Cover Image: Holly Banks Full of Angst

Holly Banks Full of Angst

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Member Reviews

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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I think this book is definitely for a niche group of people. I think I would ideally reccomend it to either mom's that begrudge school duties/volunteering, or for mom's that have a sense of humour. Holly spends a lot of time complaining about being a mom, the duties that her daughter's school try to impose on her, and other mothers. So, if this isn't something you would find funny (and it's definitely written funny), then this may not be the book for you.

I however, am not a mom, and found this to fall a little flat for me. I read the description, and thought that it would be an interesting read. I normally expect books like this to be quite surface level with the mom stuff - but it definitely went quite in depth (I remember a rant about the benefits/consequences of sippy cups and it made me TIRED). Additionally, I think it was quite complex for the book that I thought I was getting. Within the first 10% of the book, there was Holly's move to a new city, the PTA drama, a strange man looking for her husband (and potential issues with him), complaints about her job/lacktherof, her mothers alcohol/gambling addiction.. I'm sure there is more, but that's what I actually took notes on. 

Now, as for the positives, I really enjoyed the actual format of the book. I liked the hints at scripts/screenwriting, and found those parts to be well utilized. I also think that Julie Valerie has a knack for comedy writing. I think if this book was maybe edited down a little, I would have liked it a lot more (and read it a lot faster). I definitely would not avoid any of her other work, because I think there is still potential there for me to enjoy it.
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I found this book to be amusing and a great commentary on motherhood. It reminded me a bit of Class Mom, which is a compliment. I look forward to reading more from this world.

Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
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It has great potential but it was too unrealistic for me and I couldn't connect to the characters.The story centers on Holly Banks who recently moved to the upscale Village of Primm right before her daughter starts kindergarten. Holly is basically a hot mess.The vibe of the book reminded me a bit of Gilmore Girls  which should be good but this one took it to another level.
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So funny! Holly was an enjoyable character, and I dearly missed her when I swiped the last page. Holly Banks Full of Angst was a fun way to address all the anxiety that we can relate to in a fun, often exaggerated, way. 


I received an advance copy. All thoughts are my own.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union publishing for letting me have a ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

In the beginning I had a hard time connecting with this book. Once I did get past several DNF stopping points, I found it light hearted, upbeat and funny. There are so many moments I couldn’t stop laughing. Holly relocating to an over the top community called the Village of Primm and like any overwhelmed Mom finds herself fighting to keep herself above water with everything going wrong in every aspect and also trying to fit in with all the other Joneses. She later finds out nothing is as perfect as they seem. I really loved the character Greta and her outlook on life. All the movie talk in the book I found somewhat confusing and some parts I had to reread. All in all, it was a fun cheerful read to remind us all that no one lives a perfect calm life.
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I struggled to get into this book. I found it a little cliche. It was alright, It was ok. It just wasn't spectacular.
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