Cover Image: Holly Banks Full of Angst

Holly Banks Full of Angst

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

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.
Was this review helpful?
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!
Was this review helpful?
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!
Was this review helpful?
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!
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
(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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
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.
Was this review helpful?
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!
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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!
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
This is one of the best, funniest books I have read in a long time. The characters are fun, vivid, and relatable- I have BEEN Holly in occaision! I am telling everyone about this fun, light-hearted book!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Julie + Netgalley for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Holly Banks was one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. Holly moves into a new home in a new town, and desperately wants to fit in. She chooses this house because it is in one of the best school districts, as her daughter is starting Kindergarten the next day!

Mary Margaret Saint James is the head of the PTA, and makes it her mission to have all the parents volunteer! Holly just wants to settle into her new home and start unpacking her house. But, that is not an option in Mary Margaret’s world. 

I am not a mother, but I could easily see how relatable this book would be to other mothers. Holly try’s to be the perfect baker, crafter, and have the most Pinterest worthy home. The author does a wonderful job of showing how there’s more to life than being perfect. I highly recommend this book. It is super funny, so relatable, and just overall a great book!
Was this review helpful?
Holly Banks Full of Angst by Julie Valerie

So when I first started this book, I didn’t know what to think of it. I absolutely disliked the president of the PTA, which I know I was supposed to, but it bothered me so much that it was making me not enjoy the book as much as I wanted to. And I also wanted to shake Holly and tell her to stick up for herself. 

Then I kept reading, I tried to ignore the b*tchy PTA president and focus on Holly and what she was going through. It has to be hard for any mom who is in a new place meeting new people, all while your 5 year old starts kindergarten for the first time in a new school. That’s a lot on your plate. I laughed, I got angry, and I was happy with how Holly handled sooooo many obstacles throughout the story. The last 25% of the book was my favourite. Also, I don’t like cherries but even I wanted some cherry pie! Holly and her quirky mom’s relationship turned out sweet and I am looking forward to reading the second instalment of Holly Banks and the Village of Primm! Hip! Hip! 

I’m glad I took my time to think of the book before rating right away. I was going to give 3 1/2 stars, but I changed my mind to 4/5!! Hip! Hip!

Thank you Netgalley, Lake Union Publishing and Julie Valerie for this ARC in exchange for my honest review!
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book so so much! It was one of my favorite of the year. The balance between hilarious and relative was perfect and I could not have fallen in love with Holly more. There aren't a lot of books that I've found that are absolutely relate-able to how hard being a parent is and being a spouse but this was so enjoyable to read. I loved the writing style and can't recommend it enough to my friends and family. I certainly can't wait to see what is next for Holly either. 

You can check out my review with picture on my iG site @Morgan_Clift_105 & Julie thank you for sharing my post about your wonderful book. You are a joy to talk to as an author and I am so happy for the debut of this in December!
Was this review helpful?
Hip hip! Welcome to Primm! Population: one giant peahen, an overbearing, narcissistic head of the PTA and her merry band of pink shirted volunteers, a judgy cable guy and one email psychic Betty. Think Pleasantville crossed with the Stepford Wives, and you have something close to the village of Primm, filled with immaculately put together families, topiary and PTA committees. (Or is that PITA committees??)

Holly Banks feels she’s finally ‘made it’ in her new place. Completely Pinterest - worthy, yet lacking in storage, it just needs some time (and porch ornaments) to feel like home. Except Holly can’t seem to get unpacked. Or get her daughter Ella on the bus on time. Or make herself sign on the dotted line for the PTA groups. Or bake enough pies to satisfy the pie mums. And what is up with her husband who seems rather jittery and absent all of a sudden? Can Holly fit in and finally get Ella on the bus on time?

The book had so many laugh out loud moments with Holly first trying to blend in, stay afloat and then slowly start to reclaim her own identity and put herself maybe not first, but certainly not last.

It’s such a relatable book that shines light on the mental load and the ridiculous pressures we often place on ourselves to be ‘perfect’ mums. Interestingly, when we see it in others, we’re quick to recognise it as unrealistic, but we don’t seem to show the same level of kindness to ourselves! The book really questions this idea of perfection, and the lengths people go to to feel like they’re achieving it. After all, you don’t have to be perfect to be a loving wife, daughter and mother to your loved ones!
Was this review helpful?

Holly Banks and her family relocates to a new town where Holly gets thrown into the PTA to work alongside Mary-Margaret St. James, who is like the equivalent of Regina from Mean Girls. Their strife with each other will have you rolling in the aisles. I literally picture this book as a film the entire time as I reading it. .
Holly Banks Full of Angst had me laughing beginning to end. I am so sad to leave the Village of Primm. I have grown to love this community and everyone in it (including the plants). I'm not a parent, but I found Holly to be so relatable and wanted to sit on the porch and just drink coffee with her and Struggle.
I absolutely adored this hilarious, witty, and genuine debut from Julie Valerie. This "quirky, woebegone, and prim" novel comes out December 1st, and I cannot wait to get everyone I know a copy (yes, including myself)! It's a definite favorite of the year! Hip, hip! 
Thank you @netgalley, @lakeunionauthors , and of course sweet @julievalerieauthor for giving me the chance to read this book first! What a lovely gem!
Was this review helpful?
I have never read a book with such a relatable MC. While I may not be a parent, I can appreciate the struggle. I can already tell you, I will be the mom in my PJs dropping off my child. This book was laugh-out-loud funny, with some uncomfortable situations. It not only tells of the ups and downs of surviving parenthood and overbearing PTA presidents, it also shows the imperfections of everyday life in a family.
This charming and witty book is set to release on December 1st and I would recommend it to pretty much anybody and everybody. Especially to the moms out there that are feeling like they can’t keep up. Just know that no one is perfect and we are all just trying to survive. Hip Hip!
Thank you to @julievalerieauthor and @netgalley for providing me with an eARC in return for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?