Becca is not the type of heroine I could easily like. I'm a peace-and-quiet loving kind of girl, so her penchant toward temper tantrums was not something I could relate to. But I had to admire her determination, love for her family and the extremes she is willing to go to ensure their happiness. Also I loved her reactions and attitude toward romantic part of her story. There are a lot of ya novels who give love a bad name, but The Holders gives me faith that if or when I have a teenage daughter I will have a book that I can recommend to her that will give her a good role-model how love is supposed to be:
"I loved him because I knew him. Because I'd seen the man he truly was inside, and it never failed to amaze me. I loved him for his heart and his strength. For his endless compassion and his unbreakable spirit even in the face of everything he'd been trough. I loved him because he was the person I wanted to be, and I was a better person just trough the privilege of knowing him."
Except for Becca, all other characters in The Holders are not much developed. Yes, there are a lot of teachers and students at St. Brigid, but they felt rather flat to me and fairly typical. You know, like they are either good or bad, there were not complex personalities. But since I am over 30 and I have read a lot of 'heavier' books, maybe just my standards for characterisation are set too high.
Since The Twilight, vampires and whole ya paranormal genre has been so massively over-used that it's hard to find something original. I won't lie to you, The Holders follows already familiar plot pattern. You are probably going to guess what is going to happen in 50% of the cases. But the important question is: are you going to care? For me, the answer is: no - that didn't stop me from reading. My eyes were glued to the pages and I could not wait ... when will they figure it out... how are they going to react... Writing a page-turner when you know reader can guess the plot is probably harder, but I guess that's the true sign of a good writer.
What it lacks in plot originality, The Holders gives back ten-fold in beautiful descriptions of Irish nature, buildings and customs. You can really feel Julianna Scott's love for Ireland pouring out in the pages. She also implements a lot of interesting Irish customs and names into history behind Power Holders. We had met a lot of groups of people with special powers (x-men anyone?) but I liked some ideas Julianna Scott had: like weakening of inherited power's strength over generations etc.
The Holders was a quick read with interesting take on a familiar subject and nicely developed love story without pesky love triangles. Characterisation for the side characters may not be very deep, but I think it has enough originality and good writing to offer for ya paranormal fans to earn a place on their to-read shelf.
I recommend this book to fans of: ya paranormal books with a nice dose of romance; boarding school settings; concept of people with unusual powers; temperamental heroines; Ireland; soul mates;...
Disclaimer: I was given a free eBook by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.