Review: Decked with Holly

Decked with Holly by Marni Bates
Release Date ~ September 25, 2012
Kensington Teen
ISBN13: 9780758274854
ARC received from Kensington for review

Goodreads Synopsis:

Smartly blending of-the-moment pop culture references and timeless themes, Bates follows her YA debut, "Awkward", with a hilarious, over-the-top adventure about a teen girl who becomes the fake girlfriend of a cute rock star.

Taking a Christmas cruise with her two cousins from hell isn't Holly's idea of a good time. And when seasickness forces her into an open suite, she's pepper-sprayed by a gorgeous guy called Nick. But when Holly makes her exit, she's greeted by a horde of screaming teenage fans. Because Nick happens to be Dominic Wyatt, drummer for one of the hottest bands in America. Suddenly rumours are swirling and Holly's face is plastered all over the Internet. The band can't risk a scandal destroying their family-friendly image, so Dominic convinces Holly to be his fake girlfriend - just for two weeks. How bad could it be to be "fauxmantically" involved with a cute rock star? She's about to find out...

Confession: I'm a self-professed Christmas-aholic. And I had heard wonderful things about Marni's book Awkward, and decided Decked with Holly would be an ideal book for me to try out.

Decked with Holly turned out to be a magical, funny and endearing book that reminded me why I love contemporaries in the first place. It's a great book to pick up over the holiday season!

  1. Laugh-out-loud funny:

    I've mentioned before that I have a very picky sense of humour, and I'm not typically a fan of comedy.   BUT Decked with Holly was one of those rare exceptions that had me laughing out loud on the subway! The writing is sharp and witty, and I loved the bantering back and forth between Nick and Holly.
  2. Slow-moving, natural romance:

    Two BIG thumbs up for romance that doesn't start right away from eyes meeting across a room by chance. I loved the way Nick and Holly slowly grew closer together, and that they weren't always close from the beginning. It felt very real and natural and there wasn't anything forced about it at all.
  3. A few heartbreaking elements:

    But the book isn't just fluff either - it's hard hitting in its own ways. Holly's life is far from perfect, and her relationship (even just a friendship) with Nick is difficult. As is Nick's own life. Yet none of it takes away from the story, as much as it deepens it even further. 
The dual point of view didn't work for me so well at first though, and it took a little while for Nick's and Holly's voices to feel distinct from each other - however, once they did, it was great to see the different perspectives on the same events. That ended up working very well for the story, because it makes it easier to understand how easily things can be misconstrued. 

And I really wish it had been a bit longer - it was light and fun, but I think the romance especially deserved a bit more fleshing out to really nail it. Mostly towards the ending, when everything was coming all together and being wrapped up. 


Cecelia said...

Okay, you've convinced me to read this one. I love cute, Christmas-y reads around the holidays, and this book sounds fun!

Jesse said...

This one looks so cute! If I only read one Christmas book this year this is definitely going to be it! Thanks for the great review :)

Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

I haven't actually read a Christmas based book (that I can remember) this sounds adorable and definitely fun for Christmas, great review. I feel like it's something I need to check out, plus it's been awhile since I've read a good contemporary (or any for that matter)

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