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Kid Konnection: Decked with Holly

October 13, 2012

Holly’s parents died when she was a baby so she’s being raised by her grandfather.  When he announces that he’s taking the whole family on a holiday cruise for his birthday this year, Holly’s not too happy about it since it will include her aunt, uncle and cousins.  Her aunt is passive aggressive and her cousins Claire and Allison – who she’ll be sharing a cabin with – are downright mean.

Holly sucks it up and tries to make the best of things since her Grandpa is so dear to her.  At dinner the first night of the cruise, Allison and Claire spy a hot guy and Allison claims him as her “vacation fling.”  Later that night, Allison and Claire bring a couple guys back to their cabin and kick Holly out.  As she wanders the ship, she’s feeling a little seasick and when she sees a cabin door open, she darts inside to throw up in the bathroom.  It turns out to be the cabin of Nick, the hot guy from dinner, and he turns out to be the drummer for the hottest band around, ReadySet.  When the media misinterprets something Nick does, he convinces Holly to pretend to be his girlfriend for the remainder of the cruise in order to protect his reputation.

I thought Decked with Holly, by Marni Bates was so much fun!  Sure, the plot is somewhat predictable and you have to suspend disbelief, but it didn’t matter one bit because the story is fun and the characters are delightful.  The story alternates between Nick and Holly’s points of view so sometimes you get both of their perspectives about the same event.

I just loved Holly.  A self professed nerd, she knows she can’t compete with girls like Claire and Allison.  Her grandpa’s doing the best he can, but he just doesn’t “get” fashion and make-up and other girl things.  When Nick convinces her to pretend to be his girlfriend, she decides to enjoy the fame that comes along with their “fauxmance” as she calls it and sets some ground rules.

Nick is a great character, too.  He just wanted to relax and write some music when Holly is thrust into his life.  He has to make the best of things, but she doesn’t always make it easy.  It seems the only thing he has in common with Holly is that they both can’t wait for the cruise to end – or can they?  Oh, and if the name ReadySet sounds familiar, they were featured in Bates’ last book, Awkward, but this isn’t really a sequel – I guess it would be considered a companion book.

I think teen girls will love Decked with Holly as much as I did – what young girl hasn’t dreamed of dating a rock star or actor – and I appreciate the fact that Bates kept the book clean so even young YA readers can enjoy it.  My only complaint with the book is its cover – I think it does the book a disservice since this really isn’t a Christmas book – you can enjoy it any time of the year.  Pick up a copy for your favorite teen girl!

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Kensington Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
8 Comments leave one →
  1. bookingmama permalink
    October 13, 2012 8:43 am

    I so want to read this one! I’m just about ready to start with the Christmas themed books.

  2. talesofwhimsy permalink
    October 13, 2012 9:23 am

    Sounds cute 🙂 I can’t wait to start some Christmas books.

  3. October 13, 2012 12:47 pm

    With the trend of hard YA characters, it’s refreshing to have a main character who is a self-professed nerd!

  4. Patty permalink
    October 13, 2012 3:15 pm

    I love books like this!

  5. October 14, 2012 2:05 pm

    I know a lot of young ladies who would love this book!! Another stellar kid konnection review!

  6. October 15, 2012 1:59 am

    I can’t wait to read this one! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Good to know it’s not necessarily a Christmas themed book- I agree that cover is misleading.

  7. October 15, 2012 9:55 am

    I really don’t like the photographic cover. Does every self-professed nerd in YA also have to be tall and thin, have perfect skin, and look like she could be a model? What happened to novel heroines discovering that inner beauty is what really matters and readers being allowed to imagine that the heroine might look just a little like them? 😉

  8. October 16, 2012 1:46 pm

    That cover is Christmasy!

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