18594377The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: ALAMW2014
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Acclaimed author Lindsey Leavitt brings her trademark heart, humor, and romance to her hometown–Vegas


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.– Goodreads

Review:

This book is so cute. Super cute even. Even though the book starts off with something that is generally considered to be morbid and depressing, this book isn’t. Even Holly’s view on her grandfather’s death is taken with a bit of humor. While Holly is at a loss of what to do when her grandfather dies, she handles it with humor because that is how she faces the world. This means, within the first 30 pages, I related to Holly. I’m the same way. No matter what happens in the world I tend to tackle it with humor. Yes, even the most awkward and painful moments, I’m the person who makes the cringe worthy moments with humor.

Then at the funeral Holly meets Dax. Dax who is the grandson of the rival wedding chapel. Although this is Las Vegas and there are tons of wedding chapels, this is the one that shares the parking lot while Holly’s wedding chapel. Oh so Romeo and Juliet of them, and Leavitt, I know. It works though. There is a spark. A spark and snark. It’s the perfect little combo, to me at least.

What also helps The Chapel Wars is the cast of characters that is included throughout the novel. Not just Holly and Dax, but also the people in Holly’s life. Her grandfather’s right hand woman, Donna was a hoot; even in moments she was meant to be serious.

“Two of my alpacas, Milton and Clarabelle, were depressed today. I shouldn’t have broken the news about Jim. He always brought them treats.”–pg 40 of paperback ARC.

Comments like that makes me want to be friends with Donna, because friends like that, people who stick by you through thick and thin, even though they are a bit kooky are worth it. And Donna is worth it, she helps Holly throughout the novel. While she finds it crazy that Holly is in charge, she doesn’t really care, and just wants to help Holly succeed. Which is almost next to impossible as the Chapel is floundering. Through growing up, dates with Dax (in which there is BANTER! SPORTS BANTER! Girls can know football! Mind blowing!) Holly tries. She tries to succeed, but also be a teenager, which is never the easiest thing.

Through use of pop culture (which will hold up years from now), relate-able characters and a solid book Leavitt reminds you of first loves in city that people often forget people even live. A perfect summer read.