Friday, January 24, 2014

Me on Secret

Title: Secret
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Kensington Teen

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.

Secret is tense and powerful, masking secrets. The pressure behind what so many characters are hiding is slowly building, but with too much pressure often comes an explosion that will change so many things.

Nick is under pressure. He's always been under pressure. School, family, now a girlfriend. What about what he wants? What if he doesn't want to apply to every college under the sun and work so hard to get good grades? What if he's tired of being the dependable one who always says yes when someone needs help? What if he doesn't want to date Quinn, or any girl? What if he wants to date Adam?

Quinn has her own issues. Her home life sucks, which has lead to some abandonment issues. She wants someone to care about her because they really care, not because they're obligated to, not because she asked them. Not because they've got a deal worked out. She craves love and affection, no questions asked. Someone who loves her for being her. And she's getting desperate and angry. She's starting to feel worthless.

This book lives on secrets, it thrives on it and bleeds it from every page. The things we hide in fear, in shame, in hope. The things we keep hidden from everyone, including ourselves. The things we don't want to admit to ourselves because they have the power to change everything.

I liked that this book was so much more about the personal side of the series, the actual characters, and no so much about the Elemental side. It made the book very character driven and reminds the reader that the Merrick brothers all have lives beyond their abilities. It's not just about Elementals, about Guides, about family feuds. It's also about them as human beings with hopes and dreams and fears of the future, like college and dating and family and careers. They're still human, and that's what made this book so captivating.

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Kensington Books through NetGalley.)

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