Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: Holly Hearts Hollywood by Kenley Conrad (Tour Stop)

Holly Hearts Hollywood
Release Date: 09/23/14
Swoon Romance

Seventeen-year-old Holly Hart wants to be a star. She moves to Los Angeles from the small town of Cedar Junction, only to hear she’s too fat and ugly to be a famous singer.

But when Shell Shocked Records looks past Holly’s plus-size and less-than-graceful-personality to offer her a recording contract, Holly cannot believe her good fortune. On closer inspection, however, the record execs want Holly to do all the singing, and a thinner and more beautiful girl, Lacey, would lip-sync and get all the credit. Holly goes for it because after all, she wanted to sing.

Contractually bound to secrecy, Holly is more than happy to sit backstage while Lacey shimmies in the limelight and basks in the fame. Before she knows it, Holly is friends with Serena, the pop-star daughter of a music-mogul, flirting with an intern, and developing a strange half-friendship with Lacey.

When Grayson Frost, the biggest country star in America, and coincidentally, a former school bully begins dating Lacey, Holly hopes that he won’t recognize or torment her.

Through a series of embarrassing and weird events, Holly gets to know Grayson and learns that he is much nicer and more mature than he was four years ago. Holly is horrified when she starts falling for him. When Grayson admits he fell for Lacey's voice, what is a girl to do when she can’t legally tell the truth at the moment when the truth matters the most?

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About the Author
I'm the author of the upcoming YA series Holly Hearts Hollywood, coming September 2014 by Swoon Romance. I'm a twenty-something cat lady who lives in Phoenix, Arizona. When I'm not working my office day job or writing books, you can find me either singing and dancing or binge-watching TV shows on Netflix.

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My Rating


My Review

It took me a little bit to really get into Holly Hearts Hollywood, but once I did, I couldn't stop. The novel is a light read that a variety of YA fans will completely devour. It's funny, fabulous, and all around an enjoyable read.

I loved the POV of the novel and how it was told. The diary-style entries really allow the reader to connect with the main character, and it was so refreshing to have them be realistic, as Holly actually comments on the time she takes to write everything down. Not to mention, Holly has a wonderful voice. She isn't perfect, and she definitely isn't the average character, but this just makes her easier to relate to. She has such a strong personality that really shines through the writing, and she behaves and talks like a teenage girl  - which is always nice.

The rest of the characters were just as strong, and I loved the complexity behind them. I ended up changing my mind about some characters multiple times before their true colors really showed through. Grayson is a total heartthrob, and if he were an actual celebrity, I would most definitely be a fan. (And I don't like country music. I vote showtunes.) Although Amanda and Meredith were not in the majority of the novel, I thought that their relationship and personalities could steal the show. This novel definitely contains some unforgettable characters, and I can't think of one that wasn't well developed.

Some parts of Holly Hearts Hollywood may be a bit stereotypical, but any cliches are immediately forgiven by the humor or some swoon-worthy thing that Grayson does. (I can't stay mad at him.) Between that and Holly's voice, the pages really do keep turning. It definitely wasn't my intention, but I nearly finished the novel in one sitting.

I think that Holly Hearts Hollywood is a wonderful YA contemporary, and a fantastic start to a series. I love the characters and the concept, and the ending left me desperately begging for more.


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