If you’ve read a post or two of mine, you may have noticed my not so subtle obsession with Elementals by Brigid Kemmerer. I have recounted the story of how I originally picked up Storm and just how many times I have reread it, but I’ve never dedicated a post solely to the series. That is mainly because I have a lot of feelings and this series means so so much to me that its hard to express those feelings, but I am going to attempt to do my best. Here we go.
Since I know a ton of people haven’t heard about this series (which is truly a shame, but I will do my best to fix that in this post), I’ll break it down a little bit before we start.
These are the new covers for the kindle editions (the mashup-banner thing comes from the author’s website, which features other fun things about all of her books and some writing advice). The original covers that are on all of the hard copies are um, interesting. I’ve shared them on some posts before. Look them up if you’re intrigued, it’s a fun time.
This series has five main books and three novellas, as you can see from this fun list:
- Elemental (0.5)
- Storm (1)
- Fearless (1.5)
- Spark (2)
- Breathless (2.5)
- Spirit (3)
- Secret (4)
- Sacrifice (5)
I am like, the worst, at writing summaries for anything, even books that I have read cover to cover at least eight times each (and yes that is definitely rounding down, I’m trying to not have people judge me too hard), but I’ll do my best. These books follow the four Merrick brothers, who each have power associated with an element (the traditional ones, earth, air, fire, and water). The issue is, they have too much power, so they are at risk of being hunted down and killed in attempts to keep their community safe and keep order and a bunch of other stuff. But there is also romance, high school drama, and lots of other stuff, some of which I will mention below.
As per usual, I only know how to form my thoughts into list because my brain likes when things are in lists. Anyways, here is my list of reasons why I love this series so much:
I. The characters
I normally don’t actually like the main characters of books, instead I chose to get attached to random side characters who are usually for some reason the parental characters (notable examples include but are not limited to Charlie Swan, Charlotte Fairchild, Henry Branwell, and Luke Garroway), but in this series I love literally everyone. The characters are complex and many sided and as the series goes on you really get to know them. They have relatable issues and struggles, which I’ll talk about later, but it can be really uplifting to know that you’re not the only one struggling with things and to see others handle them as well.
II. It never gets old
As I may have said once or twice or fifty times, I have reread this series a lot. I have never gotten bored during a reread, despite the fact that I’ve reread them upwards of ten times if I’m being realistic. I always find something new to latch onto and obsess over, and I can already tell you that this next reread it will be Nick’s coming out story, but there will be more on that later. My point here is there is always something new to find in these books with each reread, I would know. Reading these books for me is like coming home, I know everything that is going to happen but there is always something that had been previously laying hidden that I get to discover and explore.
III. It tackles and discusses lots of issues
I feel like Brigid Kemmerer’s books are fairly well known for tackling lots of big issues and this series is no different. So many things come up throughout this series: rape and sexual assault, abuse, teen pregnancy, complicated family relationships, body image, and many more I’m probably missing from off the top of my head. I was very sheltered as a child, a fact that I honestly did not realize until I got to college last fall, and these books served as a way for me to first get introduced to a lot of things I would have never really known about and I’m pretty grateful about that.
IV. The Merrick family
I spend a good portion of my time thinking about and getting emotional about the Merrick brothers because I honestly can’t get over them and their relationships. These four brothers have been through way too much and their relationship reflects that. Michael, the oldest brother, has custody of the other three after the death of their parents and is stuck between the roles of parent and older sibling and that dynamic is explored so many times, through the point of view of each brother. I could and would keep going but if I do this is actually just going to turn into me gushing about each brother and that isn’t really necessary right now so I’ll stop.
V. It’s relatable (trust me, I’ll explain)
If you read my short random summary at the top of this post, you may be a little confused about how I think a series about people who control the elements is relatable and honestly, you have a right to be. However, this is not when I tell you that I am indeed in control of an element, which is sad, I know.
The above cropped screenshot comes from one of my many conversations with the lovely Brianna during one of my many so called “elemental emo hours” during which I fixate on certain parts of the series and rant to Brianna and she pretends to understand what I’m talking about. All of the characters in these books are facing obstacles of some sort and those obstacles are ones faced by others everyday and it is very, very easy to find yourself in these characters, at least in my experience. Nick in particular is one I really connect with, he is pretty stressed out with all of his AP classes (high school Arin would reread these books about just said “wow mood”) and he puts way too much pressure on himself to succeed (Arin of all ages says “relatable content”). He’s also, um, gay, which brings me to my next point.
VI. These are the first books I ever read with LGBT+ rep
I said before that I was pretty sheltered as a child and even as a teen and this point may show that a lot, but these were the first books I ever read that had a gay character. When I read Nick’s book for the first time and read about him grappling with how to come out and if he wanted to come out and how people would react, I connected for reasons I could not explain for the life of me at the time. Now that I have uh, realized somethings about myself and came out to myself and some close friends, I get it lol. Shout out to high school Arin for getting oddly attached to the gays in all medias and just being like “wow that’s odd haha” without thinking about it more.
I’m starting my first reread of this series post coming out today and I can’t wait to sob and be an emotional mess over this plot line.
This post is getting to be very long but I feel like I have more things to say so I’m just going to give a fun list of random facts related to me and this series:
- These books are the first to ever make me cry. Sacrifice made my cry a lot. I can remember explicitly because I know the exact scene and I still cry every time I read it. I know it’s coming, but it doesn’t matter apparently.
- I own these books in all three formats, ebook, physical copy, and audio. I have consumed these books in each format at least twice but in truth many, many times.
- I have read these books from cover to cover many times, but I also just read little sections constantly. Whenever I am having a bad day, I go on my phone and read the bookmarked parts of the ebooks to help calm me down and cheer me up.
- While I just listed six or so reasons about why I love this series, I still feel like I am not properly conveying things and there is a really good chance I never will be able to.
- These books got me through middle school, they got me through high school, and they are slowly helping me get through college. I know a lot of people see them as a weird paranormal romance from 2012, but they mean the absolute world to me and for that I am and will be forever grateful.
I could still keep going but this post is already insanely long so I will make myself stop. Have you read this series? Is there any series you’re attached to like this? Let’s chat in the comments!