Publisher: Duet Books
Release date: October 20, 2016
Genres: YA, LGBT
Rating: 4 stars
Luke Aday knew that his sister’s death was imminent—she had been under hospice care for months—but that didn’t make her death any easier on him or their family. He returns to school three days after the funeral to a changed world; his best friends welcome him back with open arms, but it isn’t the same. But when a charismatic new student, Eddie Sankawulo, tries to welcome Luke to his own school, something life-changing happens: In a moment of frustration, Luke runs into an empty classroom, hurls his backpack against the wall—and the backpack never lands. Luke Aday has just discovered that he can stop time.
Disclaimer: This review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Reason #1: Hold is a queer YA book with a great cast of characters.
Luke Aday, the main character, is an adopted Indian boy. Since Hold is told from his perspective, we really get to know Luke inside and out. Between his sister’s death and discovering his power to stop time and crushing on cute boys, Luke has a lot going on. He also has a lot of…thoughts. His mind is all over the place and this is one of the reasons why he reminded me of myself. He can be very awkward in social situations and freezes more often than not.
Apart from Luke, there’s Marcos and Dee of course. They’re both pretty laid-back and are the kind of friends who back you up no matter what. That was evident to me from the way they choose to believe Luke when he tells them he can stop time. I probably would have decided Luke is crazy if he’d told me.
As for my favorite character, that was probably Eddie Sankawulo, the new student and Luke’s latest obsession.
“I’m the big B in the LGBTQA, or whatever the acronym is today. I can’t say QUILTBAG with a straight face,” Eddie said.”
So Luke sees Eddie as this really bright cheerful guy who is constantly smiling. Eddie reminded me of people in my life who always seem so happy but like most people, there seems to be another side of him..and this naturally complicates his relationship with Luke.
I found the tension between Luke and Eddie slightly frustrating at times because I just wanted them to talk it out. But I know if I was in their situation, I’d be acting just as weird, if not more.
Reason #2: Luke has powers but they don’t completely take over his life.
You go into the book knowing that the main character has the power to stop time and it’s interesting to see how discovering this ability changes his life. But Luke doesn’t immediately go from grieving brother to ass-kicking superhero. Hold isn’t the kind of book where characters with powers fight crime and save the day – it’s a little more realistic. Luke has these cool abilities but he’s also your average high school student with other responsibilities and cute boys to think about.
Reason #3: Hold is messy.
I don’t want to be cheesy but life is messy and so is this book. Hold is a short book but I spent three (four?) weeks reading it to really draw out the experience. I fell in love with these characters and even now, I’m wondering what Luke is up to.
Hold drew me in and wouldn’t let go. And so I found myself completely immersed in a book that continued to surprise and delight me as I read. I know my review is late (and I’m sorry for that) but I’m glad I took my time. And huge thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy!
WOULD I RECOMMEND IT? Yes!