{Review/Giveaway} HOLLY HEARTS HOLLYWOOD by Kenley Conrad

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O P E N I N G   H O O K:

   I'M ONE OF THE UNLUCKIEST people I know. I'm the girl who gets a pimple on picture day or starts her period at a pool part with boys. Nothing goes my way, and I've always been okay with that. So when I posted videos of me singing Carrie Underwood cover songs on YouTube I didn't think my luck would suddenly change.
(Page 6, US e-ARC edition)

Holly never wanted the spotlight. She loves to sing, but freezes up if asked to do it in public. She finds release through her YouTube videos--which nobody at school knows about. When a record producer stumbles upon them, he loves her sound. The studio is looking to get in on the pop country action and find the next Taylor Swift. While they love her sound, they don't love the way she looks. They offer Holly a contract to sing while a girl named Lacey appears as the face in public. Holly accepts and signs an agreement swearing her to secrecy. When Holly gets to Hollywood, she finds out that her new studio is about to sign bestselling country artist Grayson Frost, who is switching labels. Grayson and Holly knew one another in grade school, but Grayson tortured Holly. He's a big bully and Holly wants nothing to do with him. But then Grayson starts dating Lacey...and Holly starts thinking that maybe he's changing, because he doesn't seem so bad after all. When Holly's feelings for Grayson start to evolve and she finds out that Grayson likes Lacey for "her voice," what's a girl with a non-disclosure supposed to do?

I'll admit it right up front: I had a bit of a struggle reading HOLLY HEARTS HOLLYWOOD. BUT--and I'm serious here--that is MY fault. NOT the book's. 100% Truth. I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I struggle with epistolary novels. I struggled with runaway successes such as THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER and WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE. I've struggled with the writing style from writers I greatly enjoy when they write in other styles, such as Meg Cabot and Rainbow Rowell. This is me, me, me. And since Holly's entire story is told through a series of diaries entries, I admit that I struggled a lot with that aspect of the novel.

That said, the concept for HOLLY HEARTS HOLLYWOOD is still so interesting and fun! I love books featuring actors, musicians, etc. It's a sort of wish fulfillment novel, I guess (Though I've never wished to be either, but you know...) I'm actually hosting A Week of Shooting Stars October 19th-26th to highlight several books in the genre. (You now have a sneak peek at what is to come!)

HOLLY HEARTS HOLLYWOOD is actually the first book in a series featuring Holly, so her journey has only begin. The debut novel is available digitally right now for only $2.99!

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG ( some kissing )
Language: PG ( I can't recall any )
Violence: --
Other: --
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

Fun and sweet! I like the way the microphone cord twists into a heart.. I also like the way the cord goes into the word "HEARTS" from the title and connects the heart and the image of the microphone. It's very clever and fun!
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Kenley Conrad
Release Date: Sept. 23, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance / Macmillan
Received: For Review


Seventeen-year-old Holly Hart wants to be a star. She moves to Los Angeles from the small town of Cedar Junction, only to hear she’s too fat and ugly to be a famous singer.

But when Shell Shocked Records looks past Holly’s plus-size and less-than-graceful-personality to offer her a recording contract, Holly cannot believe her good fortune. On closer inspection, however, the record execs want Holly to do all the singing, and a thinner and more beautiful girl, Lacey, would lip-sync and get all the credit. Holly goes for it because after all, she wanted to sing.

Contractually bound to secrecy, Holly is more than happy to sit backstage while Lacey shimmies in the limelight and basks in the fame. Before she knows it, Holly is friends with Serena, the pop-star daughter of a music-mogul, flirting with an intern, and developing a strange half-friendship with Lacey.

When Grayson Frost, the biggest country star in America, and coincidentally, a former school bully begins dating Lacey, Holly hopes that he won’t recognize or torment her.

Through a series of embarrassing and weird events, Holly gets to know Grayson and learns that he is much nicer and more mature than he was four years ago. Holly is horrified when she starts falling for him. When Grayson admits he fell for Lacey's voice, what is a girl to do when she can’t legally tell the truth at the moment when the truth matters the most?

I'm the author of the upcoming YA series Holly Hearts Hollywood, coming September 2014 by Swoon Romance. I'm a twenty-something cat lady who lives in Phoenix, Arizona. When I'm not working my office day job or writing books, you can find me either singing and dancing or binge-watching TV shows on Netflix.


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