The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt
The Skinny: 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. – From Goodreads
BFF?: Holly was adorable. I find that I rarely say that about characters like her though. She’s more of a logical, over-thinking, realistic, tomboy of a girl and that’s often times just not me. Granted… I do over-think stuff, but not so much that I’m completely jaded like she is. But what makes her adorable is her tenacity. When her grandfather dies and leaves her the chapel, I think most teens would give up after a few weeks – I know I would have! – but Holly soldiers on. She has a real knack for business, which is surprising and refreshing given her age, but enough courage to buck her grandfather’s traditions and opinions on Vegas wedding chapels and do the things that bring in money, which will help save the chapel. But under all these good things Holly is dealing with some pretty heavy emotions and I think uses the failing chapel as an outlet for them… and as a way to ignore dealing with them. She was just a really fun character to me, energetic, driven, and adorable.
Readability: Lindsey Leavitt writes awesome. That’s it.
Crush Level: 8
There’s really only one reason Dax gets an 8: He’s an Alabama fan. Roll Tide! Okay, seriously, there’s more to him than that. He was this displaced Southern boy from Alabama who was a little messed up but overall super sweet, polite, and really laid back. Honestly, he is totally the type of guy I was into in college. Fratty. He wears salmon colored pants for crying out loud. Seriously, he must be a dream boat. We joked about him for SC while trying to figure out what he looks like. I told them I’d be happy to go over to campus real quick; that type of boy is a dime a dozen here. ANYway… those things aside, Dax was just a good kind of guy. He had this silly dry sense of humor that left me giggling more than was appropriate (look, I told you… college dream boat). But I think what I liked about him best was his intense family loyalty, going so far as to dress in costume to help out his grandfather’s wedding chapel. It was very sweet and made him totally endearing to me.
The University of Alabama
I know it kinda gets poo-pooed in the book but when you’re as awesome as we are you’re bound to have some enemies. And it’s not even so much enemies that were apparent in the book; I think with any popular thing – be it person, team, item, etc. – you’re going to have people who dislike it just because it’s popular. ANYway… as a UA grad and big time fan it was nice to see my Alma mater playing such a significant role in this book. Which brings me to my next bonus point…
2012 SEC Championship
Holly and Dax go out to dinner and this game is on. Now, as a football fan, especially one from the South, you remember awesome years like this one. We not only beat LSU (side note: I LOATHE LSU and we can lose every game (including Auburn) but if we win this one I am satisfied with our season) but we annihilated Auburn (49-0) and then, in this game, kicked UGA’s ass. Ahhh memories!
I LOVED reading about all the different weddings people had in this book! Granted, I think it’s a little hokey to have a cowboy or Elvis or vampire themed wedding, but that didn’t make them any less fun to read!
This plays like a 3 second part of the book but Holly basically cocooned – stayed in bed under the covers – and had a TV marathon. I actually did this on my sofa yesterday and watched 30 Rock. Good times.
MTV Singled Out
I squealed when I saw this reference. It’s not an obvious one and pretty sure the only people who will get it are people like me, in their 30s-40s, who watched this show religiously when it came on. Regardless, it was such a fun moment in the book!
Commencement Speech: Lindsey Leavitt sealed the deal with this one. I will officially read anything she writes. I’m so excited we get to work with her for Selective Collective, but honestly… I would have read this one anyway because she writes such cute and fun books with tons of heart. I don’t want to write a long commencement speech for this one because I’m very close to getting gushy about this book. Just read it. You’ll love it, I promise.
Yearbook Quote: None! ARC!
Superlatives – Most likely to be going to get maaaarrrieeed!
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