Books,  Five Stars,  Review,  YA

Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Kensington
Published: August 28th 2012
Pages: 432 pages
Format: Ebook
Source: Review copy from Netgalley
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon, TBD


Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Like the fire that killed his parents.

Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it.

More than Gabriel’s pride is at stake — this could cost him his family, maybe his life. And no one seems to hear him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Layne understands family problems, and she understands secrets. She has a few of her own.

Gabriel can’t let her guess about his brothers, about his abilities, about the danger that’s right at his heels. But there are some risks he can’t help taking.

The fuse is lit…

five stars
five out of five hearts

The Flames Spread Far
Just when I thought that Brigid Kemmerer had given all of her talent up in her first two books, I was proven wrong. Spark was a book that, if given the chance, I would not have put down once. I ended up reading 68% of the book in one sitting because it was so enthralling and amazing that I simply couldn’t take my eyes away from the page. It was a fantastic novel that truly captivated me and reminded me that there really are great writers out there who need all the love and awards in the world. Really, if this is how great her books are now, I don’t dare think what her next book, Spirit will be like when it is released next year. Want to know why I loved it so much? Look below to find out!

The Fire is Lit
The storyline in Spark is so compelling. It is fascinating and brilliant and I just loved it so much. I gasped in so many places, I bit my lip in others and clenched my fists a few times as well. It made me feel so many different emotions and the writing is just so brilliant that it felt like it was happening right there in front of me. I was living it, feeling it, witnessing it. And the journey that not only Gabriel – I’ll come to him later! – but also Layne goes on is simply astounding! I am really struggling to find the right words to put here. I don’t want to ruin the story by gushing too much, but I really, really want to do this book justice and give it the review it deserves.

Spark is about more than dealing with being an elemental in an ordinary world. It’s about being human in an ordinary world. It faces the challenges of family, friendship and love. It deals with bullying, judging and feeling betrayed and angry. The topics within the book are so real and raw and I am still left feeling completely overwhelmed with just how powerful and amazing this book was. I really want to go and read it again like, right now. Brigid Kemmerer has stolen my heart and it is safe to say I am now truly a fan.

The Flames Burn Rapidly
While Storm focuses on the story of Becca, Chris and Hunter, Spark is definitely Gabriel and Layne’s story. It would be easy to say that this book could be described as belonging to the romance genre but somehow, despite being a large part of the plot, I still felt that the romance didn’t overcrowd the book, that it felt more like a subplot to everything else that happened. I think that this could be why I loved it so much. Brigid has somehow managed to create the perfect balance between romance and fantasy and there was never a moment when it felt like it was too much or too little.

Gabriel is such a fantastic character. I didn’t get much of a feel for him in Storm, and while I liked his powers and thought he had an interesting personality, he never really felt like someone I could connect with but I was wrong. Very, very, very wrong. I have fallen in love with his character. That is really the best way to describe it. He had so much going on, so much to deal with and the way he copes with it just spoke to me because he was very similar to me in many aspects. He was strong, caring, protective, charming and funny and I just admired him so much. Of course, he always was nasty and mean and full of pent-up anger but despite these flaws, he was nothing but lovable and realistic and I just wish I could put my arms around him and give him the biggest hug ever. A truly magnificent character.

Move aside Becca, welcome Layne! Oh, I loved her. I loved her spirit and her stubbornness and her fearlessness. I admired her courage and loved that despite it all, she still went weak at the knees over things. She was insecure and worried, an average teenage girl with so much to hide and worry over. Such a brilliant protagonist that I just wanted to hold on to and make sure that she was always happy. She was a delight to read about and the total perfect match for Gabriel because they were so alike and yet so different all at the same time. She was protective yet passive, strong yet weak, fiery yet worried. She was just this amazing character that really helped to bring the story alive.

This review would be incomplete without mentioning Simon, Layne’s brother whom I absolutely adored. He was so cute and loving and lovable. I wanted to help him so many times and yet, at the same time, I loved the way his dad helped him – even if it was a little unorthodox. He may not be a spotlight character but he is one that will be in my heart for a very, very long time.

It Goes out of Control
It would be impossible to complete this review without talking about the ending of this book. There were so many things that happened and I was just enthralled with it all. I loved the very ending of the book, I found it to be such a perfect way to end it – kind of reminding me of “I’m not going home, not really.” from the HP film. But before then, a couple of bombs, so to speak, were dropped that lead so well onto the next book that I am itching to read what happens next. It was such a brilliant ploy to keep readers interested but lord knows I didn’t need too much to keep me hooked! All I know is that as soon as Spirit hits the shelves, I will be picking up a copy and storming through it. (yeah, yeah, lame pun, I know.)

Almost as though it has Spirit
Needless to say, Spark is not a book to be missed. It quickly became one of my top ten of 2012 and I would not only happily re-read it again and again but I would also recommend it to others in a heartbeat. It has a little bit of everything for everyone. A great, fast-paced read that will keep you interested and alert. It’ll pull you in and keep you held for a very long time. If you’re looking for a book that is full of electricity, fire and spark, then this is one that you really need to pick up. It is truly magnificent and a book that needs to get all the love it deserves – which is a lot!

* I received this book in return for an honest review *

Other bloggers who have loved this book include (but not limited to);
Brodie @ Eleusinian Mysteries
Sarah @ Saz101
Claire @ Claire Reads
Rachel @ Unforgettable Books

Unfortunately Spirit doesn’t hit the shelves til June 2013 so this ends our Elemental Series week. However, don’t forget to pick up your copy of Spark on August 28th!



  • miki

    arf a cliffhanger… not my favorite things at all ( but at the speed i’m going i will get book 2 when book 3 is published so no worries)

    what was bothering me a bit was that in a review the blogger said it writing typo was really small and i’m trying to see if there is one edition ( in print only) or two and if there is two if both are like that. Not i admid that after your review of book 1 and two the typo seems the last thing on my mind and i want this book!

  • Brodie

    Brigid has somehow managed to create the perfect balance between romance and fantasy and there was never a moment when it felt like it was too much or too little. Seriously, Miss Fayezer, I wonder if you’re reading my mind sometimes.

    Oh gosh. Gabriel. I’m a sucker for his kind in fiction, which is why he shone for me in Storm, but in Spark? OH MY EMOTIONS. I wanted to simultaneously jump his bones and hug. the. crap. out. of. him. He is such a beautifully complex and flawed character! Brigid has truly outdone herself. And Layne was equally amazing, I love how she and gabriel balance each other. And yes! I am so happy you mentioned Simon, I adore that boy!

    AGH. You do realise your past three reviews have made me even MORE effing desperate to get my hands on Spirit? I am SO eager for Hunter’s story after the glimpse we caught of him in Fearless and also Spark, because I want to see the Gabriel/Hunter bromance restored :D


  • Rachel @ Unforgettable Books

    Awesome review!!!!!!! I love how compassionate you are about everything in this book!!!!! Gabriel, Layne and Simon are amazing characters!!!!!! You described why you loved them perfectly! Gosh, I want to read Spirt even more now!!!!!!
    Thanks so much for linking to my Spark review!!!!!!
    Absolutely fabulous review Faye!!!!

  • Sarah (saz101)

    Oh goodness. Faye… I kid you not, I had CHILLS reading this: “Spark is about more than dealing with being an elemental in an ordinary world. It’s about being human in an ordinary world.”


  • Hollie

    As if I wasn’t excited enough to get started on this series! Now I know that I’ll be fighting like crazy to get my hands on these books. Great review Faye!

  • Lauren's Loquacious Lit

    Haha, I totally agree with you on wanting to give him a hug. I loved it so much more than Spark because I felt so terribly sad for Gabriel, and for the other boys. They’re all clearly still hurting from the death of their parents, and feeling persecuted by the others in the town hasn’t helped.

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