Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The Holders

17-year-old Becca has spent her whole life protecting her brother - from their father leaving and from the people who say the voices in his head are unnatural. When two strangers appear with apparent answers to Ryland's "problem" and details about a school in Ireland where Ryland will not only fit in, but prosper, Becca is up in arms.

She reluctantly agrees to join Ryland on his journey and what they find at St. Brigid's is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece together information about their family's heritage and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they've been waiting for... but, they are all, especially Becca, in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind.

I shouldn't like The Holders as it contains three of my pet hates: A whiny narrator, love at first sight and plenty of telling and hardly any showing. And yet...I couldn't stop reading Julianna Scott's debut novel.

Scott had me hooked as soon as Becca and Ryland were leaving America behind, and heading to a boarding school in Ireland.  Those first few chapters contained so much potential for where the story could eventually lead and I was excited to follow Becca on her journey.

What kept me reading, even when I had my doubts, was the logic that was behind the tropes that I normally hate.  Becca is whiny teen because she doesn't get to whine to other people.  She has had to be an adult in order to protect Ryland.  The whole love  at first sight thing is explained in a way that relates to the mythology of the Holders.  Also, for Becca it isn't necessarily insta-love.  Finally, there is so much information that Scott needs to relay to the reader that maybe there will be more showing in the second book now that the world has been established.  Maybe I'm making excuses because I found this book charming despite it having flaws that I normally abhor.  Or maybe The Holders was genuinely a good read.
An interesting, and somewhat fun, introduction to what could be a fantastic series.


  1. Great honest review! This one has been on my TBR pile and I need to read it ASAP! :)

    1. Thanks. I wasn't sure if I was being to hard on it, but I think there's plenty to like, and there's plenty of room for development. Hope you enjoy it when you get to read it and will keep a look out for your review to see what you thought!