Search This Blog

2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

2024 Challenge Sign-Up Post

January Reviews Link-Up

February Reviews Link-Up

March Reviews Link-Up

April Reviews Link-Up

May Reviews Link-Up

June Reviews Link-Up

July Reviews Link-Up

August Reviews Link-Up

September Reviews Link-Up

October Reviews Link-Up

November Reviews Link-Up

December Reviews Link-Up

My Progress:

12 / 30 books. 40% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (3)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii
- Idaho (2)
- Illinois (2)
- Indiana (1)
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (1)
- Maryland
- Massachusetts (2)
- Michigan
- Minnesota
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (4)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (2)
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (3)
- Utah
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (1)
- Washington (2)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin (1)
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.* (1)

- Australia (1)
- Canada (1)
- England (10)
- France (1)
- Indonesia (1)
- Ireland (4)
- Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
- The Netherlands (1)

My Progress:

28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

22 / 50 books. 44% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

48 / 50 books. 96% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

40 / 52 books. 77% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

26 / 40 books. 65% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

10 / 25 books. 40% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

12 / 26.2 miles. 46% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

25 / 100 books. 25% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

64 / 104 books. 62% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

43 / 52 books. 83% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

69 / 165 books. 42% done!
Saturday, May 11, 2013

Balliett's Latest Enjoyable, Just Not Exceptional

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Dashel Pearl isn't the most conventional of fathers, but he loves his family and would never abandon them.  Would he?  The longer he's gone, the harder 11-year-old Early worries.  Where has her missing father gone?  Is he ever coming back?  

Wherever Dashel has disappeared to, he's left a huge mess behind him.  Not only has he broken his family's hearts, but he's crossed some very dangerous people.  The thugs claim Dashel stole something from them.  Early doesn't know what that may be, she only knows that they will stop at nothing to get it back.  The Pearls can't return to the apartment the thugs ripped apart, but where else can they live?  With barely a penny to their names, they have no choice but to hole up at a homeless shelter in a dingy, rundown section of Chicago. 

As everyone else's faith in Dashel fades, Early knows she has to hold fast to her hope.  It's all she's got left.  Besides, she's found some clues to her father's disappearance, hints that indicate he didn't flee by choice.  No one believes her, but Early knows her dad—he moved to his own, unique rhythm.  If she can just figure out the puzzle he's left behind, she can find Dashel.  

All Early wants is her family back together in a home where they can live in peace and safety.  But as things come to a boiling point, Early knows her wish may be nothing more than an impossible dream.  

Hold Fast, a new middle grade mystery by Blue Balliett, is my second venture with this author.  And I feel the same way about her latest as I did about The Danger Box—it's enjoyable, just not exceptional.  The Pearls are certainly sympathetic characters, and lovable ones.  They've got a different kind of rhythm to them, which makes them not just fun, but uniquely so.  I cared about what happened to them.  The plot of the book moves pretty swiftly as well.  It held my attention and kept me guessing.  Overall, though, the story didn't knock my socks off or anything.  It's a decent book, just not an oh-my-gosh-you-need-to-drop-everything-and-read-this-now one.  

(Readalikes:  Reminds me a little of The Danger Box by Blue Balliett)

Grade:  B-

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG for scary situations

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Hold Fast by Blue Balliett from the generous folks at Scholastic.  Thank you!   


  1. My daughter loved Balliett's "Chasing Vermeer" and "The Wright 3". She's older now, but I think I'll let her know that Balliett has a new book out.

  2. I didn't really like Chasing Vermeer very much--I think it was a matter of expectation. I really like the cover of this one for what it's worth :)


Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson


The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

Followin' with Bloglovin'


Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly

Grab my Button!

Blog Design by:

Blog Archive