May 8, 2014

Review: The Chapel Wars

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The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt
Grade: C+
Release date: May 6, 2014
This e-galley was provided by NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA Children's in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Holly wants to remember her Grandpa forever, but she’d rather forget what he left her in his will: his wedding chapel on the Las Vegas strip. Whatever happened to gold watches, savings bonds, or some normal inheritance?

And then there's Grandpa's letter. Not only is she running the business with her recently divorced parents, but she needs to make some serious money--fast. Grandpa also insists Holly reach out to Dax, the grandson of her family's mortal enemy and owner of the cheesy chapel next door. No matter how cute Dax is, Holly needs to stay focused: on her group of guy friends, her disjointed family, work, school and... Dax. No wait, not Dax.

Holly’s chapel represents everything she’s ever loved in her past. Dax might be everything she could ever love in the future. But as for right now, there's a wedding chapel to save.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I think the main problem with The Chapel Wars - and actually, I should place all the blame for this one on myself - is that I loved Lindsey Leavitt's Going Vintage SO MUCH and I had such high expectations for this book that I'm not sure it was possible for The Chapel Wars to meet said expectations.  It did let me down in many ways.  It probably also didn't help that my e-galley had several formatting issues that made it hard to always tell who was speaking so I continually had to reread sentences and piece things together.  Anyways, there was too much drinking for my tastes, to begin with.  Also, since Holly hangs out with mostly guys, I caught several rude innuendos that rubbed me the wrong way.  But I think Holly was a strong protagonist.  She loves her family, especially her deceased grandfather, and she loves his Rose of Sharon wedding chapel.  I thought it was cool to see her interest in numbers and how she counts everything and predicts the likelihood of a marriage lasting.  Dax was...interesting.  In the end, I don't think I liked him that much.  I felt like he didn't care about the Rose of Sharon or what it meant to Holly.  I almost kind of...I don't know, I almost liked Sam, Holly's best guy friend, more with her, and he had a girlfriend.  
Anyways, besides the innuendos, romance was pretty clean.  Language was fairly clean, too.

The Verdict: If you're a Lindsey Leavitt fan, this is definitely worth the read, but make sure your expectations aren't too high. ;) Wish I could've liked The Chapel Wars more than I did!

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