Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Holders

The Holders
by Juliana Scott
From the publisher:
"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?"

This book sat on my NetGalley shelf for quite a while before I read it, and I'm ashamed to admit that it is because the cover didn't do too much for me. Well, that teaches me a lesson because this book was ... yes, I'm going to say it... awesome! I loved the characters, the plot and the setting (gorgeous Ireland!). The writing kept me glued to the page, and although I figured out some plot points, others were a delicious surprise. This was a unique YA paranormal romance book.

I loved the heroine, Becca, for many different reasons - her love for her little brother, her tough and cynical outlook on life, her snarkiness, her need to keep Alex at arm's length until she knows him better, her acceptance of Chloe's overzealous efforts to be friends, and her courage and desire to protect her loved ones. I thought Alex was almost as perfect as a Julianne Donaldson hero. He wasn't a crazed stalker, he didn't pressure Becca at all, he cared about her feelings and didn't try to prove her wrong when he didn't agree, and he took such good care of her little brother. Ryland was adorable, I even appreciated how he wanted to spend time with his new friends instead of his big sister, because it was so nice that he was turning into a normal boy instead of the freak he thought he was. Chloe was so endearing, I wanted to be her friend too. The dueling professors were hysterical, and it was nice to have a grandmotherly presence in Min. It will be interesting to see how the relationship between Becca and her father plays out. I hope they can come together in the next book. The author definitely created interesting characters that you both believe in and like. 

I definitely recommend this one and have ordered 2 copies for my middle school library. Bring on book 2!

Areas of concern: There is quite a bit of cussing (no f-bombs) and some serious kissing in one part. There is some violence and a kidnapping.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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