Book Review: Holding Out For A Hero by Victoria Van Tiem

Book Review: Holding Out For A Hero by Victoria Van TiemHolding Out for a Hero by Victoria Van Tiem
Published by Pan Macmillan on January 14th 2016
Rating: four-half-stars
Genres: Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 175

The problem with first love is that it never truly dies . . .
Libby London fell in love with the eighties, came of age in the nineties, and now the twenty-first century is baffling her. Her New-York-City style is more, erm, vintage tragedy than retro babe and her penchant for All Things Eighties might just be what's holding her back in matters of life and love . . .
At least that's what her well-meaning friends think. They've staged a #80sIntervention in an effort to bring Libby bang up to date. What with her dreaded birthday party, friends' madcap ambush, and being forced to relocate her vintage shop, Libby's nearing breaking point!
Will she ever be able to move on when the one she loves keeps her in the past?

Holding Out For A Hero has one of the best covers I’ve ever seen (it’s so simplistic, but so gorgeous) and also one of the most misleading book covers I’ve ever seen. I genuinely thought this would be a fun, light read. Nuh-uh. This is a hard read, because it is genuinely hard to read about the struggles Libby is going through, to read about her nights and what happens, and she’s so anxious, and worries so much, you can’t help but worry with her and be anxious with her and it turns you into a bit of a mess, so imagine how bad it is for Libby! But it’s actually a really good read, and it’s an important read.

Holding Out For A Hero is chock-full of eighties references. From the song-title-chapters, to every other sentence Libby utters being full of the eighties, it’s like an eighties extravaganza and it’s amazing. I was actually born in 1990, so I missed the 80s (and the vast majority of the 90s, considering I was a baby/toddler) but the way Libby brings it to life is something special. I now want to go and binge all the awesome 80s movies there are, starting with The Breakfast Club and Pretty In Pink, and any other 80s movie referenced in this book. In fact, I would love Victoria immensely if she provided me with a) a soundtrack for this novel, filled with all the songs referenced and b) a movie list of this novel, ditto. I want to immerse myself in the awesome 80s for a bit, and see why Libby loved it so much.

But on the flip-side to that, there’s an important message to Holding Out For A Hero. I’m loathe to give too much away, but it was the kind of novel that left me worried – I wrote on my GoodReads update that I was really enjoying the book, but I wasn’t quite sure where Ollie actually went, and he’s a really important part of Libby’s life and Libby’s story. Did I guess? Yes. Was I right? Yes. Was I still surprised? Oh boy yes. There was another bright spot to the novel though, in the form of Jasper. He was pretty freaking awesome, and it’s fair to say I developed a bit of a crush on him.

Whatever you do, don’t judge this book by its cover. There’s a lot more going on inside the pages than the cover gives away, so if you’re not prepared for a heavier read, don’t read it, because you’ll only get annoyed. I liked it, I found it refreshing, and I loved Libby and wanted to hug her and try and make it all better. I loved her love for the 80s, it was infectious, really, really infectious. And I really enjoyed Holding Out For A Hero. No, it wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was even better than that, despite some of the difficult scenes. Van Tiem is a very sensitive storyteller, and she’s done Libby very, very proud.


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