(The Essential Elements, #2)
Publication date: July 24th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Valerie Moore is an Elemental, a person who commands one of the classical elements of wind, water, fire, or earth. She’s special, though. She controls two—fire and water—though sometimes it seems like they control her.
After the accidental exposure of Elementals to humanity, Valerie finds herself—and all of her kind—struggling to attain equality. Three different groups fight to secure leadership, and with all of their hidden agendas, she doesn’t know which side to choose. The balance between peaceful cohabitation and all-out war is precarious, at best.
When a chance meeting brings Val and earth Elemental Cade Landston back together, everything changes. She realizes what she knew in the beginning—that he’s the one she wants. Her desire to win him over draws her closer to him, and his vengeful mission to hunt down her murderous grandfather brings them both closer to trouble.
From mysterious doppelgangers to reckless rescue missions, scapegoat bombings, and evolving Elemental powers, Valerie strains to keep up.
All she knows is she must stop her grandfather at all costs. To do so, she has to figure out the truth, but how can she do so when almost everyone she knows has been telling lies?
Elemental Secrets - Book 1
Elemental Secrets, by Elle Middaugh, tells the story of a young girl named Valerie, and her struggle to fit in with many different aspects of her life. After learning a surprising truth about her new friends, she wished to join them. Be like the people who seem to be tearing her heart into three. But getting her wish granted causes more trouble than peace.
I really enjoyed the feud between the opposing sides of the story. Even the youngest of the group are acting out against the others. Getting into fights, ruining property, and crashing a birthday party are the things covered in this book. But the feud almost reminds me of Romeo and Juliet; the children are raised with a certain mindset, which is “you believe this side of the story. You will be on your family’s side.” Their way is right, the others are wrong. No gray areas. No blurred lines. They can't be friends. So I'm sure you can imagine the trouble it causes when people from opposite sides begin to fall for the same girl.
I was so sucked into the story, I began thinking of the characters as real people. What I didn't like was how manipulative Valerie is. She had been crushing on Cade Landston for a long time, but was not happy with his apparent wish to keep their friendship a secret. Holden Micheals is not shy about his feelings for her, while Cade is a bit more of a mystery. But who doesn't love a bad boy? Valerie began spending time with Holden to spite Cade, but enjoyed every second. She also enjoyed Cade’s reaction. This definitely adds more mystery to the main character, but it also shows a darker, more manipulative side that I, personally, am not fond of. Other than that, it was a great book. I hope that book 2 sheds more light on Valerie’s true feelings.
Elemental Lies - Book 2
Elemental Lies, the sequel to Elemental Secrets, continues the battle between the different Elemental “parties” and trying to figure out who to trust. After fleeing, Valerie begins training so that she will be better prepared to face what’s awaiting her in her city. In the second installment in this series, Valerie’s true feelings come to light. But how can you focus on love during a war? And it is war, between the Modernists, Traditionalists, Elitists, and another organization whose intentions remain unclear. It seems that anyone could be an agent for the bad guys. Friends, loved ones, perhaps even family members, working for the wrong cause.
I enjoyed all the twists and turns in the story, it definitely kept me on my toes. Even I am not sure where people’s true loyalty lies now. There was a lot of action, and it was really fun to read. Valerie finally realized the error of her ways, and decided who she truly loves. All in all, it was a great book, and I’m sure book 3 will be just as amazing.
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.
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