Monday, May 5, 2014

{ARC Review} The Chapel Wars By: Lindsey Leavitt

Title: The Chapel Wars
Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Shelves: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: May 6th, 2014
Source: Bloomsbury USA Childrens for review
Format: Physical ARC

Synopsis: Love is never easy, and it seems to only become harder when you're the seventeen year-old owner of a wedding chapel. After the death of her beloved grandfather, Holly inherits the family business- a quaint wedding chapel in one of the most romantic cities in the nation; Las Vegas. Soon, Holly finds herself struggling to keep her chapel in business while denying that she's falling for Dax- grandson of Holly's grandfather's worst enemy; who just so happens to be the owner of a rival chapel. Will Holly lose her chapel or her first true love? After all, all's fair in love and chapel war.

Review: First, a HUGE thank you to Bloomsbury USA Childrens for sending me this galley for review! The Chapel Wars is such an adorable contemporary novel with a really sweet premise that stems from an original idea. But I have to say that what first drew me into this book was the author: Lindsey Leavitt. I ABSOLUTELY ADORED Lindsey's other novels, including the Princess for Hire series and her standalone, Going Vintage. I've always thought of Lindsey as an excellent contemporary romance writer and she did not disappoint in The Chapel Wars.

Writing/Romance: I'd like to applause the writing and romance in this novel first, as it was one of the things that I enjoyed most. Lindsey Leavitt brings her signature charm and bubbly sass in her writing. I loved the way that Lindsey gave Holly's view of Las Vegas an almost vintage feel- making it easier for me to connect to an otherwise reputably distant place. I've never actually been to Vegas before,  but the suburban side of this flashy city was brought out in The Chapel Wars, which I really loved! Now when we speak about the romance, I have one word: ADORABLE. There couldn't be a cuter couple found in Vegas. Although this relationship's wonderful reputation is more than partly due to Dax, I still found their banter and playfulness so so sweet. 

Characters: Now here's where my review falls down to 3.5 stars. Holly was a great character, but she was hard to relate to in many ways. For one, I found it completely unbelievable that she could be given the freedom of a 25 year-old at the age of 17. Even though she seemed like a very mature and capable girl, the lack of Holly's parent's supervision and lack of opposition towards anything she did seemed kind of unbelievable to me. The only time Holly's parents were really present was during scenes that involved the chapel. It would have been nice to see the parents of a teenaged girl more involved in their daughter's life. Holly also became a bit distant for me when I realized that most of her thoughts were trained on her chapel. At 17, Holly should have been thinking of school or even of other possible hobbies. Instead, the concept of school was discussed very briefly and dismissed very quickly. What could have been a possible alteration and therefore solution to this problem would be to change Holly's age. Although it could have possibly put The Chapel Wars out of the Young Adult genre, I felt like it would have been more appropriate for Holly's character to be in her twenties.

Conclusion: The Chapel Wars is worth a read. And on the other hand, Lindsey Leavitt's other novels are worth MORE reads as well. For those of you who do pick up The Chapel Wars and reads my review, let me know what you think! :)

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