Review: Decked with Holly by Marni Bates

Decked with Holly
Author: Marni Bates
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Age Group: Teen
Source: ARC from publisher
Amazon     Barnes and Noble     IndieBound
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

Holly Dayton is about to go way out of her comfort zone. . .

Spending Christmas vacation on a cruise with her two cousins from hell isn’t Holly’s idea of a good time. And when in a moment of seasick-fueled desperation she lurches into an open suite–she’s greeted with an eyeful of pepper spray. The culprit? A gorgeous guy calling himself Nick. But when Holly goes to make her exit, she gets the shock of her life: a corridor crammed with screaming teenage fans. Because Nick just happens to be Dominic Wyatt, drummer for ReadySet–one of the hottest bands in America.

Suddenly rumors are swirling, and Holly’s face is captured on countless phones and plastered all over the Internet. But 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 one of the cutest rockstars on the planet? Holly’s about to find out. . .

My Thoughts

I don’t know what it is about Marni Bates’ writing style, but it’s the perfect fit for me.  In case you missed me expressing my love of Awkward, here’s my review.  Bates’ writing style reminds me of Meg Cabot, and you all know how much I love her!  I mean, Bates has her own voice in her books, and I don’t think she is exactly like Meg Cabot, but there is a certain lightness and humor in her books.  And let me tell you, I love lightness and humor in my books!

Decked with Holly is actually told in alternating POVs between the two MCs, Holly and Nick (AKA Dominic Wyatt from the band ReadySet).  As I’ve mentioned before, this is not always my favorite method of storytelling.  Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised though (Pushing the Limits, anyone?), and I was pleased with how Bates handled the alternate POVs.  I don’t know if she really captured Nick’s voice as well as Holly’s, but I thought it was good.  What I mean is that I don’t know if Nick’s thoughts were thoughts I could picture a guy having.  But I think for the most part, Bates did a wonderful job.

Often with alternating POVs, I find myself getting into one character’s thoughts, only to be ripped from them, and forced to listen to someone else’s then ripped from those thoughts.  Does that makes sense?  I didn’t in the slightest way feel that way here.

I have to say that I did not find this book as funny as Awkward (but the whole pregnant zombie in the bathroom scene definitely had me laughing out loud 🙂 ).  And although I really liked Holly, I had a bit of difficulty believing her whole family (besides her grandpa) were that horrible to her.  I mean, that was pretty extreme, and they seemed very one-dimensional.  But, even though I couldn’t picture a whole family being that horrible, I really didn’t mind because I was enjoying the story so much.  There were a few other things that I couldn’t actually picture happening in real life, but again, I didn’t really mind, because I was engrossed in the book.

This book did feel  a bit different than Awkward (not necessarily a bad thing).  This felt completely like a romance (again, I’m not criticizing here, just commenting), whereas Awkward, although a romance, felt like we were seeing the MC come into her own.  I sort of felt like that with Holly in the book, but it was different.

I did find the ending of this one a bit abrupt, and I wish there was bit more detail in the conflict at the end.  But overall, I really enjoyed this book!  I just love how Marni Bates can create wonderful, likable MCs, and how she can always add a lot of humor in her stories.  If you’re looking for a light, funny read, make sure to look into Decked with Holly.

Life Tidbits

  • Congratulations to Susan from The Sisters’ Tale for winning my Sixth Month Blogoversary Giveaway!  Thanks for participating!
  • Yesterday was the library’s big booksale.  It was a huge success, but I am completely exhausted.  I feel like I could sleep for a year.
  • At the booksale, I found a ton of stuff to buy – most of them books I’ve already read.  🙂
  • Fall is here in CNY.  The temps are very cool at night, but they can still be in the low 70s during the day.  The trees should start changing soon.
  • CNY is such a lovely place in the fall.  There are these beautiful hills and valleys, and seeing all the trees in orange, red and yellow is really beautiful.  Of course, fall is really short here, and then the dreaded winter comes.
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About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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10 Responses to Review: Decked with Holly by Marni Bates

  1. KateB says:

    I’m a Meg Cabot fan from way back and considering my love of all books cruise ships I feel like this is a book that I’ll have to put on my to-read list.

    I really enjoyed your review. It’s a shame when books end without properly satisfying my need for a complete ending.

  2. Adina says:

    Nice Review. I’m looking forward to read Decked with Holly.

  3. Liesel Hill says:

    Sounds like a fun read. (Pregnant zombie in the bathroom makes me curious!) Thanx for the review! 😉

  4. Heidi says:

    Ack! I still need to read Awkward (it’s been sitting awkwardly on my bookshelves for months now), and from this review I think I’ll really enjoy that one more than Decked With Holly. I know EXACTLY what you mean about feeling ripped from one head to the other in alternating perspectives (sometimes this works–sometimes it makes me really unhappy), and I actually prefer when romance is more a side affect of the story rather than the story itself. Still sounds cute though!

    • Quinn says:

      Awkward was really cute! Some parts were so funny. When I read it (way at the beginning of this year, I think) it was at the perfect time. I was in the right mood for it, if that makes sense. If you do read Awkward, I hope you enjoy it.

  5. OMGAW! I didn’t know this book was out already. I freaking loved Awkward! Thanks for your great review. I hate the alternating view points too. Sometimes I get so confused.

  6. Aw yes you were nicer to poor Holly than me. The problem I think was this book was TOO perfect sounding for me! It turns out I’m kind of an expert on the Pride and Prejudice type storyline. And I LOVE the holidays! Maybe that’s why I liked Awkward better?

    I never figured out… Why did he yell Zombie in the bathroom?

    They need to make this into an ABC Family Christmas movie and flesh things out a bit stat!

    • Quinn says:

      I definitely understand having high expectations for a book. That happened to me with Of Poseidon by Anna Banks. I thought that book was going to be the PERFECT match for me. I even ordered it from Amazon with 2nd day delivery to ensure I would have it on the release day.

      But I was SOOO disappionted with it, and it made me like the book even less because I was expecting to love it.

      I do agree, though, that Awkward was better than Decked with Holly. I can totally see why you were disappointed.

      I think Nick called Holly a zombie because she looked like crap – having seasickness and all. I have to say that although I would never walk into another person’s room, I have been seasick before (and it was only on a whale watching boat) and it was the most awful thing. Her symptoms felt very authentic. I could barely lift my head off the table when I was seasick. It’s like every bit of energy drains instantly out of you.

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