Thursday, January 3, 2013

ARC Review: Decked with Holly

Decked with Holly by Marni Bates, September 25, 2012. 272 pages. Published by K-Teen. Source: won.
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...
First Sentence:
I looked like a skank. 
Decked with Holly, even though the blurb on the cover says that fans of Meg Cabot will enjoy it,  I was unsure if I was going to like it. But once I read the first page I knew that I had found a keeper because this was just as crazy, hilarious and well written as a Meg Cabot.

While there were similarities between Marni Bates' and Meg Cabot's writing-like the humor-Ms Bates wrote a an excellent book that can stand on its own without needing to be compared to anyone else's writing or style. Decked with Holly was just such a fun read and just what I needed to lighten up my reading just before the holidays.

What I enjoyed most about Marni Bates' writing was her characters. I thought she did an excellent job with both Holly and Dominic and the alternating POV in Decked with Holly was one of the things that made this such an enjoyable read. The reason I liked the alternating POV was because you got to see the crazy fauxmance unfold from the eyes of both characters, plus, you got a closer look at what both characters thought of the new arrangement in their life.

In one area, I can absolutely relate to Holly's character. I know the annoyance of having your birthday fall after Christmas, which I routinely complain about each and every year. Enough about me, Holly, and birthday woes. What I enjoyed about Holly was that she was interesting and wildly hilarious. while I did feel bad for her regarding the situation that her best friend got her into at the beginning of the book, as well, as for how she was treated by her family, I loved that she was humorous and just so normal.

So, what made Marni Bates's Decked with Holly a hit with me, well, that would have to be that Holly herself cracked me up. You got to admit, a character that can coin the phrase "fauxmantically" work is one that is going to be hilarious. Not only did I enjoy this one for its sheer hilariousness, I enjoyed that lightness of the story and how Ms Bates was able to weave a fun read that had substance to it. Let me just put it this way, I usually don't go in for light reads but the writing and character development has me wanting to check out the rest of Marni Bates' books.

Even though I immensely enjoyed reading Decked with Holly, I do wish that there had been less swearing throughout the book. While the swearing was a little much for me as a reader, that is not what kept me from giving this one five pineapples. What prevented me from absolutely loving it would have to be Holly's extended family and how she put up with the way they treated her. I would have seriously liked to see her stick up for herself and put the evil twins and her aunt in their place...before she started fake dating Dominic. So, while it took her sometime to finally stop taking the trash talk that was pointed her way from her aunt and cousins, I did like that she finally stood up for herself in that regard.  

Final Verdict: Decked with Holly, a fun filled holiday/anytime read. You will definitely laugh out loud at what happens to the characters in this one.

Decked with Holly earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.

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