Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review: Storm by Brigid Kemmerer


Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: April 24th US / May 1st AU
Publisher: Kensington / Allen & Unwin
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon / Book Depository
Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they have more power than you dream.

Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her, Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys—all the ones she doesn't want. 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 . . .
It's late night in an abandoned parking lot, but Becca Chandler can't just stand there and watch Chris Merrick be cruelly beaten upon by two older guys. From the moment she saves his life, she unwittingly marks herself as a target. The Merrick brothers are not ordinary. They're Elementals, each with a strong power over an individual element - water, earth, fire and air. They are dangerously powerful and those that know of their abilities want them very dead.

Allow me to take a moment to express the depth of my love for the Merrick brothers. I'll get the obvious thought out of the way first: HOLY F$^#&@* SWOONSVILLE! Clear the top spots on your Best Boyfriend Lists, because these boys are about to rumble the very foundations of Hotness. But do you want to know what makes them compelling? They are REAL. They are FLAWED. They are FUNNY. They are FRUSTRATING. They are so goddamn amazing. I loved how you're not told that the brothers share a strong and messy bond, you discover the many complexities of their relationships. The fights and the resentment, the banter and camaraderie, the fierce protectiveness and loyalty. Family relationships this brilliant are rarely explored so well in paranormal novels.

Chris is the youngest brother and deep down, a little lonely. Twins, Gabriel** and Nick, are a tight-knit duo, combining one's recklessness with the other's intelligence for their naughty schemes.  Michael is the eldest and while he and Chris once shared more of a closer bond, Michael is weighed down with heavy responsibility that's shifted his role in the family. Chris is the slightly more 'innocent' of the brothers... but don't mistaken that for a naive little boy. Just in comparison to the others, he's a little more sweeter, a little more younger, but no less fierce or brave or challenging. He may not have as much experience with girls as the twins, but it's his lack of experience that makes him all the more endearing. That hint of nervousness that sweeps through him at times around Becca. I loved how they could both shake each other up. Also, did I mention he's a sweetheart? <3

The characters of this novel are what make it such a standout. Is Brigid Kemmerer really at teenage boy in disguise? 5 times over? The dialogue and mannerisms and the way they express themselves... she nails it! And what about Becca, who is one of my new favourite heroines? This is the kind of protagonist I LOVE. She doesn't take crap from people. After a douche named Drew ruined her reputation, she's had to deal with the fallout every day since. And though it affects her, she still puts up a hell of a fight. Her vulnerability and strength shine through so admirably - she'll stand up for herself, verbally or physically when needed - yet she not a complete hardass. She has such a beautiful a heart and cares more than she should. I really don't know who I love more - her or the boys. I'm definitely not choosing teams!

And then there is Hunter. He's a new kid in town and won me over the moment he opened his mouth. Let's just say his entrance to the story? Total. Freaking. Win. I was cheering him on. Hunter is just as complex and compelling as the Merrick's. He comes off very open and friendly and is guaranteed to pull on your heartstrings, but you do sense a mystery in the shadows. Perhaps he's hiding a few secrets of his own....  People people will call the romance in this a 'love triangle' but I really don't want to attach that label to it. Because it's not what you expect when you hear those words. There are two potential suitors for Becca, yes, but she doesn't spend the entire novel obsessing over which boy to choose. It all develops so organically, so naturally, that you're tangled up in the complicated web before you even realise what's happening. And both boys will have a hold over your heart - I honestly could not choose a favourite. It feels so real and rich and more than just a romance, yet still sexy and heart-pounding and throws you off balance in the best freaking way.

Storm is a smashing debut that combines the thrills and danger of a paranormal with the emotional weight you often find in a contemporary. Brigid paints the raw, gritty reality of bullying so amazingly well. The verbal taunts that dig under your skin and the physical violence that spirals out of control. Her story will inspire and motivate you, make you snort laughter or clutch your heart in despair. It will cause irreparable health damage after you've just swooned eight times over in the one chapter. Her characters are literally tearing at the pages while you're trying to read, so life-like that an ink and paper prison cannot contain them. Storm is that novel that can't stop flicking back through days after finishing, with characters you're still quoting years after and a compelling paranormal edge that is about to take the YA world by storm.

Brigid, you have cemented yourself as one of my new favourite authors. I love you. Can I please keep your boys?

5/5 Golden Apples!

** Gabriel? Sexy, flirty, firecracker who will make you swoon one minute and say something infurating the next and holy hell, I am looking forward to his story in Spark! Yes. That's a plug for the sequel, which comes out September this year. That you can also preorder right now.

US cover / AU cover
I'm crazy in love with the Australian one, they're going to look amazing lining my bookshelves! <3

44 comments:

  1. You just made me very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very... excited for this book. I was going to say envious of you but I always say that and I wanted to mix it up.

    But wow girl!... and boys. You sure can empty Brodie’s ovaries in what? just 300 pages?

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    1. Not that I like to rub it in, BUT YOU SHOULD BE!!! I'm hardcore fangirling over this book <3

      Hehe, 353 pages to be exact. At least the ARC is. Not that anyone's obsessively counting.

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    2. O____O
      Heheehehehe!

      "You sure can empty Brodie’s ovaries in what? just 300 pages?"
      I just read this and gigglesnorted out loud XD

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  2. ohhmygoshh. this sounds AMAZING. definitely could use a good dose of hot realistic boys right now ;D AWESOME review!!

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    1. Hot boy OVERLOAD! *faints* Such distinct, blazing personalities and I LOVE when characters are so layered and not just cardboard cutouts! <3

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  3. "Is Brigid Kemmerer really at teenage boy in disguise?" Hehehe! FINALLY! SOMEONE asking the REAL hard-hitting questions :D

    *wantwantwant NOWNOWNOW* BRODIE! You make this sound so good! I mean, your excitement and gushing had me excited and preparing to gush before, but OMFG! "combines the thrills and danger of a paranormal with the emotional weight you often find in a contemporary." BUH! NEED! And how you've described the relationship between the brothers, and that we have a male protagonist who's a tiny bit falliable, and I'm sooooo intrigued by this not-love triangle!

    *cries* *whines* *cries some more*
    I want it nooooooooow :(

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    1. I'm STILL not entirely sure if she's telling the truth about being a gorgeous mother =\

      I really was not expecting this to blow me away like it did. I thought it would something AWESOME, but the depth of it? The realness of these people? WOW.

      I AM SO, SO, SO EXCITED FOR YOU TO READ THIS SARAH. I know you'll love it. You have good "Brodie Likes This, So I Must Too" taste :D

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    2. Hehe! Just came back to find a link, and I'm nodding emphatically about the truth of your review, Storm love, and my fantastic taste in Brodie... err.. Brodie books? Hummm... Yes. I'm going with that XD

      Also! SURPRISE NINJA COMMENT ON YOUR OLD REVIEW! KEEE-YA!

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  4. SQUEEE! Oh, my freaking gawd!! BRODIE!! You take this book to a whole new level!! Incredible review! I'm so desperate to meet this brothers that I'm drooling already *wipes mouth* And Hunter!! I'm scared now that I'm gonna fall in love both he and Chris. Them it'll such when Becca makes a choice in the love-triangle-that-isn't-really-a-love-triangle!! Then again. I'll just have whoevers left ;)

    Cannot freaking wait for my copy to arrive from Allen $ Unwin now! Wished I had it like yesterday!!
    <3 <3

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    1. I first met the Merrick's and thought "No way can any other guy match up to these!" and then Hunter comes in and ASOFHSDIOJLF. How do I split my heart both ways without keeling over?

      Tell me when you get a copy, Rachel!!

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    2. It's so evil genius of Brigid! Having all these great men. Then again, that's every woman's dream? LOL!

      I wil. Oh, I'm sure you'll know anyway--I'm bound to rave on about it on Facebook when I get it ;)

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  5. Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love!!! EXCELLENT review -nailed it! I didn't think it was possible but I want this book even MORE now! And I'm seriously looking forward to meeting those Merrick brothers! <3


    ;D

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    1. Imagine when you actually get you hands on a copy of this bad boy! I cannot WAIT to see what you guys think!

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  6. Fantastic review! now I REALLY want to read this book! :)))

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    1. Thank you! I'm so excited for release! Weatherman has predicted a tornado is going to rip through the blogosphere come April/May. I hope we're prepared :D

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  7. I've read Storm already and this review is dead on! It's a fantastic read (book two is every bit as delicious) and I can't recommend it enough! The boys had me drooling and swooning and laughing and . . . okay, let's just say that they'll make you fall in love. Brigid Kemmerer is also a fantastic person so everyone should pre-order Storm! Right now. Why are you still reading this? GO!

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    1. I kind of hate you right now.... SPARK! *jealous* It's already beginning dominating my "MUST NEED" read of 2012 list!!

      But YES. These boys... already my all time favourite book boys. How Brigid did it FIVE times over absolutely baffles me! It's not legal for one woman to have so much talent <3

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    2. Yes, we all kinda hate Marni right now! lawlz jk Marni! Yes, Brigid is bollocks and has cheerfully endured a lot from some of us! But Brodie, you are one of us now! Welcome!

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  8. OH MY FREKAING GOODNESS. WHAT IS UP WITH YOU AND TORMENTING US POOR,POOR BLOGGERS HUH!??! One day, I'm seriously going to die of desperation for a particular book that you recommended months before its release!

    "Is Brigid Kemmerer really at teenage boy in disguise?" HAHAHAHHAHAHA I LOVE it when an author manages to nail the character's (especially TEENS) dialogue and mannerisms <3 I WANT TO MEET THOSE BROTHERS AND HUNTER ALREADY!!!!*WANTWANTWANTWANTWANTWANTWANTWANTWANT* (Dude, I feel like spamming you comment section with "I WANT")

    Okay...in the meantime, I shall go back to my lovely Storm cover jacket and gaze adoringly at those hotties <3
    Oh and I actually REALLY LIKE the AU cover! Lemme guess; the guy is suppose to be HUNTER? :DD

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    1. Hee, your capslock spamming comments ALWAYS make my day, Shirley!!

      I wish I didn't have a tumbling review pile of books to read, because I just want to curl up with this all over again!

      I think the guy on the AU cover is meant to be Chris! <33

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  9. BRODIE!!!!!!!!! 4 guys and 1 Girl? I LOVE THE SOUND OF THIS BOOK! Even though I love the AU cover, I STILL LOVE THE US ONE!!! <3 AAAA, I am so JEALOUS that Shirley got the Storm cover jacket!!!!!! At least she can stare them until she can read the book, lol. Anyway, AWESOME REVIEW, Brodie! <3 You can have one guy, and share the rest with us, okay! ;) DEAL? *threatening Evil lord with rainbows daggers?*

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    1. Haha Shirley resorted to methods of bribery that I could not resist! BUT I am planning to give the others away early April where I will use my crazy powers of compulsion to force everyone to buy a copy :)

      You would threaten me with your rainbow daggers?! I thought you were all about peace and sparkly things?! Um. So. NO DEAL. Sorry, but making me choose just one? That's like asking a parent to choose a chilld. It's cruel and twisted and WRONG!

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  10. Ahhh soo in love with your review! <3 I was looking forward to reading this!

    YOU HAVE MADE ME SO EXCITED TO READ THIS BOOK! ARGHHHHH. It sounds so CRAZY though. Four..wait...five yeah? ;)...SWOONWORTHY BOYS all around ONE GIRL! ARGH. Sooo amazing. <3

    Do you prefer the AUS or US cover? ;) I like the AUS cover...but...all those boys...mmmmmm. yummy. ;)

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    1. FIVE GUYS. I KNOW. I'm really surprised the book didn't catch fire while holding it... such sexy is difficult to hold with just paper.

      I LOVE both versions of the cover, but my favourite in the AUS one! I love the colours and the whole vibe... plus the swirly storm thing is so cool. I also imagine Chris to look more like AUS guy than US guy :)

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    2. Good point! With all that sexiness it should have freaking self-combusted! :P SO SEXY. SO HOT. AHHHHHH.

      So does that mean you're going to try and get the AUS one when the book eventually comes out? ;) I sooo can't wait to read this book! You've made me all excited for it now! ARGH. (Not that I wasn't excited before...haha).

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  11. SQUEE! Thanks so much my little minion Brodie for making me . . . SO FREAKING FREAKING FREAKING EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK! :S

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    1. EEEE! ERIN! You're welcome :D This little minion aims to please and drive her master crazy with want! I KNOW you're going to love this.

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  12. We are so happy you love our (well her;) boys! AWESOME review!!! Brigid Kemmerer totally Kicks Ass!!!

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  13. Oh, and btw...after reading your Merrick-worthy review, we have decided that we'll let you borrow the boys; we can work out a mutually acceptable arrangement. But I'm afraid Brigid has already signed the paperwork turning them over to us once she's finished with them! (#brigidyounaughtygirl;)

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    1. I've never particularly liked the word 'borrow', HOWEVER. I am willing to negotiate, provided you allow me unsupervised visits when Brigid has finished with them :P

      Either that or I just kidnap them. Really, I'm much more fond of the latter hehe.

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    2. Hoping for a little Stockholm Syndrome are we? Well, I'm sure we can work something out, once Brigid ever does actually get finished with them. I suppose we could ask the boys, but we've never been comfortable imagining such fine specimens having free will...they are just too purty! But, perhaps if we negotiated? We let you "borrow" the brothers, if perhaps you let us "borrow" a few boys from your Bondi lifeguard collection? ;)

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  14. OH MY GOSH, BRODIE!! I like to think I'm not a scary girl, but you always manage to write the reviews that make me want to go harass the publishers for an early copy! x) This book sounds AMAZING -- I don't know why I haven't been hearing as much about it! The way you describe the boys and their flaws and the romance and the fact that it's a paranormal book with a tint of contemporary... You NAILED it! Those 5 golden apples are looking really tempting LOL!

    Amazingly wallet-emptying review, Brodie! <3 Can't wait CAN'T WAIT until I can get my hands on this one so I can swoon for Gabriel with you! :)

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    1. Hahaha I like to think I *am* a scary girl, because I regularly entertain fantasies of attacking publisher headquarters for hot books I can't wait for. I really hope the buzz reaches crazy high amounts by April, because it SO deserves all the attention it's about to receive.

      I'm so excited to see you guys fall in love with Brigid's writing like I have! <3

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  15. One complaint about this review (and most of the other comments I've read about Storm) - all this talk about how hot the guys are is going to scare off the guys who might consider reading the book! Whether or not you care about how hot the guys are, the action, suspense, and depth of the characters make this an excellent read. I teach high school and in the last five years I've noticed a lot of 14-year-old boys are starting to get into YA lit, and I think a lot of my students would love Storm. (I'm going to suggest it to our school library's book club.) I just don't want the boys to get scared away by reviews about hot guys. This book is SO much more than that!

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    1. I COMPLETELY understand your point. I think I get in the habit of unleashing my inner fangirl way too often because much of the blogosphere is dominated by girls (there are boys here, though! *points to Braiden above*).

      But yes, this is SO much more than just a bunch of hot guys. Brigid's ability to form such layered, three-dimensional characters is incredible and she deals with so many social issues aswell. Thank you for your comment! I'll take your words into account for my future reviews - I can't say I'll ever stop adding those 'hot boy' comments because they often help hook the ladies in ;) But I will try to cater more for any guys reading, because I LOVE seeing teenage boys read YA!

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    2. I happened to get an arc of this, and my 15yo son loved it. He said the romance--to him--wasn't nearly as apparent as the action and storyline. This really is a great book for both boy and girl readers. Everyone will find a reason to love it. The cover might scare a few boys away, but once they start reading, they'll forget about it.

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  16. yesssssss yessssssss yesssssssssss u love it/ running down the block and down again / i can;t wait for my won arc copy/ darn you int shipping/ hasten

    amazetastic review girl

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    1. Ooooh you won a copy! YAY! Congratulations :) Cannot wait to see what you think of this! I was totally stalking my mailbox for two weeks wishing for my copy to hurry the heck up haha.

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  17. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I love the way you write! This book sounds amazing! Really, really good. You have me convinced! Just need to find out when it's coming out in the UK now. Brilliant review!

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  18. I've got this sitting on my tbr and I am most definitely moving it closer to the top! I hadn't heard much about it when I got it, but I thought it sounded pretty interesting. Now I am super excited to get started on it, sounds amazing! And SWOONSVILLE, yay <3

    Thanks for sharing :0)

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  19. Broooooodie. Why on earth did you write a review like this? Now I have another book to add to my tbr. You've made me want it so much! The romance sounds amaaazing! These boys...I'm already convinced we'll be fighting over them :P. Great review! :)

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  20. I immediately thought of Captain Planet when I read the first line of the blurb!

    This books sounds great, Brodie! It's going to be a long wait until May.

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  21. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've heard of this one, but it sounds awesome! I don't know what it is about you, Brodie, but your enthusiasm always catches on! And good characters? WIN!

    P.S. The Australia cover totally wins on this one. If I end up buying it, I think I'll have to order from the Book Depository and get that version. :)

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  22. I am so ready for this series. You've made me very excited. And, I'm also following you ^^

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