Cover Image: Holly Banks Full of Angst

Holly Banks Full of Angst

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Member Reviews

I am a sucker for mom books. This one sounded perfect for me. A mom who misses the school bus in the morning on her only child's first day of Kindergarten? Check! A mom who drops her kids off wearing embarrassing pajamas? Well, I just picked up my kids lunch wearing my PJ's, so CHECK! Can't get your kid to stop sucking her thumb? Mine sucks on her first 2 fingers, so check and check on that one. Feeling like your husband is having an affair? Well...not anymore. He's house-bound thanks to the pandemic, so that one I cannot relate to, but I've been there before. A crazy mom you have to take care of? Not to the same degree as Holly, but yes!

When the story was focused on Holly and trying to fit in with the mom's in her new neighborhood, I really enjoyed it. I related to it and chuckled at the stories of having a million clipboards to sign up with the PTA. I have a kid who just started kinder, and I feel like I'm missing out on this because of the pandemic. I could relate to just wanting to fit in, or go home to unpack and try to make a house their home.

But then there were pages of weird dialogue between Holly and the PTA president, who was written in such a fashion to be unauthentic. That would take me out of the story, where Mary Margaret would start to babble nonsensical things, and Holly would respond with "--." Ummm...what? Then the 2 women would get into a war of sorts that was supposed to be funny, but I found it distracting. After a while, I was skipping through these pages. I found myself rooting for the PTA president, which was not what the intent was.

The side story of the husband was another section I found myself skipping over. 

There are so many 5-star reviews for this one, where people are saying they found it hilarious and related to it. I guess I'm in the Cookie Monster minority.
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Such a fun read about a young mom who is trying so hard to assimilate herself into a new town!
Holly isn’t the only one who ends being full of angst - the reader also becomes anxious because the situations that she finds herself in are so comical ! On the same hand you can’t help but feel for Holly even though you’re laughing at her - because you are so thankful that it is not you caught up in these situations !
The quirky characters add to the fun tone of this book and it is just so much fun that you just have to keep reading !!!
The Primm Village ladies group are a hoot and I’m sure you all will recognize at least one woman within your own internet circle of friends who could very well be one of those women !
If you’re wanting a fun fun read then do yourselves a favour and add this one to your shelves !!!
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Every day, parents struggle to do it all—juggling family and work and (maybe) a social life. And in Holly Banks Full of Angst, the first Village of Primm novel by author Julie Valerie, a young mom moves to a new town and finds the challenges—and the other moms—to be too much to handle.

Full review published on and aired on Shelf Discovery
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This book made me laugh out loud so many times!  Holly and her family has just moved to a small town, a competitive neighborhood. This is perfect for anyone but especially anyone who has experienced this. Have you ever dealt with the busybodies at school?  What about the overzealous overachievers?  Can Holly get it all together as far as her family and the new school thing?  I can’t wait for the next book.
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You know those mommies- the ones perfectly put together at drop off, who have signed up for all the things and know every single kids allergies for the parties and what to bring or not bring or when the next meeting is and where? Well, Holly is not one of those mommies 😂 heck, most of us are not those mommies or aunties or friends.   

This book is the first in a series and there were some laugh out loud parts that I’m sure many moms (or aunties or friends) could relate to. But Holly, oh she can’t catch a break and it was too fun!Loved this one and the ladies of Primm!
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Thank you to Netgalley for the free ebook in exchange for an honest review!

DNF at 30%

This one just wasn’t for me. I loved the sound of this book but it just wasn’t for me. I think this book didn’t work for me because I am not a parent and I didn’t relate to anything about Holly. 

I think if you are a parent, especially of younger ones, you will find this book to be a lighthearted and humorous approach to what it’s like being a parent in today’s day and age.
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I don't think this book is for me. I can't put my finger on it, but it took me forever to even get to 50% and I just wasn't excited to pick it back up. The characters in Holly's life drove me crazy and I can't imagine living in a parental and school environment such as that one. I'm sure that those kinds of crazy moms do exist and many people can relate to that and what Holly deals with, however I am not a parent, so I cannot relate. Maybe that is another reason it wasn't working for me.
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I requested this one based on the blurb because it sounded like a fun read.

I did not enjoy this one at all and actually DNF after 42%. None of the characters in this book were likable to me, including Holly, the protagonist. She constantly felt sorry for herself for everything that was happening, even though things were her fault. (She woke up late on Ella's first day of school, she forgot the school lunch, she wore pajamas, etc.). I didn't have patience for her.

I also often found myself frustrated at how Holly couldn't just stand up for herself and be an adult. When she gets cornered in a PTA meeting by another parent, she ends up crawling out of the meeting on her hands and knees. I know this was meant to be funny, but it didn't work that way for me.

I also didn't like the inserts of Holly imagining her life as a film script. While it's part of her characterization that she went to film school, I felt like those were randomly placed and really served no purpose overall.

This one just didn't work for me at all.
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This was my first book by this author, It was pretty enjoyable. I would give this book a 3.5 star rating! It was a pretty Quick and easy read!
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I was really looking forward to this book however, I could not get into this novel. I read the first few chapters and the plot line just did not interest me. Unfortunately I did not finish reading.
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Oh I tried so hard with this book, 3 different times in fact, but I just couldn’t get in to it. It’s a shame because the reviews are really good but ultimately it just wasn’t for me. 
I don’t feel right giving it a proper review when I didn’t get far in to the book so I would say just try yourself.
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Buckle up for this comedic novel with heart. As a mom who has spent years on the PTA and inside the "mommy culture wars", this novel takes a stab at the dark side of motherhood as a sport, competition or game of perfection.  While some of the interactions seem over the top, they are frightening more realistic than one might imagine.  And if the actions seem hyperbolic, the themes are not, they are entirely relatable.

In this novel, Holly moves to the pristine and instagram-perfect town of Primm just in time to send her youngest daughter to Kindergarten.  While this novel pokes fun at Holly's seeming incompetence to even get her daughter on the school bus the first day of school - it gave me all those feelings I had on the first day of Kindergarten - crying when I sent my first-borns off to it and crying again five years later when I sent my last.  Because after years and years of being together all the time, it's a big deal to be separated all day - for BOTH the kid and the mom.

I loved the way Holly saw her life and daily encounters as a movie with voice-over narration, setting notes and more. This allowed us to see how dramatic and cinematic it all felt to her - as well as to hear her inner thoughts. So many truths packed into this story. Starting over can be hard.  Making new friends, at any age, is vulnerable.  Childhood frustrations with your parents are often viewed differently once you become a parent yourself.  We don't need to let the outer voices of others rule our inner thoughts.

I'm excited for the next book in this series that will be releasing in November 2020.
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I just couldn't get in to this one.  I tried twice because so many of my friends loved it, but I just couldn't get invested in Holly.  Oh well, on to the next.
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Well this is just the best damn title ever!

Why is Holly Banks full of angst?? Could it be....
~Holly, her husband and daughter have just moved into the perfect Primm neighborhood and she is feeling inadequate compared to the previous owner's Pinterest famous décor?
~her recovering alcoholic mother may have traded alcohol for gambling and flees Vegas to show up on her doorstep...with a pregnant cat?
~she just army crawled out of a school auditorium to avoid the PTA pressure of parent volunteer sign up sheets? Not to mention the scrutiny and bullying by Mary Margaret St. James, PTA President nightmare?
~she sees her life as movie scenes, complete with camera angles and voice overs?
~or maybe it's because her baby is going to kindergarten and she is feeling lost and without a purpose?

Whoa, y'all Julie Valeri's debut is a wild ride! Lots of over the top funny, slapstick scenes (I kept seeing this book as a movie). I seriously wanted to throat punch Mary Margaret St. James on Holly's behalf.

I am well past this stage of parenting but I remember it! Primm reminded me of the neighborhood I lived in when my daughter entered kindergarten. And in a less over the top way, I recognized some of the parent and teachers of Primm Academy in our school experience. 

The author seems to use all the madcap antics, snark and exaggerated characters to send a more serious message to young moms: Don't lose yourself while trying to fit into an unrealistic mold of a 'good mom'.

Thank you to the author, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for the digital copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Holly knew moving to a new city would not be easy, but she had no idea what to expect when she showed up at Primm. I thought the author had such a witty way of writing Holly Banks and her family. Julie Valerie really explores what it means to be a mother today, the expectations asked of moms, the judgment, social media, and how it affects the children. I loved the character development on a lot of the moms at school, the treachery and jealousy, and Holly's sense of humor. I enjoyed this book!
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Thank you Netgalley for the chance to read and review this title. I will review this title at a different date.
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Great book full of heart and soul.

I heard a lot about this book before I went in so I was a little anxious that it might have been too hyped up but I ended up thoroughly enjoying!

The only thing I struggled with to begin with was knowing when she was day dreaming and what was real
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As a mom to four littles, three of which are in school, I found this book hilarious. So many aspects are completely on point. The stresses of being that perfect "class mom" are real and it's at times quite obnoxious. I really enjoyed some of Holly's witty banter and inner thoughts. At times though I must admit she did annoy me. I'm glad I pushed through and finished this one. 

Thank you Netgalley and Lake Union for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I couldn't really get into this book at all.  While I am a mom, I am not a mom in one of those "perfect" cities and am not the type to join the PTA or care what anybody thinks of me.  The story felt forced and I did not enjoy reading it.  I guess I'm just not the target audience, but I feel sorry for those who are.  Moms of young kids who feel inadequate may relate to the character and enjoy it.
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This was such a fun feel good uplifting story! I love these books about neighborhoods and how people interact with one another. I especially like when social and school politics are thrown in. A fun story filled with my little pony, topiaries, and pies.
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