Review: The Chapel Wars – Lindsey Leavitt

Review: The Chapel Wars – Lindsey LeavittThe Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Published: May 6th 2014
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Sixteen-year-old Holly wants to remember her Grandpa forever, but she’d rather forget what he left her in his will: his wedding chapel on the Las Vegas strip. Whatever happened to gold watches, savings bonds, or some normal inheritance?

And then there's Grandpa's letter. Not only is Holly running the business with her recently divorced parents, but she needs to make some serious money—fast. Grandpa also insists Holly reach out to Dax, the grandson of her family's mortal enemy and owner of the cheesy chapel next door. No matter how cute Dax is, Holly needs to stay focused: on her group of guy friends, her disjointed family, work, school and... Dax. No wait, not Dax.

Holly’s chapel represents everything she’s ever loved in her past. Dax might be everything she could ever love in the future. But as for right now, there's a wedding chapel to save.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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The thing I like about Lindsey Leavitt is her ability to write a cute story but to layer it with something serious. She did it with Sean Griswold’s Head, Going Vintage, and once again with The Chapel Wars. Don’t get me wrong, the story isn’t filled with fluff or made to be over the top serious. Leavitt makes it balance in a way that makes her writing enjoyable and a good experience. And although I loved the first 60% of The Chapel Wars more than the last 40%, she definitely delivered in what I have come to expect from her books.

The Chapel Wars is a story that takes place in Las Vegas and involves two feuding wedding chapels and a Romeo and Juliette style romance. It’s told from the point of view of Holly, a 17 year old girl grieving after the loss of her grandfather and her inheritance of his financially challenged wedding chapel. Holly loves to work at finding solutions to problems and right now she has a huge problem. She needs money and she needs it fast. But bringing in new clients isn’t so easy when you are sharing a parking lot with your family’s long standing enemy and fellow wedding chapel owner. But when Holly is forced to interact with the enemy’s grandson and a spark ignites Holly may just find herself in a situation you can’t fix leaving the chapel the least of her problems.

I really loved the whole Romeo and Juliette aspect of this story. I know it has been done a hundred times over, but there is something about the forbidden that appeals to me. Holly and Dax were kind of perfect for this kind of relationship. Dax with his southern charm and good looks and Holly with her closed off emotions and her controlling nature. Something about these two characters just clicked and sparked right off the bat and I loved it. I didn’t love Holly so much on her own, but with Dax she was interesting and unsure and let go of her control which was nice. And Dax was just too adorable to not like. At the end of the book things got wonky and forced, but I’m holding on to that beginning because it made me smile.

What I really didn’t like about the ending part of the book was all that went on with Holly’s family and Dax’s family that was just pushed under the rug. There were a lot of small things mentioned that I just didn’t think got any closure or much explanation and that kind of bugged me. I could have been reading into things that weren’t there, but I was dissatisfied with some pay off I was hoping for in some of the side stories. I also wasn’t a huge fan of Holly’s family. They bugged me a lot and showed not much support which bugged me even more.

All in all this was a quick read that entertained me and kept me reading late so I could finish. It was written well and had some interesting characters that sparked my liking. It wasn’t as good as Sean Griswold’s Head, but it just another way to showcase Leavitt’s talent and I’m happy I read it.

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seangriswold  goingvintage

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