Entangled Teen, March 2016
I can honestly say I’ve never read anything quite like Holding Court. I cannot tell you what it is ‘about’. You wouldn’t believe me. It simply shouldn’t work. Like sea salt on chocolate. Makes no sense. Those things do not go together. And yet….I thoroughly enjoyed the unprecedented coalescence of young love, psychics, pseudo-theatre, mystery and murder.
There’s a lot to consider as a sixteen year old girl looking for a summer job to buy a car. For example, are there any openings where the guy you’ve adored from afar since sixth grade works? As well as, what are the chances of stumbling upon a corpse that vanishes while on the job?
Being raised in a non-traditional family—specifically three generations of women, each with a unique psychic ability and completely unique feelings regarding said ability—requires a young person to develop a thicker skin and create coping mechanisms. Jules’ grandmother who “has chosen to share her gift with the world in the most obnoxious way possible” and constantly quotes Eleanor Roosevelt is like the whipped cream on already decadent dessert. While her mom keeps her own psychic ability under wraps, she is furiously and ferociously protective of her daughter, having zero qualms about calling Jules’ boss to “remind him that (she) will eviscerate him” should anything happen to her daughter on his watch.
While the atypical family creates a solid foundation, the teen-aged characters build the story with their refreshing honesty and biting sarcasm paired with quick wit and an admirable vocabulary. For me, the absolute, very best, cooler-than-the-other-side-of-the-pillow, part is the reminder that we rarely know what other people think of us. To be more accurate, we honestly do not know what someone else is thinking period—not for sure—no matter how well we know a person. It is easy to project our doubts and insecurities, to assume that someone (or everyone) sees us in a particular way or will have a specific pre-determined reaction to an event. Most often, though, the truth is surprising. Like my beloved 8th grade Algebra teacher patiently explained: “Don’t assume. You make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”.”
Reviewed by jv poore, April 2016.