Author: Tanya Byrne
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: 4th June 2015
No. Pages: 336
Buy at: BookDepository
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.