This book would not have been so bad if it was faster paced, less obsessed with the love square that the author built. Chase, Cade, Holden, and Valerie barely even has the agency of anyone up until the later parts of the book.
You can skim read until around 70% where the main plot would kick it, and the actual interesting parts does come it. Before that, classic special snowflake and tropes of girl that doesn’t know much about her true abilities. Also, don’t forget school drama(as if we need more of that). And that’s where Valerie really shone, since she is a normal person, being incredibly naïve is believable in that sense.
As for the world, it feels so incredibly cliché. There could have been more elements, more unique things into it. But it barely succeeded at it, seeing that the only really good thing is about the polarizing beliefs of the Elementals which is rather interesting along with its history. When that kicked in, it became quite interesting. Even if I still could care less about Valerie.
She probably is one of the most typical female main character. Except that she is more obsessed with the three boys she knows, one of which is in college which are revealed to have differing beliefs. But I would have wanted to see more than that. Charlene is forgettable at best, and I can’t even bother to remember who Loren is. Or what she is doing there.
Generally, the characters were forgettable, and very usual. What you usually read, is what you would get in this book. And that is where it lost me. I would not want to read about love, teenage life without that little bit of magic, and even that only came in later. The front part was a complete and utter bore.
The plot needed to move a lot faster, and having Valerie search for those answers. Also, having her start to find them herself instead of waiting for shit to happen. Or it being revealed to her. When things become strange, try the internet, try snooping. Don’t just wait for answers to fall from nowhere, and it came easily to Valerie. She didn’t have to take risks, make sacrifices or any of the sort. She simply asked and got her questions answered. Also, why the hell the Aunt didn’t tell her if they were planning to kill here or even tell her to be careful or I don’t know teach her the differences between Elementals and their abilities. They are centuries old sages, but they act like idiots.
And this is why I barely liked this book, if I wasn’t tasked to read this, I wouldn’t have even finished it. There is a point, and although a slight pleasant surprise existed in this book. But it was too late to salvage the lasting impression it had on me.
Rating: 1.5 out of 5