The Holders (Holders #1)Featured
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?
I loved Becca. She was such a strong heroine - she is just so genuinely good. I loved the lengths at which she was willing to go to protect her family. Chloe was just a doll - what a sweetheart! I also really adored Alex - from the first page he walked into the book, I just loved him.
The plot of The Holders is SO NEAT. It is really unique and I loved the ideas. There are definitely some elements borrowed from other literature and Julianna Scott really makes them her own. The mythology in this one was just brilliant.
The stakes are high by the end of the book and I cannot wait to see where things go in The Seers. I was absolutely enthralled. The Holders starts out with a bang and just picks up speed throughout the entire book, never letting up.
If this is any notion of what Julianna Scott can do, I cannot wait to see what is next. The Holders was refreshing and just one heck of a good read.
A glimpse at the synopsis, and one might think that this is just like every other YA book. While this book can be predictable at times, it's actually a very unique and enjoyable read!
This book focuses on Becca, a very smart 17-year old girl. In fact, she graduated high school at 15. Becca is very protective of her younger brother, Ryland, who is constantly made fun of for the voices that he hears. It's not uncommon for people to recommend 'help' or try to give 'help' to Ryland in the form of mental institutions. But one day, their family is approached by representatives from a school in Ireland. At first, Becca thinks this school is just another mental institution trying to 'help' her brother and is enraged. It turns out that Ryland isn't as crazy as everyone seems to think, he just has a special ability to read minds with no way to control it. Becca ends up agreeing with sending Ryland to the school (her mom already agreed, but we all know that Becca is as much in control when it comes to Ryland's life), but there's one condition: she must come too.
Becca is such an amazing character. What most defines her is her loyalty. She really loves her brother and will do anything to protect him. She also has always believed in her brother, never believing that he was crazy. Becca is just such an admirable character. She also has to learn in this book too. She's so used to being with her brother, always protecting him, that she has to learn that Ryland doesn't always need his big sister around and that's hard for her to come into terms with.
The world-building in this book was amazing! We get a full history of the Holders, along with other general info, but I never felt like I was being info-dumped. I was getting the info just as Becca was coming to learn them. Overall, the whole idea of the Holders was very creative. The book was also very fast-paced! I had a very hard time putting it down!
I loved the romance. I admit it, I thought they were perfect together and you can tell that they honestly did like each other. There was no insta-love in this book. Becca does have a bit of an insta-attraction, but I have no problem with those, because you're bound to have a crush on a cute, but sweet guy shortly after meeting. I still felt like the romance was done well.
Frankly, I loved almost everything about this book! The only issue that I can think of is the fact that there was a few typos. Other than that? Everything! This was such a great book! A very strong, loyal, yet realistic main character. A very interesting and well-developed plot. And a great romance! I definitely recommend this book and I will certainly be reading the sequel soon!
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.