Monday, March 25, 2013

Becky's View: The Holders by Julianna Scott


The Holders by Julianna Scott
♦publisher: Strange Chemisty
♦release date: March 5th, 2013
♦paperback, 320 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: The Holders, book 1
♦source: from publisher for honest review
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?

Review:  The Holders was so much more than I expected!  From the cover, I think I expected more of a serious high fantasy---what I got was a fantastic story with some great Harry-Potter type fantasy elements, and a great plot surrounding a fierce heroine with a wicked temper, especially when it comes to protecting her little brother from, well, ...everyone!  

Becca has always put protecting her brother, Ryland, first and foremost in her life.  There father left them two weeks after Ryland was born and her mother pretty much crumbled after that.  Ryland hears voices and for years, doctors, counselors, teachers have all been trying to take him away, and Becca has been there to chase them off every step of the way.  Because no matter what anyone tries to say, she know her brother is not crazy.  Then finally one day, two men show up that may finally be able to help.  Becca and Ryland find themselves in Ireland, at a school run by the one man Becca never wanted to see again...their father.

Becca was so fierce and I loved her from the moment I saw her temper flare in protection of her terrified little brother.  I loved how close they were and how the dynamic was addressed that not only was she determined to make sure he was safe, but she didn't realize how much she needed him to need her.  That and her temper made her very genuine and flawed.  I thought the rocky relationship with her estranged father was really well done, there was definitely an issue of anger and hurt for her to deal with there.

Loved the love story! It was perfect and slow-building...while she did admit to being attracted and impressed by Alex, she was so used to keeping her guard up that there was none of the dreaded 'I just met you but I think I'm in love' syndrome. He was sweet and good with Ryland and grew closer to Becca little by little with the way he watched out for both of them.  I loved the funny reference to certain love stories where the girl falls for the guy only to find out he's a hundred-plus years old. There were some really humorous moments throughout---not surprising with such a huge cast of eclectic characters, many that I really loved!

The story has some great surprises and twists, lots of magic, lore, and dangerous excitement.  I highly recommend picking this one up, I doubt you'll be disappointed!  The next in this series will be high on my list of anticipated reads next year!
Find Julianna Scott online:  Web  •  Twitter 

Purchase The Holders:  Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound

Read an exerpt:

4 comments :

  1. The holder sounds interesting, glad you enjoyed it! Will be adding this to my wishlist, great review!

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    1. I hope you give it a read and enjoy it, too, Van!

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  2. Oooh I love the sound of this one! The romance seems great too, I'm so glad it wasn't an insta-love! Thanks for including the excerpt as well - I'm definitely a lot more excited to read this book now. Thanks for the great review! :)

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  3. I definitely want to check this one out! I feel like it's flown under the radar actually, as I haven't heard much about it. I do love a good fantasy though, and it sounds extremely unique.

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