Working In A Castle Isn't All Fun And Games - Holding Court (ARC review)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Once Upon A Dream Books - Working In A Castle Isn't All Fun And Games - Holding Court by K.C. Held (ARC review)

TITLE: Holding Court
RELEASE DATE: March 1st 2016
PUBLISHER: Entangled Teen
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“Sixteen-year-old Jules Verity knows exactly what's in store at her new job at castle-turned-dinner-theater Tudor Times. Some extra cash, wearing a fancy-pants dress, and plenty of time to secretly drool over the ever-so-tasty--and completely unavailable--Grayson Chandler. Except that it's not quite what she imagined.

For one, the costume Jules has to wear is awful. Then there's the dead body she finds that just kind of...well, disappears. Oh, and there's the small issue of Jules and her episodes of what her best friend calls "Psychic Tourette's Syndrome"--spontaneous and uncontrollable outbursts of seemingly absurd prophecies.

The only bright side? This whole dead body thing seems to have gotten Grayson's attention. Except that the more Jules investigates, the more she discovers that Grayson's interest might not be as courtly as she thought. In fact, it's starting to look suspicious...”

On one hand I liked the book.....

  • There was something very carefree about the book. : 

It was lighthearted and fun. Despite the fact that our heroine found a dead body, the book still managed to keep a positive air throughout it. Which made for a nice, quick read.

  • I didn't predict the killer correctly until right before the end.
While I really wasn't exactly looking to uncover his/her identity, this wasn't one of those books where I was like "yes, it's you" and became sorely disappointed when I figured it out within the first 20 pages of the novel.

  • Her random predictions were RANDOM. : 
But looking back, you could easily see what they were talking about. Which I think it made the whole psychic abilities thing a little more fun and a little more real. You never knew what she'd say next and it kept the book from being obviously mapped out for the readers.

On the other.....

  • The side characters were flat. : 
(And by side, I mean everyone not Jules.) This is the reason I cannot give the book higher than 3 stars.

Everyone had their stereotypical roles to play and that was it.: 
* The absent, but caring mother.
* The grandmother who both played a parental figure role and allowed the child to do her own thing.
* The devoted BFF who was always in your corner.
* The handsome unobtainable love interest.
* The perfect, pretty, and friendly girlfriend to said love interest.

The closest we got to knowing the characters was with the grandmother and best friend. And maybe a bit towards the end for certain other characters and spoilery things. But we never really got to know anyone else, which kept me from being fully submersed in this world.

  • I don't get why she liked Grayson.
Grayson was like that hot kid in your class in school. You loved looking at your eye candy but if you actually interacted with him, you'd wonder what you saw in him.

Yes, the younger version of him was cool and liked The Princess Bride. But then he ran away from Jules and has basically avoided her since. At work, he makes small talk, nothing to signify why she was attracted to him. It took him almost the whole book for him to do something you might consider shipworthy. 

So I had a hard time with the romance aspect because it plays such a huge role in the book.


Holding Court was a light, fun read. I think younger readers might enjoy it a lot more than someone my age who is looking for a more complex YA novel.

Quotations To Remember

"How you cope is up to you, but I will tell you that hoping your gift magically disappears is a waste of time. You will never be 'normal.' And the sooner you embrace that, the better you'll be."

"The plan was to ogle Grayson from afar, not up close and personal. Unrequited love is much easier to take from afar."

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