Holly Dayton is about to go way out of her comfort zone. . . Spending Christmas vacation on a cruise with her two cousins from hell isn't Holly's idea of a good time. And when in a moment of seasick-fueled desperation she lurches into an open suite--she's greeted with an eyeful of pepper spray. The culprit? A gorgeous guy calling himself Nick. But when Holly goes to make her exit, she gets the shock of her life: a corridor crammed with screaming teenage fans. Because Nick just happens to be Dominic Wyatt, drummer for ReadySet--one of the hottest bands in America. Suddenly rumors are swirling, and Holly's face is captured on countless phones and plastered all over the Internet. But 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 one of the cutest rockstars on the planet? Holly's about to find out. . . (from Goodreads)
So, you may remember that I was lucky enough to get a random ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of Marni Bates' book Awkward, which I read in one sitting and absolutely fell in love with. So when I had the opportunity to get Decked With Holly, I was on it like Buddy the Elf is on Christmas spirit. But I'm not quite sure what I think of this book and exactly how to place it. So this review may be a little all over the place.
Okay, first -- I love that this is a holiday story and the main characters are named Holly and Nick. Cheesy, but cute. Especially since Nick is actually Dominic, and he was already a character from an earlier book! Did Marni already know she was going to do that, or did it just end up happening that way?! Hmm....we may have to have a guest interview with Marni on the blog and ask her. If you can think of any other questions, leave them in the comments. If we have enough, I'll ask her.
But back to the review. The story took place over the holidays, but something was missing to give it the holiday feel. I know that Holly was not all about Christmas spirit and that it takes place on a cruise ship, but still. I kind of feel like if it's going to take place during the holiday season, I should get that holiday feeling from it. I also wasn't really into some the sweeping generalizations/stereotypes of different types of people. Nothing hateful, of course, and a lot were definitely taken to the extreme to be funny parodies, but still there were several instances in the story that kind of made me go, "Hmm..." And, on a minor note, I don't think Holly should have been a ReadySet fan. I think the way she reacted to Nick initially and afterward was not the way a fan would react to meeting a celebrity they knew and liked. I think it would have worked better if they were Jen's favorite band -- or even her cousins. Also, the hated and interactions between Holly and her cousins seemed a little too over the top. Again, I understand that they made her life miserable, but I don't think even that would make "showing them" first on the list of reasons to fake date a celebrity, ya know? With the "oh yeah, and my best friend and I will be popular" or "I'll be famous" factor to come in second.
All that being said, I can't say I disliked the book. Once I picked it up, it was very hard for me to put down, and I read it in two sessions. Like Awkward, Marni Bates again had great transitions between chapters that compelled you to keep reading. And even though you knew what was going to happen between Holly and Nick, it was fun to keep reading with anticipation of the time when they both would finally realize their feelings.