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Best Friends Forever? (A Review of “Holding On” by Rachael Brownell) Description: “For five years Becca has been struggling to hide her feelings for her best friend, Brad. Now she finally has a chance to move on. She’s in a new city, she’s attending a new school, and she’s met the first guy besides Brad, who’s held her attention in a long time. Not only is Ethan attractive, he’s an amazing tennis player, and he might just be Becca’s match on and off the courts.

Brad has loved Becca for as long as he can remember. Now that Becca’s family has moved two thousand miles away, Brad may finally be ready to lay his heart on the line and do whatever it takes to hold on to Becca.

But is Brad too late? Or will Ethan’s secret drive Becca back into Brad’s arms? Torn between her love for Brad and the promise of something new and exciting with Ethan, Becca has an almost impossible choice to make, the choice between letting go or holding on.”

About the Author

7362131Rachael Brownell was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she currently resides with her boyfriend and son. She is a graduate of Grand Valley State University, where she studied Advertising and Public Relations.

When she’s not working, building Lego’s or writing her next book, Rachael enjoys scrapbooking, photography, is learning to golf and is an avid reader.

To be the first to know about where Rachael will be signing, read passages from her upcoming releases and sign up to read ARC copies, make sure you subscribe to her newsletter.

Find Rachael online at…






My Review

Holy triangles! What do you get when your male best friend develops feelings other than friendship for you? Now add in a really hot guy. Result? A seriously screwed up love triangle.

Before you roll your eyes (I know there are plenty of people who don’t want to read any more YA/NA love triangles.), hear me out. Brownell did a nice, fresh take in Holding On. All the love triangles I have read, thus far, have involved three characters who were totally unaware of the other participants’ feelings. Not exactly the case with this cast of kids. Every participant knew about the others.

I didn’t know whether to jump on the bandwagon with Rebecca Blake. She knew what was happening with her best friend, but couldn’t avoid the pending disaster. She was forced to leave her best friend and start life in a new town five hours away, by plane. Becca was strong and quite mature in her early decisions about Brad, her bff. I admired her wanting to move on and not hurt his feelings.

She had no idea that a hottie named Ethan would enter the picture. He made sense. They lived in the same town and attended the same school. They both played the same sport. And their attraction? Mutual. A relationship with this guy was doable. This was the one I pulled for, the one I wanted to succeed.

Life would have been grand had Becca kept her mouth shut and let ‘sleeping dogs lie’. She woke up the beast and created the triangle. Unfortunately, once you tempt fate, it has a tendency to bite you in the butt. In Holding On, the creature had deep fangs which don’t let go easily.

My favorite character in Holding On was actually Ethan. He was the innocent guy participating in a twisted game between so-called friends. Life would have been easier for everyone had the two friends confessed to their feelings instead of fighting it. Instead, readers get a glimpse at a dramatic teen situation. Ethan, however, was the calming factor. He was accepting, caring, and everything a good boyfriend needed to be.

I felt so bad for Brad. He managed an inner struggle with his feelings for Becca. When he finally manned up and revealed himself, it was too late. But the guy was relentless. He didn’t let distance discourage him. I guess that’s admirable as well in a boyfriend. If you’re going to do the distance thing, you need someone willing to be on that path with you. And there’s the problem.

I loved how Brownell developed the plot in this novel. She didn’t just present a love triangle. She gave readers an experience that answered the question, “How did this happen?” It wasn’t the girl enters scene and there’s a cute guy. Then she walks into the next scene and there’s another cute guy. Then she spends the rest of the book questioning which guy she should be with. Not reality.

The scenario in Holding On is believable. Families transfer jobs and move to new towns every day. Their children leave behind best friends, boyfriends, etc. They eventually meet new ones. Sometimes circumstances happen and your past meets your present in unexpected ways.

But we all know love triangles can’t last forever. Someone gets hurt when a choice is made. I loved how Brownell gave the characters a good outcome.

I literally raced through the book and stayed up late, wanting to know what would happen next. Hate to tell you, but there is a cliffhanger and it is opinion changing.

Rating: 5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

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