Mar 25, 2013

Book Review: The Holders by Julianna Scott

Book Cover: The Holders by Julianna Scott

The Holders by Julianna Scott

#1 in Holders series

Genre: YA Paranormal

Format: Ebook, 320 pages
Published On: March 5, 2013 by Strange Chemistry
Source: Requested for review via NetGalley.

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First Sentence: "The moment I saw Ryland's silhouette in the window of our tree house, I knew something was wrong."

Seventeen-year-old Becca is very protective of her family. Child of a divorced parents, she deeply cares about her mother and little brother Ryland, even it means sacrificing her own future. When another people visit them claiming that they can help her brother, Becca is reluctant to believe them. Especially since their long-lost better-forgotten father have sent them. But for her brother, Becca is willing to take a shot go on a trip to Ireland and St. Brigid's, a school that teaches peoples with abilities that normal person doesn't have (so called Power Holders).

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.

Beautiful pics of Ireland from Julianna Scott's inspiration board for The Holders from Pinterest [image source]

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 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.

My Rating: 4 out of 5

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;...

Let's Talk:

Did you read The Holders? Did you like it?

Any other thoughts or comments?


  1. Good review. Never heard of this book before but it piques my interest. think i'll give it a go.

    1. Thanks Shane. If you like ya paranormal with a nice romance I think you are going to enjoy this one. :)

  2. Great review :). I absolutely loved this book when I received it. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.

    1. Thanks. :) Yes I enjoyed reading this and could not put it down. :)

  3. Oooh, I was concerned for a moment there, but I think I'm keeping this on my tbr. :) Too bad about the characters besides the MC, but that does happen a lot in first person, like the author thinks making them interesting is all that counts. I love Ireland, though, so WANT.

    1. Yes and well it kinda makes sense if a novel is in first-person-pov that as you said focus is on main character. Becca was really great, I liked to hear her thoughts and she really has good reactions, not like some ya heroines... Keep it on your tbr, and I hope you will like it too when it gets it's chance. ;)

  4. Despite the predictably this sounds like it was a good read. Strange Chemistry offers some unique books.

    1. Yes, although some of the things are predictable I enjoyed this book. I read two Strange Chemistry books and both were VERY good. I can't wait to read more! :)


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