Cover Image: Holly Banks Full of Angst

Holly Banks Full of Angst

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Member Reviews

God I wanted to love this book....

I love snark and Holly is full of it. I love mocking Stepford Wives.. I love remembering what it was like when my child was just starting school and having to navigate those PTA Moms as a working mom and the crap that went with it.

I was expecting a Laurie Gelman type book but it was just....... too much. The book was trying too hard and it broke my heart...
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BOOK: Holly Banks Full of Angst
AUTHOR: Julie Valerie

Zainey Peeps - let’s stop for a minute. You know I don’t lie to you or play up reviews. So I am gonna give you some real talk about this book. When I first started it, I struggled. I was so frustrated about one of the characters I wanted to throw my kindle across the room. I almost didn’t finish this book. BUT…. I am glad I did. There is a mystery element to it and the angst really does pay off in the end! If you pick this up, stick with it, believe me. Other than that, the story is funny and heart warming.
Short Synopsis (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?

I received this book for review purposes from NetGalley. ⠀
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Holly Banks Full of Angst is the debut novel by author Julie Valerie.  In it, we are introduced to the Village of Primm! Primm is a place where families are happy, houses are Pinterest perfect, and a Peacock named Plume is the village mascot.  Sound like an idyllic place to live?  Holly Banks sure doesn’t think so.  After moving from the comforts of their old life, Holly, her husband Jack, Labrador Struggle, and their kinder aged Daughter Ella left everything dear to them behind to begin this new chapter.  This was the most eventful week of Holly’s life. 

That’s right. The entire book spans one week's time and covers a lot of ground.  It started off a little slow, and I felt overloaded with information.  At times I wondered how and if the author would tie everything together.  Recently, Julie announced that a second book in the Village of Primm series will be released in November 2020.  

Since this is the introduction, I can see that she used this to set the stage for future novels.  I would also like to see more character depth in the sequel.  This story had a good premise, but it was slightly off the mark.  The relationship that Holly had with the PTA president was overplayed.  The character was over the top and from her first sentence annoying as all get out.  It was VERY hard to continue reading her brash and often rude tirades.  The dialog was fun,  but I couldn’t connect to the story like I wanted to.  There were parts that seemed to drag on for too long (Holly waiting to speak to the Principal in her pajamas) and took away from my fully enjoying the story.

Holly Banks Full of Angst was a quick read and a good effort by a debut novelist! 

Thank you, Julie Valerie, Lake Union Publishing, and Netgalley, for an ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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"Holly Banks Full of Angst" is a sort of fish-out-of-water Stepford wife story told through the eyes of a regular barely-functioning mom. 

I'm sorry to say that I could not get through this book and I abandoned it with only 30% read. I thought it would be a light cute story similar to "Class Mom", but it was more "Stepford Wife" and "I don't know how she does it", which give me major anxiety. Reading Holly be pushed around by her secretive husband and the bully PTA President made me so stressed out. This book gave me so much anxiety that I couldn't continue. Also, the storyline and characters become so absurd that I don't know where the author is going with this. Holly accidentally hits a school bus and then is detained in the principal's office for three hours waiting for the police to arrive? Holly stuffs her mouth full of cookies and chases the PTA president through the halls spitting cookie at her? Sorry, this is not for me. Some readers enjoyed the humor and satire but I couldn't. 

Thank you NetGalley for my complimentary copy in return for my honest review.
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I had trouble connecting with the format of this book. I was excited to read it based on the blurb, but the flip between screen print and novel really made it difficult to get into.
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Holly Banks has just moved to the Village of Primm, a charming suburb full of topiaries, homemade cherry pie, and pinterest-ready porches. But Holly's life is hectic and messy, the opposite of Primm-perfect. She worries -- about her husband, about her mom, about her film career, and so much more. Can Holly find a way to become more Primm or will everything fall apart?

Rating:  ★★★☆☆ - liked it
Genre:  women's lit, fiction
Pros:  funny, satirical, Mary-Margaret St. James, Psychic Betty
Cons:  slightly stressful, Jack

Prepare yourself for a book where everyone is at least a little bit crazy! Holly Banks Full of Angst is a funny, satirical look at suburban life.

I rated this three stars because it was good, but it was also a little stressful. It's well written and made me laugh a lot, but from time to time while reading I found myself picking up on Holly's stress and feeling stressed myself. Holly Banks was indeed full of angst, but I would have appreciated a break or two from the angst-y nature of her brain.

The caricature-characters that fill the pages of this book will have you laughing out loud and rolling your eyes. If you grew up in one of those neighborhoods where everyone knew everyone and everyone's business, you will definitely recognize several characters from your own life.

I recommend this book to fans of women's lit, satire, or psych majors who need to study some genuine loonies.
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Ha!  This book is cute, cute, cute!  Mary Margaret and all her antics kept me laughing.  I embarrassed myself at my son's orthodontist appointment!  Holly and family move into the Village of Prim and everything is too perfect. Can Holly keep up with the PTA, Mary Margaret and all the other moms in the Village of perfect?
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Holly Banks is a new mom to the neighborhood in the Village of Primm. Cue is quite prim and proper. Trying to make a good impression on her daughters new school, she gets roped into the PTA (Run, Holly, Run!) and volunteering for virtually everything.  

On her quest for perfection, poor Holly is shamed by the PTA president time and time again. 

This was a good escape with humor and a reminder that we moms are all works in progress.
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The author did a great job of capturing the insecurities that many of us women face with Holly.  Her struggles were realistic and many of us have had the same insecure feelings around other women.
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Do you ever read a book and wish you hadn't wasted your time on it? That was me with Holly Banks Full of Angst.   I think this book was supposed to be funny, but it just came off as extremely ridiculous.  I often found myself going back and rereading pages because I had no idea what anyone was talking about and was sure that I missed something, but that was never the case. These characters were all over the place and spoke in circles.  Also, not a single character was likeable.  I didn't find Holly Banks charming, I found her annoying.  She was supposed to be the "good guy" but was really just as bad as Mary-Margaret.
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"She suspected Primm operated a few decibels above the norm. Like an amplified electric guitar played with distortion. You liked it because power chords heightened the experience, making you feel like life was being lived with higher intensity."

Holly Banks is a quirky gal just trying to survive motherhood amidst a move to the suburbs, her daughter starting Kindergarten, family drama, and an incredibly obstinate and obnoxious PTA president. As a former film graduate, she lives in her head and has a preoccupation with incorporating storylines into her everyday life, which isn't particularly helpful to her situations but is entertaining to see unfold. 

"Holly made her way toward the door. If the Village of Primm was Oz, then Holly wanted anarchy. She wanted to be Dorothy so she could snatch the Tin Man's ax and hack a few bricks loose from the yellow brick road, then hurl them at the Pink Witch."

Holly's relatable in the way that moms just want to do their best and it's natural to want to fit in, especially when it can look like others are doing life so much better or easier than you are. Of course, Holly tends to fabricate things when under duress, which is exacerbated by her adversary. 

"You drove like Princess Peach in Mario Kart high on golden mushroom speed. This isn't a video game, you know. You shouldn't live your life in an altered reality. It's not healthy."

Some of the emails and voicemails are a bit long-winded and a few of the rants are extensive, but this was an incredibly enjoyable read overall. I was fortunate enough to receive a complimentary copy of this book, so while it was already on my radar, that did push it up on my to-read list. I'm glad because this was a playfully enchanting book. I really appreciated Julie Valerie's narrative and look forward to seeing if Holly Banks has any more scripts in her future.
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Holly moves to the Village of Primm for her husband’s new job. She is immediately sucked into the PTA and having the perfect house. Her daughter begins kindergarten and Holly struggles to get her to the bus every day. She hits a school bus on the first day of school. Can Holly do anything right?

Initially I was not interested in this book but once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I loved this book. I laughed out loud many times. I am not a PTA mom but with kids in school I get a taste of the things in this book. Holly is trying to do her best and the head of the PTA keeps pulling her in against her will. The timeline of the book is one week and the amount that Holly deals with is amazing. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a very lighthearted, quick read.
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I’m all for witty, snarky writing but this one was wayyyyyy over the top. To the point that it was hard to read and left me feeling angsty. The characters are unlikable and not very endearing. If this was not an advanced reader, I would probably have DNFed it. Unfortunately, not my cup of tea and left me feeling yucky about the experience. Thank you to the publisher for the advance reader in exchange for my honest review.
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Yep- Holly has a lot on her plate and she's stressed out. The last thing she needs is the condescending and icky behavior of the other moms at her kids' school.  This is mean girls grown up and while you might recognize some of the characters as people in your own life, this goes over the top too often to make it entirely relatable. I'll admit to laughing out loud more than once but also at growing weary as the novel moved along.   Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
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Holly's daughter Ella is starting kindergarden.holly and her family have just recently moved to a new community. I liked the whimsical feel . I also liked Holly's trials and triumphs.
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This unfortunately wasn’t the book for me. The “quirkiness” became old after a while, and while the premise sounded interesting, it just couldn’t hold my attention.
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For some reason, the writing in this novel did not keep my attention. Seemed funny but I wasn’t drawn to the story.
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This book is absolutely hilarious but also shows the real ness of being a parent, specifically a mom. The sacrifices that are made and the anxiety and worry a mother has regarding their kid/s. This is a must read for any mother out there who feels the pressure to be that perfect Pinterest mom. It was so hard for me to put this book down and along with the real ness and rawness of parenthood that the book displayed, it also had me laughing out loud! Overall, it’s a super sweet and light hearted and absolutely hilarious read!
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Hilarious Super Mom Satire. This is one of those books that non-perfect parents will LOVE, showing just how ridiculous the Super Moms of the world are and that no one is truly perfect. Truly the only reason I dinged this a star was because I personally just could not get into it due to being a childfree male that generally prefers to avoid kids... and this is all about a mother's struggles with her daughter's first week of Kindergarten. Great tale, well written, and I absolutely look forward to seeing more from this debut author in the future. Recommended.
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Holly Banks isn’t a perfect mom. But she surely isn’t a bad one. Even though she brings her daughter late to the first day of kindergarden. 
And hits the bus while being there. 
In Pyjamas. 

This was a fun, light read. But it wasn’t a story for me. I was absolutely stressed out when I read what happened in Hollys life. 
Like absolutely. Stressed. Out. 
And I didn’t really warm up with the whole style of the book. 
The writing was fine, but sometimes I thought it was a little bit slow. 

All in all it’s an okay book.
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