by Julianna Scott
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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?
“I look forward to it,” I laughed. “Then maybe I’ll get the chance to do something for you, for a change.”
“Ah, Becca,” he sighed, lowering his face so his nose brushed against mine, raising the hairs on my arms. “You have no idea how much you do for me.”
Awww this was just too cute. If ever there was a need for a lighthearted and sweet book, this would be it. It’s never too over-the-top and it doesn’t try to be something it’s not-it just is. I am horrible with my rules and expectations and what I will and will not read-but when my great friend, followed by my other great friend loved it, I knew I had to give it a try.
I can’t say it was perfect-Obviously it wasn’t because I didn’t rate it a 5-but it was great, all the same. I think a large part of enjoyment in stories stems from just falling in love with the characters. In this case, where the story didn’t quite reach my standards, the characters overshadowed that. I really really liked the plot-really. But I have these little…hmm…annoying quirks? Tiny things in a story can make me cringe and cause minor annoyance where annoyance doesn’t quite belong. I was never once not into this story, but minute things here and there would suddenly make me think, why? Why did this have to happen, why is it going this way, why can’t it just do what I want it to, damn it….and that’s just a personal hang up.
I just have to say this up front-I adored this book. I gave it four stars without batting an eye. My enjoyment was never ending and I couldn’t wait to read it when I couldn’t be sitting on my ass and had to do normal human things, like, say, work. But it also doesn’t mean I didn’t want more.
He shrugged with a smile. “I’m used to the idea, I guess.”
“Wait, OK, so now I have to know, how old are you?” I asked, bracing for the answer.
“How old do you think I am?” he countered, his smile turning wry.
“I don’t know, one hundred and four?”
“One hundred and four! What about me screams ‘old man’, may I ask?”
“I don’t know, so younger?”
I think it’s safe to say that I was completely obsessed with Alex-he was absolutely adorable. Loyal, funny, brave, kind-he really was a knight in shining armor. Right when we meet him we can see that he is going to be a very addicting character. From his personality, to his upbringing, all the way to his voice (whispering, quiet, kind, reassuring, supportive), Alex is the complete package. I adored everything he was willing to do for Becca and her little brother, Ryland. He was a self-sacrificing type, and we see that from beginning to end-I have always fallen hard for these types of male leads.
As I watched him now, staring off into the falling snow, for the first time I could see how lonely he was. He didn’t have what he truly wanted, what he needed. Even with all the people around him every day, when it came to the ways that mattered most, he was alone.
But the real obsession begins when we see something deeper forming between Becca and Alex. He is always there for her, always around, always doing something that makes my heart melt-it’s ridiculous. But then we get to see his pained side, his tortured side….and it made me heart ache in a totally different way. I think this is when I well and truly fell for him (not that that was ever in danger of not happening). It broke my heart to see him in pain, but more than that, it helped me to connect with him on an even deeper level…and I love that.
But with all that, this is one of the biggest things that bothered me. If you don’t want to see my biggest problem with the whole story (no, for real, it’s not Alex, seriously), then don’t read the spoiler. It is, indeed, a rather large spoiler and I can’t talk about this without everyone knowing what happened. So…proceed with caution. View Spoiler »The bonding thing. I am SO weird about this. I HATE past relationships in stories (ie When the heroine meets the hero and they had been in love with him in their past life blah blah think Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Yeah yeah spoiler but meh). ANYWAY-I HATE THAT. I like when the characters don’t know each other, don’t have any force pulling them together-no bonds, no other worldly pulls just NO. In this story, there’s a thing called an Anem-that means the Holder has one other person in the world with whom they belong and when they meet that person, it’s like their whole world stops turning and they know-without a doubt-that is who they are supposed to be with. You can guess what happens. « Hide Spoiler And I feel like such a bitch, but I’m sorry, I’ve always hated this direction in books, and it just made me so sad that this story did it, too. It’s not bad AT ALL….and it’s done wonderfully, beautifully, even mixing in with my favorite parts of the story….but I wish it could have went a different direction, somehow. View Spoiler »I like when they gradually fall in love (and they did actually, which is why it’s done wonderfully) and just know because it just…happens. And it was done this way in the book, I swear, « Hide Spoiler but in the back of my cynical witchy mind I was like…sigh. Ugh.
And then the writing-while edited well (big pet peeve of mine) and not bad at all, it was written in one of my least favorite writing styles of all time. Which means all my gripes, all my problems with this story (it seems like a ton, but there were very few) are literally speculation and only personal problems, not actual issues with the book itself, because it’s actually wonderful and deserves more attention than it has gotten. I just don’t like when there are bits of cheese sprinkled in with the writing and self-assurances and…like I said, I’m being petty, because it was wonderful and addicting.
I know I sounded negative-sometimes I do this, and I don’t know why. I love a book, I read it within 24 hours because it’s just that good, and then I bitch and complain more than I try to impress. It’s not right, because everyone wants to know why I gave it a four, and here I am pushing what’s wrong with it. But here, I can make it simple-
-Amazing male lead with whom I am obsessed with
-Wonderful cast of characters
-Quick and fast-paced plot
I was addicted from page one, and these reasons are exactly why. A book doesn’t have to be perfect to be exactly what you need and are looking for. I cannot wait to start the second book this weekend, and I only hope it’s as good as the first. These are amazing, fun, and alluring characters, I hope anyone who gives this a try will like it as much as I did.