I'm giving Spark a 3.5 star rating, like I did with Storm, for pretty much the same reasons. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it, but I'm still enjoying the world that's been developed here. Maybe because it's a secret, I'm not sure.
I was surprised, picking up this second book from the Elementals series, that this wouldn't follow Becca and Chris. After Storm, I just expected it to. But then I settled into Gabriel's shoes and read his story. His voice is completely different from Chris' - as it should be. I've said before that I thought the Merrick brothers were very well developed characters. I stand by that. Gabriel is angry and rash, and Layne I thought was similar. They're both closed off their real selves from the outside world, are very quick to jump on the defensive and make rapid judgments before they know what's going on. I understand why Gabriel is so worked up all the time, but his attitude and quite frankly, his rudeness, hasn't done him any favours. He needs a chill pill, for lack of a better expression.
I thought the storyline of the arson, the fires, was well done - I didn't pick the culprit! This series is surprising me in little ways like that. The romance wasn't my favourite and I'm worried these books are going to follow a formula. In this case it's the Elemental boys meeting normal girls (except Becca wasn't), but it feels like the formula is already decided - they get the girl in the end. Maybe I've been too quick to judge, after just two books. I hope I'm wrong. I'm intrigued enough to read on.
Still having a little trouble with the way girls are presented in these books. The girl who is the main focus is perfect, maybe with some little flaw or insecurity but nothing that can't be fixed with a few kisses from WonderBoy - and all others are horrible. Please. The real world is not like that. Why did Layne's best friend turn out to be a bitch? Why couldn't she have been supportive, rather than use it as her elbow into the popular circles? The boys in this book, other than the Merrick boys and Hunter, have also been displayed in a similar light. Every other boy in the school, it seems, thinks its fine to force himself on a girl, video/photograph it and share it, while laughing at all her imperfections. While I did not go to school in America, I find it hard to believe that everyone's like this. But I guess the ones that aren't, aren't worth mentioning for the purposes of this story. I'm finding it a little annoying but I guess Kemmerer doesn't want to draw focus away from the main romance to introduce characters with a little compassion and no other motives.
My issues aside (as I always have issues), I'm on to the next one! Curious to see where it goes. Look out for my next review :)