Happy First Advent! What better way to get into the Christmas season than with holiday-day themed books? So I picked up Decked With Holly by Marni Bates to get into the mood. It was a little less Christmassy than I had expected because one of the main characters, Holly, is of Jewish descent, so Christmas wasn’t exactly a holiday that she celebrates. Still, the story takes place over Christmas and with all the cuteness overflowing from it, it’s sure to be a book that gives all warm and fuzzy feels. It’s also a very entertaining one that will fill a slow afternoon over the holidays.
Holly Dayton is about to go way out of her comfort zone…
Spending Christmas vacation on a cruise with her two cousins from hell isn’t Holly’s idea of a good time. And when in a moment of seasick-fueled desperation she lurches into an open suite–she’s greeted with an eyeful of pepper spray. The culprit? A gorgeous guy calling himself Nick. But when Holly goes to make her exit, she gets the shock of her life: a corridor crammed with screaming teenage fans. Because Nick just happens to be Dominic Wyatt, drummer for ReadySet–one of the hottest bands in America.
Suddenly rumors are swirling, and Holly’s face is captured on countless phones and plastered all over the Internet. But the band can’t risk a scandal destroying their family-friendly image, so Dominic convinces Holly to be his fake girlfriend–just for two weeks. How bad could it be to be fauxmantically involved with one of the cutest rockstars on the planet? Holly’s about to find out…
Decked With Holly is told from dual points of view: Holly and Dominic, aka as Nick or Don, depending on who you are. Actually, everyone knows him as Holly. Only Holly knows him as Nick, as a result of his attempt to keep his identity private. Ironically, Dominic is from this band ReadySet which also happens to be Holly’s favourite band. As the drummer though, he didn’t get as much of her attention until they bumped into each other on a cruise. Or rather, until she accidentally broke into his suite’s bathroom. Clearly this book is riddled with incredulous events but they are what makes this such a hilarious book as well.
I’m not sure if I liked Holly all that much or if I even could get round to the dynamics of her family. Both her parents died in a car crash, so her grandfather mostly raised her. Though this also meant that she was always in the close vicinity of her mean aunt and cousins who have very vicious tongues that never fail to direct insults at her. As for Dom, well, he was looking for a much needed break. He didn’t get that. Instead he ends up forced into pretending to be in a relationship with Holly in order to salvage his band’s image.
Those looking for a humorous and light read that is tinged with romance, then Decked With Holly will not disappoint. There are a myriad of laugh-out-loud moments. For a contemporary book though, I think it must be read with an extreme suspension of disbelief and be taken with a huge helping of many grains of salt. The realism really is outrageous. Then again, apparently reality is sometimes so unbelievable, if used in fiction, it comes across as unrealistic. Either way, yes, forget about how the world tends to operate, allow for fairy tale endings.
The style of writing was very fitting and I think it’s mostly because of that that I was still able to enjoy reading the book. I know that I do end up looking for light reads a lot of the time but then end up disappointed because I thought those books ended up pretty shallow. In this case, I’d say the humour made up for the shallowness. The humour and the feel good mood of it all in the end.