Author: Rebecca Yarros
Release Date: January 25, 2016
Source: ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review
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There are some debts you can’t repay…
Josh Walker is loyal, reckless, and every girl’s dream. But he only has eyes for December Howard, the girl he has yearned for since his high school hockey days. Together they have survived grief, the military, distance, and time as they’ve fought for stolen weekends between his post at Ft. Rucker and her schooling at Vanderbilt. Now that Josh is a medevac pilot and Ember is headed toward graduation, they’re moving on—and in—together.
Ember never wanted the Army life, but loving Josh means accepting whatever the army dictates—even when that means saying goodbye as Josh heads to Afghanistan, a country that nearly killed him once before and that took her father. But filling their last days together with love, passion, and plans for their future doesn’t temper Ember’s fear, and if there’s one thing she’s learned from her father’s death, it’s that there are some obstacles even love can’t conquer.
Flight school is over.
This is war.
First of all—WOW. It’s my first time to ever read a Rebecca Yarros book and this would definitely not going to be the last one! I’m so glad that it was a military romance, a trope that I love so much. And it’s everything I hoped it would be.
Hallowed Ground is a follow-up novel to the first book, Full Measures, about Josh Walker and December Howard. I haven’t read that one yet but a book fairy gifted me a copy so yay! Even when this was a continued story of them, I think it can be read as a standalone. But since I fell in love with those two, I’m sure I’d be reading how they started.
This book though! Aaaaahhhh, where do I start? I love it! I love that it stayed true to its military theme and gave so much more. So much feels! I love that it made me feel like I was there with Josh and Ember especially during those hard times in Afghanistan. It made me hope. It made me cry. The struggle of Josh after all that’s happened was very heartbreaking but it was perfectly done because those kind of things really happen in the real, dangerous life of a military. It was very obvious that Josh was a strong-willed man who loved Ember so much with all his life and I loved him for that but at some parts of the book, I wanted to smack some sense into him because he was being stupid. His decisions awfully broke my heart and I was so sorry for Ember for putting up with Josh’s shit. But really, who couldn’t blame her? December Howard knew what’s it like to live for the military. His father was a military doctor and was killed when he was with Josh in Afghanistan, and now the love of her life could have the same fate as her dad. Her fears were authentic and justified. But Ember was a tough woman. Ember loved too much, too hard, so unconditionally that I felt like she wasn’t just a fictional character anymore. She had a lot on her plate like school and the dig she’s so into (history major, you guys!) then there’s Josh’s life hanging by the thread and their relationship. But never, not even once, did this amazing woman lose hope. And I salute her for being the courageous woman that she was.
The story was long but it wasn’t even a wee bit boring! Rebecca’s writing and pacing (ahhh, the adrenaline!) is the style that will stay with you, won’t let you go and dare I say will forever be in your heart.
The one thing that bothered me though was the length of time that Josh had been a huge d-bag, which was being repeated a thousand times over by their common friend, and the instantaneous road to HEA. I felt like the story dragged a bit too much on the indifference of Josh and somehow didn’t make up enough for the lost time with Ember. But maybe that’s just me.
Overall, Hallowed Ground is a story that’s got a well-done military and reality punch in one without downgrading a single feeling even love. Throw in a Rebecca Yarros writing style and you got another book that would keep you up all night because you couldn’t just put it down, even if you tried! In Hallowed Ground, (sorry but I’d really love to say this because it fit the book and because this expression is still a Filipino trend now) #mayforever!!! (There’s a happy ever after.)