Review Post: Hallowed Ground by Rebecca Yarros



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hallowed ground cover


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’s craved 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 college 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.

hallowed ground teaser

My Review

*****5 Unforgettable & All-Feeling Stars*****

Hallowed Ground by Rebecca Yarros is one of the most deeply emotional, phenomenally written, and utterly enrapturing books that I have ever read. As I sit here writing this review, I’m not sure if I’ll even come close to capturing what it was like to read this incredibly written book, what it was like to experience it’s varied and superbly captured emotion and feeling, or what it was like to read Josh and Ember’s unforgettable, all-feeling, and breathtakingly beautiful love story. I probably won’t even come close to capturing an ounce of the amazingness that is this book, but I am sure going to give it my all to tell you about why you need to read Hallowed Ground this very instant because this book, this story, and this author’s serious talent deserves that.

Seriously. You need Hallowed Ground in your life. You need Josh and Ember, and you surely need their heartfelt and consuming love story to wrap you up in its welcoming arms. You need this story in your heart, and in your mind, and in your very soul, because trust me when I say this book and everything within its wondrous pages will take root in all three of those places.

You need them, and you need it. What you get in this book, what it allows you to experience through every breath and feeling and thought of these characters, and what it so authentically and viscerally gives you is not to be missed. The journey it takes you on with Josh and Ember is extraordinary in every way, and you will feel it, and live it, and experience every ounce of it with everything you have because Rebecca Yarros’s exceptional writing gives you that.

Hallowed Ground is the continuation of Josh and Ember’s enrapturing love story that began in Full Measures. (*major sigh* because I loved that book something fierce…) They have been through quite a bit those two. From flight school and college, to loss and healing, to a long distance relationship they are more than ready to see come to an end, as they finally move in together and start their lives together as one solid unit. They’re ready and excited and hopeful, and then life throws something their way…a deployment.

Hallowed Ground follows Josh and Ember as they face that deployment, its ramifications, and the life altering things it throws their way. Now while I won’t reveal what happens in this book, because spoilers ain’t cool, what I will say is that the events of Hallowed Ground test Josh and Ember in ways they never even imagined. It pushes them both to their limits. Past their limits even. It makes them question their choices, it makes them fight with all that they have because of what comes their way, and it forces them to face many hard truths about themselves, their relationship, and what’s to come.

The events of this book are not easy. They will pull at every single emotion, feeling, reaction, thought, choice, connection, and breath that both Josh and Ember have. And in turn it’ll pull at all of that for you too because when I say you are in this story, you are in this story. Living it. Word for word with these characters. You’re in it all, and that will connect you to everything that’s happening in the most authentic, all-feeling, and intense way.

The events of Hallowed Ground will awe you, and they might even break you a bit (or a lot) too, but all I can say is keep reading. Keep experiencing its literal amazingness. Keep going through it all with Josh and Ember because it is a story, an experience, and a heartfelt emotional journey you will absolutely never forget.

I don’t know if I have ever felt a book as much as this one. When I tell you I felt this book with everything that I had, I am not exaggerating one bit. This book made me laugh, and smile, and feel happiness like it ain’t even funny. It filled me with so much good, so much love and hope, and there were so many moments that had my cheeks hurting because I was smiling and feeling so much.

Then there were moments that completely broke me, hurt me, and had me trying to pick up the pieces that were left of my emotions and heart. Moments that made me cry and cry and cry some more because of what these characters go through. Moments that had me practically sobbing because of what I was reading and whole heartedly experiencing. There were so many moments that had me wondering how in the world everything would work out for Josh and Ember, moments that brought every lick of emotion to my throat, and literally had my breath catching and my heart throbbing because of what I was reading.

And that was all just in the first 35% percent of this book…don’t even get me started on the other 75% and what that continued to make me feel.

I have pretty much come to the conclusion that Rebecca Yarros was bound and determined to give me all the feels and emotions, and she succeeded in that respect immensely. Probably more than any other book or author has in a long time. Her and her bucket of all-feeling feels had me in this book as much as I possibly could be, investing me emotionally, physically, and mentally in it all. And I loved that. Boy did I love that, and I relished in every second of it.

Now please don’t let me saying all that scare you, because at the end of the day this is a love story, and let me tell you, Rebecca Yarros gives you one helluva romantic love story. Hallowed Ground is full of romance and heat and more connection than you can shake a stick at. Many moments will have you feeling and basking in all of that love. Others will have your cheeks turning a wonderful shade of pink too. This book will melt you, it will fill you with love in ways you never knew possible, and in the end you’ll be a swooning emotional mess wishing that you had your very own Joshua Walker to come home to.

One of my very favorite aspects of Hallowed Ground was the evolution I got to see and experience in Josh and Ember’s characters, as well as in their relationship. Like I said, the events of this book push them both in ways neither of them were prepared for. It forces them to make some very hard choices, to really examine their lives, and to dig down deep, underneath all the bs and nonsense, and see what they wanted, what they needed, and what they couldn’t live without.

There were so many moments while reading when I saw and felt how far they’d come. I felt that change, and I saw the amazing things it could bring them. There were also many times when I wanted to shake them silly because of what they were doing or saying or thinking, but even in those moments I completely understood where it all was coming from. I got it and I got them, and that is all a testament to the exceptionally crafted story and characters Rebecca Yarros created.

Experiencing Josh and Ember’s evolution as characters, how their relationship grows and evolves into something that was even more real, more mesmerizing, and more all-feeling, and being with them through every emotional up and down they go through was everything. It truly was everything.

Hallowed Ground gives you a world of experiences to live and feel and love through from beginning to end. It allows you to experience first love, and the tenacity it has when two people truly find their match and their reason for being. It lets you experience what it means to truly have a family, friends, and people who support and love you with everything they have.

It also allows you to experience a glimpse of what it’s like to be in the military and to be a military spouse. This is something I myself have never personally experienced, yet through what Rebecca Yarros gave me in this book, in this entire series really, I feel like I have such a better understanding and appreciation of what it means to be in the military or with someone who is. She allowed me to see what it means to make those kind of sacrifices and difficult choices, what it’s like to feel that hope and that fear in your very core, what it’s like to worry and to pray with all you have, and the unimaginable and life changing things that can come your way.

She also showed me the power, the meaning, and the devastating beauty of all-consuming, enamoring love. And for that, all I can say is thank you because it gave me a story I will absolutely never forget.

Hallowed Ground is a book about a lot of things. It’s about war and sacrifice and life changing choices. It’s about growing up, evolving, and seeing where life can take you. It’s about friendship and family and the amazing experiences both of those things bring to your life. It’s about risks and rewards and everything life has to offer in between.

It’s also about love. What it can bring you, how it can upend your life something fierce, how it can leave you breathless a time or two, and in the end, how it can fulfill you on every single level possible, if you only allow yourself to have it.

So please, I am literally begging you as I write this…read this book, this entire series, and you’ll get all of that and more. When you reach the end I am promising that you’ll have had one of the most fulfilling reading experiences of your life. Trust me because I’m there right now, and it’s everything.

hallowed ground teaser 2


ExcerptI pushed my chair out and reached for her, lifting her tiny, curved frame into my lap. Her head tucked beneath my chin, and she curled into me, fitting right where she was always meant to be. My arms closed around her. “We have a month.”

“It’s not long enough.” Her fingers gripped my shirt like she could keep me here if she just held on tight enough. God, what I wouldn’t have given to stay with her.

“Forever isn’t long enough for us, December, but that’s what we’re going to have. You and I have never chosen the easy path. This is just another hurdle.” I rubbed my chin over her soft hair and tried to soak in every detail of holding her—the sweet way she smelled, the smooth texture of her skin beneath my hands.

She leaned back in my arms and cupped my face. “I can’t lose you.” Her voice broke, and tears pooled in her eyes.

I’d never hated myself more than I did in that moment. She’d made it through a nightmare no one should have to face, and I was about to ask her to chance that fire again. My breath hitched, barely passing the lump in my throat. “You won’t. It would take something a hell of a lot stronger than a war to keep me from you.”

I sealed that promise with a kiss, tasting her fear and desperation as she responded. She opened underneath me, and I fused my mouth to hers, surrendering to the heat between us to pull us through this moment. There was nothing hotter or sweeter in this world than kissing December, feeling her go soft and pliant.

We’d fought so fucking hard to get here, to be together. This wasn’t fair, and we both knew it. But we also both knew it didn’t matter. Fair wasn’t exactly in the U.S. Army vocabulary.

I retreated just enough to whisper against her lips, “I’ll come home. I swear it.”

hallowed ground teaser 3

**VIEW THE Hallowed Ground TRAILER HERE: **


rebecca yarros

Rebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and lover of all things chocolate, coffee, and Paleo. In addition to being a mom, military wife, and blogger, she can never choose between Young Adult and New Adult fiction, so she writes both. She’s a graduate of Troy University, where she studied European history and English, but still holds out hope for an acceptance letter to Hogwarts. Her blog, The Only Girl Among Boys, has been voted the Top Military Mom Blog the last two years, and celebrates the complex issues surrounding the military life she adores.

When she’s not writing, she’s tying on hockey skates for her kids, or sneaking in some guitar time. She is madly in love with her army-aviator husband of eleven years. They finally can call Colorado home along with their gaggle of rambunctious kiddos and snoring English Bulldog. 

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One thought on “Review Post: Hallowed Ground by Rebecca Yarros

  1. Pingback: My Super Ridiculously Late List of Top Reads from 2016! | The Never Ending Book Basket

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