Cover Image: Holly Banks Full of Angst

Holly Banks Full of Angst

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Member Reviews

This one took me a bit to get into but once I did I really enjoyed it! It was so funny and I had a number of laugh out loud moments. The school mums troupe is always a fun one and Holly Banks is completely imperfect and out of place in the Primm community. And the volunteering part, although exaggerated, really struck a chord and it was just so entertaining. I had expected something different with their marital issues and this was also a fun twist.
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I don't know how I feel about this novel. Seriously. When I thought I was reading one thing, it turned out to be something else entirely. If anything I don't think this book really showcased whatever 'angst' Holly was feeling but more of all the issues that she was facing: Packing up and moving to a new town, being a part of the PTA team at her daughter's new school, dealing with the possibility of her husband cheating with his new boss and a whole bunch of unnecessary drama filled nonsense that happened in the course of 1 week. Yes I said that right. 1 week. Too much was happening all at the same time during the course of the storyline that it just made it so unbelievable. Perhaps if it was more space out, the turnout rate would have been better but I just didn't find myself loving this book. At all- which was disappointing to say the least because I really thought this was going to be a knockout.
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Holly Banks is the newest mom in the Village of Primm, and she's feeling the pressure. With over the top... well, everything - this book didn't quite resonate with me. Primm itself feels like an excessive stereotype of Pleasantville, or Stepford, and having hailed from a so-called-Stepford-suburb myself, the trope tired me out pretty quickly. 

Holly herself feels ... less angsty, and more angry. She's got issues, yes. And sometimes the surface level issues (like wearing the wrong color to the PTA meeting) can feel like mountains when you're struggling with things, but I wanted more from Holly. For someone with such a strong internal monologue, I felt like she should've stood up for herself more! Made more waves! It was hard to distinguish the core of Holly's true feelings - while she seemed to WANT all of these things, her actions didn't quite match up. The premise itself seemed like a little bit of a stretch, too. But maybe it's just because I'm not in the place in life Holly is... I'm sure many newish moms who want the best out of life fall into the pitfalls of the shiny lavish 'burbs and all the majesty they seem to promise could relate! All in all, the petty-Peyton-Place setting & narrative arc missed the mark for me, a little too in-your-face for my person preferences!
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I had a hard time with this book. Basicly, I didn't finish it..after about 40% I gave up and just sort of skimmed the rest. I really was looking forward to reading and was disappointed when I couldn't get into it. Nothing wrong with the writing or characters, I guess it just not my type of book. Because of this I am giving it a 4 star because the book is ok it's me that is the problem.
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I’m so excited to share this book with you!! Holly Banks Full of Angst is just the funniest book ever!! You need to go get it right now, if you haven’t read it yet. It is officially is out today!! 💜 .

Holly and her family have just moved to the Village of Primm. Little does she realize just how much the “keeping up with the joneses” this neighborhood will make her. Is there a perfect Mom? .

Right from the beginning you can see how Holly always falls right in to the drama. She is one of those characters that will make you laugh out loud but feel for her because she really does just want everything to be perfect! You will enjoy this one! .

Thanks you to @julievalerieauthor and @lakeunionauthors for this advanced copy! Congrats lady!! You did great!!
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Holly Banks is ready to start her life in her new house in her new town Primm. Determined to fit in and be the best mom she can be, things quickly take an unpleasant turn when Holly realizes that she's not ready for her daughter Ella to start Kindergarten. Getting her up and out the door for the bus proves to be easier said than done, not only that, she's being hounded by the PTA president to volunteer every single second. Throw in her mom who constantly needs to be bailed out and her husband who might lose his job, Holly's not so sure this new life is working out. 

I really really wanted to love this book the plot is everything that I can relate to, not being ready for your kids to start school, struggling to keep it together when all the other moms seem perfect, dealing with baggage from your parents, trying so hard not to traumatize your kids but realizing you're doing exactly that. I struggled to love it because it takes place over one week, and in that one week, three months worth of catastrophes happen. If I had been Holly I would have run away. Holly was very relatable as a character, all of her struggles as a mom are things that most if not all moms have been through, especially the realization that eventually we all turn into our moms no matter how hard we try not to. It was funny with some sweet moments in the chaos.
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What an incredible book, I loved this book. The characters were appealing and the writing style this book is something which stands out and I would definitely be interested more from this author.
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What can I add to +1000 ratings? Nothing of value except to say that is OK, not great. A good choice for readers seeking a light read and mild expectations.

I really appreciate the review copy!!
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An excellent novel, full of believable characters and an entertaining plot. Highly recommended. Plan on reading more books by this author.
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Adorable cover and catchy title... and that's all this one had going for it.  So over the top and trying too hard to be funny.  I quit around the halfway point - I just couldn't force myself to finish.
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As a mom in the middle of juggling volunteering and other kid-related things, this book was more relatable in a crazy exaggerated manner. Holly was funny and so human, with a ton of flaws and insecurities.  Her vision of her move to Primm was supposed to be perfect, with the perfect house and the perfect school where her daughter would start kindergarten. Life is rarely perfect, and people are not as perfect as they seem. Holly just couldn’t catch a break, and her insecurities compounded it and extend into all parts of her life.  
This was not meant to be an accurate depiction, but more of an exaggerated look at what so many may feel as they are navigating parenthood. It kept me laughing and I kept turning pages to see what antics Holly would get into next. It was gratifying to watch her evolution during the week, especially as she started to realize that she and everyone around her are only human.
I enjoyed Julie Valerie’s debut and look forward to seeing what she tackles next.
Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
#HollyBanksFullofAngst #LakeUnionPublishing #JulieValerie
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I've been a mom for nearly six years, and in that time, I've experienced an entire spectrum of emotions. From overwhelming, all-consuming love and elation to exhaustion, frustration and the oh-so-familiar mom guilt, raising two little humans has been a wild ride so far, and no one seems to understand that more than Holly Banks.

In Julie Valerie's hilarious and heartwarming new novel, Holly Banks Full of Angst, Holly and her family has just moved to the very proper Village of Primm, which epitomizes perfection. The school is perfect, the houses and lawns are perfect, and most of all, the moms are perfect. Kept in line by the picture-perfect PTA president herself, Mary Margaret St. James, the mothers of Primm are highly involved in their children's education and don't shy away from volunteering (or being pushed into volunteering by Mary Margaret, more accurately). A newcomer with a brand-new kindergartner, Holly is focused on unpacking, organizing her new home, making sure her daughter Ella adjusts to all-day school, and finding her bearings, but when she attends her first PTA meeting and states that she isn't ready to volunteer yet, she is thrust into the PTA politics of Primm where Mary Margaret steers the ship.

I fell in love with this book on such a personal level. It spoke to my soul as a mother, whether I was cackling as Holly feared Ella had channeled The Exorcist on the first day of school, or crying as she realized how fast her daughter was growing up, how much she needed to forgive her own mother for, and how good a mom she truly is. This book is for every and any kind of mother - the working one, the stay-at-home ones; the single ones; the ones who've had to carry their child out of a store, restaurant, school, or car because they did or did not want to do something; the ones who think all the other moms are more capable or adept at momming than they are; the ones who doubt their own abilities; the ones who are doing their very, very best every single day. 

There is a little Holly in all of us, and I'm so thankful that Julie Valerie wrote this book because it celebrates mothers and shows us that we're all wonderful, just the way we are. Thank you to Julie Valerie, Lake Union Publishing, and Netgalley for an eARC of this beautiful novel in exchange for an honest review.
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Want a light, funny story in between heavier reads? Check out Holly Banks Full of Angst by Julie Valerie.  This is one of those books that’s silly fun but relatable too. If you are a person who is trying to do it all but feel as though you are doing miserably, you will relate to Holly.

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?

This reminds me of the craziness of trying to grocery shop, then driving around to pick up two kids from two different schools and arriving home to open the back of the car and having my groceries spill into the street while my neighbor looked on as he washed his car. This kind of stuff happened to me all the time, Holly is the type of person who would totally understand!

Read it now by going here! Free if you have Kindle Unlimited!
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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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