Series: Holders #1
Received: Received a copy from the publisher through NetGalleyRelease Date: March 5, 2013
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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?
When I started reading this book I felt kind of meh about it, it felt like a lot of other books out there where kids with special powers go to a special boarding school. I found that the characters weren't anything over;ly special... but then I got more into the book and I started really enjoying everything that was happening (it was close to the halfway point). When more information started coming out I became more invested in the story of the Holders. I felt like it took a long time to learn everything, but Julianna definitely took her time to build everything up.
The story was interesting because Becca's brother is the one with the special abilities but she has spent her life protecting him from being labelled as crazy and being scrutinized by too many people. I really loved how Scott shows the family love in this book. Becca refuses to leave home for college because she doesn't want to leave her little brother alone and when he is taken to this boarding school, the only way she agrees is if she can follow and make sure that he will be safe there. I loved seeing their relationship grow and change as Ryland learns to do things for himself. Ryland was a great character and I wish there had of been more of him in the book rather than it being about Becca and everyone discussing Ryland while he was doing his own things.
What I liked was the history behind the Holders. Scott really made that part interesting with a special higher up giving powers to certain people so that they can protect the world. And yes there is that instant love between the characters, but I really like how it was handled. There is a back story to why these two have such a strong connection, but I like that though they find themselves with this connection they don't act on it right away, the romance is drawn out as Becca and Alex get to know each other a little more. It makes sense that these two characters get together, they both have such a strong sense of loyalty to those that are considered family, and it made me fall in love with Alex very quickly.
Scott does a great job incorporating the secondary characters into the story that for much of the book I felt they were just as important (if not more important and interesting) as the main character. Everyone has such an important role to the bigger picture that this story could not be what it is without all these characters. This book is about so much more than the special powers, I found it was also about finding family where you can. This school is a family of people (not everyone who attends has special powers).
Though this story took me awhile to get into, I found that Scott was able to make her world believable, and more than that, she brought me into this special family of characters that she created, where I fell in love with each and every one of them because of how they care for one another. This book is similar to many other books out there, but I definitely still enjoyed it (especially since it takes place in Ireland - always a favourite setting of mine).