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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First Loves Blog Tour

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I was asked by the lovely people at Bloomsbury if I wanted to join the First Loves Blog Tour which celebrates 5 incredible authors and their 2014 book releases. Basically the answer was duh and so you have today’s post. I was able to ask all 5 lovely ladies one question for them to answer. After spending some time thinking about it and reading up on each book I started to think about travel and how everyone loves to travel or has a vacation spot they love. And from this line of thinking I came up with my question for this authors:

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About The Chapel Wars:
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.

hawaiiANSWER: HAWAII. My dad was born in Honolulu, and my parents visit at least twice a year. I always thought it was weird they went there instead of exploring the world, but I went there to do some book research/relax last summer. We took a helicopter tour of Kauai and I thought, yeah. This is it. All I need is Hawaii.
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About Open Road Summer:
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

?????????????????????????????????????????????ANSWER: The UK! My dad’s from England, and a lot of our family is still there. So, I’d get to see them more often and eat fish and chips, heavy on the vinegar. I could watch soccer at White Hart Lane, drink great beer, prowl book shops, take in the impossible greenness of The Cotswolds, stand on the coastline at the Cliffs of Dover. Plus, ya know, there’s so much literary tourism in the UK 😉

My REVIEW

 

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About Wish You Were Italian:
Pippa has always wanted to go to Italy … but not by herself. And certainly not to sit in art school the entire summer learning about dead guys’ paintings. When she steps off the plane in Rome, she realizes that traveling solo gives her the freedom to do whatever she wants. So it’s arrivederci, boring art program and ciao, hot Italian guys!

Charming, daring, and romantic, Bruno is just the Italian Pippa’s looking for—except she keeps running into cute American archeology student Darren everywhere she goes. Pippa may be determined to fall in love with an Italian guy … but the electricity she feels with Darren says her heart might have other plans. Can Pippa figure out her feelings before her parents discover she left the program and—even worse—she loses her chance at love?

italyANSWER: The Cinque Terre, Italy. Surprise! My love for this portion of the Italian Riviera is why I chose it as the setting of Wish You Were Italian. The views of crystal blue water from cliff side trails are unlike any I’ve seen, the food is fresh and full of local flavors, the atmosphere is calming. It’s a dream to rent an apartment in one of the villages for a month or so to write, paint, hike, and most importantly, eat gelato twice a day.

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About Searching for Sky:
Sky and River have always lived on Island, the only world they’ve ever known. Until the day River spots a boat. Across Ocean, in a place called California, Sky is separated from River and forced to live with a grandmother she’s just met. Here the rules for survival are different. People rely on strange things like cars and cell phones. They keep secrets from one another. And without River, nothing makes sense. Sky yearns for her old life where she was strong and capable, not lost and confused. She must find River so they can return to Island, but the truth behind how they ended up there in the first place will come as the biggest shock of all.

phillyANSWER: I know how my character Sky in Searching for Sky would answer this question. She would return to Island, of course, which is the small deserted island in the South Pacific where she grew up, before she was rescued and taken back to California. She would want to go back there because it feels safe for her and it feels like home, unlike our modern world which is scary and filled with things she doesn’t understand. Like Sky, I always tend to like the feeling of “home” rather than the feeling of vacation, and I think the best trips are ones when I get to spend time with family. For that reason, I would say Philadelphia, which is where I grew up and where much of my family still lives. If we’re talking about purely relaxing, though, I would say the beach – any beach, anywhere. There’s nothing better than lying on the beach reading a great book!

 

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About Fool Me Twice:
Mackenzie and Landon were the perfect couple . . . until he dumped her and broke her heart. Fast-forward a year and they’re back where they first met—Serenity Ranch and Spa, where they are once again working together for the summer. Talk about awkward.

Then, Landon takes a nasty fall and gets amnesia. Suddenly, he’s stuck in the past—literally. His most recent memory is of last summer, when he and Mack were still together, so now he’s calling her pet names and hanging all over her. It’s the perfect chance for revenge. The plan is simple: keep Landon at arm’s length, manipulate him so he’s the one falling love, and then BAM, dump him. There’s just one problem: Mack can’t fall for Landon all over again.

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ANSWER: This answer would be SO EASY if I was not a parent-I absolutely love and adore Las Vegas and try to go as often as I can. But since I have a young daughter, I’d have to go with a family location-we take her to California once a year. Her excitement caliand enthusiasm makes everything that much more fun! Even just riding in the shuttle from the parking lots to the airport is exciting to her.

 

 

Special thanks to all 5 of these authors for taking the time to answer my question and Bloomsbury for asking and putting this together.

*Images found on Google and Goodreads and do not belong to me.

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