We’re coming close to bingo! Today’s post is Rachel Davidson Leigh’s Hold, which is my choice for the PoC superheroes space! (Although it could have also been used for the LGBT+ in SFF, and PoC/Interracial M/M! I love how intersectional this book is.)
Luke can stop time. But right now, that’s the least of his worries. His sister has just died after a long stay in hospice care, he’s in love with his best friend (who hasn’t seemed to notice) and there’s a new kid at school, Eddie Sankawulo, who is mysteriously turning up everywhere…
This was another book that had me jumping up and down and squealing aloud. As I mentioned above, the representation is great. Luke is South Asian, Eddie is Ghanian and bisexual, and Luke’s best friend is aro-ace. And these words are actually said ON THE PAGE! Although Davidson Leigh’s world is full of realism (Eddie and Luke both face racist comments on a daily basis), her depiction of LGBT+ relationships was so positive. Eddie, as well as Luke and his friends, are so understanding and respectful and knowledgeable about LGBT+ issues and terms. Because of this, Hold came really alive for me. They felt like real teenagers who had taught themselves about LGBT+ issues, just like I did.
There isn’t much description about why or how Luke has come to acquire the power to stop time – and I know some readers will be quite irritated with that. However, I was much more interested in the way that Luke uses his powers, as well as his friendships and relationships. For example, Luke could stop time and move things – and people. However (and this is the first time I’ve ever seen this in fiction) he doesn’t, because he is aware of the creepiness and non-consensual nature of touching someone without their consent. The one time he touches someone whilst stopping time, it is done with her express permission, and is respectful, to boot.
If I’m honest, I was more interested in these aspects than the plot itself. It was okay – a little bit jumbled near the end of the novel – but I couldn’t bring myself to care. I just wanted to hang out with these characters, and see where life took them next.
(Finally, I’d be interested in your thoughts – I usually link to amazon, but I thought it might be more useful to link to goodreads. Do you have a preference?)