Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally. Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can't. Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he's not doing it. And no one seems to believe him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Because Layne has a few secrets of her own.
This book is about Gabriel and a girl named Layne. The first read I did of this book was a little over a year ago. While it is a solid sequel, I just didn't find much of this book as interesting as the first.
The shift in focus was away from the Guides, and on to Gabriel and his forming relationship with Layne. Not that their dynamic was bad, I just didn't like that it became a book about a slightly awkward romance.
Gabriel and Layne are polar opposites. Gabe's twin brother Nick has been posing as him to take his tests and doing the majority of his homework since their parents died five years ago. His struggle with math has put him in a class with mostly juniors, and one sophomore, Layne.
Layne is an interesting character. While she isn't un-pretty, she does nothing to draw attention to herself or her appearance. She wears turtleneck sweaters and hides behind her glasses. She seems to like being ignored. I get that part of her, but all-in-all she just really isn't that interesting of a character. She has moments of sass towards Gabriel but for the most part, it's just her being a little too much of a pushover with everyone else around her. She is fiercely protective of her little brother who is hearing impaired, but that is the only thing that I feel is notable about her.
Gabriel has always had anger issues, but considering recent events, he is more than just a little on edge. He craves control over his element so should anything happen like last week, int the story, he'll be able to protect his brothers better. His anger coupled with guilt and that everyone around him seems to be moving on in some way only make him more agitated.
There were parts of this story that I think should have been the main story over the romantic parts. The story line of the arsonist was far more interesting than Gabriel falling for a girl he never considered before. There were also some minor plot holes that I feel needed more explaining. But, all in all, I did like this book and I think that everyone should give this series a chance.