Review: Decked with Holly – Marni Bates

Holiday Review!!

decked with hollyTitle: Decked with Holly
Author: Marni Bates
Published: September 25, 2012
Opening Sentence: “I looked like a skank.”
Author Website | Goodreads | Amazon

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…

♫ Deck the halls with boughs of holly… ♫ Oh, wait. It’s called Decked with Holly. Isn’t that such a cute pun?

I like a story where Santa gets slapped in the first chapter. That’s not to say all Santas should be slapped, but drunk and vile Santas definitely should be. Not that this has too much to do with the book. Onwards and upwards we go.

Decked with Holly wasn’t on my radar until just about when I started reading it. I had finished all my holiday books so I was cruising Goodreads for another to read. Let me tell you: It’s a pain to find YA holiday books when you have no starting point. I’d said “no” to several books and before realizing this one. “This is the one,” I said. I got a digital copy and started reading.

Just about all of the important characters in Decked with Holly are introduced in the first (and the beginning of the second) chapter. I love this because it’s simpler to distinguish who’s important and who’s “important”. I guess that’s most helpful when there’s more than one perspective, because each perspective is generally a fraction of the “important characters”, all of which come together as the whole. Am I even making sense anymore?

As for the story, it was fine. Surely it’s not the first average person/celebrity romance I’ve read about, but the circumstances are certainly unique. The main character’s (Dominic, who I imagine is 1/3 of an edgier Jonas Brothers, and Holly) attraction to each other was a little weird. Because of the events in the story they really disliked each other while secretly lusting for the other at the same time. That’s all fine and dandy, but I don’t feel like they ever got out of that phase. The “I want to be in a relationship with you” stuff was a little abrupt for me. It felt rushed and, frankly, sort of forced. We never got to see them fully realize their feelings. Oh, well.

I would like to question Bates on why the insults on Holly’s physical appearance (by Dominic, of course… that cad. Though he isn’t all bad) lasted so long. It was funny the first couple times, but got pretty old afterward. Holly’s two cousins and their mom were pretty terrible as well. The three of them are a pack of characters that you love to hate and call mean names while simultaneously hoping they trip and fall. The bitchfaces deserve it anyway. Yeah, I said it.

While this isn’t my favorite [holiday] book, it’s definitely not my least favorite. I can see myself reading it again and probably recommending it as a lighthearted Christmas romance.

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

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