The Holders (Holders #1) by Julianna Scott0
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?
It's hard to forgive and forget. It's hard to give up the role of protector. It's hard to know whether the choices made are the right ones or the wrong ones. Becca knows all about these hardships and it's something she battles with from the moment they arrive at St. Brigid's. If only that was the only thing she had to face.
I really love this story and here's my reasons why.
The Holders by Julianna Scott tells the story of Becca, a seventeen-year-old, as she protects her brother Ryland from the people that seem to only want to take him from her. Ever since he began hearing voices or rather thoughts, psychiatrists and doctors have been constantly trying to take him away but of course, it is for his own good. They can help him. Becca doesn't buy it. So when she comes home from work to find him hiding because their mother has decided to send him away, she is extremely angry. But these two men claim to be different. She is about to find out just how much. Determined to not leave Ryland alone with these men, she convinces them to let her come along until he is settled. But quickly it becomes clear that as relationships, friendships, and feelings of security developed, the desire to go home is blurred to the point that she questions whether she should leave at all. Will she? Or rather, can she?
Becca is strong willed, feisty, protective, and very loving. I guess the whole love and protect thing intertwines but I think love is the a very soft emotion while protectiveness can be a hardening emotion. From the beginning, I could tell how much of a parental role she had taken in her family. If her father wasn't going to be there to protect them, she was going to do his job. Her attitude is less stubborn and more strong willed, she isn't outright stubborn just to be stubborn and she is open to all the other options out there but once she's formed an opinion, her ideas are hard to sway. Honestly, I love her. I like that she is an open, forgiving person. It's not to say that she can't hold a grudge, because she can, but she doesn't get upset over the little things that people typically freak out over. She is the type of character that I love reading and wish that I could be more like.
I was excited that the romance or rather the potential romance was introduced basically from the beginning. I mean, it's not like I am all about the romance but when there is some, I like when it's set up right and not delayed until the middle of the story. Plus, it's a great subplot throughout the whole story. Alex actually had a big part outside of being the love interest of Becca and I love that. It's hard when the love interest is simply the love interest and that's their only purpose. During the story, I got to realize what role he played in the Holder world and why his loyalty to the race is so important. The blossoming relationship between Alex and Becca takes a toll on him though sometimes I think his actions are completely necessary. Anyway, he's gorgeous and wonderful. Totally swoon worthy.
I think Becca has a tense relationship with both her parents but it's pretty understandable. Sadly, her mother didn't play as much of a part as I would've liked and in fact, after awhile she isn't really mentioned. I think I would've liked to see more of the dynamic of the mother daughter relationship. Although, her father, Jocelyn (LOL it's such a girl name), plays a lot bigger part despite the fact that Becca hates him. Her father abandoned her as well as her mother and brother just after Ryland was born and that cut her pretty deep. Mostly because he hadn't told them he was leaving like a normal person, no instead he had left a letter meant to tear her mother apart. How can she forgive that? She is forced to face him once again when she travels to St. Brigid's and all of the hurt resurfaces. Throughout the story, she determines he doesn't care that much for her and he is controlling like he knows what she should do with her life. She worries that he wants her to be like him and that is why she pushes him away.
Chloe can be described as Becca's best friend. She is super bubbly which makes her just plain entertaining to read. I've met a lot of people who fit her description and it can be overwhelming as well as exhausting, for it is hard to keep up with them. Chloe is great though, I was glad that Becca wasn't surrounded by men the whole time and that she had a girlfriend like Chloe. They balanced each other out very well.
Ryland is a great little brother. In the beginning he is super shy and scared of everything which makes him depend on Becca a lot throughout the beginning. But once they arrive at St. Brigid's, he grows into a greater person. He has found people that understand him and his condition and with a charm made to help him control his powers, the voices disappeared. He finally has a chance to be normal. I love that I got to see how much he grew through that short period of time. I love that he didn't necessarily need Becca to fight his battle or protect him from everything.
Min, Mr. Anderson, Mr. Reid, and Cormac are all Holders that either work at St. Brigid's or work with the Order, which is basically a whole bunch of powerful Holders. They all provide needed comedic relief for the tense scenes when I knew that Becca might break down or collapse from being overloaded with information. I love all the wisdom and power that these characters bring to the story even if they don't play a huge part. It's a wonderful group of characters and I adore them all.
The bad guys honestly didn't play that much of a part in most of the story besides being mentioned. Even when a threat of danger is mentioned, the real bad guy didn't play any part in it. The character, though, is set up in such a way that I can't wait for him to be introduced in future stories and see what happens when all my favorite characters must make hard choices. All of the bad guys have been set up wonderfully and the anticipation will kill me until I get to actually read the next book.
I really love this book. I want the sequel... if only. It's an addicting read that keeps you hanging on until the last page and leaves you entirely enchanted with the whole story. If you weren't planning on reading it, I think you should. It's a must read. Don't miss this story!