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October 31, 2012

Review: Decked with Holly by Marni Bates

Decked with Holly
Title: Decked With Holly
Author: Marni Bates
Publisher: K-Teen
Publication date: September 25, 2012
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Challenges: Contemporary, SARC
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 272
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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. . .
Decked with Holly is another cute read from Marni Bates. In this novel, we've got Holly Dayton, a 17 year old orphan who lives with her grandfather. For christmas, her grandfather decides to take her as well as his other daughter's family on an 8 day cruise to Mexico. Her aunt, along with her two daughters, are typical bullies masked in designer clothes, calorie counting, and makeup. In other words, the cruise is an 8 day vacation in hell. To Holly's delight, and Dominic's misfortune, they get photographed together while she was leaving his room after getting using his bathroom to rid herself of her seasickness. 
This is when the story really moves. Dominic is a member of the band ReadySet. If you've read Awkward by Marni Bates then you'll remember him from there. The tabloids accuse him of hitting this mystery woman (Holly), and in order to kill the rumors he strikes a deal with her to be his fake-girlfriend. From here on out, we all know the direction the novel will take, even the misunderstandings that occur on whether the behavior of the other person is for the cameras or there is some hint of real feelings behind it. Since this novel is told from both Holly and Dominic's POVs you get to see how each one of them really feels and you just want to smack them and tell them to just get on with it and get together already. While the back and forth banter between Dominic and Holly was very cute and resulted in a ton of funny situations, I just hoped we spent more time with them really talking or just any awkward situations to occur because staying in the same suite as your fake-boyfriend or fake-girlfriend HAS to cause some red-face inducing situations right? I also really wanted to know how Dominic did with his new venture of lyric writing. He's also known as the Drummer of ReadySet but he took this vacation to write and relax. I've read the beginning of one of his lyrics and it sounded fun! I hoped that Bates gave us a bit more on what happened with the song he composed and how it was received by his bandmates and management.
The ending of Decked With Holly is predictable, but that's something to expect from a contemporary romance genre. While throughout reading the novel I found myself skipping a few descriptive paragraphs here and there and wanting to read more dialogue between the characters, I really did enjoy it. Decked With Holly, in my opinion, wasn't as enjoyable as Awkward, however it was an overall great novel that I am sure fans of Marni Bates and cute contemporary novels in general wouldn't want to miss out on!
Other books by Marni Bates: 


  1. Oh this sounds like a super cute read Juhina, I'm glad you enjoyed it for the most part despite some aspects of predictability, I've actually never read a book by Marni Bates, but your review definitely makes me want to give her books a try! Lovely review! :)

  2. This sounds like a fun read. I love the awkward situation you describe. I may have to pick this one up sometime. Great review. :)

  3. I think I liked this one more than Awkward simply because it employs one of my favorite classic plot lines - the fauxmance. I was so wrapped up in their banter and awkwardness and hilarity that I forgot to think about those other things - like Nick's lyrics - introduced in the book. Whoops. Unfortunately, I have a one-track mind.

  4. I'm so excited to hear about this book!! I LOVE reading Christmas books, which are usually all adult. Not only is this Christmas but it sounds super cute! I'm so totally reading this!! =D

  5. I liked this one, but I agree with you about Awkward being better. I still thought this was was really cute and funny! :)

  6. I just recently discovered this one, so I am excited to read it. It sounds very cute and light, which is never a bad thing. Can't wait to read it...hopefully soon! :)

    ~ Maida @ Literary Love Affair