Rating (Out of 5): ~4 (maybe 4.5)
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: K Teen (Kensington)
Release Date: August, 2012
Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally. Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can't. 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. And no one seems to believe him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Because Layne has a few secrets of her own...
This cover is very similar to the first one, and so I feel similarly about it. I think it's embarrassing, not one I would want to carry in public, but I don't really mind the look of it. I like that there are boys on the cover that actually represent the boys in the book, and that it goes really well with the cover of the first book. I think that Gabriel looks nice, and the model represents him well, and the colors work well. Also, since this book has more romance in it, and that it's more steamy, than the first book, that this type of cover represents the book pretty well.
- "'He’d figure out how to fight back. They’d figure out he was willing to fight back. Then they’d leave him alone.’” (Paperback, pg. 66)
- "'My dad used to say, “If you can’t fix what you did wrong, at least try to make something else right.”’” (Pg. 106)
- "'We’re not setting you up to fail. We’re calling because we want to help you succeed.’” (Pg. 212)
- "There were different levels of good, Layne thought. Had to be.” (Pg. 218)
- "'Your scars aren’t all you are…'” (Pg. 268)
I liked the first book of this series, but this one was even better, by a lot.
This one starred Gabriel, the fire element, the angry twin. I didn’t really mind him in the first book, aside from finding him frustrating. In this book, it was similar, but I did actually like him a lot. The frustration was still there, though.
I understood him a lot better in this book, his reasons for doing things, his feelings behind what he was doing and what everyone else doing. I felt rather bad for him, a lot. But there was also the frustration with him blowing up and fighting with people when he didn’t need to, and when he knew that he shouldn’t. It made me want to shake him a little.
I still really liked his brothers, and got a lot closer to them in this book. He fights with them a lot, but he is still close to them, and it was nice seeing them get along. Particularly Michael, who I didn’t know how to feel about in the first book. I saw a nicer side of him in this book, which has me interested for his book (the fifth one). Hunter, too. He and Gabriel got close and I liked their friendship. Hunter kind of screwed things up, again, which is making me want to read his book (the third one), just so I can see into his head and figure out why he’s doing these things.
It bothers me that it seems like, between this book and the first one, that the boys don't talk and fight and jump to conclusions about the others, and then seem better by the end, just for it to possibly happen again in the next book. Thus meaning that they never actually learned or solved their problem in the first place. I'm sensing this becoming a theme in the series, and I really hope I'm wrong about that.
Then there’s Layne, Gabriel’s girl. I really liked her, and related to her in some ways. I liked getting to know her, and think that she’s really good for Gabriel. I liked her little brother a lot, and it seemed like she was in a better place with her father at the end of the book, which was good.
The romance between Layne and Gabriel was really, really nice in this book. Rather hot at points, too, but overall really nice and good for them both. Their romance is probably a large part of why I enjoyed this book so much, because I’m a romance person, and it was so much more intense and present in this book.
My only real problem with this book was the slut-shaming. It was present in the first book, but it was really apparent and obvious in this one. Both Layne and Gabriel shame other girls for their clothing choices, pretty much that being their defining feature for them to throw themselves at guys. It was really hard to take at some points, it wasn’t really needed, particularly because neither of them learned anything by it.
Also, it really bothered me that they shamed the ‘popular’ girls for throwing themselves at guys and wearing revealing clothing, and yet Layne kind of wanted to be them, and even dressed like them at one point, which of course was viewed as an entirely different thing. The hypocrisy of that bothered me.
Still, I really enjoyed this book. And I really want to read the others in the series, and hope to get them some point soon.