Elemental Secrets by Elle Middaugh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wow – this book completely surprised me! I guess I was expecting your typical teenage paranormal romance. This book was anything but typical!
Valerie lost her mom at a young age and has been raised on and off by her navy enlisted father. During the time while he is deployed, she stays with her strange aunt. That’s where she’s headed this time around, and she’s a little more excited knowing she’ll be enrolled in a school where she has already gone through the new-girl process. Oh, and there’s also her quiet crush/entertainment in the form of Cade. He seems to be just a removed from the social scene as her, and she passes her days by watching him. Unlike last time, though, it seems that Valerie can’t stay out of the spotlight. She’s been asked out by the quarterback, Holden, and already gotten into a fight with the school’s popular girl. Oh, and there’s also been some very strange weather incidents.
Rolling all of this together, the fact that Cade suddenly wants to talk to her (in secret), shouldn’t be such a shock, but it certainly sets off shockwaves in Valerie’s “staying under the radar” plan. Even her aunt, who seems mostly satisfied to stay on the periphery of Valerie’s life, is suddenly more interested in who she’s spending time with and what she’s been up to. So – what’s the paranormal twist? Well, the weather changes are a little more than just global warming related phenomena. There’s a whole culture that revolves around people with powers and Valerie is thrown right into the middle of an already brewing war.
Some fair warning – this book takes a walk on the dark side for a little bit. There’s bullying and fighting, war and discrimination, and lots of betrayal and secrets. I liked being surprised and that’s really what kept me completely engaged. I could do without the love triangle aspect, but it really helps drive the plot along. The Valerie that starts this book is not the one that we see at the end. She grows in more ways than I can count, and I hope we see even more in this series.
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