May 22, 2014

Review: The Chapel Wars

I absolutely adore Leavitt's writing. The moment I see a book with her name on it, I pick it up. I know that by book's end I am going to feel good about life—and I'm going to read a solid story.

Her latest novel is no exception. I mean, look at that cover. It screams, “Pick me up! I look awesome!!!”

Title: ‘The Chapel Wars’
Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Pages: 304
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Available: NOW at your local library/book store
Source: Netgalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

My Thoughts:

First, let me say that this novel's plot is clever, on all levels. It's 'Romeo & Juliet, Vegas Edition' (without the suicides at the end).

With that out of the way, let me say that I absolutely adored Holly and Dax as characters. I really wanted to be their best friends because throughout the novel, I felt like I was their #1 cheerleader.

I was also rooting for both wedding chapels. Back when I was engaged, we had discussed going to Vegas and getting hitched at one of these places, so even before I opened the book I felt invested within the story.

For the plot, Leavitt gives readers a solid love story of not just two souls but with all characters. Each character has his/her own love story—and they are tied to the chapels in one way or the other. Friends were born here. Love. Memories. These are things that connect us all as humans, and it is what makes Leavitt's story worthy of your time.

Holly fights for all of this. She has lost her grandfather; her parents have lost their marriage; she cannot fail now. She needs to use her business savvy knowledge to help save this chapel. And let me tell you, Holly goes all out.

First, she is sixteen, and she has more business knowledge than most adults I know. Of course, if someone grows up in a business, this is usually not unusual. But the one thing she understands is that she has to give customers what they want; otherwise, why would anyone come to the chapel.

And then there is the problem of Dax. Well...Dax isn't a problem more than, well, no, he IS a problem. He is a problem for Holly's heart. He is the grandson of the enemy; the one that Holly's family despises the most. (Sound familiar?) But she wants what her heart wants, and it is beating for Dax.

Luckily for her it is reciprocal.

This novel is a journey into friendship, into love, into saving one's legacy. But it is more than that. It is a tale of life—of discovery. The one lesson Holly seems to be missing throughout the novel and through her efforts of saving the chapel is this: what does Holly want? She is only sixteen. She does have a life ahead of her. She can take control and change destiny.

Do I recommend this book?

Enthusiastically!!! If you've never read a Lindsey Leavitt novel, you need to rectify that immediately. Her style and storytelling are approachable for readers of all levels.

She is especially great for readers of Stephanie Perkins and Elizabeth Eulberg. I always seem to group them together because when I close one of their books, I always have the feels of happiness.

What's the best novel you've read lately? Share below!

Happy Reading!

-      The Hodgenator

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