Book Review – For Holly

Author: Tanya Byrne
Series: None
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: 4th June 2015
Publishers: Headline
No. Pages: 336
Source: BookBridgr
Buy at: BookDepository

Lola Durand hates her stepmother. It’s a cliché but it’s true.
Lola Durand can’t get through to her father. He never wants to talk about the things that matter: why they had to move to Paris, why he had to marry evil Agatha, and how they can get through the heartache of her mother’s death together.
If he won’t listen, she’ll show him. She’ll show him the truth about his new wife and then her life can go back to normal, just the way she likes it.
Lola Durand knows a secret about her stepmother. She’s going to share it.

For Holly is a quick and entertaining read.

The story follows Lola Dunard as she is forced to stay with her father and stepmother in Paris, during her summer break. As Lola learns of her father’s plans to keep her in Paris permanently and that her stepmother, Agatha, had convinced Lola’s boyfriend to return to London without her, Lola is hellbent on revenge.

I couldn’t help but sympathize with Lola. She had set herself on a self-destructing path after her mothers death, yet the adults in the book didn’t seem capable to help her. Yes Lola did make some horrible decisions throughout this book, but you ultimately knew it was because she wasn’t getting the help she needed and so you couldn’t fault her for it.

Lola’s dad irked me at times, but I could never hate him. There were things he said and his actions – most notably him remarrying only 3 months after his wife had died, without even talking to his daughter first – that seemed so insensitive.

My feelings on Agatha are complicated. To start with I absolutely did not like her at all, however, towards the end of the book we learnt more about her backstory and I did feel sympathy for her. Unfortunately, I still couldn’t completely like her.

Byrne’s writing style is unique; the story is written as a notebook/letter, which made the reading experience more intimate. For Holly started off slow and I often found my attention wondering, however during the second half the story picked up and I found myself eagerly turning each page.



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