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The Chapel Wars

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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 Holly 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.

292 pages, Hardcover

First published May 6, 2014

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About the author

Lindsey Leavitt

26 books811 followers
Lindsey Leavitt is a Leo sun/Sagittarius rising, which makes her skilled at traveling, studying and sleeping in. She grew up in Las Vegas and now lives in the snowy mountains with her big, blended family. She is the author of over fifteen books for kids and teens. Lindsey had an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Visit her online at https://lindseyleavitt.com

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5 stars
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605 (38%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 289 reviews
Profile Image for Danielle (Love at First Page).
726 reviews621 followers
March 27, 2015
A special thanks to Racquel @ The Book Barbies for lending me her ARC copy! However, this did not influence my review in any way.

The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt is yet another Contemporary YA book published this year that can sit proudly on my favorites shelf. I don’t know what’s in the water these authors are drinking, but I hope they keep refilling their glasses. This genre has stood out to me more than any other so far in 2014. Whether it’s a serious, gritty contemporary or a fun and fluffy one, it’s been success after success. The Chapel Wars falls mostly under the latter category, although there are serious undertones as well. With complex, endearing, and at times frustrating family dynamics, a romance that is equal parts witty banter and couple-y conversations not often found in YA, and a Shakespearean-style feud between neighboring businesses, complete with competing Elvis, zombie, and Cupid costumes, among others, The Chapel Wars is a book I’ll gladly buy for myself and read again and again.

The narrator, sixteen year old Holly Nolan, has just lost her beloved grandfather, who before his death organized a rather quirky, rambunctious funeral for himself. In his will, he leaves the family wedding chapel to Holly. Unfortunately, the business is in danger of going under, and the odds are almost impossible to overcome. Holly, in all of her type-A glory, decides to do whatever it takes to keep the chapel afloat, even if that means going outside the classy lines her grandfather always drew and becoming more like the chapels you imagine when you picture a rushed wedding in Las Vegas. Along with the chapel, Holly’s grandfather instructs her to pass along a letter to Dax Cranston, the grandson of the man who owns the chapel they share their parking lot with – the man who her grandfather had a hate-filled feud with for years. It’s ultimately a story about growing up, discovering what you want for yourself, and a story about learning to accept change in a city that never remains the same.

Holly’s voice and personality grabbed me right away. Maybe it’s the zany way the story begins, but her commentary and internal thoughts are hilarious. The way she views the world, her family, and her friends is very matter-of-fact, and she has a dry sense of humor paired with a sober demeanor. She’s the girl who wears the “Are you for real?” face on a daily basis. Holly is super intelligent, too, but more than that she’s witty and clever. Poor girl has trouble expressing emotions, mostly because she doesn’t want to open herself up to a world of hurt, but she’s also just not the type of girl to wear her heart on her sleeve. Holly would much rather deal in numbers and figures, and she has a tendency to count whenever she needs to soothe herself. There’s a reason Dax nicknames her “numbers girl”.

When Holly becomes the owner of the chapel, she immediately squares her shoulders and lets the weight settle over her. Her determination to fix things is all encompassing, and that includes her family. Her parents are recently divorced, yet to Holly’s eyes they act and communicate as if they are still married. She doesn’t detect a glimmer of bitterness or discord between them, and that confuses her more than anything. She doesn’t get the why of it. Her brother, James, is also struggling, but he expresses it so differently than her. He’s angry, prone to outbursts, and sometimes he gets so worked up that his only outlet is to express himself physically. The dynamic between James and Holly is one of my favorites in the book; my heart constantly went out to the both of them. Holly doesn’t know how to help her brother, but she’s always there for him, even when he’s mean, and James feels as if all his parents do is ignore him. This is a family dynamic that is messy and confusing but at least fully present in Holly’s life. Her grandfather, too, is always between the lines and in Holly’s thoughts. They obviously had a really close relationship, and it’s easy to see where her more quirky personality traits come from.

There’s a group of guys that Holly is close to as well, and I enjoyed all the different personalities among them. When Dax enters the fold, things definitely change for Holly. Oh man, you guys, I adored Dax! He’s eighteen, at that stage right between boy and man. He has this scruff that Holly can’t help but stare at, and he’s the type of guy comfortable enough in his own skin to wear salmon-colored pants and a Cupid costume (the kind with just the diaper and bow and arrow). Partly why he and Holly connect right away is that he lost someone important to him too, his father, and it’s still a day-to-day trial for him. The way they communicate is my favorite, because they’re able to lob witty one-liners back and forth like it’s nobody’s business. It’s their perfect way to get to know each other. Of course, things are majorly complicated because their two families are supposed to hate each other - Romeo and Juliet style – but Leavitt keeps the drama to a minimum. It’s more about them finding a way to hold onto each other in all the chaos. I think their relationship felt very solid, lasting, even though they had their doubts and insecurities. Dax had me swooning, too. Here’s a teaser quote:

"Really, numbers girl. You couldn't count all the ways you have my heart."

The Chapel Wars is a fresh, memorable story, made all the more exciting by its Las Vegas setting. I’ve never been, but now I want to see all the different places Holly shows Dax. I can’t wait to get my own copy and re-read all my favorite bits. Cute, funny, at times light and at others more serious, I highly recommend this one!

This review can also be found at Love at First Page.
Profile Image for Racquel.
482 reviews
March 9, 2014

This book takes cute to A WHOLE NEW LEVEL. It's so much more than that. The dialogue between Holly and Dax is probably, hands down, and I don't say this lightly, THE BEST I'VE EVER READ IN A YA BOOK. No. Joke. It's spectacular. Add in the awesome Las Vegas setting and the wedding chapel business. Great family dynamics, especially with a younger brother. Friendship dynamics that I've been wanting to read haveFINALLY been delivered... I could not have loved this more even if I tried.

This is a book you want to be dying to read.
Profile Image for Cristina (Girl in the Pages).
440 reviews65 followers
December 23, 2014
I really wanted to like this book. I’ve had my eye on it for a few months prior to publication and it sounded so cute, and I was really interested to see how the Vegas setting would function from the perspectives of locals rather than tourists, especially locals that are behind the business of notorious Vegas wedding chapels. I thought it would be the perfect summer read. Unfortunately, this book really disappointed me despite the fact that its setting seemed unique for the YA contemporary genre.

My primary issue with this book is that the characters were all very stereotypical. Holly, the protagonist, finds it hard to relate to girls and is a bit of an alternative girl or tomboy (super short hair, only wears dark colors, eyebrow ring, etc) and her group of guy friends come off as really macho and annoying. For instance, she explicitly states how she likes hanging out with them because they never talk about feelings and learned sports statistics so she could better “fit in with the guys.” On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are few female characters aside form Holly and they are also rather negatively stereotypically portrayed, as they are all someone’s (ex)wife/lover/girlfriend, and Camille, the only other teenage female character aside from Holly, is a stereotypical girly-girl who jumps at the chance for “girl talk” and gives Holly advice about fashion and boys. None of these characteristics are inherently wrong, it’s just disappointing to see each character so constrained by their gender stereotypes.

My secondary issue with the book was (in my opinion) a bad case of “insta-love.” (Mild spoilers ahead). So going into this book, readers know that this is a romance between two teenagers from rival chapels. It’s also a relatively short book. So obviously their courtship is not going to be the longest or the most drawn out. But by the second time Holly meets Dax, she is already mooning over him and internally dialoguing about how hot he is (which is really out of character for her in the first place since so much time is spent establishing how non-girly she is and how she’s never been in serious “like” or love), how she likes his facial hair stubble, etc. She shows almost no reluctance and is making out with him by their first “date” (which was mainly accidental) and says things like Dax’s kisses make her forget that she even cares about saving her deceased grandfather’s chapel in the first place. It really annoys me when protagonists say think such thoughts (in which nothing else matters besides the male) even if they’re describing a fleeting moment, especially when they’ve only known said guy a few days or weeks tops. It almost turned the book into a DNF for me.

I gave this book two stars because I liked Holly’s role as an entrepreneur and I liked reading about the history of the chapels and the back stories of the couples who chose to be married in them (it was nice to see some people have non-tacky drive through weddings in Vegas, and actually have cute, quaint, meaningful ceremonies). It’s also interesting to see Holly struggle with the integrity of her grandfather’s traditional chapel over the Vegas gimmicks, and the fate of the chapel takes a truly surprising turn at the end. I’ve seen a lot of readers compare Leavitt’s writing to Sarah Dessen, but to me the comparison is not an accurate one. However, I’ve heard good things about Leavitt’s Going Vintage which I picked up at the Scholastic Warehouse Sale, and am willing to give her another chance.

What I Liked:

-Learning about historical Vegas landmarks and about the Vegas wedding industry

What I Didn’t Care For:

- The stereotypical and polarized portrayal of gender roles
- Insta-love!

Would I Recommend This Book: No

Overall: This book has an interesting setting and what could be a unique plot, but falls short of the mark by succumbing to insta-love, stereotypical characters, and underwhelming writing.
Profile Image for Erica.
465 reviews227 followers
October 14, 2013
There are a few things you can always count on in a Lindsey Leavitt novel:

-a fun, light-but-not-cheesy romance
-a main character who is a real girl, not just a collection of interests
-a family and a group of friends that are present and just as great as the main character
-a story that is appealing to grown-ups but could still be read by an actual teenager

This book has all those things plus it takes place in VEGAS!
Profile Image for nick (the infinite limits of love).
2,120 reviews1,348 followers
May 11, 2014

Lindsey Leavitt's novel Going Vintage last year was one of my favorite YA contemporaries. I was absolutely smitten by the book and by how well the themes of family and friendship were handled by the author. So there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that I was going to read The Chapel Wars and I'm so glad I did! What a delightfully charming read this was!

Holly has just lost her grandfather who leaves behind his chapel in Las Vegas to her. Unfortunately for Holly, the chapel is drowning in debt and if Holly doesn't manage to pay off the loan to the bank in a few months, her dear chapel will be taken away from her. Holly was a main character I instantly clicked with. She's sweet, down-to-earth and very much relateable. Her bond with her grandfather was one of the strongest points of this book for me. You could tell that Holly and her grandpa shared a deep relationship that was full of love. Holly's love for him was palpable throughout the pages. Things weren't easy for Holly. She was not only dealing with having to manage a chapel by herself, but she was also grieving the loss of someone near and dear to her. Through it all though, Holly remained strong and fought for what she loved. Her willingness to work hard to achieve her goals was an admirable quality in her and I grew to really love her over the course of the book. Watching her mature and become an even braver person made me really proud of her.

Holly also had a great support system around her. She was surrounded by her friends and family who were all very quirky, but who made up a loveable team. When she makes mistakes, they are there to tell her that she's wrong, but they also stand by her side and help to guide her. I especially enjoyed her friendship with Sam. It's refreshing to see a YA novel where the main character is friends with a guy without having their relationship step out of that platonic boundary. We also have a lovely and swoon-worthy romance in The Chapel Wars. Holly meets Dax, the grandson of a rival chapel owner, at her grandpa's funeral and their moments together were super adorable. The banter between the two of them was so much fun and I had a permanent grin on face the entire time I was reading scenes between the two of them. And you know what made the romance even more perfect? The fact that these two love birds didn't have a continuously blissful relationship but that they did argue from time to time about important things.

Lindsey Leavitt's writing was as charming as ever. She is an author that I can't recommend enough. Peppered with humor, strong characterizations and themes of friendship, family, loss and learning to overcome obstacles, The Chapel Wars is so much more than just a cute contemporary novel. If you're a fan of the genre, do give it a shot. I promise, you will not regret it.
Profile Image for Louisa.
497 reviews364 followers
May 16, 2014
Wavering between two or three stars. Some good things, some bad things. Pretty much didn't like Holly and Dax's relationship, but liked Holly's journey as a "businesswoman". God knows I wouldn't know what to do with a failing chapel. This is why I dropped my Business major, y'all.

Profile Image for Brandy Painter.
1,603 reviews227 followers
May 2, 2014
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

Lindsey Leavitt is an auto-buy author for me. If she writes it, I will read it. No one does quite what she does in the realm of contemporary fiction, writing realistic stories that deal with hard issues but manage to maintain a lighter tone and feel. The Chapel Wars tackles some harder topics than her previous work, but is still a light quick read and is full of the little snatches of wisdom I have come to appreciate in her books. She is eminently quotable.

This review is of an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

Holly is a fascinating main character. She is a math whiz and worked hard to get into a special magnet school where she could concentrate on business management even in high school. Her friends are all guys with the exception of her best friend Sam's girlfriend, who Holly mostly just tolerates. Her family life is not optimal. Her parents are recently divorced leaving her brother in a constant state of angry rebellion and Holly confused. But Holly finds feelings messy. She pushes them down and doesn't face them or release them. They are not neat and controlled like math equations. When her grandfather dies, she inherits an almost bankrupt business, and meets an attractive boy who happens to be from the enemy chapel across the parking lot, Holly finds her tightly controlled existence spiraling out of her control. I liked how this affected her. She makes some choices and responds in some ways that are not healthy and won't make a lot of sense to people who thrive on emotion, but her responses are highly realistic. Dax is even more flawed than Holly. I don't think Leavitt has ever written a hero as deeply flawed as Dax. He has experienced a lot of tragedy in the past year. Tragedy he is responsible for. He is working out a lot of his issues over this still, and on more than one occasion chooses to drown them in alcohol. He isn't drinking enough to have a problem yet, but it's obvious he's on his way if he doesn't change something up. There are many aspects to Holly and Dax's interactions that would indicate she should be wary, yet there are equally as many aspects that point to Dax being exactly what Holly needs. Again, I enjoyed the realism in this. Holly is wary, but she also sees the good in him and is willing to give him a chance. This is by far the most complicated relationship dynamic Leavitt has written and I think it works well for the story she is telling. I enjoyed how their relationship developed over time, but there was a definite irresistible attraction between the two of them. I particularly love how Holly assessed their situation on their second date:
We glowed at each other. Beamed. Radiated. I did not know that like could be like this. Like love, just not fully realized. I did not love this boy, because to love someone is to know them. But every moment I was with him made me happy, and every moment I wasn't with him, a small piece of me wondered where he was and what he was doing, like there was a satellite in our hearts.

As in all Leavitt's books, family dynamics play a large role in the story. Holly was incredibly close to her grandfather and is devastated by his death. She then has to jump into running his business, much to the irritation of her father and her grandfather's assistant. And she is fighting a losing battle. They owe more money than they have and could possibly earn in the three months Holly has to turn things around. Grieving someone under such circumstances is not the best of scenarios. Holly must also contend with her family's fractured dynamics. Again Leavitt excels at writing a great sibling story here between Holly and her younger brother James. James is angry and not hiding it. His behavior is moving rapidly toward delinquent in order to get attention. He is also fiercely loyal and protective of his sister and a piano prodigy. I adored every interaction between James and Holly and the interactions between James and Dax. Holly's best friend, Sam, and his girlfriend, Camille, are also important characters. Camille and Holly grow closer as the story unfolds, Camille helping Holly and becoming a confidant. At the same time, Camille and Sam have their own problems.

There are a lot of characters and much is happening to all of them, and yet Leavitt managed to make them all feel so real. Everything that occurs, makes perfect sense and the story never feels weighed down or too much. My one quibble with the story is that Dax's drinking wasn't taken quite seriously enough, like it was excusable because he is a nice guy even when drunk. However, Holly's reactions are believable and her siblings and friends do caution her so I can't see this as a major problem.

I think this is Leavitt's most ambitious novel yet in terms of character development and realistic hard situations. While I didn't enjoy it quite as much as Going Vintage, it is very close. Anyone who loves Leavitt's other books should definitely check this one out. And if you haven't experienced her unique brand of contemporary fiction, this is a wonderful novel to start with.

I read an ARC provided by the publisher, Bloomsbury Children US, at ALA Midwinter. The Chapel Wars is available for purchase May 6.
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,640 reviews1,232 followers
April 15, 2014
An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

The Chapel Wars was everything I expected it to be: sweet, funny, and clever. Basically, everything I thought about Going Vintage . Except, where Going Vintage was on the fluffier side, I enjoyed that The Chapel Wars took a slightly more serious approach in its exploration of grief and loss and expectations. But only slightly.

This book takes the dueling family aspect to another level. Forget the Montagues and Capulets. Move over Hatfields and McCoys. This story features two rival families, the Nolans and the Cranstons, with competing wedding chapels in Las Vegas that share a parking lot. And as crazy as that sounds, things get even crazier when Grandpa Jim passes away and leaves the family chapel to Holly, his like-minded granddaughter.

I loved how Vegas kind of became its own character in this story. I've personally never been to Vegas, never had any desire to do so, but the wacky and detailed way it's portrayed in this story, the history of the city as it's described, makes me feel like maybe I'm missing out. Like maybe I judged the town too harshly before I knew what it was all about, sort of like Dax.

The wedding chapel business sort of takes on a life of its own, too. And I was really impressed with the family dynamic in this story, as well. Some YA novels fail to deliver a realistic family that's actually in the picture, that actually makes a difference in the main character's life, but The Chapel Wars is not one of those. Holly's family is by no means perfect. The parents are no longer together. They all fight and bicker. But they're there for each other when it counts.

I also appreciated that Holly "Numbers Girl" Nolan isn't your typical protagonist. She's so Type A it's endearing. Holly takes running the Rose of Sharon chapel very seriously, and she'll do everything in her power to keep it from failing. But I also like that she doesn't take everything at face-value, that along the way, she begins to question her own goals and dreams, whether she really wants to run the chapel after she graduates or if that was just because it's all she's ever known.

And Dax helps her to discover what she really wants. Namely him, even if it was hard for her to admit that, but I liked how that relationship progressed, how she also made him feel at home in a place he didn't want to be. Both Dax and Holly were a little messed up, both affected by grief and the feud that had fueled their grandfathers' hate-fire for years. But it was nice to see them overcome their losses together and to move past their families' prejudices and do so in normal teenager ways. I shipped them as soon as I read that summary and with good reason.

I adored that cover the moment I saw it, and the story is just as cute. It definitely had its moments, alternating between funny and heartbreaking, and it has solidified me as a fan of Lindsey Leavitt. I definitely recommend The Chapel Wars for fans of YA contemporary who are looking for something that falls in between fluffy and gritty. It's like baby bear's porridge...

GIF it to me straight:
Profile Image for Lisa (lifeinlit).
695 reviews460 followers
July 12, 2014
4.5 Stars!

My first introduction to Lindsey Leavitt was Going Vintage, which I read a year ago. It was cover love at first sight. I loved the concept of that story as well, so I eagerly jumped right in. Annnnnnnd it was a hit! I really enjoyed her writing style and the unique concept of her story. So after finishing that book, I was quickly on the lookout for more from Lindsey Leavitt. Chapel Wars, I can say happily, had the same fun cover and unique concept. I knew from reading the synopsis, mixed with what I knew about Lindsey’s writing style, that this would be a super fun and enjoyable read.

The Chapel Wars takes place in Vegas, the wedding capital of the world! Upon the death of her grandfather, Holly finds out he’s left her his most prized possession… his wedding chapel. She’s only 17 and now the proud owner of struggling, under-water financially, wedding chapel. And to make matters worse, it’s immediately next door to another chapel that is forever in a war to see who can get more customers. But this chapel plays outside the rules that Holly’s grandfather has always stuck to. They have theme weddings *gasp* and even dress like Elvis. The horror! :-P

Holly takes on the challenge of keeping this chapel alive, thus keeping her grandfather’s memory alive and making him proud. It’s not a easy venture though. The chapel next door, owned by a super-cute boy’s mean grandfather, is a constant thorn in the family’s side. They hate that chapel, the evil She must compromise her original beliefs regarding the chapel, put aside her feelings for the adorable boy next door, and try her best to keep the chapel above water.

This group of characters is not without their flaws. They struggle with the right thing to do versus what is the best for their immediately family and family businesses. I loved the battle between Holly’s family and the chapel next door, owned by the adorable Dax and his evil grandfather. The adorable teenage romance that accompanied this story was so sweet and exactly how teenage love should be portrayed. Innocent and goodhearted.

Another A+ for Leavitt!! If you’re looking for a super-sweet, fun, innocent love story, this is one that will give you all the feels. The perfect beach read, one-sitting, read-with-a-smile kind of book.

(Thanks to Bloomsbury USA Childrens and Netgalley for the review copy!)

Find this review and others like it at Lost in Literature!


February 15, 2015
This will probably not surprise you, but I don't have much to say. Everything was so...meh.

The writing.
The characters.
And the chemistry was almost non existent.

It wasn't truly bad. I have read books a lot worse, but somehow, I couldn't bring myself to give this book anything other than two stars.

I have nothing to speak about in that sense. Nothing was too eye-twitchy and neither was it rage inducing.
Just a bit...bland.
And boring.

Holly was a decent protagonist. She wants to save her grandfather's chapel and takes the help of Dax, the grandson of her grandfather's rival, to bring back its former glory.

I think my main problem with Holly is that she was too lack-luster. She didn't really do anything to make me think of her differently, nor did she do anything that made me dislike her. Again, meh.

Dax, though, is a disappointment, because he had potential. He is sweet and is willing to help Holly with her dream, even if it means going against his grandfather. We need more sweet and nice guys, because they are fast running out with the increase of testosterone-driven alpha males so popular today. But, dammit, he isn't even characterized well.

At thirteen, James’s angst had the pubescent power to crack the bridge in half. Not that we would drown—the only thing under the bridge was concrete.

And can someone please tell me what the heck this means?
Profile Image for Dahlia.
Author 19 books2,395 followers
February 16, 2015
God, Dax and Holly...if ever there were a dictionary definition of "Shippable," made extra appreciable by the fact that they both genuinely screwed up sometimes, not in stupid, petty, overused device-y ways but in real, true-to-life ones. Great dialogue, LOVED the setting and the way Vegas was practically its own character here, and loved the Holly was a really different kind of Main Character - sort of Type A Pixie Dream Girl. I had some serious laugh-out-loud moments, bordering on awkwardly so, and though this was my first Leavitt book, it definitely won't be my last. I can't give it a 5 because I wasn't hugely into the plot or most of the secondary characters, and some of her turns of phrase were so confusing to me I actually still don't even know what she was going for, but though those sound like big things, they're strangely not. I'd rec this to any lover of contemp YA romance for sure.
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 31 books5,632 followers
June 2, 2014
A fascinating look at Las Vegas, at wedding chapels, and at teenagers. The kids in this book behave like grownups because they have to: the adults around them are acting like children, and always have. Holly has been helping to run her family's wedding chapel alongside her grandfather for years, while her parents pretend to be amicably divorced and pursue their own projects. When her grandfather dies, it's Holly who inherits, and Holly who has to keep the entire family from bankruptcy. There's plenty of good humor here, and romance, but also some serious problems, which Holly handles . . . well, like a human being. A young human being.
Profile Image for Stephanie A..
2,321 reviews64 followers
June 21, 2016
I felt exactly 0 feelings about Dax or his and Holly's relationship because frankly, their terrible hair rendered them irrelevant from the get-go. But it was a cute, entertaining little read about a business-minded girl doing everything in her power to save the beloved wedding chapel of her late grandfather, and showcased the unusual perspective of a teen who's grown up in Las Vegas and considers it home. Oh, and if you're like me and read very fast because you just wanted to know what was in Dax's stupid letter, you can find it on page 290.
Profile Image for Aliam Sunshine.
63 reviews6 followers
May 18, 2015
This book was so so so cute! I couldn't stop turning the pages!
I love Dax so much! Team DaxHolly ftw! Romeo and Juliet-ish but I love the story so much!
Couldn't get enought of Dax and Holly. They're so cute!!!!
Profile Image for Michelle Stimpson.
411 reviews8 followers
April 24, 2017
"The thing about a loved one dying is that everything that person touched becomes a part of who they were, leaving this trail of emotional land mines along the landscape of their life. You expect this immediately after the death, when you're cleaning out their room and find reading glasses perched on the pages of an open book, pages that will never be read, at least not by the deceased. But other times, you see someone on TV wearing a beanie, and you're reminded that The Edge from U2 always wore beanies, and that your recently deceased grandfather loved U2, and you loved him, and so on, day after day, week after week. Scents, songs, street corners . . . a day filled with razor-edged reminders that tear open your heart. Maybe the moments fizzle out after time, maybe the pain dulls. For me, each whisper of my grandpa wasn't a jab; it was a jolt."
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,230 reviews1,650 followers
March 20, 2015
For more reviews, gifs, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Dahlia Adler, Recing ball and author extraordinaire (Behind the Scenes/Last Will and Testament/Under the Lights), wins again. She told me over and over to read The Chapel Wars. I wasn’t sure, not having heard all that much buzz about Leavitt’s books. The time came, though, when I had to read this book, mostly because I checked it out of the library and then proceeded to rack up $1.20 in fines (oops), so obviously I had to at least read it now that I was paying money for it. Yes, I know that I am marvelous at life. Enough about that. The short version is that The Chapel Wars turned out to be quite fantastic.

The Chapel Wars took a bit of time to grab me, I’ll admit. The voice is unique, but not in a way that jumped off the page for me. This did result in a lack of emotional connection, but, by the end, I loved this book in a very intellectual way. I can’t really explain why I wasn’t feeling all the feels; it seems as though I should have been. Part of my struggle at the start was that Holly has a few really odd descriptions, which I can’t help not sharing so here you go:

If looks were America and ugly was Los Angeles, this boy was comfortably Kentucky. West Virginia when he smiled.

Seriously? What does that even mean? Also, poor LA.

“If hate were a person, we’d be second cousins.”

I’m amused, but also a bit confused again. Holly doesn’t do this stuff often, but it really stood out to me as strange since she’s of a more mathematical mind most of the time. I did really love her thing with counting and her mathematical predictions of marriages’ success.

The Chapel Wars takes place in Las Vegas, but in a way that was totally new to me. The book is both very Vegas-focused and not at all like I expected something set in Vegas to be. I’ve never been and don’t have much interest in going, since the casinos and shit I’ve seen in the movies don’t really interest me. In this case, though, Vegas is Holly’s hometown. For her, it’s not casinos and “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” There are some ways in which it’s very much not any other place, but it’s also a much more beautiful portrayal than I’ve ever seen. Holly’s attempts to make Dax love Vegas made me want to visit it too. Ironically, Leavitt’s fiction made a real place seem less fictional to me.

The book opens on the funeral for Holly’s beloved Grandpa Jim. When his will is read, everyone’s stunned by the revelation that he’s left the chapel to Holly to run. Even more shocking is the news that, unless she manages to drum up a whole lot more business, the chapel’s going to be closing for good. This, too, is very unique YA novel territory, but I love the way it was handled.

Holly may not have the experience of an adult, but she brings an open-mindedness to bear that none of the adults would have. I also love that The Chapel Wars delves into whether this is a good thing for Holly or not. Yes, Holly seems to be good at it, and she does love the chapel. However, that doesn’t mean that setting herself up to do nothing but this without considering other options is a good thing. It could have just been a quirky story about how she got to run a chapel, but The Chapel Wars gets into real consideration of the future. The way things resolved was also perfect:

At first, I thought Holly was going to be one of those girl-hating heroines. She’s friends with a bunch of jocks and doesn’t always have the nicest thoughts about her best friend’s girlfriend, Camille. Holly doesn’t really now how to be a girl and doesn’t feel all that comfortable around them. As the book goes on, though, Holly and Camille become good friends, and it ends up being really positive all around.

What I love super duper the most about The Chapel Wars is the ways that the romance defies traditional gender roles. It’s not just Holly and Dax either. Sam and Camille’s relationship also doesn’t subscribe. In both cases, the guy is more romantic, more focused on commitment, and more emotional. The issues that Holly has with understanding and expressing emotion are the sort of thing that I almost never see women deal with in pop culture. I love love love every bit of this.

“Look, Dax. I love that you are super in touch with your emotions and can share all these things with me. I’m serious. It’s great. But I’m not like that. I wish I was.”

While I definitely do ship Dax and Holly, they never reached that epic shipping level. I really should have been intensely into the ship, because they do exchange some most excellent banter. It’s also really nice that Dax and Holly actually get time to be a couple. The romance feels way more rooted in real life than most novel romances do. They meet, they date, they DTR, and they have to work through normal couple issues.

Friends who seek out the banterfluff, hie thee to thy local book procurement place and seek out The Chapel Wars. I don’t know why I went all Shakespearean. Bono or Elvis would have been more apt, but oh well.
Profile Image for Pablo Vazquez Camargo.
188 reviews6 followers
March 6, 2019
Heart ❤️ was the night you and sad face burn and her gone and girl want to go to outside
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Alexa.
2,148 reviews11.3k followers
November 13, 2014

3.5 stars for my first Leavitt novel! I thought it was a darling book, with a story that made me smile :)


If I were to describe The Chapel Wars in a single word, it would have to be cute. That really sums it up, whether in reference to Holly and her family and friends, the efforts to save the Rose of Sharon wedding chapel or the budding Romeo-and-Juliet type romance between Holly and Dax. It was fun to read, and certainly made me smile. But alas, it did not leave the kind of impression that lasts.

Don’t get me wrong – there are certainly a number of things I liked about The Chapel Wars. Holly is definitely an enjoyable, likable character. She is determined to save the family’s chapel, using her smarts and her way with numbers. It’s clear that she cares about her friends and her family. It is also obvious that she cares bout Dax, even when he pushes all her buttons or does stupid things. What makes her so easy to relate to is how she deals with loss and grief, and how it serves as a catalyst for her personal growth.

Apart from Holly, the novel is populated with fun, lovable characters. Holly’s group of (guy) friends are just great to be around, even though they’re typical boys interested in sports and girls. They’re super protective of Holly, and clearly care about her. Among the group is Holly’s best friend Sam, who is a sweetheart, a romantic and a Potterhead (a bonus!). Sam’s girlfriend Colleen, though she appears to be Holly’s opposite in every way, turns out to be a great friend too.

Then there’s Holly’s family – her divorced parents, her older sister Lenore, her little brother James and, of course, Grandpa Jim. We can throw Donna (who works for the chapel) in there too. Everyone except Lenore is tied to the chapel in some way, with her mother helping with couples, her father with photos, her little brother with advertising and promotions and Donna in charge of running the administrative parts of the place. They might sound like a dysfunctional group, but they really just have a unique dynamic with kinks that need to be worked out.

Dax, of course, is lovely. He’s the grandson of Victor Cranston, the man who owns the chapel next door… and who happens to be “enemies” with Grandpa Jim. What I liked best about him was that he was sweet and wonderful and nice, but he also had his own heartache and heartbreak to deal with. Their relationship is predicated on banter and acceptance, and I really appreciated that.

There are also a couple more details I liked. How setting the story in Las Vegas felt fun, fresh and very different. How Holly’s “formula” that determines whether or not a couple married at their chapel will stay together. How the ending, even though it still had a “happily ever after” vibe, still felt pretty realistic.

Based on these paragraphs, it sounds like there was no reason for me to not fall in love with The Chapel Wars. Sadly, it felt like the story lacked a bit of depth to me when it came to certain details (like the history behind the feud between the families, or the unique situations Holly faced). But the clincher was my inability to truly feel connected to Holly. It felt like I was just watching everything unfold, like a made-for-TV movie.

I don’t particularly consider The Chapel Wars a memorable read. But I’m fairly certain that many readers are going to enjoy reading Holly’s story! I sure don’t regret reading my first Lindsey Leavitt! It was definitely cute and so enjoyable, which makes me feel like I should try her other novels at some point.

{If you liked this review, check out Alexa Loves Books for more!}
Profile Image for Brittany S..
1,489 reviews697 followers
December 21, 2016
Initial Impressions 3/24/14:Yay! Super cute. I had a lot of fun reading this one and definitely a different direction than Going Vintage (and now I need to read Sean Griswold's Head) but either way, lots of fun. I think I didn't love it as much but I loved the Vegas atmosphere and the respective chapel wars. Loved how it ended and I loved that things weren't picture perfect all the time.

Review originally posted on The Book Addict's Guide: I really loved GOING VINTAGE, the first Lindsey Leavitt book I had read (although not the first one she’s written), so I was really excited when I saw promo for her newest book, THE CHAPEL WARS. The concept is way cute with two Las Vegas chapels duking it out to earn more business and heck, even STAY in business, especially in the case of Holly and her family’s chapel once her grandfather passes away.

THE CHAPEL WARS didn’t disappoint me in it cuteness. Holly was a great main character, balancing the line between kid and adult — she’s heavily invested in the family business of running the Rose of Sharon chapel and attending school and doing regular teenager-y things. When her grandfather passes away, she gets a big surprise about the chapel and ends up with even more weight on her shoulders, feeling personally responsible to save it from going out of business.

THE CHAPEL WARS was a lot of fun to read, but given that I had such a strong connection in GOING VINTAGE, it fell juuuust a bit shy of a new favorite for me. I really appreciated the strong family dynamics in GOING VINTAGE and unfortunately, Holly doesn’t have that same luxury, especially with the one person in her family with whom she really connected — her grandfather — just recently passing. I know, I know, not fair to compare an author’s previous book because it’s an entirely different work, but the fact is that fans come to know that book well and there is a certain expectation established whether anyone intends it to be there or not!

The romance in this book was just plain fun. I loved the back and forth between Holly and Dax and how they came from different backgrounds and yet so much of their current situations overlap. They’re both able to help each other through hard times while at the same time dealing with some pretty serious situations with their own family… And the fact that their families hate each other. It was a lot of fun to see these two kids try to work together and at the same time, stressful (but fun to read) because you just knew something was bound to explode if they kept on seeing each other! How very Romeo and Juliet! I really enjoyed the forbidden romance, though, and these two just fit together so well.

I loved the Vegas setting in the book! I went to Vegas for the first time — oh my gosh, it was four years ago already! — and I had a blast envisioning where these two chapels were in reference to the strip as well as a few references to the hotels and a smashing Ocean’s 11/fountain at the Bellagio reference (LOVE). It was a very visually dynamic book and I had so much fun putting myself back in that setting!

THE CHAPEL WARS didn’t skyrocket to an instant favorite but it was so much fun to read. Easy, breezy, and super cute with a romance to swoon for a family to root for. I definitely recommend this one!
March 5, 2019
The book "The chapple wars"by lindsey leavitt is full of things that surprised me. My favorite part was the Family got the chapple. I recommend this book to those who like chick flick. This book is one of my favorites becuase i like how it dscribes everything so well.
Profile Image for Jaime Arkin.
1,422 reviews1,325 followers
September 28, 2014
The Chapel Wars is my first Lindsey Leavitt book… I know I know… I’ve been sitting on Going Vintage since the day it came out, but I kept forgetting about it. BUT The Chapel Wars made me bump that up my TBR pile!

Holly has just lost her grandfather unexpectedly… and amongst the sorrow she feels, she finds out that he has willed her his business. The business just happens to be a Las Vegas Wedding Chapel… what she doesn’t find out right away is that the chapel is failing and on the verge of being repossessed by the bank. Holly has to save the one thing that her grandfather loved as much as her but the neighboring chapel may stand in the way of that. Victor Cranston has been the family enemy for as long as she can remember and he’s determined to see them fail. What neither counted on was the friendship and relationship that blooms between Holly and Victor’s grandson, Dax.

This story was just wonderfully cute… and fun. So many people in Holly’s life are tied to the success of the Chapel and so at her age she has quite the burden on her shoulders. From her brother James who plays the piano and helps out when he can, to her divorcing parents, they each have a role to play, but aside from them, there is such a wide range of characters to experience in this story. Even Holly’s group of friends are willing to pitch in when and where they can.

I loved Holly’s determination to do whatever she had to, even if it meant doing something her grandpa wasn’t comfortable doing. All of her memories were tied to this place and she wasn’t going out without a fight. And I really enjoyed her relationship with Sam. Sam is her platonic friend and when I say platonic I mean it. There is no underlying relationship tension between them… no hidden feelings to deal with. They are simply friends, and I love that we get to see that portrayed in a book. Plus I have to say that Sam being a Potterhead was the cutest thing ever.

There is a bit of a Romeo and Juliet theme to this story. Dax, of course working for and being related to the man who was a sworn enemy to Holly’s grandpa, is somewhat off limits. But they can’t seem to deny that they have feelings for each other. It was interesting to see the dynamic between the two because of that underlying tension and it definitely made for some drama, though nothing too heavy.

Dax himself was sweet and kind and while he makes some mistakes and stupid choices (don’t we all) I liked the real-ness of his character. He’s definitely got his swoony moments but above all that, he’s just so sincere. He’s not interested at all in the rivalry he simply wants to get to know Holly, but the suspicion and drama keeps getting in the way.

I think the one thing I was left wondering about ultimately is the depth of the dislike between Victor and her Grandpa and ultimately her. I would have liked a bit more of an explanation as to why.

Overall, this was a fun read that hits slightly on deeper issues dealing with divorce, underage drinking and grief. If you’re looking for a contemporary YA with engaging writing and a somewhat unique premise (at least in location) definitely pick this one up!
Profile Image for Sandra (Waiting For Wentworth).
337 reviews26 followers
May 6, 2014
I'm always in the mood for a really great contemporary book. One that can easily put a smile on my face and leave me with warm and fuzzy feelings. The Chapel Wars fit that bill perfectly! I'm still smiling while writing this because it was oh so freaking cute.

I found Holly to be likable and interesting, and I thought her views were wildly entertaining. When Holly's Grandpa Jim dies unexpectedly, he leaves Holly his beloved wedding chapel. Holly has extreme love for the chapel because of her grandpa, but it is in serious financial trouble and Holly must come up with the money to save it in a short amount of time. Holly has a tough time deciding to do what's right for the business as opposed to what is best for her entire family, who all happen to work at the chapel. Holly needs to figure out not only the chapel's future, but more importantly, her own future. It's a strange struggle to see a 17 year old go through, but I thought it was handled realistically.

While part of me loved Dax (and his accent!) because he was sweet and swoony, I thought he made a lot of terrible decisions that kept him from being too perfect, and I was okay with that. He and Holly developed a super sweet, cute, and squeaky clean romance that was beyond adorable. I loved their quirky conversations and their unusual 'dates'. All the uncertainty between them added a bit of drama and emotion to the story. Both of them were dealing with grief and their family's feud, and I loved that they were able to work through their issues realistically. Even though their relationship was a little bit complicated, I thought they made sense as a couple.

The entire book was filled with likable and believable characters with terrific qualities. Even though we never got to meet Grandpa Jim, we learn a lot about him throughout the book from the other characters. Holly has a lot of friends, mostly boys, and I loved the dynamics between them. They were a hoot and added a lot of comedic entertainment to the story. I totally adored Holly's younger brother, James, and I really wanted to grab him and give him a big hug!

I've never been to Las Vegas. I've thought about visiting in a vague sort of 'someday' way, but I've never felt the need to actually go there. I liked the way that Las Vegas came to life with Holly as our guide. I'm sure most visitors don't wander off the Strip long enough to see the outskirts, but that was where this story took place. I'm glad I had a little peek of what it's like behind the scenes, so to speak.

This is a very well written and heartwarming story full of U2 quotes and Elvis impersonators that definitely falls into the 'fun' category. I highly recommend The Chapel Wars, especially if you read and loved Going Vintage. Or if you loved The Chapel Wars, I also recommend reading Going Vintage. Chances are you'll love them both!

The Chapel Wars was just what I needed to read right now. While there are a few heavy moments interspersed throughout, it has enough humor, fun witty banter, romance, and cuteness to make it very enjoyable.
Profile Image for Sara.
1,380 reviews65 followers
October 9, 2014
This was such a cute book! Holly inherits a struggling Vegas wedding chapel from her grandfather, which gives her something to be happy about in his absence, but the chapel that she's grown up loving has some big financial problems. Holly and the rest of her family need to turn business there around immediately or else they all realize they're going to lose the chapel. It doesn't help that the owner of the chapel next door, a miserable man her grandpa had been feuding with for years, is threatening to run them out of business - and, also, Holly is falling for his grandson, Dax, who doesn't seem at all like grandfather....

There was so much I loved about this book. It was a cute, fun read tinged with bittersweet edges, a perfect balance that led this to having a little more depth than I think I expected and making everyone that much more relatable. Holly is a very likable main character, and the author did such a great job showing her dealing with everything (her grandpa, the chapel, her own family's issues, her feelings for Dax...) in her own way, something that was not necessarily always the "best" way but felt authentic and understandable.

The characters in here were well rounded. Holly's family played a large role throughout the book, and although they weren't the stars of the story, I definitely got a sense of everyone's personalities and felt like I understood the dynamics between them. I also really liked Holly's close friends, especially the fact that her best friend is a guy who doesn't turn into a love interest - something that's tremendously overdone in books! A few of her other (minor) friends kind of blended together, simply because they were always together when they were featured, but it didn't bother me. And then there was Dax, who made a very complex, endearing love interest. The author wrote excellent chemistry between the two of them and showed Holly's feelings for him perfectly. I also really liked the fact that Dax was far from perfect; there were parts where I was really frustrated with him because of what a mess he was making in his own life. That said, I think it was the inclusion of those kind of things that made him such a good character; he was realistic and, despite his faults, someone Holly (and the reader!) could easily swoon over.

Finally, I can't leave out the setting of this review. I loved the fact that this took place in Vegas, with all the old wedding chapels playing such a large role instead of the glimmering lights on the Strip. It was so fun to see the backdrop of Vegas in here as it seemingly used to be, not because of its current excess. I really, really liked it and think the city managed to enhance the book in ways that I didn't necessarily expect; it really was the perfect backdrop!

I loved this book overall and thought it was incredibly engrossing. I think this is the sort of story you could enjoy as a teen or as an adult - it had layers behind its immediate fluffiness, and it was very relatable. Great read!
Profile Image for Lauren.
1,179 reviews315 followers
June 24, 2014
A quick 5 point breakdown of why I had so much fun reading The Chapel Wars.

1) Wit.
One of the reasons I enjoy Lindsay Leavitt's books so much is that they are always so much fun to read, but they also deal with real topics that teens face. Hilarious + heartfelt as Elizabeth Eulberg says on the cover, and I agree with that completely. Going with the first point, this book has fantastic dialogue in it that had me laughing out loud. Holly's inner monologue is also quite amusing. And clearly anything goes in Vegas, including pink pants, animal consumes, zombies, kissing pirates and Elvis of course.

2) Grief. Holly's beloved grandfather has just died unexpectedly when this book begins, leaving her a lot of responsibility and sadness. But though this book includes some heavier themes, it doesn't get bogged down in them. I love the tone of Leavitt's books because she tackles serious issues in a relatable way while not completely dragging down the emotions of the book.

3) Love. The Chapel Wars includes a very sweet romance with the enemy chapel owner next door, which thankfully, managed to stay mostly drama and angst free. This was the most swoony of Leavitt's books, which I enjoyed immensely. Dax and Holly are quite amusing together. But they also bonded over grief, and struggled with how to overcome their family's long held feud. I wish that we'd been able to see Dax work through some of his own issues a little more. But overall, this was a delightful romance.

4) Family and friends. As with all of Leavitt's stories, Holly's family is a big part of her life, and very present throughout this story. I especially loved the relationship Holly had with her brother James. This book doesn't set out to solve Holly's problems with her family, but Holly comes to terms with them throughout the course of this book, which I think is almost more important. Since family isn't something you can just lose (or fix). I especially loved the ways that the come together to support Holly and the wedding chapel. Holly's group of guy friends was also fun to read about. Especially, her close friendship with Sam, and the smaller sub-plot of Sam's own relationship issues.

5) Place. I have never been to Las Vegas, and most of what I know is the standard tourist info, so I got really into seeing the city from an insider's perspective. The information about the wedding industry was fascinating, as was seeing the Vegas through Holly's eyes. She spends time showing Dax why she loves living there so much, and though I'm not sure the constant dry heat is for me, I hope I can visit some day.

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone

Find this and other reviews on my blog Love is not a triangle
Profile Image for Nadja.
1,563 reviews62 followers
April 30, 2017
I put this book on my TBR a long time ago. When I finally picked it up - honestly only because of the Las Vegas setting.. I've got this tick of reading books in my holiday which are set there as well.. and Vegas was one destination on my lastest road trip - I was very surprised to find out that this is a YA contemporary book and not a funny chick-lit as I thought it to be.. I read the first half of the book but was so detached and bored that I had to stop at 52%. I read the last three chapters out of curiosity but did not regret at all that I missed the things in between. Was simply not my cup of tea.
Profile Image for Emily.
277 reviews53 followers
August 17, 2014
I have read all of Leavitt's published books to date, and not one has disappointed me. Her clever writing has a casual sort of cadence that does not call too much attention to itself, and it always brings to life three-dimensional protagonists with engaging family and friend dynamics. As I expected, The Chapel Wars delivers all of the above, plus a humorously forbidden romance and a glittering Las Vegas backdrop.

One thing, however, causes Leavitt's newest novel to stand out from the rest. Its overarching theme of loyalty makes The Chapel Wars this author's best YA book so far.

The theme of loyalty pops up repeatedly throughout Holly's quest to save her chapel. Her utter dedication to her family business, a traditional-wedding oasis in a sea of garish theme-wedding chapels, clashes with Las Vegas, where everything is constantly changing and modernizing. The protagonist's devotion to an old place and old traditions, especially when contrasted with the transient nature of her hometown, drives her character and shows why saving the chapel means so much to her. Holly's mindset engages readers, forcing them to care about her conflicts as much as she does.

The novel's main theme also impacts the romantic subplot. Holly's relationship with Dax unites two people with different opinions and backgrounds, and the protagonist's love interest compels her to question the opinions she used to stand by stubbornly. Additionally, the fact that the two characters' loyalties lie with separate chapels gives their relationship a Shakespearean quality and develops a creative kind of romantic tension. I loved watching them struggle to remain loyal to their own chapels while still looking out for each other, illustrating the complexities of conflicting allegiances.

By the end of the story, readers will have cheered for Holly in both romance and business, as well as considered their own loyalties and when it is acceptable to defy them for the greater good. The final chapters of The Chapel Wars will give returning readers a huge smiles that will serve to remind them why they remain fans of Lindsey Leavitt. This book cemented my loyalty to its author, and I cannot wait to read her next novel.

This review originally appeared at www.foreverliterary.blogspot.com.
Profile Image for Carolyn Injoy.
1,242 reviews133 followers
January 20, 2016
I was fortunate enough to win a copy of Lindsey Leavitt's Chapel Wars.

This book has the best dialogue I've read in a while. The interaction between siblings & parents has the ring of truth. It feels like overhearing the conversation.

Eccentric Grandpa dies & leaves the Las Vegas wedding chapel to his 17 year old granddaughter. He also leaves behind a massive debt with a deadline.

Even though Holly & her friends make a gallant effort to make the changes in the Chapel to bring in the money to save it, the debt still hovers.

As if that weren't enough to overload Holly's plate, there's an ongoing feud between the cheesy chapel next door. Grandpa's letter instructs her to personally deliver a letter to their mortal enemy's grandson, Dax. Sparks fly.

"The need to cocoon was something I could better explain to a girlfriend or even a sister who was not Lenore. Surely most females understood the importance of wrapping oneself in a large duvet for a solid five hours with nachos & a high-quality series about homesteaders."

I rate this a solid four star throughout & highly recommend this light-hearted story.


Profile Image for Jenna.
1,611 reviews15 followers
June 11, 2014
2.75 star
This was a very cute easy going read. Holly is a 16 year old girl devastated that her grandfather past away, only Holly doesn't deal with emotions very well.

Her grandfather was a crazy old bat and had some adjustments made in his will, he left his wedding chapel in Las Vegas for Holly.
Holly goes above and beyond to save his chapel now hers from going bankrupt. Holly is struggling, her parents are divorced and now she has fallen for her family’s enemy’s grandson Dax.
Dax got a letter to from her grandpa but she doesn't know what it says.

The book is predictable. The love building was nice. I did not like that Dax was drunk twice, he’s underage and drinking is not a healthy way of dealing with your problems.

Sam’s character was unrealistic but he was a good friend to Holly. I liked James the little brother.
Holly was a strong girl for such a young age and a good business woman/girl.
I liked the cover, the writing was o.k
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,639 reviews161 followers
January 22, 2015
"We're all messed up," I said. "I like life is just about finding the right people to be messed up with."

I read the synopsis of this book and just thought 'meh' - it didn't really stand out to me. Couple that with the cover and I wasn't too excited but willing to give it a try.

I'm so glad I did.

This is an adorable story about dreams and goals and numbers but also love and expectation and the messy reality that is life. It doesn't all end well, people die and divorces happen and you never get to answer the question "Why?"

Holly is a numbers girls and always has tight control. Dax is the unknown boy next door. But her grandpa wrote a letter to him for her to deliver.

and thus the story begins. It's an adorable tale. I giggled, I was sad, happy, and completely taken in by this family and this story. They are quirky and odd, but worth every page turn. I hope you enjoy it too!
Profile Image for Summer Randolph.
76 reviews37 followers
May 21, 2014
Oh, Lindsey. She never fails me. If you ever want a cute, fun book GO TO HER. When life, school, and the future stresses me out way more than usual, I don't want a book that will stress me out further with issues. I don't want one that's depressing. I want THIS kind of book. Sure, the protagonist has problems (every book should be like that), but it's still enjoyable. It's like cold, sweet ice cream on a hot day, the fluff you need in your hard life.

To read the full review, click on this link to go to Blue Sky Bookshelf.
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