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"Leavitt’s sense of place and ability to balance grief with hope make for an entertaining read." —Publishers Weekly
"Holly’s story could almost be a sitcom. But the hilarity is tempered by moments of genuine feeling . . . Readers will root for her as she attempts to preserve her grandfather’s dream while beginning to imagine her own." —The Horn Book Magazine
"Leavitt creates some hilarious scenes . . . while maintaining a serious emotional tone . . . Recommend to readers who enjoy novels that blend light-hearted moments and gravitas." —Booklist
"The Chapel Wars stands alone as a funny, realistic, heartfelt novel that teens of all ages will enjoy." —VOYA
"Payton's alternately sarcastic, snappy, and reflective narration carries this insightful story." —Publishers Weekly on the ALA Best Book for Young Adults Sean Griswold's Head
"Lindsey Leavitt made me want to go vintage. Readers everywhere will identify with this smart and likable heroine, as well as her yearning for a simpler and (seemingly) less complicated time." —Meg Cabot, New York Times bestselling author, on Going Vintage
"Lindsey Leavitt's best book yet. Mallory's voice is addictive! Going Vintage is witty, hilarious, real . . . impossible not to love!" —Becca Fitzpatrick, New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga, on Going Vintage
“With perceptiveness and several fun plot twists, Leavitt's nuanced book is filled with quirky characters that readers will root for and believe in.” —Publishers Weekly on Going Vintage
Posted September 21, 2014
I'm not a big Vegas girl, but I really enjoyed this one. There's more to Vegas than the strip and one big aspect of it is wedding chapels. When Holly's grandpa unexpectedly dies, he wills his chapel to her--that and the big debt associated with it. The Rose of Sharon Chapel is one of the more elegant ones, unlike the tacky chapel next door, owned by her grandpa's enemy. When Holly is asked to deliver a letter to the neighbor's grandson as part of the will, she soon learns that things won't ever be the same. Changes are in store for both the chapel and her personal life.
I loved how Holly used to brains to figure out ways to save the chapel. She got creative and did things that had the long-time secretary frowning in disapproval, but sometimes change is good and in a place like Vegas, change is inevitable. I loved Holly's group of friends--even though they're not the most conventional people, they are loyal and fun. I especially loved the Southern boy, Dax. He's someone who is definitely comfortable in his own skin, but I was a little disappointed in the way he chose to deal with his personal pain.
The story was fun and unique and as always, I really enjoy this author's writing!
Content: some language (mostly mild); mild violence; teen drinking/partying; talk of hooking up, lots of kissing, but not too graphic. Clean.
Posted August 30, 2014
Posted July 18, 2014
Oh... This book was so, so bad. I couldn't even finish it.
First, Holly talks how much she loves her grandpa, but has no real emotion at the funeral for him. Boring from the start, it does not get any better 60 pages in. Transitions were horrific, it goes from her talking about two years ago when she was picking out a coffin with her grandpa, to suddenly the present and she's at his funeral. And of course the villain, who is the rival chapel owner, is a dirty, drunken, vile man.
Posted May 18, 2014
When I heard about this book I was a little weirded out... A YA book about wedding chapels? But then I saw the cover and all that went out the window lol I had to read it regardless of the synopsis. And low and behold I really enjoyed it. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but at the same time, like i said, it's a YA book about wedding chapels....
The Nolan's and the Cranston's work right across from each other in rival wedding chapels in Las Vegas, Nevada.The rivalry starts with Jim Nolan and Victor Cranston and flows back to Holly Nolan (Jim's granddaughter) and Dax (Victor's grandson). Right up until now. Dax and Holly meet at Jim's funeral and as they fall for each other things start to change into something they were never expecting.
Holly is very hard headed. She reminded me a little of myself. Once I get something in my head, I'm going to go all out until I can fix it. And that's what she was like. She knew all the drama that was going on with that chapel and she knew that it was her responsibility. She did everything she could to keep it. Even if it meant doing things she vowed (pun not intended) she'd never do. I really respected that about her. For her to be seventeen, she really was a mature, respectable woman.
As for Dax, I'm not sure how I felt about him exactly. I had found a thousand ways to dislike him, but he found a thousand and one ways to prove to me that he was a god guy. I think it was just his family getting to me. I mean I know he was a realist, but at the same time, he said it in a way that seemed just plain mean. I guess I identified with Holly and her trying to like save it and all, and Dax just seemed like a pessimist there to pop her balloon.
Them together was hilarious though. There are so many laugh out loud moments. Let me just say "Hello Kitty", "Cupid", and Paranormal Paradises with cardboard cutouts of Edward Cullen. Yes all this happens in this book lmao
This was everything I was expecting it NOT to be. And I mean that in the best way possible. With this as my first book by Leavitt, I'm sure it won't be my last. This Rom Com is one I'm sure to be talking about for awhile.
Posted May 7, 2014
"I think living here has taught me to keep my expectations low and to appreciate those moments when life proves you wrong. Or right."
After the loss of her grandfather, Holly learns he's willed her the Vegas wedding chapel he owned, the one she's been working at with him. What she doesn't know is just how badly the chapel is struggling. She's incredibly dedicated to making the chapel succeed; It's like home to her. She feels a strong tie to it and goes to great lengths to try to save it. The major wrench in the works is Dax Cranston, grandson of her grandfather's biggest competition (and enemy, for that matter)! She meets Dax at her grandfather's funeral and is immediately drawn to him. Her grandfather left her a letter and a request to deliver it to Dax, much to her chagrin. She's intrigued by the good-looking guy, but he's the enemy... or is he? They spend some time getting to know each other and neither of them can deny the pull they feel to the other.
"A lot of things end badly. But that doesn't mean you don't start something anyway."
One of the things that I loved most about this book is that it didn't have the "love at first sight" so common in books these days. Sure, there was an interest, a flicker, when they first saw each other, but that's normal. They didn't fall in love in a matter of days or minutes. More than anything, they were drawn together and repeatedly put in each other's paths. They took the time to get to know each other, and even then there was some resistance because of the situation with their families. But neither of them put up too much of a fight. One of my favorite scenes was when Holly took Dax to the Neon Boneyard. I have to say, my own feelings for Vegas more closely mirror Dax's dislike for the fakeness than Holly's love of nearly everything about it, but the Neon Boneyard is the one exception for me. I loved everything about that place. The history, the feeling, everything. Lindsay captured it all so well in this book. It made me want to go back to Vegas – words I never thought I'd think, let alone type. This book focused a lot on "old Vegas" and I really liked that.
"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 what he was doing, like there was a satellite in our hearts."
As the competition between the chapels heats up and the mortgage payment deadline nears, Holly and Dax's relationship is also coming into its own. I adored these two together. They had a sweet, innocent "first love" vibe that was perfectly charming, and perfect for this book. What they shared had developed over time and under some tough circumstances and I couldn't help but root for them. They were so great on their own, but they were that much better together. Could it ever work between them? I hoped so.
"I would date Dax. I would save the chapel. It wasn't an either-or for me. I wanted an and."
"Really, numbers girl. You couldn't count all the ways you have my heart."
I love-love-loved Holly. She was a great, strong, determined and smart girl. She was loyal to her friends and family and she had a great relationship with both. She didn't rely on a guy or anyone else to save her. She had an incredible business-sense for a 16 year old and I hoped with all I had she could save the chapel (and her family) and get the guy in the end. I love a strong heroine and Holly certainly fell into that category. Dax was such a sweet guy, but he wasn't perfect. He had some issues with alcohol and his family life wasn't at all like Holly's. He made mistakes and I wanted to shake some sense into him at times, but he was so sincere and honest – so real – that I couldn't help but like him.
"Maybe happy isn't forever. Maybe it's just moments, and you save them up and hold on for all the in-betweens."
The Chapel Wars was a great young adult contemporary read. It was so much more than a romance and so much more than what I was expecting, which was a fun and charming novel. This story had some drama and a wee bit of angst, but it just served to make the story more believable. It was never too much for me. The characters were real and easy to love – right down to the secondary characters of Sam, Camille and Donna, the romance was sweet and the focus on family was something you don't see in many young adult novels, but it's what really sealed the deal for me. This was a book I read cover to cover without any desire to put it down because I was that hooked on the story and these fantastic characters. It's high on my list of favorite young adult books of the year, so far. I have a feeling it will remain there, too.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. All quotes come from the review copy and may differ from the final version.
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