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The Holders (Strange Chemistry) Tekijä:…
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The Holders (Strange Chemistry) (vuoden 2013 painos)

Tekijä: Julianna Scot

Sarjat: Holders (Book 1)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
9914273,439 (3.78)-
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. From the Trade Paperback edition.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:emleemay
Teoksen nimi:The Holders (Strange Chemistry)
Kirjailijat:Julianna Scot
Info:Strange Chemistry (2013), Paperback, 350 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):****
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The Holders (tekijä: Julianna Scott)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 14) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Second read February 2020: 4 stars

You know those books who stay with you long after you've read the last page? The kind of book you want to re-read the second you finish it. The Holders is that book for me. I adored it from the very beginning. It's almost a mix of X-men and Ireland which is just perfect!

The writing is amazing and I had a hard time putting the book down (sleep and food is overrated, right?). Even though the story has a slow pace at times, it's still riveting and filled with Irish myths and life on a boarding school.

I loved Becca. She is an awesome protagonist. She is so much fun and very sarcastic, but she is also friendly and hardheaded. Becca is very smart and I loved finally reading about a protagonist, who dares to speak her mind and who doesn't depend on anybody. I adored the chemistry between Becca and Alex - they are so funny together and their friendship develops slowly and realistically. Their relationship is predictable, but I stilled loved being on the side watching them getting to know each other and falling in love. Their conversations and inside jokes are fantastic.

Almost all the people in this book have depth and individuality and I cared for most of them. My favorites were Min, Mr. Reid and Mr. Anderson - I loved their bickering and weirdness.

My only real problem with this book was the cover - It just doesn't do anything for me. Had I seen it in a book store I probably would have ignored it and that's such a shame - guess I need to stop judging the books by their covers, huh? Anyway, read this book - you won’t regret it! ( )
  Hyms | Aug 9, 2020 |
Originally Reviewed at Witchmag's Boekenplank

*I received a free copy through Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion*

What a pleasant surprise this book was. I was intrigued after reading the blurb. What, no book about the chosen one, but his sister? Hmmm that sounds… interesting! It’s going to give a whole new perspective to the story, one that I haven’t got the chance to explore. And it did, but I didn’t expect to like this book that much! It even has a great twist when Becca’s anger flares once again and she decides to throw an ancient artifact at the head of one very annoying person. And after that it kept surprising me more and more. And I found myself liking the story even better^^

This all had to with our main protagonist: Becca. She’s the best. She’s awesome, has a mother instinct where a bear with cubs can say u against. Has a great sense of humor. She can have a temper tantrums, but oddly enough I found those very amusing and it made me love her more. In short: I loved her to death and she made me crack up often. How could I not when she’s comparing herself to a bull, complete with steam and flaring nostrils?

The romance in this book was also wonderful. Even though there is a soul mates concept, it’s not insta love. More like slowly getting to know each other and forming a bond. I have to admit, there were some moments where I thought Becca would do things that would endanger the budding romance, but fortunately she didn’t make the mistake of not speaking up. Or suddenly following her daddies orders ^^ And of course I like her the more for it. Nothing as annoying as two people who are meant to be together but are not because no one is talking… Anyway, even after the big confession they remained as cute as they where before, or even cuter and I hope they’ll always stay the same ^^

Then there’s the world-building. People with “magical” powers gifted by same goddess? Marvelous! Only setback was that mostly men were given these powers and the women who did receive some, are infinitely weaker as the men. My feminist heart did not like that part at all. Fortunately for my sensitive feminist heart there’s a huge turn in the story which made her thump her fist on her chest and say HELL YEAH! I look forward to finding out more about this world, full of people who can read minds, travel through time, move objects and what not. It’s definitely a great place to be ^^

Only reason I couldn’t give this book 5 hearts was because I was not wholly there in the great story that Julianna Scott created. Just like Alex and his illusions, I was still aware of my surroundings. I wasn’t swept away, I wasn’t entranced. Therefore no 5 hearts, but this book is still worthwhile to read!

Conclusion

4 HEARTS. This book took me by surprise. It has everything I love to have in a book: a great and lovable main protagonist who DOESN’T do stupid things. Hart-thumping romance, a good plot and great world-building. If only it could make me forget the world around me completely…. Still a more than worthy read I can recommend to any YA fan out there ^^ ( )
  Iris-Boekenplank | Dec 22, 2013 |
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 duelling 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.

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. (view spoiler)

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

http://read-me-maybe.blogspot.com

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC! ( )
  Bduke | Oct 28, 2013 |
The Holders is the first in what I presume will be a series featuring Becca Ingle and the "Holders". Becca's younger brother, Ryland, has been hearing voices for most of his 10 years life, and she has tried to protect from various people who want to help him, mostly by institutionalisation. But now two men come to take Ryland to a special school in Ireland for people with powers similar to his - where Becca's and Ryland's estranged father is headmaster. Becca travels with Ryland to Ireland to help him settle in, and learns about herself and her family in the process.

I admit I am probably not the target audience for this book - I'm not a teenager, and this doesn't seem to me to be the type of young adult that is "also suitable for adults". On top of that, I'm Irish, meaning that I was initially approaching this with a mixture of hope and dread, and unfortunately it was my negative expectations that were met.

I found The Holders to have nothing really new about it. The concept of a teenager being chosen/forced to go to a secret special school because of their powers has become a cliche - and one I have seen much better executed. Particularly as in this case, it wasn't really about the school - as Becca is not attending lessons. In fact, it turned into more of a paranormal romance than I had expected from the blurb.

It seemed to me that Ireland was used as the setting simply to allow the main character's love interest to use Irish on occasion (a pretty ungrammatical Irish, if you ask me). The powers and the concept of Holders was not even properly linked into Irish mythology in any way. Instead it seemed more like some sort of superhero powers with Irish terms stuck on randomly.

I didn't find it a particularly bad book, and I did like Becca as a character. That said I don't expect to read any sequels, and would be wary of any other books by the author.

Reason for picking up: I've a subscription to Strange Chemistry, and the Irish element intrigued me enough to make me read it. ( )
  Scorbet | Aug 4, 2013 |
Seeped in Irish history and mythology, The Holders is a riveting journey of self discovery that left me desperate for more. I enjoyed the setting and exploration of the mysterious powers the Holders have, the growth of Becca as she realised her temper and impetuous nature weren't always the answer, and the slow, cute development of the romance. Basically, I liked everything about this book.

The book begins with Becca trying to save her brother from being taken away by two strange men, the latest in a string of doctors and specialists who want to diagnose him as mentally unstable. She reacts with anger and harsh words, which I thought was inappropriate, but eventually realised that what these men propose is probably the best thing for Ryland. She offers to go with her brother to help him settle in, and to make sure he will be safe.

Becca is fiery and prone to loud outbursts whenever things don't go her way, and although it was entertaining at first, it quickly became annoying. However, in the new setting of St. Brigid's, she is surrounded by people who won't take her bullshit, and she has to learn to resolve her problems in other ways. I also liked that Becca was quick to recognise that she was crushing on Alex but was able to push it away to help her brother. She never abandoned her duties and responsibilities to be with Alex, which I found empowering.

As a reader, it was easy to see that Alex had fallen for her as hard as she had fallen for him, but Becca (of course) couldn't see it. Which, although a little frustrating, made the romance quite exciting. Finally, there is a male lead who isn't the bad-boy, mysterious stranger type, who wears his emotions on his sleeve and isn't afraid to show us when he's hurt, who isn't any more special than the others around him, is part of a team but not their leader, who is genuinely nice and cares for everyone around him, who does amazing things for Becca without expecting anything in return. Alex breaks all the YA moulds, and boy, was I glad. And finally, a woman who falls for the man, not his usual good looks or powers or eyes or voice or any one of the other hundred things YA girls seem to always fall for without realising the guy behind them is bad news.

One thing I really liked were the interactions between Becca and her father. I think the situation was handled well, even delicately by the author, who never once preached, but managed to show us how anger and hurt can cloud our better judgement. I liked that an adult didn't back down from apologising to his child, that a child could be shown to take the first steps towards reconciliation, and that never, not once, were Becca's feelings trivialised.

Another intriguing thing about the book is the world building. We've seen it before - in Heroes, in X-Men, and a dozen other places besides, but the twist Scott gives it - the dilution of powers across generations, the longevity it grants the users, the prophesy and the way it unfolds - are cool. I felt uncomfortable the moment Scott made it clear that the powers tend to run in the male lines, and that women, if they do develop powers, are never as powerful as the men. It seemed ... defeatist, sexist, wrong. But then, it's the author's prerogative to create their world how they want to. I do, however, think it's a cop out to then have Becca come along and defy all the rules, because I feel that if authors create all these rules in their worlds, it's wrong to them have the protagonist systematically break them all like Becca does.

I really, really liked The Holders, and I recommend it to all readers of YA who are looking for something a bit darker, more mature. In typical Strange Chemistry style, this book swept me away and I was unable to put it down until I had finished. I am eagerly awaiting the sequel, The Seers, which is due for release sometime next year.

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.
You can read more of my reviews at Speculating on SpecFic. ( )
  alcarinqa | May 21, 2013 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 14) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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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. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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