Monday, 16 June 2014

Review: The Holders

The Holders (Holder #1) by Julianna Scott

Title: The Holders
Series: Holders, #1
Author: Julianna Scott
Published: Strange Chemistry; 2013
320 pages, kindle edition
Source: ARR from the author (Julianna Scott)
Rating: 3 stars
 Description (from Goodreads):
17-year-old Becca spent her whole life protecting her brother from, well, everything. The abandonment of their father, the so called 'experts' who insist that voices in his head are unnatural and must be dealt with, and the constant threat of being taken away to some hospital and studied like an animal. When two representatives appear claiming to have the answers to Ryland's perceived problem, Becca doesn't buy it for one second. That is until they seem to know things about Ryland and about Becca and Ryland's family, that forces Becca to concede that there may be more to these people than meets the eye. Though still highly skeptical, Becca agrees to do what's best for Ryland.

What they find at St. Brigid's is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece together the information of their family's heritage, their estranged Father, and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they've been waiting for. However, they are all--especially Becca--in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind.

She meets Alex, a Holder who is fiercely loyal to their race, and for some reason, Becca and Ryland. There's an attraction between Becca and Alex that can't be denied, but her true nature seems destined to keep them apart. However, certain destinies may not be as clear cut as everyone has always believed them to be.

Becca is lost, but found at the same time. Can she bring herself to leave Ryland now that he's settled and can clearly see his future? Will she be able to put the the feelings she has for Alex aside and head back to the US? And can Becca and Ryland ever forgive their father for what he's done?

My Thoughts:

 This was my second attempt at starting The Holders. The first time I couldn't get into it, whether due to my frame of mind at the time or what, I am not sure. My second attempt was far more successful though, and I was able to fly through it without much effort.

Its easy to fall for the completely lovable characters in this. I enjoyed the fact that even though they were rather "simple", they each had tangible personalities that were realistic and genuine. They could easily be people you met on the street and that makes the story seem so much fuller, so much richer, because it adds to the layer of reality.

I am so happy to be able to say that this is one of the best romances I have read it awhile. It was kept on the sideline at all appropriate moments, the action overtaking when necessary, and was genuinely sweet. Becca and Alex had chemistry which didn't feel forced and while it does appear a little suddenly - well, sort of - it wasn't by any means a case of your usual insta-love. Alex himself is simply to die for. I loved him dearly. He was honestly a sweet, caring, loyal, funny guy that cared about Becca because he did - not because she was hot, or had the best magical powers, or she had the whole "wounded" thing going on. I think more authors need to read this and learn from it how romance should be written.

What let me down was how damn predictable this book was. Breadcrumbs were dropped along the way leading up to a few certain "twists", the only problem being that these breadcrumbs were so obviously hinted at that author may as well have stuck little arrows in the margins of books saying Here's a clue! This really let me down because I was then waiting impatiently for the "twists" to be revealed. When they were, however, things took a turn for the better and the plot began to chuff along at a much faster pace.

Overall, this isn't the book reminiscent of Harry Potter, as it is being said, but it was enjoyable and I am happy to have read it. The characters were great, the romance was spot on and I will definitely be seeking out
The Seers.

Note: a copy was provided courtesy of Julianna Scott, through the YA Buddy Readers' Corner, in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was given or taken during this process.

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