Sunday, May 11, 2014

Review: THE CHAPEL WARS by Lindsey Leavitt

Title: The Chapel Wars
Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Publication date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury

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.

First line: Inheritance.

Oh, Lindsey. She never fails me. If you ever want a cute, fun book GO TO HER. When life, school, and the future stresses me out way more than usual, I don't want a book that will stress me out further with issues. I don't want one that's depressing. I want THIS kind of book. Sure, the protagonist has problems (every book should be like that), but it's still enjoyable. It's like cold, sweet ice cream on a hot day, the fluff you need in your hard life. 
Before I read The Chapel Wars:
After I read The Chapel Wars

What this book had going was Holly. And Dax. And the dead grandpa. Basically, the characters. Dead grandpa, say what? Well, the whole book is about how Holly's grandpa dies and leaves her his beloved chapel in his will, much to everyone's surprise (and everyone else's disappointment). However, despite him being dead, I absolutely loved him. I think he would be someone I would love to know and be around. While he has his issues, like everyone, through Holly's narration and implications throughout the book, the grandpa seemed like a fun, lovable guy. His personality shined through despite him never actually showing up in the book besides the funeral

Then we have Holly and Dax. Holly's narration captured my interest from the start. Leavitt always creates interesting narrations that I never get tired of reading. Holly is caught in a Romeo & Juliet-type of situation and a what-am-I-going-to-do situation, and I cheered her on the entire time. She needed to figure out what she needed and even truly wanted. Her determination was admirable, but I felt like if she could've heard me, I would have encouraged her to really think about what she wants in life. Do you really want the chapel? Do you really want to keep going the way you are? Do you really want to push the adorable Dax away? I THINK NOT. I loved watching her grow, her spunk and humor making me love her even more, and the complications surrounding her making her life even more interesting to read about.

And we have Dax, the cute guy next door, who has so many problems of his own. Family problems, personal problems, oh, those stupid problems. At a couple points, I actually wanted them to split up because I thought Dax was striking out in the what-to-look-for-in-a-good-mate department. However, he did win me over. Charming, witty, and good looking. Hello. 

The conclusion was, for me, a great way to end. It wasn't entirely predictable and cliche. It wasn't neatly wrapped up and a cheesy Disney Channel movie ending. Personally, I considered it to be enjoyable and even refreshing. 

Family, love, humor, and good old Las Vegas came through in this one, making it a delightful read in a not-so-fun time for me. 

Verdict: This can be called the opposite of disappointment.

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there! Biological, foster, adoptive, stepmothers, "second" mothers, and grandmothers. You matter. 

Happy Mama's Day to the best one out there!


  1. I've enjoyed Lindsey's humor in her previous books, but her last book Going Vintage sort of fell short for me. Nice to see you enjoyed this, Summer. Great review! :)

    1. Aw, really? I actually liked Going Vintage the most!

  2. Ugh, I'm totally the odd one out on this book. There were parts I liked, but for the most part, it disappointed me. :-\

  3. Lindsey Leavitt does "cute" better than almost anyone, and I'm glad to hear her fun writing alleviated a little of your stress. This book is my favorite of her YA novels (surprisingly, considering I don't usually read MG, her Princess for Hire trilogy might have it beat by a little). The characters really are fantastic, and I loved the creative way she tested the romance. I need more Lindsey Leavitt books ASAP.

    1. I actually haven't read Princess for Hire yet (probably because of the MG aspect), but now I know I need to even more. AGREED

  4. Oh this book sounds utterly adorable Summer! I own two of Leavitt's previous books and not ready any of them, I know an epic fail on my part, but this book sounds perfect for the Summer and like something I would thoroughly enjoy, you have so convinced me to buy a copy. Also your gifs for your reviews are always perfect!

  5. I'm so glad that you enjoyed The Chapel Wars! It was my first Leavitt book, and I thought it was cute + really fun. I really enjoyed the whole romance bit, as well as Holly's friendships and family, even though I do feel like I wish there'd been a little more.

  6. This is my second book by Lindsey, and I agree, she gets it right. I adored this novel even more than Going Vintage, though, and I think it's because of the dead grandpa. Is that weird? But you're right, he really does shine through in every page. Plus, Holly and Dax and the will they, won't they bit. Loved it. Great review, Summer!