Genre: YA Fantasy Romance Release Date: November 11th 2016
Navy brat, Valerie, makes friends at a high school in the secluded mountains of Pennsylvania, only to discover that they have supernatural Elemental Powers, in this YA Fantasy Romance.
“This book is “Avatar: The Last Airbender” meets “X-Men” in a high school.” – Hey, It Was Free!
“If you like elemental persons, if you like SYFY, if you like YA, this book is for you. If you don’t like any of those, then you are missing out!” – Kelly’s Nerdy Obsession
Valerie Moore is a beautiful, headstrong girl with below-average social skills and above-average anxiety (including a flair for overanalyzing). With her mother long deceased and her father recently deployed, she is sent to live with her eccentric aunt in a tiny town nestled in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Being a Navy brat has made her into a bit of a loner, and making friends certainly isn’t her strongest suit—as if the life of a typical teen isn’t hard enough. Torn between the conflicted heartbreaker next door, the persistent jock at the top, and the rugged college bad boy, Valerie finds it almost impossible to choose just one guy. Her love life isn’t her only problem, though. She soon discovers she’s not a typical teenager—not by a long shot. Secrets are revealed about her family, her newfound friends and relationships, and her whole world… The biggest secret of all is unveiled when Valerie discovers she has Elemental powers, unleashing a rapid chain of irreversible events.
I received a copy from YA Bound in exchange for an honest review!
What I say:I love myself a YA fantasy so am always on the hunt for my next favourite series, so I jumped at the chance to read Elemental Secrets. As the first book in Elle Middaugh's Essential Elements series it sets the scene and introduces us to Valerie and her powers.
When Valerie is sent to live with her Aunt she quickly becomes embroiled in more than the just the usual high school drama. Don't get me wrong there's lots of teen angst surrounding Valerie and the big love triangle or square (more on this later).
It's difficult to discuss the plot without giving much away, but I really enjoyed the elemental powers aspect which had me thinking about the crazy weather we often get here (yes I'm a Brit who loves chatting about the weather). I'm not sure about the Avatar: the Last Airbender & X-Men comparisons but I did see another reviewer refer to the story as being like Captain Planet, which I have to agree with at least partly (now I've got the theme the stuck in my head).
I'm going to be honest and admit that as the story progress I did find Valerie difficult to like at times, especially in the later stages of the story. My initially empathy for her social anxiety and loneliness began to falter and I didn't really know what to do with the developing romance issues. The triangle *ahem* square was a bit much for me at times.
Overall I enjoyed Elemental Secrets. The action is well written and I found myself intrigued by Valerie's situation, I just wish I'd been able to feel this all the time - perhaps it's my age?!
3.5 Stars in my Sky!
Elle Middaugh lives in the Allegheny Mountains outside of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, with her wonderful husband and three beautiful children. Most of her time is spent raising kids, writing stories, playing video games, reading, and attempting to keep a clean house.
She’s a proud Navy wife, a frazzle-brained mother, a fan of health and fitness, a lover of hot tea and iced tea, and a believer in happily ever afters.