Holly Banks Full of Angst

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

Did author Julie Valerie somehow sneak into my brain and pull out my most embarrassing, angst-filled moments? I'm pretty sure she did and I'd like that power, so if you know how she did it, please contact me!

When I started reading this book I felt like she truly had spied on my memories. Those moments when you try so hard to make a good impression or those times when you just want to fit in, but you really don't.....

There was humor and at times it was a kind of dark humor and other times a laugh at yourself humor. Holly has moved to a new home, but life isn't that simple. It's not just a new home, it's an entire new lifestyle filled with many expectations ~ most of them thrown at her by others. Her new community and some of the members reminded me a bit of The Stepford Wives. 

If you're a mom or anyone who has ever had to experience a new place, new expectations or just a group of people you aren't familiar with (read all of us) this is the book for you. Pick it up, pour a glass of wine and maybe a cookie or two and enjoy Holly.

Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC at my request. All thoughts in this review are my own and happily given. I greatly enjoyed this book.
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Oof. Holly Banks Full of Angst hit me right in all the feels. From her relationship with her mother to her fears as a mother to her daughter starting kindergarten. I connected to all of it.

While I’ve never been in the PTA, I felt the anxiety that Mary-Margret St. James created.

I really loved the unique way this was written. It truly reflected the main character and made her more real and unique.
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This reminded me a lot of Liane Moriarty and that's not a bad thing at all. I really enjoyed this and the writing flowed really easily and made you want to know the characters. Books about mums don't resonate with me the way they might with others (I don't have kids) but I can relate in the way where I can imagine my sister trying to be like this
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Had a great dynamic! I loved how she made the characters come alive. So much so that I definitely disliked Mary Margret 😂. 

I think this would be a great book for mother’s to read as it gives some humor to real life situations. 

Overall, it was a quick read and a lot of fun!
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

Holly Banks Full of Angst by Julie Valerie is a debut novel that I had so much fun reading! Valerie has a very unique writing style and while sometimes it was a little confusing, I loved that it was different from everything I have been reading lately, and it was a nice departure from thrillers!

Holly Banks Full of Angst is book one in the Village of Primm series, and what a great start it was. Holly Banks is such a funny character and even though I don't have kids, I can imagine that a lot of the pressures she was feeling were very real. Honestly I could picture myself as her, taking my kid to the first day of kindergarten in pajamas only to rear end a bus and spend HOURS at the school. I think a lot of women will find this book very relatable, and maybe not everything is believable (see chasing the president of the PTA across school grounds and spewing chewed up cookies at her), but I love the antics of the characters.

Holly Banks Full of Angst touched on career, the difficulty of moving to a new area, kids, and the pressure to conform and be 'Pinterest worthy' among other things, and I was actually pleasantly surprised at the depth I got from the book. It was also super lighthearted though and there are plenty of moments that had me laughing. Plus it was a pretty quick read, and there was a lot going on which was really nice because that meant I didn't want to put it down.

Song/s the book brought to mind: Secrets by Mary Lambert

Final Thought: I have been seeing reviews call Holly Banks Full of Angst satire and I would have to agree. If you have ever felt pressure to be the perfect mom, or even if you aren't a mom and want something to read between heavier books then I highly recommend this one! It was a very well-done debut, and I already can't wait to read the next book in this series!

Thank you to the publisher for my advanced review copy via NetGalley. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
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Enjoyed this charming book about the struggles of motherhood.  The characters were interesting and relatable.
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This book will have anyone who has thought school volunteering and sign up sheets were a bit intense in stitches as they read, laugh, and sometimes cringe along with Harold Banks as she tries to fit into the perfect suburban neighborhood she’s moved into. Though at times it feels darkly comical about the stress of modern parenting, relationships, gender roles, and school spirit, this is a fast paced story about a woman trying to find her way, carve out space for herself, and prove that she deserves to be there.
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Holly Banks Full of Angst is a charmingly hilarious story that highlights the craziness that life becomes when juggling marriage, kids, and over the top PTAs.

Holly Banks and her husband moved to the idyllic and utterly pretentious Village of Primm. If you’ve ever seen Stepford Wives, it’s definitely Stepford. Their five year old daughter Ella is just starting kindergarten, and if being new to town isn’t bad enough, Holly is crumbling under the pressure of being a Primm school mom.

While I may not have kids, I still found this book incredibly relatable and accurate when it comes to societal expectations. Holly is that type of mom that is normal. She is not a world class baker or a DIY phenomenon. She constantly feels inadequate, overworked, and under appreciated. However, she is a fantastic mother that has a great sense of humor and is full of grit. Holly is a reminder that life doesn’t have to be picture perfect; rather, it’s our loved ones that makes it perfect.

Now, I said that this book is like Stepford Wives and that’s because of Mary-Margaret St. James. She’s the head mom and in charge of the PTA. Imagine Regina George of Mean Girls growing up to be a mother and in charge and you’d pretty much have Mary-Margaret. This woman is the ultimate power trip. Her mentality is that if you aren’t making everything from scratch, have the perfect yard, and sewing all of your children’s costumes then you don’t belong in Primm. I don’t know how Holly didn’t kick the woman in her teeth.

Overall, this is a fun, light-hearted read that reminds us that none of us are perfect and we aren’t alone in feeling that way. Life is about enjoying time with your loved ones and Keeping up with the Joneses so to speak…just isn’t worth it.

Thank you to the author and NetGalley for providing an eARC. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
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It has been a LONG time since I laughed as hard at a book as I did this one! That along was worth giving it 5 stars! I mean seriously...the scene when Ella wouldn’t get out of the car for school literally had me crying I was laughing so hard! The characters were funny, well developed, and relatable and the story line kept me interested the entire book! If you are looking for a funny, feel good story then do yourself a favor and pre-order this one! I can't wait for Julie Valerie to release the follow up!
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Holly Banks is not having the best first week in her new home of Primm Village. She is just trying to survive sending her only daughter to her first week of Kindergarten. Then total chaos erupts and throws Holly into a world of perfectly put together Pinterest type moms and some over the top (but sort of loveable) women... Especially PTA president Mary Margaret St. James.

I laughed out loud so many times in the book! I think most will love this. Holly is sure to worm her way into your heart!
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Welcome to the Village of Primm! Holly moves her family into the affluent community of Primm, where everything is perfect and Pinterest worthy. Holly’s daughter is starting kindergarten and that day brings so many emotions along with some school drama when Holly has to drop off her daughter at school. Let’s just say, she doesn’t make a good first impression. Throughout the book more things go wrong than right, and it’s often over the top hilarious! As a mom, I definitely related to Holly on some of the situations. I’m not going to go into the whole PTA president situation because some of it was spot on and also because you just have to read it! If you are into comedies or are looking for a light book to read, be sure to pick this one up, I laughed out loud way too many times and it was a fun read after so many heavy books!
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I ended up DNF’ing this book a few chapters in as I noticed it wasn’t a right fit for me. Even though I’m not a mom and can’t relate, the humor wasn’t to my taste. With that said, I know I’m in the minority and don’t want to to leave a negative review on other sites. Other people I’ve spoken with loved this novel and wish the author  the best of luck with her release.
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Thank you to Julie Valerie and Lake Union Publishing for the advanced electronic copy of this amazing debut book that gave me so much joy and happiness the entire time I was reading. 

I felt like Julie Valerie entered my brain and knew exactly what all my hidden insecurities were about taking on the most important job in the entire universe, and that is becoming a mother. Holly Banks Full of Angst is a definite must read. You will enjoy the story line, and the many laugh out loud moments that Holly finds herself in. I am certain you will be able to relate. I guarantee it. 

Holly is everyone of us trying to navigate our multiple hats every day - a mother, a wife, a daughter, a member of our school community and a neighbor in an upscale community. For Holly, that would be the community of Primm –perfectly lined homes with Pinterest worthy porches, manicured lawns and topiaries, and of course, every family’s dream is the amazing school system where everyone is dying to get their child into. Julie Valerie was able to connect and creatively write all these pressures we put on ourselves in such a glorious and hilarious way. 

Julie Valerie wrote such an amazing cast of characters too that surround Holly’s life. There is Mary-Margaret St. James, the PTA president, who is someone you will love to hate. Greta, Holly’s mother, who needs some rescuing from time to time, but the love for her daughter and grand-daughter is some of the sweetest parts of this book. And let us not forget about the psychic reader, and their out of this world email exchanges. There are so many more like the peahen, the apple brigade, the realtor, and others you will enjoy getting to know. 

This book was an absolute delight of a read and was truly an escape for me. It was fun and funny, it was light-hearted, and heart-warming too. I loved the pacing – it read very quickly and you will not want to put this book down. The dialogue was so creative including the non-curse words, the dash lines for when you are talking and no one hears you situation for example, and the different scenarios Holly ends up in. How can you not root for Holly who is trying her best to keep it all together? 

Pick this book up when it releases Dec. 1st and be ready to have a great time with Holly and her posy. I look forward to the next book in this series.
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(3.5) Who hasn't experienced the pressure of trying to be a "perfect mom" and make a good impression with the other school moms? I can certainly relate to those times and found myself wanting to jump into the book and tell Holly Banks to RUN!! Ha! While there were some funny, relatable moments in the book, there were a few that were a bit over the top but it is satire and a comedy so, crazy as it was, it was a fun read. 

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the review copy.
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Holly Banks was truly a great read. Personally, I loved how Valerie combined laugh out loud funny moments with serious things we’ve all felt - feeling like an outsider, like we can’t do anything right, that our loved ones might be hiding something. Through hyperbole and satire this book delivers the perfect setting to explore all of these issues.

For fans of the movie Bridesmaids, I was feeling serious Helen-vibes with Mary Margaret St. James. She’s that exact same ridiculous sort of evil but you almost feel bad for her but you still hate her.

Of course, there were some mom-specific things that I probably didn’t fully “get” as much as people who have actually gone through them (aka I have no kids if you didn’t know). BUT even so I still enjoyed the read. I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a laugh out loud satire on so-called perfect suburbia.
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As a first time mom to a 4-month old, I have quickly learned that being a mommy is HARD! This book helped keep me in good-spirits and had me laughing the entire time.
⠀
Holly Banks and her family have just moved to the pristine Village of Primm which is full of Pinterest-worthy porches and high-energy PTA moms. To say Holly is a fish out of water is an understatement. This satirical story follows Holly as she adjusts to a new home, a new town, her daughters first week of Kindergarten, and a very judgmental and pushy PTA president.
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I LOVED this book! Put it on your TBR now! (It’s an Amazon First Read this month and out everywhere on Dec. 1)

I appreciate the author Julie Valerie, the publisher Amazon Publishing, and Netgalley for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.
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There’s a lot of pressure on women these days—be the perfect mom, wife, friend, career woman—add to that a move to a brand new town which seems perfect in every way, and you have Holly Banks! This book was startling honest and laugh out loud funny! I couldn’t stop turning pages, needing to know if Holly was ever going to get her daughter on the bus, decorate her front porch, hang curtains, all while worried about her husband’s job and her mother’s needs. Cleverly written with colorful, multi-layered characters, Holly Banks Full of Angst will delight readers!
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Holly Banks was a funny, smart read and Rom-Com is not my number one genre.  Author Julie Valerie does an amazing job of creating the perfect little Village of Primm, that I could have sworn I've been there before or maybe even lived there! Then add Holly, who's family has newly relocated to Primm. She is desperately trying to fit into the mold of "perfect mom" as her daughter enters kindergarten. Of course her first day is a hilarious mess. To add more "angst" to Holly's life she is dealing with the seemingly perfect mother and PTA president  who will stop at nothing to add Holly to the list of volunteers. and embarrass her along the way.  Although the story is laugh out loud funny, any mom will relate to  the feelings of doubt and stress  we put ourselves through. And just as with Holly, we usually find that those "perfect" moms are not quite as they appear. The author also adds some mystery and family drama to the story.  Hard to believe this is a first novel. I am definitely looking forward to more adventures of Holly Banks.
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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was very unsure when I started reading Holly Banks Full of Angst because I don’t typically read contemporary with a splash of comedy.

I was also worried that I wouldn’t connect to the story because I’m not a mom and I don’t have a kindergartner.

BUT I LOVED IT!! And Holly is so relatable even to me, a 24-year-old hot mess.

Holly Banks is delightful and hilariously relatable! Holly just wants the best for her family and herself and I can appreciate that so so much.

Besides Holly, the other characters are extremely entertaining.

Mary-Margaret can be a lot to swallow when you begin reading. But, she found her own special place in my heart.

My favorite moments (that had me belly laughing):

• Cookie fight

• the scrapbooking fiasco

• school drop off OTD (outfit of the day)

Moments that made me sad:

• dead topiaries

• Plume’s fate

Nothing can compare to this book. I am so happy that I picked it up and was able to review it for Julie!

Holly Banks Full of Angst comes out December 1 BUT if you have Amazon Prime you can select it as your Amazon First Reads choice! Which I highly recommend 😉

Thank you to NetGalley and Julie Valerie for my review copy!! But, all opinions are my own!
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This book is absolutely adorable. Holly Banks and her husband Jack and daughter Ella move to the village of Primm for Jack's new job. It happens to be the picturesque perfect town, with an outstanding elementary school, beautiful homes, and a brag-worthy PTA. 

Between Holly not being able to get it together and have Ella catch the school bus, to hitting a school bus while wearing pajamas and a sports bra, to being bullied by the PTA president Mary Margaret St. James, this was LAUGH OUT LOUD funny. The banter between Holly and some of the town residents is hysterical and really made the book.

So excited to see a 2nd book in this series was already announced.
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