Cover Image: The Holloway Girls

The Holloway Girls

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This was a good read. Very reminiscent of a classic teen drama, but with a fast paced plot. It was a great time and I really enjoyed reading it.
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It's always been the tradition of the girls of the Holloway family when they turn 16 to enter the kissing season. During this time, any person that the Holloway girl kisses gets good luck. However, that isn't the case with Remy, whose first kiss was a boy that ended up with extremely bad luck. Vowing not to kiss a boy again, Remy is set on trying to find a way to break the curse she's found herself in, and that may involve delving into her family's history, and also trying to not be friends with the new boy next door. 

The plot itself is decent in execution. I really liked the idea of magic gone wrong and reversing of spells. I'm always a sucker for a well-designed magic system, but this one felt extremely lacking. All of the magic is contained within this book, yet it exudes into the world around the Holloway family and makes people more attracted to whoever's kissing season it is. It also manifests in the kisses themselves, which I find interesting. 

But... that's it. There's no real reason for how the magic showed up in the first place. There's no practice of magic within the Holloway lineage. It's just the book. To me, it was extremely disappointing, given that the cover and the synopsis felt like it was leading to more of a magical influence. Plus, everyone in the town just always knows about this magic and its presence in the town is really weird to me. Wouldn't people want to keep it hidden? At least that's from what I assume from a bunch of other stories where magic is hidden. It felt off to me and I wished there was a lot more.

Speaking of magic, the whole purpose Remy has is to literally break this curse. I really love how it allows Remy to learn more about her family's complicated history, since there's a lot that's been hidden from her. However, that resolution to breaking the curse I think might be one of the worst endings I've ever read. Like yes, I know it was foreshadowed and it was done well. But it was such an easy fix that it felt like a cop-out to something that read off as much more complicated to solve, since people were actually getting hurt to the point of near death. I almost threw my kindle across the room when I found out what the answer was.

Remy is by far one of the most infuriating characters I've ever read about. She is beyond stubborn and selfish. While she does care for others, she just chooses to shut herself off completely, even to the point where she knows that damage is done, and in internal dialogue even says that it's done, so why not dig the hole even deeper? Who the hell has that mindset? On top of that, she has SEVERAL of the same conversations with people that reinforce to her that what happened was not her fault, but she absolutely does not listen, leading to the impact of the magic on Remy just being lessened to the point of a reader not being impacted emotionally by what's being said/done. This came into play a LOT when it came to the romance, so that was even dulled down for me because of it. I never really saw the chemistry.

Furthermore, there was one scene where she's hanging out with her sister, and the two new kids next door, who are twins. Mind you, Remy's sister Maggie is probably queer, and one of the new kids, Juliet, is absolutely queer. They are having a conversation about trying to have a friendship, even though Juliet and Maggie are kind of flirting. Remy flat out says in response to this something along the lines of "I'll be friends with you as long as you don't kiss me." That's so homophobic it hurts, since it's something that a LOT of queer people here from their peers when they first come out. Maggie calls her out on it and says it's not cool, but it doesn't really lead to a conversation of why it's harmful or how to move on from it. Hell, Remy doesn't even see it as homophobic and never apologizes for it! This moment twisted my entire perception on the book into being one that encouraged inclusivity to one that was just as harmful as it was good.

There were also some weird technical writing choices that were made, like the addition of multiple words when one could have sufficed. Example from the text (I had an ARC of this story, so wording might not be finalized in the final publication): "... but it didn't magically make the secrets/distrust/hurt between us disappear." This took place several places within the story and honestly it felt like the author was extremely indecisive in writing this. That makes me question as a reader how much they trust their own writing, which usually isn't a good thing.

The Holloway Girls is a quaint romance with a lot of rough characterization and stylistic choices that makes what seems to be a smooth read into a bumpy one.

I received a copy of this story from NetGalley and Penguin Teen. Any and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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It was good and cute, but that was about it. Then again, I was in a reading slump while reading this and that might have had something to do with me just not caring about Remy overall
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This book is Hallmark-cute, which is perfectly fine. What isn't so fine is the undercurrent of both slut-shaming and of persuasive non-consent present in this book. It left a bad taste in my mouth. A very, very bad taste. For all its cute potential, I hated it. 

True Consequences: This book certainly embraces an ethereal and cutesy magic, but it doesn't pull its punches. It quickly takes a sharp and dramatic turn that I wasn't against. I don't like to spoil things in my reviews, but "bad luck" is meant in the worst possible way. It's shocking--and one of the few parts of the book that I found delightful. 

Hallmark Holloways: Mom is a baker. Dad is a rock climbing instructor. This type of whimsical employment has a truly Hallmark feel--and that's all before we even get to the "magic" of the kissing season. This is a family marked in the pages of history for its great romances. The whole thing has a very light, fluffy, and fun feel to it. This family and this story might not be very serious (even when there are some serious consequences), but overall, this book isn't meant to be anything more than light and fun. And I appreciate that. 

Malleable Character: Remy isn't a constant. She learns and grows. She might follow a classic sort of character arc, but it's classic for a reason. She starts out obsessed with the wrong boy at the beginning, and this obsession leads to the consequences she has to muddle through in the middle. By the end, she is more sure and confident in herself than before--without being burdened by obsession or the following guilt of cursing Mr.-Not-Right. It's always nice to see a character who can and does change. 

Sister Secrets: I don't like plots that revolve around keeping secrets from intimate relations, and I really didn't like that this book started off almost immediately by driving a wedge between the sisters due to a secret--here, a secret relationship. I also hate when relationships cause drama, especially between girls--and most especially between sisters. It was a very rough start for me here. 

Sluts and Prudes: This book straddles an uncomfortable line between slut shaming and prude shaming, and I am not here for it. There's nothing outright on the slut shaming side (except for some unfortunate things that come out in the heat of an argument), but there's an undercurrent of slut shaming in Remy's attitude toward her sister and her kissing season that is very uncomfortable to read. On the other side of things, after Remy swears off kissing for the year--understandably so, given the traumatic circumstance that prompts her choice--there was an uncomfortable pressure from everybody around her to have her "get back out there." When even her dad is trying to set her up against her (understandable) wishes, it just feels a little bit too much. No should mean no, even if you don't personally understand that no.

Slo-Mo: This is a very slow moving plot. There's a kiss almost at once, and the bad luck is startlingly fast as well. And then there's nothing... Well, there's a lot of waffling after that, but as for plot? Yeah, not much happens for a long, long while... or at all.  


Anyone who enjoyed the baking-infused plotline of Karen Bischer's The Secret Recipe for Moving On will appreciate this sugar-and-spice new story. Those who like a bit of potential magic in their romance like in Marissa Meyer's Instant Karma will like this magical debutante.
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The Holloway Girls follows an intriguing YA premise of a family of women with the ability to bestow good luck with a kiss. Older sister Maggie enjoyed a glorious year, smooching numerous people during her “season.” But when the teen magic passes to Remy she immediately disobeys the inherent rules, injuring and cursing her crush. This well-crafted YA novel focuses on the fallout from that decision and her determination to avoid finding love to protect others – or at least until she can reverse the curse. 

The sisters and their enticing new neighbors are vividly drawn, and readers see into the depths of Remy’s emotions as she bakes out her angst and tries to hide from a world that’s suddenly turned dark and unpredictable. For YA – and adult - readers who prefer complex, emotional journeys with magical overtones, this book casts a lovely spell. 

Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for providing an ARC copy.
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The Holloway Girls drew me in due to the interesting premise. Each Holloway girl has one kissing season and their kisses can bestow good luck on the recipient as long as they have follow the rules. Unfortunately for Remy, things don't go as planned for her and she plans on keeping her lips to herself. Until the new boy in town shows up...

Overall, the Holloway Girls was a quick, easy read with a fun romance, perfect for summer time. Very fluffy! Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
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The Holloway Girls focuses on Remy, the current youngest Holloway Girl who is about to turn 16. And that means inheriting the kissing magic that brings others good luck. But when her kiss brings bad luck to the first receiver she doesn't know what to do.

Yeah. I had higher expectations from that cover and idea. It was fine to read for the moment but once you start to think about it, it is getting a whole lot of nope from me.

The first thing would be the instant slut shaming that Remy has towards her sister Maggie whose kissing season is just ending. Because she kissed so many guys during her season but she wants her recipiant to mean someting. Gag. On the other hand everyone around her is prude shaming her and shoving her into any available guy. Even her father at one point. If she wants to spend this kissing season kissing no one how about accepting that? And this is just about kissing mind you.

There are also holes in the magic for me. Why is the magic going to 16 year old girls? What about the guys in the family (who aren't even mentioned might I add)? Why write down the rules like no kissing someone who is in love with someone else but not give a solution for when it does happen. Because you cannot always know this up front. Sometimes people don't even realize it themselves. Why isn't it the first idea to disconnect Remy from the magic of the book to cancel the curse? Why does her family believe in luck from a kiss but not in a curse when not following the rules?

Lets not forget the whole victim blaming of Remy by the whole town for Isaac's bad luck when he knew exactly what he was doing by kissing her. How do all those teens not have a mind of their own? Why does the whole town know anyway?

As you can see I could not actually make sense of a lot of things in this book and the more I think about it the more I dislike it.
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This was a cute book. Remy starts off her kissing season with bad luck and the book catalogues her journey to stop the bad luck and perhaps find true love on the way. It was very cute. Remy was my favorite character and the characters all seemed very real, not contrived.

 I felt like in the middle however, that there could have been more development of Tobin and Remy getting to know each other rather than Remy just complaining about having to stay away from everyone. The middle just seemed to drag a bit. But overall, it was  a cute story and I enjoyed reading it! The premise was interesting and the author did a great job bringing it to life and showing us the story through the lens of a sixteen year old. Remy didn’t feel like one of those 16 year olds that suddenly knows better than every adult. She had big feelings and sometimes didn’t know what she could to do resolve her issues. 

Overall a cute and fun story! I’d give it 3.5 stars.
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Being a Holloway Girl means your kiss is literally magic. One kiss and good luck knocks on your door. Each Holloway girl gets one kissing season. But there are rules to follow. Break one of those rules and who knows what peril will befall you?

Remy’s older sister, Maggie, had her kissing season and now it’s Remy’s turn. She hopes and dreams of an amazing, successful season. Alas, her luck runs out with her choice for her first kiss, which starts a mess that spirals her life down the drain.

The story started out well, though I can’t imagine kissing anyone just to bestow luck. I did like Remy’s outlook on that, on being more selective than Maggie, on choices that actually meant something. I loved all the baked goods and the new characters were quite charming. I loved the intensity and pull between Remy and the new boy.

That said, the book dragged a bit at times, and the ending was kind of anticlimactic for me. I wanted the people who’d wronged Remy and her family to actually get their comeuppance and wished Remy had a stronger character. But all in all, it was a nice story.

I was going to review the book a day before the release date but decided to wait a few days because of my 3-star review. Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.v
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When your kiss is good luck, the wrong kiss could change everything...

I enjoyed this book. Magic, baking, and a summer of fun compiled into a short and easy read that made me forget I was actually reading and not a part of the magic. Remy, like her sister Maggie and every Holloway girl that came before her, has the power to bestow good luck on anyone. As long as they kiss before her season is over. Remy has grown up on the stories of her family, and the stories of luck that came with them. She’s determined to use her season to win over her crush, and that’s when things go wrong. 

While the synopsis promises a story of bad luck and potential doom, I found that the story almost glossed over that portion. Sure, Remy does end up gravely injuring her crush, but after he’s taken to the hospital and his friends don’t let her in, she doesn’t really do anything about it. It’s almost as if she forgets he exists and continues on with her summer. I found that it focused more on the bad things that happen to her because her crush’s friends think that she cursed him, and Remy’s talent for baking, which was written nowhere in the synopsis. 

Then there’s a new love interest, who moves in next door and seems to fall in love at first sight. I did enjoy the banter and adventures that occurred once this happened, but Remy was such a Debby Downer that it felt more like telling vs showing, as if there was supposed to be some more edits. Also there were some weird parts that had sentences like “... she felt hopeless/afraid/scared.” which I found sort of broke up the writing in a very choppy way, and it didn’t feel like it was edited. 

That being said, this is a wonderful quick summer read that involves everything a good summer romance needs. Thank you to NetGalley, SourceBooks Fire and the author for an advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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I was expecting something cute, but honestly this was a little bit stressful. A young girl is bullied after being taken advantage of by a boy and is pressured into having relations with another boy by her own family despite not being interested. This type of thing is fine to include in books, but I’m not sure why it was marketed as a fluffy rom-com when these aspects of the novel are so dark and impossible to ignore. I had some trouble connecting with a lot of the characters with the exception of Juliet. The ending and epilogue also left much to be desired. It’s not great, but if you like reading stuff that’s maybe a bit trashy, I’d say go ahead.
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It's finally Remy's time; her kissing season has begun. Everyone knows the Holloway women can give you luck with just a kiss, but only during their one year kissing season. When Remy sets her sights on her crush it all seems to be going her way....until the kiss happens. Everything that follows is horrific luck for the boy involved, and with a cute new boy moving in next door will Remy be able to resist? Or will her curse be passed on?

If you're looking for a light and fun summer read with peppered in romance and a pinch of family mysteries then look no further than The Holloway Girls. The characters are fun and unique, despite sometimes sounding like a broken record(I'm looking at you, Remy!). A well paced story will keep readers turning pages long after they should be sleeping with a well thought out conclusion to greet them.

Five stars for this fun read, recommend for ages 12+ and for those who love a little romance with their fantasy.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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The Holloway Girls follows Remy who has magic in her family. Every year for a few months they have what is called the kissing season. Anyone who gets kissed by Remy or her sister will have good luck for a year. This year happens to be Remy's first kissing season and the first person she kisses ends up having bad luck. And now Remy has a cursed kissing season. She does not want to kiss anyone else until she finds a way to break the curse. But then a new boy moves into town making it harder and harder for Remy not to kiss him. In order to be with him she has to break the family's curse or else their legacy will fall. 

I am usually not a fan of fantasy books but I really liked this one. I think because it was a very light fantasy. I thought this one was very cute. I thought it was a very interesting plot. Loved how Remy would stop at nothing to get her family's curse lifted. I liked how her main love interest in the story was willing to help her and wait for her. This was also a very fast paced read. I enjoyed how this book was different from the others that I have read. But not so different that I did not like it. Overall a very cute YA read that I would suggest.
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If you’re looking for a light read that’s cute and magical, this is it! Quick and easy read. 
Thank you NetGalley for the ARC!
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I binge read this whole book in a single setting, and enjoyed it through and through. It did feel like something was missing, but I need to sit with it to better process my thoughts. Full review upcoming on my blog "Abby's Coven"
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The Holloway Girls by Susan Crispell 

The Holloway girls are magic. For one year after they turn 16 their kisses grant good luck. The kissing season as it’s known in their town has boys and girls falling for the Holloway girls in hopes of becoming lucky for life, but there a few rules that will instead cause bad luck or more unknown consequences. 

This was a very fun read. It was light and quick and enjoyable. My only complaint is that I wish it had a bit more of everything. A bit more explanations, a bit more magic, a bit more family history. But taking it as a fun YA book it definitely hits that mark. 

Do you enjoy reading young adult books? 

This one is out on June 7th! Thank you to @netgalley and @sourcebooksfire for my copy! 

#netgalley #sourcebooksfire #thehollowaygirls #books #yabooks #yabookstagram #bookish #bookishthoughts #mybooks #reading #read #kindle #ebooks #newreleases #bookstagram #reading #book
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This was a really cute, fluffy read that I would give 3.5+🌟’s if I could, but since I can’t I rounded up. It’s a fast, easy, well-written read. More of a teen romance with a small hint of Magic than the other way around but it was enjoyable all the same and I would definitely recommend this to others looking for something in this genre.
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I wanted to love this book. It had a different magicky premise than other books I usually read, but it sort of just fell flat. It was just an ok magic story with an ok romance. There were parts that were good, it just didn't grab me the way the synopsis did. I'd still recommend it though.
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This book focuses on Remy Holloway during her ‘kissing season’, it’s said that whoever a Holloway girl kisses gets good luck. When Remy’s kissing season started, it didn’t turn out like she hoped, this book shows how Remy grows and becomes a better person with the help of Tobin, Juliet and Maggie <3
I really liked the plot and the whole idea of this book, I’d definitely read it again. Tobin’s character was just overall well written, I loved the way he stuck around for Remy no matter how many times she friendzoned him hahahah. The way he had a whole playlist made for her ahhh <3  The development of Remy’s character was just amazing as we see how she learns and becomes her true self at the end. 
This book comes out June 7th, I definitely recommend reading this.
Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for this ARC!
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I really enjoyed The Holloway Girls by Susan Bishop Crispell!! I enjoyed Remy's path through her "season", a year of magical luck earned only through the kiss of a Holloway girl. Rent's struggles, despite often being magical, are relatable (and often humorous)! I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a bit of real-world magic in YA books!
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