Hold Fast-Review

A word-loving Family. A missing Father. People not who they seem. Sound interesting, right? That is the very basis of the book, Hold Fast by Blue Balliet.

Cover via

The story focuses on the main character, Early Pearl. Her family is sort of poor, but they live richly. They have books for quotes and words and absolutely adore them.

Early’s Family calls themselves Dashsumearlyjubie.

Dash is Dashel Pearl, Early’s Father. Sum is Summer, Early’s Mother. Earl is their daughter, a young, determined girl. And Jubie is Jubilation, the littlest of them all. Together they are Dashsumearlyjubie, a close-knit family of book and word lovers.

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Image via

The source credits Credits Kate Ter Harr, flickr, for the image.

Early’s Father works at their local library in Chicago, but to earn extra money, he decides to help with a book moving operation. He must move books from one location to another.

The problem is that this is sort of sketchy and very precise. Times and locations for each book moving, secrets, and big, unknown gaps of information. While this is happening, he suddenly vanishes.

To make matters worse, a group of people break into Early’s house taking just about everything, including their journals. The one thing they miss is a book of Langston Hughes poetry, which later becomes very important. And that’s when Early’s family realises that this whole operation is a lot bigger than they thought.

Early’s house is bare and her family makes the tough decision to move to a shelter, taking the poetry book and some of their clothes. After they are there for a while, Early and her family get into a routine of trying to find out information. There are many disappointments through their journey, but they only have one mission; find Dashel.

Early is also trying to sleuth around and find what she needs. Though she uncovers quite a lot, is it enough, and can all of the pieces fit together to help find her Father? But, most importantly, can Early’s family Hold Fast?


Basic Book Info

Title: Hold Fast

Author: Blue Balliet

Pages: 274


My Thoughts

First thought: The cover is so beautiful and realistic. I love how the letters are in the windows! If you look very closely, you will see how hyper-realistic Early and Jubie look. The cover is also Mysterious because it’s dark and heart-warming because Early is comforting Jubie.

Second thought: The chapters. The chapters are each titled one onomatopoeic word. The Google definition of ‘onomatopoeic’ is

Using or relating to ‘onomatopoeia’

 The Dictionary definition of ‘onomatopoeia’ is
The formation of a word by imitating the natural sound associated with an object
 Basically, It’s a ‘sound word’. Like boing or boom.
Getting back to the chapters now. At the beginning of each chapter, there is the definition of that word. The chapter is sort of split up into parts, labeled by that word. For example,
Early was born when her parents were still in high school.
Hold Fast By Blue Balliet, Page 13



When they became parents, Dashel and Summer decided that the usual parent names didn’t fit them.

-Hold Fast By Blue Balliet, Page 16

Cool, right?

Third thought: The language. The language, the writing, the flow is just magical. The book is kind of like ice cream. If you like the flavor, you want to savor the ice cream. If you like the writing style, you want to savor every lovely little sentence you can find.

Image result for baskin robbins oreo cheesecake ice cream
Speaking of ice cream, Baskin Robbins’ Flavor of the Month is Oreo Cheesecake. Yum!

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I just love Blue Balliet’s descriptions and the way she pulls you into her mystery.

I have been reading books by Blue Balliet, ever since I read Chasing Vermeer a few years ago. She always has a symbol of a book, like the artist, or a book. In Hold Fast, it was a book of Langston Hughes’ poetry. I love how she shows us that art is more than pictures or words, that it’s something special. In her books, art is alive. The characters hear the paintings telling them what to do. It’s really cool!

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More of Blue Balliet’s books!

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And, Early returns along with some of Blue Balliet’s other characters in Pieces and Players!

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Cover via

I Give This Book 5 Out of 5 Pencils!

                           ✏           ✏                   ✏                      ✏                            ✏


The Eclipse

Today is a solar eclipse! I’m really excited for it. My family and I will be watching it with some friends of ours. We have the eclipse glasses and we’re very excited.  Seriously. I am dressing in all black and my little sister is in all yellow. She is the sun and I am the moon. We are #readyforthis.

Have you read Hold Fast? Will you? What are you doing for the eclipse?




2 thoughts on “Hold Fast-Review

  1. I really enjoyed reading this, Rose! You’re a great book reviewer (btw–chocolate cheesecake ice cream? My taste buds are dying! Of happiness of course {oh geez, this is coming out wrong})
    Was the solar eclipse awesome? Are you blind now? (Totally kidding, I know you have glasses)
    Book sounds awesome–I’ll look for it

    Liked by 1 person

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