Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Review: Decked with Holly

Review: Decked with Holly by Marni Bates
Rating: Adorable, fun, and funny holiday fluff. Perfect for all your heart-lightening needs.


Smartly blending of-the-moment pop culture references and timeless themes, Bates follows her YA debut, "Awkward", with a hilarious, over-the-top adventure about a teen girl who becomes the fake girlfriend of a cute rock star.

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 rumors 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...

To me, this book was the literary equivalent of a cupcake. Which is a GOOD THING, because I love cupcakes. They are sweet, sugary, fattening, and delightful, plus they’re usually decorated all fancy. No, a cupcake is not a substantial meal. No, it has no nutritional value. But it’s a cupcake, and that’s not even what it’s going for, or what you even want when you order a cupcake. You want dessert. Escapist, giggle-inducing, adorable dessert.


Decked with Holly, while disappointingly light on the Christmas-ness, is generous with the swooniness and the cheesy romantic tropes. Again, I thought this was a good thing. It wasn’t trying to reinvent the wheel, because, hey, sometimes round wheels really do work best when it comes to wheeling.

I’m sorry. The Extended Metaphor Abuse ends here (spoiler no it doesn’t like at all)

What even is this?

Holly is an almost-eighteen orphan raised by her grandfather in Los Angeles. She is snarky, clumsy, and eschews makeup of all sorts. She is your typical YA heroine and yet I loved her to bits, probably because she’s funnier than your average YA girl with low self-esteem (a problem exacerbated by her truly heinous bully aunt and bully girl cousins, all of whom deserved a GOOD SMACKING which I’m still miffed did not occur). Through some Hilarious Hijinks, she ends up crossing paths with Dominic “Nick” Wyatt, the stressed-out, zombie-fearing, devilishly-handsome drummer for boy band ReadySet.

Basically these guys are one part Jonas Brothers and one part One Direction, so the paparazzi are ALL UP IN THEIR SHIZZ at all times. Which means Holly and Nick must pretend to be madly in love due to Reasons which who even cares because it’s cute. Yes, reality is stretched to breaking point. This rock star supposedly travels sans entourage, sans bodyguard, sans anybody. Holly’s family is unrealistically atrocious. But WHATEVER I was laughing like crazy and living in this little fantasy bubble of fun. Like, fan-fiction-as-written-by-a-professional-author fun. Which is a thing I think should happen so much more.

So, yes, things roll just as you’d expect. They drive each other completely mad, and yet there is a spark. Holly is charmed by his blue eyes, musical genius, and adorable floppy hair. Nick discovers she has surprisingly long legs and is fun to be around (even though there is a LOT of talk about what a messy disaster Holly is, physically speaking, for way too long, which… bothered me, actually).

There are misunderstandings, hearts break, hearts heal, people kiss. I read this in a couple of hours, delighting in the banter and skipping the descriptive paragraphs, because don’t even try to serve me meat and gravy when I just came here for cake (how about we do a shot every time I torture a metaphor? Except you’d die, so never mind). Every relationship beside Holly’s and Nick’s is thoroughly underdeveloped, but again. Cupcake.


If you have no patience for fluffy little contemporary romances, you should give this a pass. If you want something full of Christmas spirit andcheer, this isn’t that book, despite the fact it takes place on Christmas and has that deceptively Christmassy cover. But if you want laughs and fun and giving your mind a vacation from the truly shittastic couple of days we’ve all just had, then I recommend you go take a cruise with Holly. Because it’s fun.



  1. Sounds fun, at least. I could use a vacation, so I'll have to add this to my list. :) Although, your post helped give my mind a few minutes vacay, so thanks! lol

    1. Aw, I'm glad the cupcake gifs and I could help your mind.

  2. Sounds really good! Been wanting to read this.

    Seriously, where do you find all these gifs and pictures? Jealous!

    1. A true Gif Master never tells!*

      It's so cute. Funny and bubbly and entertaining. This book lets you kind of turn parts of your brain off for a little bit. Don't try to over think this one.

      *Google. Seriously.

  3. Lol I heart cupcakes too!! Nothing like a cupcake and a good book. Another great sounding Christmas-y book :) and once again I enjoyed your post, thanks!


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