Ok first I just want to thank NetGalley, Brigid Kemmerer and Kensington Publishing for letting me receive an ARC of Secret. I requested the ARC via NetGalley and was so excited to have it approved. I was given an e-book ARC of Secret in exchange for an honest review, so here is my review! All of my opinions are my own 😉
We’ve read about Chris, Gabriel and even Hunter. Now we get a glimpse into Nick’s mind. Nick Merrick is drowning. He’s the perfect brother who’s counted on to do the right thing, get good grades, and always say ‘yes’ when asked a favor. He’s got a great “girlfriend” who’s just a little rough around the edges. But everything’s closing in. Nick is holding a secret. One that he doesn’t want to tell anyone. Once his “girlfriend” Quinn knows things are a little easier, but barely. She starts hanging around his sworn enemy, Tyler. Even though he told Quinn his other secret – that he can control Air — in order for her to stay away from Tyler, she doesn’t. On top of that, Nick just wants to spend all his free time with Quinn’s dance partner and sneaking out at night puts a strain on his relationship with his twin Gabriel. Now add in a Guide that’s come to town to kill him and all his brothers because they’re full Elementals. Nick is more than treading water at this point. Can he come up from air? Release the secrets? the tension? Will he finally stand up for himself? And will they all survive?
So I’m just going to fangirl over Brigid Kemmerer’s writing. Be prepared. I seriously have writer’s envy. She has created a fantastic cast and world. Her characters are what drives these novels and their stories are what brings readers back each time. I know I said Spirit was my favorite in my last review, but right now Secret is right up there with it. Each novel gets better and better in this series. I cannot wait for book 5!
Nick’s story really touched me. His struggle is one that a lot of people can identify with, especially in today’s world. He’s not only torn about who is he and his acceptance of who he is, but he’s also in fear of telling anyone. It’s a secret that ways heavily not only on him, but also on the people who know his secret. It’s a secret that can destroy people if it’s not shared or fully accepted. It was understandable for Nick to feel fear in revealing it, but I’m happy about most of the actions and reactions that took place after it was out. This novel definitely had me loving Micheal. I feel like Micheal has been such a strong but silent stronghold throughout all these novels, but especially in Secret.
Kemmerer also did a great job of weaving two stories into this one. Although it was mainly Nick’s story, we saw a great deal of Quinn’s story as well. Quinn is Becca’s best friend who has a very troubling family life. Readers will definitely feel for her once they read through some of her family history and interaction in this novel. Even though I felt a lot of sympathy for her and even rooted for her relationship/friendship with Tyler, she still was a bit of an annoying character. It just might be that Kemmerer wrote her like that too. Sometimes characters are supposed to be annoying or hated. I didn’t hate Quinn, but some of her actions definitely rubbed me the wrong way. However, in the end I did appreciate her as a character and can see where she picked up some of her less than likable qualities.
This novel touched on a lot of issues faced in the world by teens. A main issue being about identity and sexuality. I think Kemmerer does an amazing job of interweaving these issues into her story and her characters. It makes her characters more real and identifiable. It’s what brings the readers back. I honestly can say that I love these characters. Not just the main character or the swoon worthy love interest — but every single character (minus a Guide or two). They’ve been artfully crafted and we as readers can identify with at least one of the brothers’ stories. Strong characters make strong stories, but Kemmerer’s also built a great world for these characters to interact in. That’s what makes this series so great and Kemmerer such a great writer.
Although there was some elemental action and another Guide to fight off, this novel was mainly about Nick’s struggles. It was a great time to bring his story into the series. I think this novel is one of her best so far in the series and hope many people pick up this great read. Nick’s story should definitely be read by as many people as possible. I truly applaud Kemmerer for writing it and introducing us to not only Nick’s story, but Quinn’s as well.
My Final Grade
My Grade: A
Amazon’s Rating: 4.6/5 stars (25 reviews)
The Blurb via GoodReads
EARTH. FIRE. AIR. WATER.
Nick Merrick is stretched to breaking point. He’s trying to keep his grades sky-high or he won’t get in to college. He’s trying to keep his brother’s business afloat or the Merricks will be out on the street. He’s trying to keep the secret of where he’s going in the evenings from his twin brother Gabriel – or he fears he’ll lose his family. And he’s trying to keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who is his ‘girlfriend’s’ partner.
And then Quinn takes to hanging around his sworn enemy, and an Elemental Guide is counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. Storms are brewing. On all sides.
SECRETS IN THE WIND. DANGER IN THE AIR.
What are your thoughts on Nick’s secret and his struggle? What did you think about his brothers’ reactions? What did you think about the Quinn/Tyler relationship? What about Quinn as a character? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I’d really love to hear your thoughts!