Review: Elemental Secrets (The Essential Elements #1) by Elle Middaugh

Book Blurb

With her mother long deceased and her father recently deployed, Valerie Moore 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 isn’t high on her list.

Time with her aunt, however, soon convinces her that a life of loneliness really isn’t what she wants. So, she opens up and makes a few friends - friends with secrets.

Her love life quickly becomes a mess. 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.

Romance isn’t her only problem, though.

Secrets are revealed about her family, her friends and relationships, and her whole world…

But the biggest secret of all is unveiled when Valerie discovers she has Elemental powers, unleashing a rapid chain of irreversible events.

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Toot's Review by Stacy Sabala

Valerie is staying with her aunt again as her dad is deployed.  This is not the first time she has been sent to live with her aunt.  When she starts school, she just wants to be left alone.  Unfortunately that doesn’t happen.  Her crush walks home with her.  Then after realizing she doesn’t want to become like her aunt.  She is determined to make more friends. Relief floods her when she learns her best friend Sienna is moving back.  She is also approached by Holden and ends up as his lab partner in chemistry.  He is friendly and open about liking her unlike Cade.  She is torn.  She likes Cade, always has and now she is developing feelings for Holden.  She is struggling with her choice.
Plus something is going on with Cade.  He wants her to leave him alone.  It is better that way.  Yet Holden and his friends seem to be at odds with Cade.  Something isn’t right and everyone is keeping secrets from Valerie, even her aunt.
The weather is weird as are the environmental events happening around her.  Valerie finally learns the truth and ends up thrust into a war between two groups, the traditionalists and the modernists.  She finally learns more about her mother, her aunt and her grandfather.  However nothing is as it seems and Valerie seems caught in the middle as the two groups fight each other.  She doesn’t know what to think or who to believe as sides are being chosen.
This story was full of mystery.  At first you weren’t sure what her dad’s role was.  Then her aunt appeared very odd.  When Cade enters the story and basically ignores her, I wasn’t sure what direction the author would go.  I was also a bit disappointed with Valerie’s withdrawal from life.  She avoided all interaction at first.
Then when she changed her mind, I didn’t like how she couldn’t decide who she liked.  I hated how she seem to ‘date’ all three.  She seem to justify it by saying she was young and not ready to settle down.  Her attitude all of a sudden sucked.

I liked the storyline between elementals and where Valerie fit in that world.  I thought the secrets revealed by the author really moved things along well.  I also started liking Valerie more as time went on.  I was hooked completely as I read the last page.  I am really looking forward to reading the next book.  I really want to see what happens.  I give this book a 4 out of 5.

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