There’s this word between giddy and ecstatic that we haven’t quite come up with a correct term for yet. But whatever it may be, the thought of a new Rebecca Yarros book evokes that exact emotion for the both of us. And I want to live inside that feeling because there’s not much in life that rivals that euphoric experience. If you have yet to read any of the books from the Flight & Glory series, just put down whatever it is you have queued up on your e-reader and jump right into it. You will not be disappointed. As we’ve watched these characters grow, we’ve grown in the most unexpected ways. Hopefully we’ve organized our thoughts on Hallowed Ground and the impact its had on us to present an effective review that’s going to make you want to do just that.
Which emotion would you say Hallowed Ground provoked in you the most?
Anger. I was so angry at what took place through most of this book. It’s hard to tell you why without spoiling but I was just mad; at the situations that arose, at the people who couldn’t get it together, at the fact that I didn’t want to let go. And it held out, that anger, until very close to the end when Yarros pulls her writing wizardry and leaves us healed.
I would say the emotion I felt most while reading was love. It was the driving force behind so much in the book – love of country, love of friends, love of significant others. It was beautiful, ugly, selfless, selfish, redemptive, but it was always authentic and true.
One word to describe your relationship with Yarros’s newest release.
Unhealthy. I love these two characters, Josh and Ember, so much I will never let them go. I will re-read them for years and years to come.
Team-changing. I am switching from Team Jagger to Team Jogger.
If you could be any Rebecca Yarros character for a day, which one would you be?
That was stupid question for me to ask since it’s going to be hard to answer. Ember? I don’t know, they’ve all had their own heartaches and demons to fight so I can narrow that down to which one would I really want to choose to struggle as? Ember, because she had Josh.
Does General Ted E. Bear count? Assuming not, I think I would go with Sam. I still can’t get the 5 & 9 flashcard study session out of my mind.
If you had the ability to make any character of Rebecca Yarros real; who would you choose?
Josh. Because I love him and think he needs to procreate in real life so there are more men like him out there. That’s not weird right?
Jagger. Because you can’t have a real life Josh without his sarcastic, mischief-making best friend.
What will you miss most about the Flight and Glory series?
Everything. Seriously. The anticipation of the waiting for the next installment. The feels. ALL THE FEELS. The butterflies I get when reading Joshua Walker. Hockey… I see going to hockey games again in my future. Being able to share my excitement with Ashley has been one of the best parts of this reading experience. We both have loved this series in a such a huge way it really grew our bookbestieship to a whole new level. The flawless writing and pull of every emotion I didn’t even know I had.
I will miss the conversations that Beth and I have had throughout the course of reading this series. We have PM’d each other on more occasions than I can count. We have had numerous lunches where these books were a major talking point. We roadtripped to Nashville specifically to see Rebecca so we could fangirl about our love of her novels. It was a shared reading experience between book besties that was so much more about the journey than the destination. While there will undoubtedly be other books that will similarly captivate us down the road, the Flight and Glory series is one that was special in a way that can’t be fully described and can’t be duplicated.
If you could have more of the Flight and Glory series, what would you like to see?
I’d love a novella of nothing but Sunday family dinners.
I would love to see some outtake scenes – Christmas or Valentine’s Day celebrations, births of children, etc. My top wish would be to have a scene for Josh and Ember’s honeymoon.
If you were allowed a re-read only one of the books in the Flight and Glory series, which would it be and why?
Full Measures. Every day. That book. My god, that book. If I was rich I would buy copies and sit in bookstores and hand them out.
I would choose Hallowed Ground, hands down. This book showcases all of the characters’ strengths, checks off every single box of what I need in a romance novel, and is just flawless in its execution. For me, it’s the most emotionally satisfying of the series and I could easily lose myself in this book over and over again.
It’s no secret I’m not a huge fan of military romance. I’ve thought a lot about why I have this love/hate relationship with military novels. It was a genre I stayed away from for so long because it’s so emotionally raw, I just have a hard time getting through them because I tend to be such an empathetic person and I can’t even begin to imagine what military families must endure to stay strong and together. On the other hand of that, so many military romance books I have read star these men who don’t use complete sentences and are so alpha it’s almost degrading. And as I thought about all that, I realized that from what I’ve read by Yarros, is that military men have this part of them from what they’ve seen and been through that leaves them beautifully broken. And it’s such a heartbreakingly gorgeous thing to see; these men who are vulnerable, not by choice but by circumstance. This balance of having to be strong and weak in order to gain a normalcy once they return home from war. Yarros’s writing has a way of shadowing this lifestyle for us outsiders that leaves the reader with a true understanding of what loving this beautifully broken boy (or in this case, boys) can be like. I have loved every single minute I have spent reading the Flight and Glory series and Hallowed Ground was no different. As always her way of intertwining the title into the story sets it apart from just another read for me. I didn’t want this series to end. I went into reading Hallowed Ground fully expecting to be heartbroken, and I was but in the best way. Because even though this series is over, these characters will live within the parts of my soul they have touched and changed and you can’t ask any more of an author than that. Josh takes my number one book boyfriend spot and I honestly, don’t ever see that changing. He’s the perfect mix of alpha and beta. Once I finally comprehended what was really going on in this story; which Yarros distracts her readers from brilliantly. I cried. Not from sadness or happiness but from a place of understanding that what Ember and Josh had was so special and exquisite and anyone would be lucky to have someone to love them the way these characters love one another. I wouldn’t have written Hallowed Ground any other way. The way it wraps up the series and all of these characters we have grown to adore is breathtaking at times but never a letdown. I don’t long for a different ending. I’m ok with not reading another Josh and Ember book and if that doesn’t say everything you need to know about the extent of Rebecca Yarros’s writing talent; I question your legitimacy to call yourself a true reader.
“Love is knowing when to fight for that person, and when you might not be the best fit. Love is letting go, and the crushing pain that comes with it.”
“It’s funny how they’re the ones that die, but we’re the ones who are changed.”
There aren’t a lot of perks to being a slow reader. There are few people with whom I can truly buddy read because they’ve finished the book by the time I reach Chapter 5 (thank God for blog partners who don’t care and still call it a buddy read anyway). I’m never up to date on all the new releases that catch my eye. And based on my current TBR, I’ll be 120 years old before I finish all the books I’ve already purchased (and that’s assuming I never buy another book in my life – HA!). One of the things I do love about reading at a slower pace, though, is how absolutely immersed I become in the stories. I live, breathe, and sleep the characters and their worlds for days on end and there is no feeling in the world quite like it. Curious as to how long I spent with the Flight and Glory series, I tallied all the days and it ended up totaling 49 for all four novels. 49 days spent enjoying some of the best storytelling I have ever read. 49 days etching these books into my soul. 49 days falling in love with characters who I will never forget.
The strongest installment in the series, Hallowed Ground was the perfect conclusion to the journey Josh and Ember began back in Full Measures. Emotional rollercoasters are one of the hallmarks of Rebecca’s books and this one in particular was packed with such intense feeling and angst that it commanded all of my feelings. I swooned. I ached. I had to take several well-earned chapter breaks. I expressed myself in private messages with lots of crying face emojis. And by the end of the epilogue, I was bursting over with joy and a wonderful sense of completion. The story brought Josh and Ember’s hard-fought relationship full circle in such a way that I wouldn’t change one single part. I have been staunchly Team Jagger since Eyes Turned Skyward, but I have to say that Hallowed Ground showcases Josh’s steadfast love and devotion for Ember in such a way that I realized that I had definitely underestimated him. As sad as I am that the storyline is now complete, Rebecca did this series complete justice and I look forward to revisiting these books when I’m in need of a truly epic love story.
“What I deserve? What I deserve is you, and I’ll take you in any way you come to me. Whole, damaged, ripped the fuck apart – you’re still mine.”
“War kills the people we love, either in body or soul, but they’re both equally devastating.”
Lets have a little fun with some Would You Rather: Flight & Glory Edition!
Would you rather read the Flight and Glory series or see it as a movie?
Beth – Read.
Ashley – Read
Would you rather have to deal with Grayson’s past or Josh’s PTSD?
Beth – Josh’s PTSD
Ashley – Josh’s PTSD
Would you rather have to always attend military send offs or homecomings?
Beth – Homecomings
Ashley – Homecomings
Would you rather have to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day with Josh, a grilled cheese with Jagger or sub sandwich with Grayson?
Beth – PB&J with Josh
Ashley – Grilled cheese with Jagger
Would you rather be best friends with Ember, Paisley or Sam?
Beth – Ember
Ashley – Paisley
Would you rather fly in a helicopter piloted by Josh, Jagger or Grayson?
Beth – Josh, for sure.
Ashley – Josh
Would you rather read the Flight and Glory series every day and remember nothing or read it only once and remember everything?
Beth – Read it once and remember it all.
Ashley – Read it only once and remember everything
Would you rather spend the day with Rebecca or with your favorite character from the series?
Beth – Yarros, no doubt.
Ashley – Rebecca
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Find this title and other books in the Flight & Glory Series here: Hallowed Ground by Rebecca Yarros
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