Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Blog Tour: Elemental Secrets - Elle Middaugh

Elemental Secrets
Elle Middaugh
(The Essential Elements, #1)
Publication date: February 27th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Valerie Moore was a beautiful, headstrong girl with below-average social skills and above-average anxiety (including a flair for over-analyzing).
With her mother long deceased, and her father recently deployed, she ends up being sent to live with her eccentric aunt in a tiny town nestled in the mountains of Pennsylvania. But, being a Navy brat had made her into a bit of a loner, and making friends certainly wasn’t her strongest suit. As if the life of a typical teen wasn’t hard enough.
But Valerie soon discovers she’s not a typical teenager. Not by a long shot.
SECRETS are revealed…
…About her family, about her newfound friends and relationships, and about her whole world… Things that have been kept from her for her entire life…
But the biggest secret of all is revealed when Valerie discovers that she has Elemental powers, and a chain of inexplicable and irrevocable events unleashes throughout the little town…
3 Stars

With her mother gone and her father overseas, Valerie is once again living with her rather strange Aunt Marge. She's been the new girl in this town and at this school too many times to count and it never gets easier. She's socially awkward, jumps to conclusions, and doesn't see a reason to try to fit in. Until she does. Quiet and attractive Cade might have somethign to do with it, or maybe its the handsome Holden. After several strange occurences Valerie begins to think there is somehting strange about the time. She soon finds out it isnt the town though, it's her, and several others. Secrets unfold as she discovers she has Elemental powers.

Valerie is a character I really liked at first, I love that she decides to finally get out and participate in high school. She's got extremely interesting family history and the dynamics at her school are not that of a normal high school. Combined with the strange things happening, I could see why she has so much anxiety. As she makes friends I definitely started guessing with the elemental storyline and couldn't want to figure out why there was so much uproar between teens with the power. Elle Middaugh made the elements come to life with her writing, both within the characters actions and how the world worked, from insane weather and earthquakes to battles involving the elements. I could easily picture each character with their unique abilities. As the book continues on we discover there is tension in the world, between Elementals only, but involving humankind as well. I wanted to know more, to understand better the world of Elementals.

Despite how much I enjoyed the idea of Elementals mixed in with real life, as well as appreciated the extensive world building, Elemental Secrets fell short for me. The sequence of events and how quickly Valerie adapted to the strange ongoings of her brand new friends really took away from the believability of the story line. She went from shy to IT girl in no time, she was suddenly a party girl who took to a group of friends so easily. On top of that, some of the actions are things I couldn't picture the character condoning or feeling comfortable around. It was too much of a character shift. Incidently, just as the shift in her character happens, so does the shift in the elements being a much larger part of the story. I wasn't prepared for the story shifting from school life to a focus on just the elementals, it felt drastic. Plus, there are a few questions unanswered regarding the elementals and Valerie's strength. I generally liked the story, but I wish it had flowed better.

I think Elemental Secrets is a unique young adult fantasy novel, the elemental portion of the story was really intriguing for me. Unfortunately, I just felt like it missed the mark for me. I think the development of the characters could be drawn out and the storyline really fleshed out. I think YA readers will enjoy the unique story, especially with elementals living amongst humans.

Author Bio:
Elle Middaugh is a newly published author, born in the sticks outside of Clearfield, Pennsylvania. After moving around the east coast a number of times, she now lives in her hometown with her husband and three children.
Reading has been a favorite past time since Elementary School and choose-your-own-adventure books. Writing has been her dream since Middle School when she first began penning her own material. Being published is the most awesome achievement in her writing career so far, but she hopes for more exciting landmarks and stepping stones in the future!
She’s a proud Navy wife; a frazzle-brained mother; a homebody who dislikes cleaning; a fan of tennis, and fitness in general; a lover of hot tea, mountain dew, and all things fiction; and she’s a bigger My Little Pony fan than her children.


1 comment

  1. Thanks for being on the tour, Carlene! This sounds like a unique story!


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