{Blog Tour} Review+Giveaway: Holly Hearts Hollywood

Friday, September 26, 2014
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Title: Holly Hearts Hollywood
Author: Kenley Conrad
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:
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?

My Thoughts

At first, I was disappointed to see that there wasn’t much music-related scenes, but being able to read what it’s like to be in the Hollywood scene was amazing.  As the novel progressed, I found myself wanting to keep on reading. I especially like how Holly’s thoughts were written through a journal. It makes me feel more connected with her, maybe it’s because you don’t let others read your journal because it’s really personal.

Holly was very relatable for me because she was stuck in between both worlds. She doesn’t know if she should hang out with the interns because she’s not really an intern or with the famous ones because she’s not a celebrity either. She’s a person who has low self-confidence, and is afraid of other people’s judgements towards her. She’s always afraid on how she’ll fit in and all that stuff. I totally found myself in her. Moreover, she struggles with her feelings (especially love) and with some issues in her family.  It was great seeing her being able to balance all these things well. Besides, I love how she hyperventilates and rants. It was really adorable and cute. Although, there were some times that I was annoyed at her because of the decisions she makes. It also made me sad that she doesn’t keep in touch that much with her friends back in Cedar Junction.

Serena, one of Holly’s celebrity friends, was amazing. She was a fun person to be with, and she complemented Holly’s personality. The two of them can be a great dynamic duo. It was just sad that she didn’t appear that much in the latter part of the book. I found something fishy with Keller from the start, so I felt indifferent, but it was cute seeing the first few interactions between Keller and Holly.

Grayson was another story. Until now, I don’t know if I’m going to like him or not. His decisions are confusing, and some of it aren’t what I typically think or see from stories, which I’m glad for. Even though he’s a celebrity, I find that he’s still a teenager despite all that fame, who still struggles with all the things that surround him. Among all the characters, I think Lacey was the one who took the complete 360 degree turn. Lacey and Holly’s friendship was really weird, but I liked how it progressed as the story continued to unfold.

Despite all these, I think some parts could have been intensified more, or maybe I’m just not used to reading light stories anymore. Nevertheless, Holly Hearts Hollywood is a nice, easy and light read that is about finding oneself and learning how to break out of one’s shell. I can’t wait for the next book (I hope there will be one!) because it kind of ended cliffhanging. Phew! Oh, and I absolutely love the cover; it’s simple but it’s so pretty to look at!

My Rating

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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