freak Quinn has taken to hanging around, and the Elemental Guide counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers.

There's a storm coming. From all sides. And then some.

Nick Merrick, can you keep it together?

Oh man, this book! This series! The Merrick brothers! Seriously, if you haven't started this series than what have you been doing with your life?

So for Secret we get Nick and Quinn's POV's. And after reading Breathless, the last novella about Nick, and the unexpected revelation that brought to readers, I desperately needed Secret in my hands right away. And it did not disappoint. I will mention that this one is a lot more character driven than action packed. There's still epic action scenes. But Secret is more focused on Nick and Quinn's lives and the shit they're dealing with. I loved that it was more focused on them. It needed to be.

 **There will be some spoilers ahead. So if you have no read Breathless read on at your own risk**
As the title of the book suggests, there is a lot of Secrets being kept by Nick and Quinn. Kemmerer doesn't shy away from the hard hitting topics. And I thought the way Nick and Quinn are feeling or acting is pretty true to their character and how I would imagine them to act or be feeling.

So we've got Nick who's keeping a few secrets. The big one being he's gay. He's got Quinn pretending to be his girlfriend. But he's actually spending his time thinking about Quinn's dance partner, Adam. Who he happened to kiss a few days ago.
What is so real about this book is Nick's internal struggle. There's so many books out there where the character will have this huge revelation and two pages later be totally OK with their feelings. Yea, that's not real life. Nick is struggling, a lot, to come to terms with his feelings. On the one hand he's got these intense feelings for Adam. And it feels so right when he's with him. But on the other hand he's just really realizing that he's gay. And oh my God, how am I going to tell my brothers? Are they going to accept me? What are they going to do? What are they going to say? Especially what will Gabriel do? Of course he's confused. But that's where Adam comes in. I thought he was brilliant. Besides Nick and Adam being super adorable together. He's there for Nick. He helps him to understand that he is who he is. And if people aren't OK with that than screw them. That's life. I don't want to spoil anything about the relationship between Nick and Adam. So just read the book!
Nick also has some other secrets he's keeping. He's always been the accountable brother. The good brother. The one Michael can depend on at any time. He's also very academic and wants to go to college. But he's worried that there will be no one around to help Michael with the business if he goes to school. Plus where would the tuition money come from? So he's let the letters from his college applications pile up, unopened.
And of course the family is still dealing with the threat of Guides coming for them at any time. I'd say Nick is definitely having a hard time.

We also have Quinn. Who I will admit to not being my favourite character of the Elemental series so far. But anyhow, she's also keeping her secrets. As we know from the previous books, it's mentioned that she doesn't have the easiest home life. Well that's for sure. Absentee dad, cracked out brother and her alcoholic mom who takes to blaming Quinn  for everything. Which leads to some loud fights in which Quinn comes away with a bruise or two. Mental and physical abuse, not right.
She's told Nick about some of things that go down in her house, but not everything. Plus she's drifting away from Becca since Chris came into the picture. So nobody knows how bad it's gotten for her. They all just think it's Quinn being over-dramatic. Which I'll admit that I did find her a tad on the drama queen side. As well as a little bratty. But she's got this hard, defensive exterior. Which makes sense to the situation she is in. She doesn't want to let people in. She lets them see the person she thinks she is. That is until a Merrick family "enemy" comes into the picture. Oh Tyler. I really enjoyed him. I think he was great for Quinn. She needed someone to come along and say I'm going to help you just because. You don't have to give me anything in return. I thoroughly enjoyed their relationship progression too. This book was great for interesting relationships.

Like I said above, this one was a lot more character driven than the others in the serious. The Guides make appearances. As that is still the main problem for the Merrick's. So we get some action. But I think the next book(is it the last one seeing as Michael will be the last brother in need of a book?) will be where all the shit really goes down.

Kemmerer is now one of my top dialogue writers. The interaction between characters is always spot on. It never feels cheesy or forced. What a character says or does is what I expect them to say or do. They use words and their actions reflect their age; teenage boys or girls. It's not fake. There's swearing and fighting because that is exactly what teenage boys are like. Especially between brothers.

It's going to be a long wait until Sacrifice; Michael's book. But I can't wait. I CAN'T WAIT!
Guys, seriously go and pick up this series now. It definitely deserves more readers. It deserves all the love!

Happy reading!


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