Holly Banks Full of Angst

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

I would like to thank Julie Valerie, Lake Union Publishing, and NetGalley for a free advanced electronic copy of this book.

Holly Banks Full of Angst is a must-read for any mother who has felt the pressure to be perfect. This book was unputdownable and the most laugh-out-loud funny book that I have probably ever read. The main character, Holly, is completely relatable. As the mother of a 5 year old son who just started kindergarten this year, I have felt the way Holly feels too many times to count. This book follows Holly Banks' life during the first week of her daughter, Ella, starting kindergarten. The Banks family is new to The Village of Primm and Holly is completely unprepared for the pressure of being a school mom.

Holly is every mother I've ever known. She feels inadequate, she feels like she is doing everything wrong, she thinks everything she says or does will ruin her daughter forever. This is one of the things I love about this book. Julie Valerie really captured that feeling that so many of us mothers have - that we aren't good enough. She was able to create a character who, despite all of her shortcomings, is an amazing, loving, and caring mother; she created a character for all of the not-good-enough-moms to look up to. She shows us that it's okay not to be a perfect baker or super crafty or for your house to be Pinterest-worthy. What matters is your family and those closest to you.

I want to talk about a few of the characters because they were so well developed and each added their own special touch to the story.

Holly. Is. Hilarious. I have not laughed this hard in such a long time. I laughed out loud so many times while reading that my kids and husband kept looking at me like I was crazy. Surprisingly, Holly doesn't curse. So the things she comes up with to replace phrases that typically have curse words are so funny.

Mary-Margaret St. James. The PTA president. The perfect mom. The crafty mom. The mom that bakes and sews and does it all. The mom that makes you feel guilty for not being all of those things. I picture Mary-Margaret with a nasal, whiny, shrill voice. I don't know why Holly didn't throat punch her at some point during this book. She is the epitome of a "mean girl".

Greta. Holly's mother. She's a free spirit, sort of a hippie. Holly didn't have the best memories of her childhood because her mother had been an alcoholic and a gambler. But she is actually the sweetest person who adores her daughter and granddaughter and wants to do everything in her power to help Holly feel welcome in Primm.

This was one of the most fun and lighthearted books I've read in a while and I suggest getting the hello-kitty onto Amazon and preordering a copy right now!

I will edit to add links when I post onto my blog and retail sites.
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Let me start this review by saying this, and I was reading this book late one night in bed while my husband was asleep and started laughing so loud that it woke him up.  The book I am referring to is Holly Banks Full of Angst by Julie Valerie.  Poor, poor Holly.  Talk about rooting for the underdog; I just wanted to hop in this book and hug her.  

Holly’s husband takes a new job in a new town requiring them to move, but this town isn’t like any town Holly has lived in before.  Welcome to the Village of Primm.  The place where the houses are decorated like they are going to be on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens and fitting in means having perfectly decorated porch, wearing pink at the PTA meeting, volunteering, baking pies, and being the perfect wife/mother.  With all of this on Holly’s plate, things begin to quickly spiral out of control as she begins to suspect her husband is having an affair, the head of the PTA is trying to make her look like a fool, and her crazy gambling/alcoholic mother decides to visit.  

I am giving this book five stars because I thoroughly enjoyed the journey it took me on.  At some points, I was laughing, and at others, I wanted to jump in the book and punch one particular character, but that is what made this book so good for me.  I became emotionally attached to Holly and was hoping by the end of the story, it would  all work out.  Does it?  You’ll be surprised, but I can’t tell you, you have to read it and find out!

Thank you to NetGalley and Julie Valerie for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Holly Banks is ready to settle in to her new home in the  quaint Village of Prim .

Everything is so perfect in Prim!  Beautiful homes, Pintrest  porches and scrapbooking, pie making, PTA Moms.

Holly on the other hand is stressed out with unpacking,  getting  her daughter ready for Kindergarten, keeping up with her mother’s gambling antics… oh yea and wondering if her husband is having an affair.  Holly’s adventures as she tries to fit into her new community get more and more hilarious and outrageous.   I really enjoyed Holly’s inner monologues and found myself giggling and laughing out loud. 
 A sweet, funny, lighthearted read!
I’ll look forward to the next book in the Village of Primm series!
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Rating: 4.5/5

I received  a complimentary copy to read and review. Thank you to Julie Valerie, Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for the advanced electronic copy!

HOLLY BANKS IS FULL OF ANGST by Julie Valerie is about Holly Banks, as you might assume from the title. Holly has recently moved to a new home in a new community, the Village of Primm for her husband's work. this is a high maintenance community and things really don't start off going Holly's way. Late for her only child's first day of kindergarten, Holly decides to handle the missed bus by taking her daughter to school. Unfortunately, wearing her piggie pajamas while doing so turns out to be a mistake and her unfortunate wardrobe choice becomes the talk of the school.

Holly is trying to find her place in this "perfect" community where the school is ruled by an uptight PTA tyrant. Her house is still full of unpacked boxes, decor that is a far cry from that of the pinterest famous decorator who owned the home before her. Her husband is working a lot of hours and acting a little oddly which leaves her to wonder what is going on with him. Her daughter is inconsolable over the idea of going to school.  Things are just not going Holly's way and the town is in the middle of a mystery of its own too.

This book was such a fun and funny read, one that elicited more than a few laughs from me along the way. Holly's inner monologues and fantasies, often presented in the form of snippets of film scripts putting Holly's life on the big screen, are quirky and full of humor. The people that make up this town and Holly's family are the perfect cast of characters for her drama! More than once I found myself wanting to punch Holly's angst inducing nemesis, the queen and tyrant of the PTA!

I had wondered early on whether this book would be a good fit for me, not having the motherhood connection with Holly. As it turns out, I need not have worried at all! While many of the situations Holly faces in the book are particular to the life of a wife and mother, the general feelings of angst in a life that can be at times overwhelming where nothing goes your way is something I think we've all felt a time or too. This is our chance to see it play out in the life of someone else in an entirely hilarious way!

If you are looking for a good, funny, feel good read, you will want to add HOLLY BANKS IS FULL OF ANGST to your TBR! This book will be out on December 1, 2019!

Review will be posted to my blog and bookstagram on 10/19. I will update with links shortly thereafter.
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“If my life were written onto the pages of a Little Golden Book, its tittle would read The Little Mommy That Couldn’t.”
Holly has just moved to a new town where she doesn’t know anyone, on her daughters first day of kindergarten they miss the school bus, and she drives her in her pijama bottoms, making the worst first impression with the perfect moms on the community.
Holly Banks Full Of Angst is a suburban satire full of silly, laugh out loud and sometimes ridiculous situations about motherhood.
It was a relatable, funny and sweet read.
Thank you Julie Valerie , NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing  for giving me a copy of your book in exchange for an honest review.
Holly Banks Full Of Angst by Julie Valerie releases December 1, 2019.
“No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.”
“All moms are influential. Moms are probably the most influential people on the planet.”
“If I learned anything this week, it’s this: nothing’s permanent; everything changes. And there’s more than one word for happy.”
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This one was definitely a five star easily for me! I loved this book so much and I will be rereading it again! As you follow Holly Banks’s day to day you will find yourself relating to her and laughing out loud! This is one of those books that you will not want to put down! You will want to know what crazy thing is going to happen to Holly next! As a mom reading this book I can appreciate and relate to pretty much everything Holly goes through and how hard she try’s to be a great mom and do what’s best for her family. This book definitely makes u realize that we as moms are trying our best the best we know how. Maybe not be so hard on each other. I loved this amazing story and writing in this book will definitely keep you up reading all night long!

Thank you so much Julie Valerie, netgalley and lake Union Authors for the opportunity to read this advance copy of this novel!.
Holly Banks Full of Angst will be available December 1st 2019!!
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What a fun and refreshing read!!!! 

Julie Valerie’s debut novel is a MUST read! She captured the Holly’s struggle with adapting to a new town with its own rules for PTA participation, school manuals, drop offs, AND oh the “is my husband cheating me” saga in a that made you giggle throughout the entire book. I enjoyed the beginning, middle, and end....and the plot twist that’s comes from no where that keeps you from putting down the book! 

Wonderful book! Can’t wait for the other books to be published in this Primm town!
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Have you ever met women that seem to have it all together and you feel like you’re literally being held together by the peanut butter smeared on your jeans? If so, you are going to love Holly Banks.

Welcome to the Village of Primm, where porches look like a Pinterest post and the town has their very own giant topiary peahen, named Plume. Holly and her family have just moved into this uppity community and Holly isn’t making a great first impression, chasing her daughter’s bus in piggy pjs, then rear-ending a school bus, and sitting in the principal’s office all on the first day of school. Holly soon finds herself wrangling with the narcissistic PTA President Mary-Margaret, who wants Holly to volunteer, be involved, and bring cupcakes. Instead, Holly is sneaking out of meetings on her hands and knees and throwing up in scrapbooking swap bags. 

Holly isn’t sure if it’s her or her My Little Pony loving daughter that has to adjust to kindergarten. All the while, she is trying to not let the fact that her husband’s gorgeous boss is eating fries off his plate drive her nuts. And how did she get volunteered to bake thirteen pies, or did she offer? Why is the cable guy giving her parenting advice? As if things couldn’t get crazier, Holly’s screwball mother blows in. Holly is feeling like the worst mother in the world; she even turns to Psychic Betty on the internet for advice and in a sad, desperate way friendship. Holly then, in her “hollyish ways,” finds herself in the middle of a scandalous mystery that reveals that not all Pinterest perfect lives are what they seem.

I literally laughed out loud quite a few times while reading this book. Holly is as real as it comes. I love it when we hear her thoughts, and honestly, her thoughts are what we are all thinking. If you’re a wife, a mother, a grandmother, even a husband, you will find this book funny, fresh and heartwarming.
Thank you to @Julievalerieauthor, @lakeunionauthors, and @netgallery for this ARC for review.

Watch for this book December 1, 2019
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Holly Banks Full of Angst was exactly what I needed when I picked it up! A huge thank you to the author ( who is the absolute sweetest ) NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for allowing me to read this book prior to the release date. 

From beginning to end this book was delightful and laugh out loud hilarious. I adored every single character but of course Holly was my favorite and the most relatable. Holly is a mom trying to adjust to a lot of changes. She’s moved into a new town where she doesn’t know anyone and is also trying to adjust to sending her daughter off to kindergarten. 
In doing so she also finds herself intertwined with the schools PTA. Lots of drama and shenanigans soon follow and as I was reading this it was translating into the best sitcom inside my head. 

All that said- you don’t have to be a mom to relate to Holly Banks. You just have to love the people around you and want what is best for them. That’s Holly in a nutshell. 

I definitely recommend this book to everyone. I already have someone I want to gift this book to upon its release ( December 1, 2019) and I cannot wait to see what this author writes next.
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“Apple pies are too easy for this town,” Greta said. “If it was easy— it wouldn’t be Primm.”

What was the last book you read that made you laugh out loud? Well, Holly Banks Full of Angst by Julie Valerie was just that read for me! Holly Banks and her family have just moved to the community of Primm, with its prime real estate and highly sought-after school system. During her 5 year old’s first week of Kindergarten, Holly faces a multitude of mishaps: she can’t seem to get her daughter to the bus on time, her parenting skills are called into question by her cable guy, she suspects her husband of having an affair, and she faces off numerous times with overbearing mom, Mary-Margaret St. James (the PTA version of Regina George from Mean Girls). Holly just wants to be the best mom she can be without losing her sanity. Can she keep it all together? Or will the move to Primm push her over the edge? 

I’m almost 100% positive that Holly and I would be fast friends in real life. There were so many of her inner monologue moments that I know I’ve had before. I loved her sass, her sense of humor, and her tenacity. And the sweet relationship she had with her daughter was so heartwarming

Make sure you check this one out when it hits shelves December 1st! 

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing, and Julie Valerie for a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review!
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I had such high expectations for this book. I read a few "women's fiction" books over the summer and really enjoyed them so I hoped that I found a new genre to dig into. Holly Banks had the right intention but not the right execution. The writing bounced from a faux movie script treatment with Holly's narration back to standard narration. It was confusing and hard to stay in the story. Also, the characters were insanely over the top. I tried to convince myself that maybe this novel was written as satire of the whole Pinterest mommy culture but once I got through about half of the book and there was no reflection on how absurd the situations were, I realized that maybe it was just written THAT big. It was uncomfortable to read at times as grown women were doing and saying such ridiculous and over the top things. It wasn't funny, it was just strange. 

Unfortunately I wouldn't be able to recommend this novel as I wasn't about to finish. I stopped around 50% through because the insanity of the story was just too much for me.
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Buckle in and get ready for a wild ride. Holly Banks Full of Angst was full of hilarity, relatable inner monologues and unforgettable characters. 

The book is quick pace with a lot of jammed pack action that will leave you wanting to know more about the people of the perfect Village of Primm. If you are a Mom or someone who just moved to a new place looking to fit in, you will appreciate the crazy antics that Holly has to deal with and cheer her on as she navigates the mounting pressure she's thrown into.

I am impressed with this debut novel, it has a flare of fun that reminds me of Sophie Kinsella's writing. I definitely look forward to more of Julie Valerie's writing.
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In my opinion, any book that makes me laugh out loud so much that my husband stops what he’s doing and asks me to read what is so funny is a five-star book! That is exactly what Holly Banks Full of Angst had me doing! 

Holly Banks and her family have just moved into the prestigious Village of Primm where everything is perfect. The school is perfect, the houses are perfect, and most of all the moms are perfect. Each one plays an active role in their child’s education by volunteering, thanks to Queen Bee and PTA President Mary Margaret St. James! When Holly arrives at her first PTA meeting and doesn’t want to volunteer, Mary Margaret decides this means War! What follows is hilarious and cringe worthy moments as Holly tries desperately to find her place in the Village of Primm, while also realizing that perhaps everyone, even seemingly perfect moms, have their flaws. 

This book is for all the moms! Any kind of mom! If you’re a mom whose kid has had a throw down fit in public because he/she doesn’t want to do something, this book is for you! If you’re a mom who feels like there is always another mom out there out-moming you in every way possible, this book is for you! 

I love this book! Holly Banks makes every mom fail you’ve ever had look like a picnic on a sunny day! She is such a fun and relatable character because at some point, we’ve all been Holly.

I also loved Mary Margaret St. James and the other moms of the Village of Primm. I spent have the book with my mouth hanging open thinking “OH my God! Are these Moms Crazy? Who Acts Like that?” They were so over the top it was funny! 

This book was a light, funny read, and I can't wait to find out what happens next in the Village of Primm! Thank you so much Julie Valerie for this copy and opportunity to offer a review!
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Baby mamas. New mamas. Dog mamas. Any kind of mama should pick up the debut novel, Holly Banks Full of Angst by Julie Valerie. If I didn’t have a newborn at home, I would have read it in one sitting.

(From Goodreads) Holly Banks could not have made a worse first impression on the seemingly perfect moms in her new affluent community, the Village of Primm. Turns out wearing pink piggy pajama bottoms while dropping off her kindergartener late to the first day of school wasn’t her best look.

Not to mention Holly’s worried her husband may be having an affair, she can’t get her daughter to stop sucking her thumb, her hard-won film degree is collecting dust, and to top it all off, the power-hungry PTA president clearly has it in for her…

To make matters even worse, Holly’s natural eye for drama lands her smack-dab in the middle of a neighborhood mystery—right as her own crazy mother shows up in Primm “to help.” Through it all, Holly begins to realize her neighbors may be just as flawed as—and even wackier than—she is, leaving her to wonder: Is there such a thing as a perfect mom?

Valerie knocks her debut novel out of the “topiary park” (read the book so you can get that reference). Her writing is funny and unique with the additions of a script-style writing and inner monologue that matches the former film making career that Holly often refers to in the novel. Unlike many novels about hapless mothers, Holly is one likeable girl. You want to have coffee with her while you gang up on the evils of the elementary school world...overzealous PTA moms. The humor is the highlight of this story. Some of the situations are very Lucille Ball mixed with a little Roseanne and Dance Moms. It is a truly laugh-out-loud story that will make any mom feel much better about being “perfect.” The supporting characters are wonderfully written as well, especially antagonist, Mary-Margaret St. James. Her mannerisms and speech are detailed to such precision that you cringe and want to slap her yourself. Overall, this novel is the perfect beginning to the Village of Primm series by Valerie. 

This novel earned a solid 4.5 stars for the irresistible mama drama, relatable characters, incredible humor, and strong writing. I would highly recommend this book to any of my mama friends and book club ladies.

Thank you Netgalley, Lake Union Publishing, and Julie Valerie for a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. 

Holly Banks Full of Angst hits shelves on December 1, 2019. This is the first book in the Village of Primm series.
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Holly Banks and her family have just moved the beautiful town of Primm. Everything in Primm is just that, primm, proper, and perfect. All the mothers are mom of the year and always volunteer for all school events. Mary Margaret St James sees that they do. Except Holly has just moved, and wants to unpack and settle her baby into kindergarten before getting wrapped up in volunteer activities. Well that, is just unacceptable!
Y’all know I love me some adults behaving badly, and this book certainly has that! There were times I wanted to reach through the book and smack Mary Margaret, but she also led to some seriously laugh out loud moments! Overall this was a light fun, and funny book!
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If moving to a brand new town full of seemingly perfect, overachieving PTA moms wasn't already enough for Holly Banks, she sends her first and only child, Ella, to kindergarten, her husband is acting strange, and to add on to her load, her mother is relying on her too much.

Those are Holly's problems, but the Village of Primm is facing one of its own: something is killing all of their blessed topiaries, including Holly's beloved Anna Wintour.

What's not to love about this hilarious, over-the-top look at the struggles of stay-at-home motherhood while grappling with the expectation to do more all while comparing ourselves to other women?

I loved the way the author tackled this all-too common issue for stay-at-home moms through bits of screenwriting, movie allusions, texts--multiple forms of communication. I don't have a child in school yet, but I definitely feel the comparison. 𝘏𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘺 helped me feel validated as a mom. Isn't that the best thing a book could do? Well, aside from granting me with lots of belly laughs!

It reads sort of like a sitcom miniseries. It's really easy to imagine Holly spitting cookie bits at Mary-Margaret St. James (wait, what?). Oh, readers. You need to meet the 𝘰𝘩, 𝘴𝘰 𝘸𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘶𝘭 Mary-Margaret St. James. She will make you roll your eyes like never before while simultaneously instilling pity for the woman. Bless her heart.

I cannot wait for the rest of you to read 𝘏𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘉𝘢𝘯𝘬𝘴 𝘍𝘶𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘈𝘯𝘨𝘴𝘵 coming December 1st! Mark your calendars because you are not going to want to miss this debut!

The verdict? Loved it. Simply loved it.
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Definitely a laugh out loud funny story, with some definite truth in today's times.
Holly moves with her family to a neighborhood that reminded me of "The Stepford Wives".(Am I dating myself?)
 Everyone is perfect and wants only the best for their children. life is perfect.
 In moves Holly- who is not prepared nor is she willing to bake 3 dozen cupcakes or become the secretary of the PTA! 
 Mary- Margaret St. James, president of the PTA seems to think Holly can and will. Her motto is " No one can do everything but everyone can do something." Bringing napkins to a function is not considered "helping"!
 Holly must stand up to this crazy nut!
 Her daughter is only going to Kindergarten and she cannot get Ella on the bus for the first day!
Why did they move to this town of Plume?
Entertaining and a quick read. I definitely understood what Holly was feeling!
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FYI: I am not leaving a review here because I am the author of this book. I am here because I'm clicking through the NetGalley widget to access the electronic file. Thanks! - Julie Valere
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