Review: The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt

The Chapel WarsThe Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt

Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Page Count: 304
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: eArc received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis 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 she 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.

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I'm always in the mood for a really great contemporary book. One that can easily put a smile on my face and leave me with warm and fuzzy feelings. The Chapel Wars fit that bill perfectly! I'm still smiling while writing this because it was oh so freaking cute.

I found Holly to be likable and interesting, and I thought her views were wildly entertaining. When Holly's Grandpa Jim dies unexpectedly, he leaves Holly his beloved wedding chapel. Holly has extreme love for the chapel because of her grandpa, but it is in serious financial trouble and Holly must come up with the money to save it in a short amount of time. Holly has a tough time deciding to do what's right for the business as opposed to what is best for her entire family, who all happen to work at the chapel. Holly needs to figure out not only the chapel's future, but more importantly, her own future. It's a strange struggle to see a 17 year old go through, but I thought it was handled realistically.

While part of me loved Dax (and his accent!) because he was sweet and swoony, I thought he made a lot of terrible decisions that kept him from being too perfect, and I was okay with that. He and Holly developed a super sweet, cute, and squeaky clean romance that was beyond adorable. I loved their quirky conversations and their unusual 'dates'. All the uncertainty between them added a bit of drama and emotion to the story. Both of them were dealing with grief and their family's feud, and I loved that they were able to work through their issues realistically. Even though their relationship was a little bit complicated, I thought they made sense as a couple.

The entire book was filled with likable and believable characters with terrific qualities. Even though we never got to meet Grandpa Jim, we learn a lot about him throughout the book from the other characters. Holly has a lot of friends, mostly boys, and I loved the dynamics between them. They were a hoot and added a lot of comedic entertainment to the story. I totally adored Holly's younger brother, James, and I really wanted to grab him and give him a big hug!

I've never been to Las Vegas. I've thought about visiting in a vague sort of 'someday' way, but I've never felt the need to actually go there. I liked the way that Las Vegas came to life with Holly as our guide. I'm sure most visitors don't wander off the Strip long enough to see the outskirts, but that was where this story took place. I'm glad I had a little peek of what it's like behind the scenes, so to speak.

This is a very well written and heartwarming story full of U2 quotes and Elvis impersonators that definitely falls into the 'fun' category. I highly recommend The Chapel Wars, especially if you read and loved Going Vintage. Or if you loved The Chapel Wars, I also recommend reading Going Vintage. Chances are you'll love them both!

The Chapel Wars was just what I needed to read right now. While there are a few heavy moments interspersed throughout, it has enough humor, fun witty banter, romance, and cuteness to make it very enjoyable.

My rating: 4+ of 5 stars
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3 comments:

  1. Now this sounds really adorable! I generally love this author's books so I'll be sure to check it out.

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    Replies
    1. It is pretty adorable and a great contemporary. I enjoyed it just as much as Going Vintage. I hope you get the chance to read it soon.

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  2. Ohhh you should totally go to Vegas! It's so much fun. I feel like no matter what age you are (unless maybe you're under 21) that you'll be able to have a good time and find something awesome to do!
    I really enjoyed this book too! I just love Lindsey Leavitt's crafting. She spins a great plot and she always has amazing characters and families. So glad you loved it!

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