Friday, December 14, 2012
Chick Pick: Decked With Holly
Decked With Holly
by Marni Bates
Funny, snarky, quaint and heartfelt, Decked With Holly is a great Christmas surprise! The cover--with its seasonal red and green title, the mistletoe, the girl in the Santa hat and the Christmas tree--will welcome readers to pick it up. Julie Kagawa says, “Fans of Meg Cabot will find Marni’s voice equally charming and endearing.” I loved the seasonal cover but I think the girl on the cover looks much older than a teenager.
After Holly embarrasses herself in front of an entire mall full of festive shoppers and their children by slapping a perverted, drunk Santa and then falling over the Christmas tree and wrecking the decorations, she embarks on a cruise with her entire family: her beloved grandpa, her mean-spirited, bullying aunt and two model thin girl cousins from hell.
Holly is seasick and puke-y and finds herself roomless kicked out of her stateroom by her evil cousins. She grabs a blanket and heads for the deck thinking that she’ll spend the night in a deck chair. A wave of nausea overcomes her and she ducks into the nearest open door, finding the bathroom and vomiting. Next thing she knows, she’s leaving the bathroom and someone yells and mistakes her for a zombie and sprays pepper spray in her face.
Nick is 1/3 of a rock band called ReadySet; they are the “next big thing” and have hordes of screaming teen females stalking them and paparazzi vying for their pictures. Nick takes a break from the crazed fan-hoopla and books a cruise. He doesn’t know that a deathly sick girl is puking her guts up in his bathroom. He sees someone leaving his bathroom and freaks out, spraying that someone with pepper spray.
When they are both caught by the "paps" and photographed, Nick has to spin the story the right way for the band’s sake. Holly agrees to be Nick’s fake girlfriend for the duration of the cruise. Nick and Holly display wonderful back and forth banter that runs the gamut from sarcasm to ugly insults. Holly makes fun of Nick’s celebrity status, and Nick calls her “The Mess.”
When the fauxmance is over, what is left? Readers will love Holly—a believable character who’s not the typical romance novel drop dead gorgeous—she’s a “normal” girl. They will love Nick, too; he’s a rock star who’s a real guy. Girls will be smitten by this frolicking read.
Highly, highly recommended grade 8-up. No sex, but the mention of sex and virginity does come up. Some kissing and holding hands. No language except “slutty” and Holly gives a wave with her middle finger extended.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I purchased this book for myself because I need a "light" girl-y read after so many dark dystopias. I will add it to the library shelves for more mature readers. It is pretty tame even by television standards. "Gossip Girl" is way more scandalous.
This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)