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The Holloway Girls

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When your kiss is good luck, the wrong kiss could change everything...

During the kissing season, one kiss from Remy or her older sister Maggie will give the boy—or girl—good luck. Or so it has been for all the Holloway girls before. But this year, Remy's first season, she doesn't follow the rules, dooming the boy she kisses to bad luck that almost kills him and leaving Remy with a cursed kissing season.

Now Remy is adamant about keeping her lips to herself. But the new boy in town is making it hard to keep her promise. Especially because he seems to really want to get to know her, and isn't just using her for the Holloway luck. But before she can even think about kissing someone else, she'll have to find a way to fix the curse, or else her family's legacy will be tainted forever.

352 pages, Paperback

Published June 7, 2022

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About the author

Susan Bishop Crispell

6 books319 followers
Susan Bishop Crispell earned a BFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Born and raised in the mountains of Tennessee, she now lives twenty minutes from the beach in North Carolina with her husband and their Scottish-named cats. She is the author of women's fiction novels The Secret Ingredient of Wishes (2016) and Dreaming in Chocolate (2018), and young adult novels The Holloway Girls (2022), and The Broken Hearts Club (2023). As you might expect, she is always on the lookout for hints of magic in the real world.

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5 stars
49 (16%)
4 stars
88 (30%)
3 stars
107 (36%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 125 reviews
Profile Image for Jess (oracle_of_madness).
684 reviews46 followers
May 12, 2022
Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for this Arc!!

Remy is a Holloway girl. And, this comes with a strange sort of responsibility for a girl at age 16. A Holloway girl's kiss supposedly brings bad luck during her season. However, when it's Remy's turn, she discovers that even something as simple as a lucky kiss can turn bad. She kisses her crush and he falls under a spell of bad luck! But, is this really Remy's fault?

I mostly enjoyed this story. My favorite piece to this tale is Tobin's character and how Remy seems to grow stronger and more confident by the end of the book. The magic is really low-key and not discussed in great detail but that didn't take away from this fun, fast-paced read.

Out June 7th!
June 13, 2022
Thank you to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway.

The Holloway Girls focuses on Remy, the current youngest Holloway Girl who is about to turn 16. And that means inheriting the kissing magic that brings others good luck. But when her kiss brings bad luck to the first receiver she doesn't know what to do.

Yeah. I had higher expectations from that cover and idea. It was fine to read for the moment but once you start to think about it, it is getting a whole lot of nope from me.

The first thing would be the instant slut shaming that Remy has towards her sister Maggie whose kissing season is just ending. Because she kissed so many guys during her season but she wants her recipiant to mean someting. Gag. On the other hand everyone around her is prude shaming her and shoving her into any available guy. Even her father at one point. If she wants to spend this kissing season kissing no one how about accepting that? And this is just about kissing mind you.

There are also holes in the magic for me. Why is the magic going to 16 year old girls? What about the guys in the family (who aren't even mentioned might I add)? Why write down the rules like no kissing someone who is in love with someone else but not give a solution for when it does happen. Because you cannot always know this up front. Sometimes people don't even realize it themselves. Why isn't it the first idea to disconnect Remy from the magic of the book to cancel the curse? Why does her family believe in luck from a kiss but not in a curse when not following the rules?

Lets not forget the whole victim blaming of Remy by the whole town for Isaac's bad luck when he knew exactly what he was doing by kissing her. How do all those teens not have a mind of their own? Why does the whole town know anyway?

As you can see I could not actually make sense of a lot of things in this book and the more I think about it the more I dislike it.
Profile Image for Jennifer Harper.
443 reviews4 followers
November 22, 2021
Thank to you Edelweiss+ for allowing me to read an eARC copy in return for an honest review.

During their year-long season, the Holloway girls gift good luck to anyone they kiss. Maggie has just ended her season and now it's Remy's turn. When Remy's first kiss leads a series of disasters for the boy she was crushing on, she begins to question everything about the kissing season and what it means to be a Holloway girl.

Despite the disasters awaiting the unfortunate Isaac, and Remy's guilt over his bad luck, this is still a sweet, upbeat story. How the Holloway magic works, or why those in their home town know about it and aren't freaked out, is never explained, but it doesn't need to be. This is more a story of Remy finding herself and creating her own identity, separate from her sister and her family's legacy. I love how the characters grow as the book progresses, each forging a new and better version of themselves.

This was a quick, satisfying read. It isn't really about the magic--it's about being true to yourself and allowing yourself to become the person you were meant to be.
Profile Image for Sophie.
1,160 reviews437 followers
March 19, 2022
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.

Remy Holloway has always known that she would have a kissing season, the year of her 16th birthday. Ever Holloway girl before her has had one, and a kiss during the season would bring luck to anyone she kisses. All Remy wanted though, on the night of her season's beginning, is for her crush to see her, and want to be with her. But rules were broken, and when Isaac is injured, and seems to be cursed, the whole town want nothing to do with her - except from the new neighbours, Juliet and Tobin. Will Remy be able to come to terms with what has happened during her season, and discover the true history of her family?

This book was not what I was expecting - in both a good, and a bad way. I was expecting there to be more family and magic, rather than a CW style teen drama, but there were parts I enjoyed nonetheless. Remy was an alright main character, someone who could be a little annoying at times, but she's a teenage girl, dealing with a lot, so she's allowed to be a little messy. She changes in character quite a bit, going from a little too boy obsessed - or Isaac obsessed - at the beginning, to someone slightly more comfortable in herself towards the end. I liked the dynamic between her and Tobin, especially how they became friends first, without forcing a relationship too quickly, and both of them came to terms with issues they had. One person I didn't really like, and I was surprised by it, from the synopsis, was Remy's sister, Maggie. She's just finished her kissing season, and was very pushy, and too much for Remy, or my liking. She wouldn't listen to her sister, though claimed to be helping her, and really got on my wick the longer I read. All in all, this was an alright book, but nothing I'd shout home about.
Profile Image for Lyn.
401 reviews51 followers
June 12, 2022

Being a Holloway Girl means your kiss is literally magic. One kiss and good luck knocks on your door. Each Holloway girl gets one kissing season. But there are rules to follow. Break one of those rules and who knows what peril will befall you?

Remy’s older sister, Maggie, had her kissing season and now it’s Remy’s turn. She hopes and dreams of an amazing, successful season. Alas, her luck runs out with her choice for her first kiss, which starts a mess that spirals her life down the drain.

The story started out well, though I can’t imagine kissing anyone just to bestow luck. I did like Remy’s outlook on that, on being more selective than Maggie, on choices that actually meant something. I loved all the baked goods and the new characters were quite charming. I loved the intensity and pull between Remy and the new boy.

That said, the book dragged a bit at times, and the ending was kind of anticlimactic for me. I wanted the people who’d wronged Remy and her family to actually get their comeuppance and wished Remy had a stronger character. But all in all, it was a nice story.

I was going to review the book a day before the release date but decided to wait a few days because of my 3-star review. Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Stay tuned.


Posted on Nomadic Worlds
Profile Image for Alicia.
555 reviews8 followers
July 2, 2022
Thank you to the publisher for an ARC via NetGalley.

I liked this one more than I thought I would! When I first started it, it felt like it was setting up really well and there was a lot of potential. And then it almost seemed to stop and there wasn’t really anything happening. Despite nothing big happening, I really did end up liking it.
Remy was a really interesting character. She was so stubborn at times that I wanted to scream, but I could understand her stubbornness especially in regards to the kissing season. Remy dealt with fear, guilt and anger for a lot of the book as she struggled to come to terms with Isaac’s bad luck after she kissed him. I really felt for Remy, and I loved the moments when she was with Tobin and was able to just be herself again. The constant back and forth of Remy getting close and then panicking and pulling away got a bit repetitive after a while.
I liked Tobin a lot. He was a good character to balance against Remy, and he was a steady and comforting kind of character. Juliet and Maggie were also good characters. I liked that the book focused not just on regular love, but also familial love. Maggie was trying to be there for Remy, and they had to adjust their relationship. Remy’s parents were also super supportive and I really liked seeing that.
I thought this one was a fun read. There were some issues with the pacing at times, but overall I enjoyed the characters and the story.
Profile Image for Kerry.
280 reviews14 followers
May 29, 2022
There is so much to love about this book, the plot is really unique and interesting and it lends to some good circumstances and plot potential. The thought of a kiss causing good or bad luck opens up a lot of insecure feelings for Remy.

I did find that the middle simmered out to a slower pace whilst we deal with Remys feelings and development as a character, I feel her though process fits the YA genre its written for well but as an adult reading this, I did find her little repetitive and wanted her to snap out of her self loathing and sulking. Remy is a character who feels deeply but this effects a lot of the relationships around her and she pushes people away and doesn't talk openly to people to help solve her problems, which stunts the development of her own and others characters at times.

I really enjoyed that setting, the town, the trailer and the falls were all described and used well in the story, giving a good feel for the world and town Remy lives in.
The dynamic between Remy and the other school friends is an interesting one as Remy finds out about herself she also battles with popularity and sorting the genuine friends from those who only want to use her for a lucky kiss.

A really lovely YA Book, would highly recommend for readers between 12 and 16 who are on the look out for a book boyfriend...
Profile Image for Erin.
608 reviews40 followers
June 2, 2022
1.5 Stars

Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.

It's a no from me. A hard no. This book looks like fluff. It acts like fluff. There's nothing WRONG with fluff, and it definitely has that Hallmark charm to it. However, what I just couldn't get over was the attitude toward sexuality that undergirded this book. It somehow manages to both slut shame and prude shame--with a whole layer of pushy non-consent that even Remy's dad participates in--and I just can't forgive that. It was uncomfortable and gross to read, most especially because these attitudes were never examined, just left to stand--or even encouraged as correct.

Hard, hard no. Don't let its cute exterior fool you. My full review will be available June 3, 2022 at Gateway Reviews.
Profile Image for Sarah.
140 reviews19 followers
June 20, 2022
Rating: 2.5/5 stars

TW: near death experiences, injuries, mentioned drug abuse, slight homophobia

It's always been the tradition of the girls of the Holloway family when they turn 16 to enter the kissing season. During this time, any person that the Holloway girl kisses gets good luck. However, that isn't the case with Remy, whose first kiss was a boy that ended up with extremely bad luck. Vowing not to kiss a boy again, Remy is set on trying to find a way to break the curse she's found herself in, and that may involve delving into her family's history, and also trying to not be friends with the new boy next door.

The plot itself is decent in execution. I really liked the idea of magic gone wrong and reversing of spells. I'm always a sucker for a well-designed magic system, but this one felt extremely lacking. All of the magic is contained within this book, yet it exudes into the world around the Holloway family and makes people more attracted to whoever's kissing season it is. It also manifests in the kisses themselves, which I find interesting.

But... that's it. There's no real reason for how the magic showed up in the first place. There's no practice of magic within the Holloway lineage. It's just the book. To me, it was extremely disappointing, given that the cover and the synopsis felt like it was leading to more of a magical influence. Plus, everyone in the town just always knows about this magic and its presence in the town is really weird to me. Wouldn't people want to keep it hidden? At least that's from what I assume from a bunch of other stories where magic is hidden. It felt off to me and I wished there was a lot more.

Speaking of magic, the whole purpose Remy has is to literally break this curse. I really love how it allows Remy to learn more about her family's complicated history, since there's a lot that's been hidden from her. However, that resolution to breaking the curse I think might be one of the worst endings I've ever read. Like yes, I know it was foreshadowed and it was done well. But it was such an easy fix that it felt like a cop-out to something that read off as much more complicated to solve, since people were actually getting hurt to the point of near death. I almost threw my kindle across the room when I found out what the answer was.

Remy is by far one of the most infuriating characters I've ever read about. She is beyond stubborn and selfish. While she does care for others, she just chooses to shut herself off completely, even to the point where she knows that damage is done, and in internal dialogue even says that it's done, so why not dig the hole even deeper? Who the hell has that mindset? On top of that, she has SEVERAL of the same conversations with people that reinforce to her that what happened was not her fault, but she absolutely does not listen, leading to the impact of the magic on Remy just being lessened to the point of a reader not being impacted emotionally by what's being said/done. This came into play a LOT when it came to the romance, so that was even dulled down for me because of it. I never really saw the chemistry.

Furthermore, there was one scene where she's hanging out with her sister, and the two new kids next door, who are twins. Mind you, Remy's sister Maggie is probably queer, and one of the new kids, Juliet, is absolutely queer. They are having a conversation about trying to have a friendship, even though Juliet and Maggie are kind of flirting. Remy flat out says in response to this something along the lines of "I'll be friends with you as long as you don't kiss me." That's so homophobic it hurts, since it's something that a LOT of queer people here from their peers when they first come out. Maggie calls her out on it and says it's not cool, but it doesn't really lead to a conversation of why it's harmful or how to move on from it. Hell, Remy doesn't even see it as homophobic and never apologizes for it! This moment twisted my entire perception on the book into being one that encouraged inclusivity to one that was just as harmful as it was good.

There were also some weird technical writing choices that were made, like the addition of multiple words when one could have sufficed. Example from the text (I had an ARC of this story, so wording might not be finalized in the final publication): "... but it didn't magically make the secrets/distrust/hurt between us disappear." This took place several places within the story and honestly it felt like the author was extremely indecisive in writing this. That makes me question as a reader how much they trust their own writing, which usually isn't a good thing.

The Holloway Girls is a quaint romance with a lot of rough characterization and stylistic choices that makes what seems to be a smooth read into a bumpy one.

I received a copy of this story from NetGalley and Penguin Teen. Any and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Cami Clark.
49 reviews
February 22, 2022
I received a digital ARC of “The Holloway Girls” through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

“The Holloway Girls” is a fun, lighthearted read about a family who’s girls have magic in their kisses when they turn 16. During their kissing season, anyone the girls kiss will receive good luck. When it’s time for Remy Holloway’s kissing season, she expects the same will happen to the first boy she kisses. Instead, the boy receives bad luck and Remy’s kiss is considered “cursed.”

Over the course of the book, Remy works to find a way to undo his bad luck and the restore her family’s legacy. She also finds herself along the way, distinguishing herself beyond her relationships with her sister and friends while also developing new friendships with a new boy in town who makes it difficult for Remy to keep her promise to not curse anyone else with an unlucky kiss.

I really loved that “The Holloway Girls,” although rooted on the fantastical premise of Holloway girls’s kiss bestowing good luck, is so relatable. When Remy’s first kiss of her kissing season goes awry, her friends and all the other teens in her world turn on her. They pull cruel pranks on her, say awful things to her and about her, and make Remy’s life miserable for several months.

It’s been a few years since I was Remy’s age, but I still remember how fickle loyalty and friendship was at that age. Crispell was able to perfectly capture this and transport me back to high school. It added a unique sense of realism to the story, making it perfectly believable that a small town in North Carolina had a family with luck-bestowing magic kisses, because all the characters felt real.

In addition to the realistic portrayal of bullies, Crispell did a great job of capturing what teenagers are like. Since the book is written from Remy’s perspective, we see into her thoughts and can see how dramatic she is over giving a boy bad luck through her kiss. She internalizes a lot of angst and constantly pushes away those she’s closest to because she doesn’t feel that they understand the situation. That’s exactly how teenagers act! It added another layer of realism to the story, which made it a fun read.
Profile Image for mikayla mae.
76 reviews1 follower
June 10, 2022
When your kiss is good luck, the wrong kiss could change everything...

I enjoyed this book. Magic, baking, and a summer of fun compiled into a short and easy read that made me forget I was actually reading and not a part of the magic. Remy, like her sister Maggie and every Holloway girl that came before her, has the power to bestow good luck on anyone. As long as they kiss before her season is over. Remy has grown up on the stories of her family, and the stories of luck that came with them. She’s determined to use her season to win over her crush, and that’s when things go wrong.

While the synopsis promises a story of bad luck and potential doom, I found that the story almost glossed over that portion. Sure, Remy does end up gravely injuring her crush, but after he’s taken to the hospital and his friends don’t let her in, she doesn’t really do anything about it. It’s almost as if she forgets he exists and continues on with her summer. I found that it focused more on the bad things that happen to her because her crush’s friends think that she cursed him, and Remy’s talent for baking, which was written nowhere in the synopsis.

Then there’s a new love interest, who moves in next door and seems to fall in love at first sight. I did enjoy the banter and adventures that occurred once this happened, but Remy was such a Debby Downer that it felt more like telling vs showing, as if there was supposed to be some more edits. Also there were some weird parts that had sentences like “... she felt hopeless/afraid/scared.” which I found sort of broke up the writing in a very choppy way, and it didn’t feel like it was edited.

That being said, this is a wonderful quick summer read that involves everything a good summer romance needs. Thank you to NetGalley, SourceBooks Fire and the author for an advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Nadia (Coleccionista de Historias).
265 reviews32 followers
February 23, 2022
thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for accepting this advanced copy from me in exchange for an honest review.
During kissing season, a kiss from Remy or her big sister Maggie will bring the boy or girl good luck. Or so it has been for all the Holloway girls before.But this year, Remy's first season, she doesn't follow the rules, dooming the boy she kisses to bad luck that nearly kills him and after that Remy's season becomes cursed and she vows never to kiss anyone again. unless someone else comes along to prove her wrong.
Rate 3.5⭐
is an enjoyable and entertaining read, the beginning of the story gives you a hint that certain things are going to happen, but I must say that I wanted it to focus a little more on the Holloway sisters magic thing and the whole good luck kissing season thing; but I must say that it veered into being a young adult romance book with magical touches with a very different beginning.

but i must make it clear that there were things that i didn't think were right and that detracted points from the story. first of all you know that i don't like the cliché of instalove and this appears in the story and is used to justify the actions of the prota; and i say, ok she is a girl, she makes mistakes, but this girl makes them one after another that you say this is done intentionally haha.

Besides, the main problem as the story puts it has a very sad solution and it's just to clear the conscience of the main character.

The truth is that the story had a lot of potential if it had been taken in a different way.
I don't detract from the fact that it was entertaining and a light read.
1,011 reviews18 followers
June 2, 2022
***I received an ARC from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review

In the Holloway family, when girls turn 16, they acquire a sort "kissing magic". During their year-long season, the Holloway girls gift good luck to anyone they kiss. There are only two rules: You must not have given your heart away to anyone else, or the luck will be bad luck instead. You can't take a kiss, either - it has to be freely given. There is a book that has been passed down through the generations to record the names of those who each girl has kissed. On the first night of Remy's season, Remy knows exactly who she wants to kiss. But when they kiss, and it turns out that his heart was still with his former girlfriend, he begins to have bad luck, and everyone including Remy is convinced she is cursed. Now a new boy has moved next door, and he is making it really hard for her to keep her promise to herself not to kiss anyone. Especially because he seems to really want to get to know her, and isn't just using her for the Holloway luck. But before she can even think about kissing someone else, she'll have to find a way to fix the curse, or else her family's legacy will be tainted forever.
This was such a fun book. I read a previous book from this author - "The Secret Ingredient of Wishes" and loved it, so even though this was classified as a Teen/YA book, I wanted to check it out. This book was just as fun and magical. It had a fresh storyline, likeable characters, and you really wanted to root for Remy. I highly recommend this!
Profile Image for Anatl.
476 reviews58 followers
April 3, 2022
A very good premise about magic and good luck gone astray. The Holloway girls have inherited luck bringing kisses, and it's kissing season, whenever one of the girls turns sixteen. Remy and Maggie are sisters and when Maggie's seasons ends, Remy begins. Remy has a crush on a certain boy, who seems eager to kiss her too, only she turns a blind eye to his infatuation with another girl and thus breaks a cardinal rule when she finally kisses him. Riddled with guilt, heartbroken, and practically harassed by the boy's friends, Remy spends a miserable year, shunning everyone and trying to break the curse. She swears off kissing until the situation is resolved, but encounters a temptation when a cute boy moves into the neighboring house.

While I'm a bit uneasy with the idea of a sixteen year old spreading kisses for luck to whomever, the story turned out rather chaste with very few kisses involved. Remy's comforts are baking and music, and there is a very cute playlist at the end of the book. The focus is on Remy's internal struggles, both with her sense of guilt, although the other party was even more to blame, since he was leading her on, and with status as a social pariah because of the incident. There is more family dynamics, especially between the sisters, than romance, so adjust your expectations in advance. All in all, a pretty solid read.

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sandra Young.
Author 1 book90 followers
June 15, 2022
The Holloway Girls follows an intriguing YA premise of a family of women with the ability to bestow good luck with a kiss. Older sister Maggie enjoyed a glorious year, smooching numerous people during her “season.” But when the teen magic passes to Remy she immediately disobeys the inherent rules, injuring and cursing her crush. This well-crafted YA novel focuses on the fallout from that decision and her determination to avoid finding love to protect others – or at least until she can reverse the curse.

The sisters and their enticing new neighbors are vividly drawn, and readers see into the depths of Remy’s emotions as she bakes out her angst and tries to hide from a world that’s suddenly turned dark and unpredictable. For YA – and adult - readers who prefer complex, emotional journeys with magical overtones, this book casts a lovely spell.

Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for providing an ARC copy.
Profile Image for Judy.
444 reviews
February 3, 2022
Thank you, Net Galley for this wonderful ARC.

Imagine getting good luck because you were kissed by a Holloway girl. But there are rules to be followed. The book is about Remy and her kissing season which did not turn out the way she was expecting. Not a witchy story and the focus was on Remy's struggle. Her feelings and dealings, sense of responsibility, stubbornness, and determination will make you both root for her and be miffed at the same time.

I found the blurb a bit confusing. I thought it was about the sisters, the magic angle was not explained. It is a teenage romance book and a bit of a slow start. But, everything comes to those who wait as the story becomes interesting towards the end.
Profile Image for Jess (oracle_of_madness).
684 reviews46 followers
May 12, 2022
Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for this Arc!!

Remy is a Holloway girl. And, this comes with a strange sort of responsibility for a girl at age 16. A Holloway girl's kiss supposedly brings bad luck during her season. However, when it's Remy's turn, she discovers that even something as simple as a lucky kiss can turn bad. She kisses her crush and he falls under a spell of bad luck! But, is this really Remy's fault?

I mostly enjoyed this story. My favorite piece to this tale is Tobin's character and how Remy seems to grow stronger and more confident by the end of the book. The magic is really low-key and not discussed in great detail but that didn't take away from this fun, fast-paced read.

Out June 7th!
Profile Image for Maria Isabel Samonte.
244 reviews12 followers
May 26, 2022
Disclaimer: I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an HONEST review

This is a lighthearted story about Remy and her family's ability to offer good fortune to anybody they kiss during their kissing season. Remy's kissing season, however, began badly when she cursed her crush, Isaac. She then swore she'd never kiss anybody else, but Tobin, the new boy, is making it tough for her.

I'm not going to lie, I had a hard time reading this book since I didn't always like the main character. She can be obnoxious and dramatic, which is fair given that she is a teen with issues. The plot is intriguing in and of itself because it is set in a realistic setting with mystical aspects. It reminds me of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The book had a lot of draggy parts that I had to push through in order to finish it. The dinner scene between the Holloways and their new neighbors is my favorite part. It was both chaotic and funny.

more in mindlessnesschatter.blogpost.com
Profile Image for Rachel & Boots.
41 reviews3 followers
June 4, 2022
This was a really cute, fluffy read that I would give 3.5+🌟’s if I could, but since I can’t I rounded up. It’s a fast, easy, well-written read. More of a teen romance with a small hint of Magic than the other way around but it was enjoyable all the same and I would definitely recommend this to others.
Profile Image for Jonas.
Author 1 book89 followers
December 13, 2021
*I got a free copy through Netgalley, this in no way affected this review*

Look, I enjoyed this book, but I have a feeling there was so much more potential and the synopsis made me believe I would be reading a different kind of book.

It’s very character driven which puts the plot to the back a bit, which means it was a very easy book to follow but it didn’t really grab me so that I couldn’t put it down.

Remy was a fairly nice main character, though a bit whiny from time to time.

So a good read, but not extraordinary
Profile Image for Tina White.
90 reviews2 followers
April 4, 2023
The Holloway Girls is a very quick YA read about the Holloway family, who have the gift of spreading good luck as long as you kiss them during their kissing season.

This book started quickly; the pacing was terrific, and I was engaged. The only problem was I envisioned the story taking a different route than what you get. I need to learn to avoid doing that because I ended up disappointed with how the book turned out.

It was very YA, which is okay, but it wasn't what I was really in the mood to read. I also hoped for more magic, considering that was what the story was about. It has very, very little. I would have liked it more if it had amped up the magic and given us a broader background story of how that family got their magic.

Overall, it wasn't a bad book; I just wanted more.
Profile Image for Brynna Noffsinger .
74 reviews3 followers
November 3, 2021
If I were a YA character, I would be Remy. This book was fun, unique, quirky, and all around a great read. The characters were relatable, the conflict oddly realistic for a book about magic kisses, and had great music references. I loved the way the characters grew and matured as the book went on, how the relationships changed, were fractured and repaired, realistically. The pacing was good, the writing easy to read, and the story just all around fun. Highly recommend.
Profile Image for Gillian.
332 reviews8 followers
August 1, 2022
This story was interesting. I liked the magic but I just don’t think I totally connected with the writing style. Every time I saw the author say/something/like/this I started to cringe. By the end of the book I was just really irritated by that and ended up taking a star off the rating simply for this.
Profile Image for maryam.
583 reviews26 followers
June 11, 2022
"when I'm lost in the dark unknown / your heart is the light leading me home"

— I've got a thing for women and also men who drive you to the edge of town so you can beat the shit out of your bullies and writes you songs and makes you playlists.

now I am bored so I'm going to name a trope and a book that is known for it and hopefully convince you to read this:
01. boy next door (everything, everything)
02. cursed family or something (gallant)
03. magic kisses (house of hollow)
04. emotional support lesbians (not a book but gave me major raya and the last dragon vibes)
05. protagonist does something stupid and tries to fix it by herself but makes it worse (every ya fantasy book ever)

yes, this book is extremely fast paced but nevertheless, it's cute and isn't as dark as the other fantasy books I like reading. oh and tobin's lip ring threw me off and that's 15 minutes of my life I'm never getting back.


** the holloway girls comes out on june 7th & thank you source fire books and the author for the arc **
Profile Image for Flor Méndez.
Author 1 book106 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
January 18, 2022
DNF @ 36% (English below!)

Desde el principio tuve un problema con la protagonista, pero seguí porque no es algo por lo que dejaría de leer un libro. No disfruté leerla y su voz tenía algo que no puedo señalar específicamente, pero que me rompió mucho. Puede que sea el hecho de que la protagonista era egoísta y tomaba decisiones que ??? ké???? Y no estoy hablando de un comentario como "ay, esta protagonista toma malas decisiones porque es una adolescente en un libro de YA", sino que tomaba decisiones que no tenían sentido para mí como lectora.

Creo que la idea era muy linda, pero le ejecución no me convenció... lo cual es muy triste, porque la historia tiene potencial. Me gustaría leer algo más de la autora porque creo que tiene ideas interesantes y divertidas.

PD: en el ARC hay cosas/escritas/así de la nada y sin justificación alguna. No sé si va a quedar en la versión final así que lo meto en la PD, pero no me gustó para nada.

Sadly DNF @ 36%

I had a problem with the protagonist as soon as I started the book, but I kept going because that's not something that would stop me reading a book. I didn't really enjoy reading her and her voice had something that I can't quite place but annoyed the hell out of me. It might be that the MC was selfish and made arbitrary decisions based on ??? stuff? And I don't mean "oh, this MC makes bad decisions because she's a teenager in a YA book", but decisions that didn't make sense to me as a reader.

I think the idea was lovely yet the ejecution felt short for me, which is really sad because I think the whole thing had (has!) potential. I would still love to read other things by the author, because I think her ideas are interesting and fun!

PS: I also didn't love the whole/writing/like/this out of nowhere. I don't know if that's gonna be there on the published version, but yeah.
3 reviews
March 8, 2023
Initially, it's a cute premise and I thought it would take a slightly different direction than it did.

The story begins with Remy on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, the eve of her kissing season. It's said that the boys who kiss Holloway girls will be granted with good luck. However, there are rules for the kissing season, including that Remy mustn't kiss a boy who already loves another. Later that night, she goes to a beach party and despite her sister's warnings, takes her opportunity to kiss the boy she's had a crush on for the last few months, Isaac. But instead of having a kiss which changes her life in the way she'd been hoping, she comes to the rude awakening that Isaac is just using her in order to gain some of the good luck from the Holloway magic. This immediately takes a turn for the worse after he falls from the high cliffs they were near into the water below and has to go to the hospital. Everyone is mad at Remy for this and begins to spread the rumors that she's cursed Isaac with her kiss, instead of granting him good luck. Meanwhile Remy is upset when she can't find her sister, her closest friend and other half, and blames her for not being there in the aftermath.

What ensues after all this craziness is unjustified at best, and if I were to give an opinion? Everyone is the a**hole here. Remy feels extremely guilty for kissing Isaac when she knew it would break the rules of the kissing season and sees what happens to Isaac, and later Gideon, as a consequence of her breaking those rules and causing them to have bad luck. She takes it out on her sister Maggie and blames her for not being there after Isaac's accident and betraying Remy by not telling her why she was gone (that Maggie had been off kissing their mutual friend, Laurel). Maggie precedes to say that Remy just needs to kiss someone else and pushes her sister, even going so far as to tell their new neighbor to charm Remy so she'd kiss him and move on from Isaac's accident and bad luck. She continues to repeatedly disrespect her sister's feelings and boundary, as does their father and their neighbor's twin sister. They all dismiss her feelings and push her towards the idea that if she would just kiss someone else or that she should continue with the kissing season and try to find love despite her guilt and concerns.

In the midst of these happenings, Remy retreats into herself and becomes rude to the people who are trying to reach out to her. While I can understand why she sees reason to act so hostile, she doesn't get a pass. She's a dick, too. She pushes them away and distrusts people without trying to be their friends because she made a mistake, which would be its own thing but she acts rude to them because she's scared and hurting which doesn't justify her, it just gives context to her actions. She attacks her sister when she isn't there for her, she tells other people like Tobin how they feel and doesn't communicate properly, and doesn't accept when even Juliet, who isn't trying to kiss her, tries to be friends. Her coping mechanisms? They're realistically poor, she's hurting others to protect herself but she's also not being heard, therefore it's a mess.

The bright side? She does eventually reach her goal of breaking the bad luck for Isaac after she finds one of Mrs.Chastain's family members had also spent time with the Holloway women and may have had some bad luck herself. Lilly Chastain eventually reveals that breaking the rules seems to indeed end in bad luck for the party involved and that Remy's family member sent a letter which contained the page with Lilly's name inscribed. The secret to breaking the bad luck is to remove oneself from the Book of Luck and end the cycle. After which Remy finally feels safe enough to pursue Tobin and apologize for her behaviors (but also he wasn't nice when he wasn't willing to respect some of her boundaries or worries as well, though she did dismiss his feelings and accuse him of wanting to use her, messy messy). From there, the turn around is pretty good. Although Maggie and Remy aren't the same, they are building their relationship back up. Maggie is willing to acknowledge her feelings for Juliet and Isaac finally says sorry for the way he treated Remy and using her. Remy also finally feels comfortable enough to take a chance after all that bad luck. Too bad no one else ever said sorry to Remy for blaming her for Isaac's actions, *sigh*.

All in all, Remy gets her HEA and the bad luck is gone, but the path along the way there is messy and the book is nice but I wish everyone had just been a bit more respectful of each other.

P.S. No, they do not explain the Holloway magic and how it came to be, or who discovered the rules to begin with, just the magic of fiction everyone.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Alba M. (cazadora_libros).
314 reviews113 followers
September 11, 2022
The Holloway Girls is a story that I devoured in just one day.

Remy is the youngest of the Holloway sisters. Last year was her sister Maggie's kissing season, and this coming year will be hers. The Holloway's kisses during their season bring good luck to the recipient, if you follow the rules. You must not have given your heart away to anyone else, or the luck will be bad instead. You can't receive a kiss either: it has to be freely given.

Maggie has kissed a lot of guys and girls during her season, and she's looking forward to Remy having a great kissing season as well. But Remy is not like Maggie. Remy has a crush on Isaac, who has been dating Hannah for years. But lately he's noticed her more. Maybe there's a chance Remy can give her a kiss and the good luck that comes with it.

This is also a story about sisters and the relationship between them, as Remy and Maggie go through a very hard time after Remy feels that Maggie lied to her and went through a hard time.

This story was very original, and I loved that different twist they put on being a "witch". Going into this book and from the synopsis, I was expecting it to be a light teen romance, but this story had much more depth than that. It really focuses on teenage life and how complicated relationships can be at that age.

I love reading books with a touch of magic.

Thanks to Netgalley for the advance copy.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Las chicas Holloway es una historia que devoré en apenas un día.

Remy es la menor de las hermanas Holloway. El año pasado fue la temporada de besos de su hermana Maggie, y este próximo año será la suya. Los besos de las Holloway durante su temporada dan buena suerte a quien los recibe, si sigue las reglas. No debes haber regalado tu corazón a nadie más, o la suerte será mala en su lugar. Tampoco se puede recibir un beso: tiene que ser dado libremente.

Maggie ha besado a muchos chicos y chicas durante su temporada, y está deseando que Remy tenga también una gran temporada de besos. Pero Remy no es como Maggie. Remy está enamorada de Isaac, que lleva años saliendo con Hannah. Pero últimamente se ha fijado más en ella. Tal vez exista la posibilidad de que Remy pueda darle un beso y la buena suerte que conlleva.

Esta es también una historia sobre hermanas y la relación entre ellas, ya que Remy y Maggie pasan por un momento muy duro después de que Remy sienta que Maggie la mintiera y pasara por un momento duro.

Esta historia fue muy original, y me encantó ese toque diferente que le dieron a lo de ser "bruja". Al comenzar este libro y por la sinopsis, esperaba que fuera un romance juvenil ligero, pero esta historia tenía mucha más profundidad que eso. Realmente se centra la vida de los adolescentes y lo complicadas que pueden ser las relaciones a esa edad.

Me encanta leer libros con un toque de magia.

Gracias a Netgalley por la copia anticipada
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,321 reviews18 followers
June 11, 2022
I love magical realism and I love this author’s books. But there’s two ways magical realism can go and sometimes I forget that. Magical realism can be mostly light and fun,the magic being mostly amusing and sometimes and inconvenience to the characters. The other way magical realism can go is heavier, sometimes darker and preventing an actual real problem for the characters. I prefer the former and this book was the latter. I was also kind of assuming this book was the former, so despite it being my favorite genre and an author I really enjoy the story wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. It was so much more serious than I was in the mood for. No fault to the book for that, some might say that’s better because the book had extra depth.

Remy and her sister Maggie are Holloway girls.
There’s magic in the Holloway family.
Each Holloway girl has a “kissing season” and anyone she kisses is given good luck. But there rules to follow. Kisses must be given consensually by both parties. And the Holloway girl doing the kissing cannot kiss someone who is in love with someone else. To do that is to actually cause bad luck for the other person.

Remy’s sister had a blast during her kissing season. She’s excited for Remy’s season to start, even though it is the official end of her own season.

Remy has had a crush on a boy at school for years. He’s been flirting recently, he even broke up with his girlfriend. When Remy’s kissing season begins, he is the first one she kisses. But she learns immediately that his heart still belongs to his ex. And he becomes very very unlucky.

I felt sometimes that Remy took on more than her fair share of guilt because the guy knew the rules too and he essentially tricked her into that kiss. But she felt like she should have known what was going on and that her crush on him blinded her to reality. And she feels very responsible for all the bad luck that follows.

Almost every one her age blames Remy for the guy’s bad luck. It gets really bad. I was frustrated with her parents for not taking her situation seriously enough most of the time. I was also frustrated with her sister Maggie for trying to push Remy to kiss someone new and move beyond it.

Remy wanted to fix the bad luck before kissing anyone else. If she can’t fix it, she won’t kiss anyone until after her season ends.
This gets harder when she meets her new neighbor, he is actually worth her time and attention. He’d do anything he could to prove that he doesn’t care about the magic or worry about being cursed. He’s a good guy and a good character.

I should also add that I’ve never had much interest in Whoopie pies (aka Gobs) but Remy and her mom bake a lot of them in this book and it would make anyone want one.
Profile Image for Asher Dasher.
44 reviews2 followers
March 14, 2022
2.75 Lucky Stars!

So basically, Remy is part of a long line of women that have magical kisses. Each woman in the family has her “season” in which all her kisses become lucky for the recipients. With great power comes great responsibility, which Remy disregards, kissing her crush, knowing it is against the rules.

Now her crush and her season are cursed until further notice. Adamant about not kissing anyone else, Remy tries to figure out how to undo the bad luck. Too bad the new kid in town is just her type and smitten on site.

This concept was interesting and had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, I feel it was underutilized, in favor of focusing on Remy’s angst and inner turmoil. The focus would’ve been better on the history of the magic kisses, the incidents in town, the breakdowns in Remy’s relationships (in detail, not the constant “I’m just going to be mad and not doing anything about it” vibe that was happening). I feel like this was supposed to be light, but it was pretty moody?

Toward the last quarter of the book, I felt like I was reading different versions of the same sentences over and over again and it really dragged. There was a lot of Remy’s thoughts and feelings, but not enough actually happening. Which made her character come off as whiny and melodramatic.

Now to the good, again, great concept! The setting was well done, lots of good visuals given. The neighbor kids were a highlight for sure, well developed and a comedic relief. Good level of snark and sarcasm. The build-up of Remy’s relationship with Tobin was well paced and felt authentic.

Overall this was good, I just wish their was more kissing and less brooding.
Keep in mind this is an ARC and this will not be published for few months, so changes could be made.

Check it out, when it hits shelves, 6/7/22!
A big thanks to the Publisher & NetGalley for gifting me a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

You can find the review for this book and others on my
Tiktok listed under Pickled Ponderings.

Do you like Romance Novels and want to hear more of my musings?
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