Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Review Tour: Holding On by Sarah Hadley Brook (Giveaway)

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books

Length: 96,300 words approx

Publisher: JMS Books


Eighteen-year-old Aaron Pickard is dealing with a lot: he’s falling for his straight best friend, his mother has ended up in the hospital after a violent assault by his father, and he’s trying to decide when to come out. Tack on the stress of an upcoming prom and graduation, a part-time job, and the possibility he could lose his best friend, and he’s an emotional wreck.

Aaron’s best friend Jeff Leaton provides a soft place for him to fall when his life is thrown into chaos, literally holding him each night as they fall asleep. As Jeff helps Aaron navigate through the mess that has become his new normal, Aaron’s feelings for Jeff intensify.

Aaron’s pretty sure it’s all going to end badly, but he’s holding on to hope.

3 Stars

This was a gut-wrenching and heartbreaking story to read at times, but at other times, it was extremely annoying. Aaron and Jeff are teenagers and it shows. As much as Aaron has been through, and I’ve read other stories resembling this storyline, I would have thought he’d be much more mature. Most young adults who’ve been through what Aaron has been through mature much faster than those who have a safe and loving home, something that with Aaron’s alcoholic father, Aaron didn’t have. Although his mother tried to protect and shield Aaron and his sister from their father’s abuse, Aaron witnessed things most 18 years olds haven’t.

I should have felt sorry for Aaron, and to a degree I did, but I really just didn’t like him all that much at times. He was immature, borderline bratty and while I know he is going through a lot, his emotions were rather erratic and it was hard to keep up with what he was feeling or thinking from moment to moment. He was really hmm, I guess the best word I can think of is, wishy washy, especially when it came to his best-friend, Jeff, who he was attracted to and had feelings for.

It was beyond frustrating that no matter how many times people told Aaron that Jeff returned his feelings or how many times Jeff himself hinted and almost blatantly told him how he felt, Aaron just looked the other way and brushed it off. The miscommunication or rather non-communication between these two young men was beyond frustrating and I really wanted to knock their heads together at times.

The storyline was interesting, but for me, I found the story much too detail-oriented. There were scenes and content in the book that didn’t help move the story forward and could have been cut. A couple of these just had me shaking my head and asking why? The story had potential, but it needed to be tightened up.

All in all, while this wasn’t my favorite story, it wasn’t terrible either. The story itself is heartbreaking, but Aaron’s attitude made it hard for me to feel bad for him and really, there were some scenes, especially the sexy scenes, that because Aaron acted so immature made me feel a bit like a pervert to read them because the guys seemed so young. I had to keep reminding myself they were 18 because they just didn’t “feel” like 18 year-olds. Still, if you’re into major teenage angst, give Holding On a try!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

November 27 - Bonkers About Books, Wicked Faerie's Tales & Reviews, Reading Is Our Satisfaction, Nerdy Dirty & Flirty, BooksLaidBareBoys, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Millsy Loves Books

November 29 - OptimuMM, OMG Reads, Dog-Eared Daydreams
December 4 - MM Good Book Reviews
December 6 - Bayou Book Junkie, Jim's Reading Room, Wicked Reads, Words Of Wisdom From The Scarf Princess, Boy Meets Boy Reviews 

Author Bio

Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the nonprofit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have costarred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.

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