Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Secret Blog Tour - Review & Giveaway (AU ONLY)

12 Feb 2014

Hey guys! *waves* Today, I'm participating in the Australian Blog Tour for Brigid Kemmerer's newest  book in her immensely popular Elementals series, which is out in stores NOW. I'll be posting up my review and there will be a giveaway for 3 copies of Secret to be won by 3 lucky Aussie residents. Without further ado, here's my review :)

by Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Format: Paperback, 392 pages
Purchase: (AUD $14.99) Fishpond | Bookworld


 Nick Merrick is stretched to breaking point. He's trying to keep his grades sky-high or he won't get in to college. He's trying to keep his brother's business afloat or the Merricks will be out on the street. He's trying to keep the secret of where he's going in the evenings from his twin brother Gabriel - or he fears he'll lose his family. And he's trying to keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who is his 'girlfriend's' partner.

 And then Quinn takes to hanging around his sworn enemy, and an Elemental Guide is counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. Storms are brewing. On all sides. 


Brigid Kemmerer never fails to disappoint with each instalment in her ‘Elemental’ series. This is probably my second favourite book in the series (after Spark – because Spark will always conquer all other books!) I’ll admit Secret could’ve benefitted from more action, more heart-pounding moments instead of focusing almost entirely on the romance between the characters. Nevertheless, Secret was gripping enough for me to finish in one sitting J

Unlike Spirit, which seemed to have a distinct plotline as well as romance, the ‘plotline’ in Secret was basically Nick/Adam’s romance, and Quinn and Tyler’s developing feelings for one another. I applaud Brigid for writing about a gay couple, but unfortunately I didn’t *love* Nick and Adam as much as I would've liked. I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t feel their chemistry. ( No one beats Nolan/Patrick’s chemistry in Revenge!)

On the other hand, I very much enjoyed getting to know Quinn and Tyler better. Throughout the first three books, I developed this intense hatred towards Quinn; I found her to be a very selfish, and self-centred drama queen. As for Tyler, I never really cared about him. HOWEVER, as I made my way through the pages of Secret, I found myself becoming more and more sympathetic towards Quinn (she really does have a terrible domestic life) and once or twice I even sided with Tyler, despite his tendency to constantly find ways to ‘bully’ the Merricks. (‘Bully’ is an understatement for his actions.) I agree with this these sentences used to describe Tyler:
"…People have different capacities for failure. And even if you fail in one area doesn't mean you fail in all of them" -Adam 
"We see the dark side of Tyler because that's all he lets us see" - Michael
So Tyler might seem like an ass towards the Merricks; he might be perceived as arrogant, violent, vicious and relentlessly malicious but he could be extremely loving and considerate towards his girlfriend or anyone he loves. And honestly, Tyler was exactly like that.

I like how Secret deals with teenagers coming to terms with their sexuality. I just want to add in my 2 cents. I’m aware that many high school students are ridiculously intolerant of gay people, but from my experience there <i>are</i> high schools that are extremely accepting. I.e. My high school. To anyone out there who may be afraid to come out in fear of being bullied, I want you all to know that high school isn’t the end of the world. I can guarantee when you enter University it will be different. I have friends who hid their sexuality in high school, but are now 100% comfortable with admitting they are gay because honestly, most people in Uni are very supportive. They’ve joined clubs dedicated to gay/lesbian/bisexual students and have met many  new friends. J So basically, HIGH SCHOOL ISN’T THE END OF THE WORLD GUYS!! WAIT TILL YOU ENTER UNI. WE ARE UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTING OF EVERYONE.

What occurred in the last 50 pages was certainly my favourite part of Secret. It was infinitely more exhilarating and action-packed than the mundane lives (sorry!) and the slow relationship development of the characters. I’ve also noticed that the events in all four books combined seem to only have occurred over the span of a few weeks. I was quite astonished when I realised Chris and Becca had only been going out for one month, Layne and Gab for an even shorter amount of time. All I can say is, the characters lead fulfillingly jam-packed lives!

If you're a fan of Brigid Kemmerer's Elemental series, I can guarantee you'll love Secret! I'm eagerly anticipating Sacrifice, which will be released later this year :)

A massive thank you to Allen & Unwin for providing a copy of Secret for review and for inviting me to participate in such a fantastic tour!

 Read my reviews of:

Find Brigid:



  1. Oo an excellent book, and just so pretty (yes I am addicted to beautiful covers) am looking forward to reading this series soon.

    88dreamers @ Seriesly Reading

  2. Such a great review thank you. Loved the HOWEVER.

  3. Great review!! I've been so keen to read this series but just haven't managed to find time to read more than the first novella. I really need to fix that!!

    Have a great week! :)

  4. I'm a huge BK fan.... Thanks for the review :)

  5. Great review! Good luck to everyone entering!

  6. I love the Elementals series, thanks for the awesome giveaway!!

  7. Great review, will have to put this on my to be read list

  8. Ahhh, I didn't realise you were blogging again! Wonderful review, I've actually fallen behind on the series (up to Spirit heh), but I've got a copy of Secret waiting to be read as well. It's crazy how it's only been a month when you really think about it. And I agree about the gay part you mentioned. I remember in my review of Storm, I was quite annoyed at how sensationalised American high school life was. All the crap that happens made my blood boil. I'm not sure if it's because we're Aussies, but what in the world high schools do these people attend?! But anywaaaaays, totally agree uni is amazing!


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