Monday, February 18, 2013

Decked with Holly by Marni Bates -- YA Review

Decked with Holly by Marni Bates -- YA Review

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...

Details: K-Teen, September 25, 2012, Ebook, 272 pages
Genre: YA
Source: Library
Link: Goodreads

Rating: 4/5

In one sentence? It's just pretend, right?


A sweet, quick, fun read.  Sweet characters. A sweet romance. Laugh out loud moments. Sweet moments. Told in alternating POVs we watch Holly Disaster and rock star Dominic navigate a romance contrived purely to avert scandal.

I thought Holly was charming and sweet and doomed. Disaster follows her around, first the thing with the Santa and then Dominic... well, I won't spoil how that happened. Holly is not perfect, she's not the girl you'd expect with a rock star. She's normal. She's not thin, something pointed out to her cruely and repeatedly, things that couldn't help but color her relationship with Dominic. I liked Dominic too, despite his uber-insensitivity and tendency to say the very worst thing possible. He's committed and protective and able to acknowledge his faults.

There's actual character growth for both Holly and Dominic. Holly had to learn to value herself, imperfections and all. She also had to learn to stand up against her bullying cousins, something she started to learn by standing up to Dominic. The resolution, which I adored, with Holly declaring "I am a pearl!" showed that growth.

Their fauxmance was a growing time for both of them. It looked like more of a relationship than I've seen in other YA novels, they learn to compromise as seen in the scuba diving/horseback riding adventures.  

The story reminded me of Cinderella. It had many of the elements of a Cinderella tale, evil cousins in place of stepsisters, an evil aunt instead of a stepmother, a Prince Charming who is not so charming.