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


Holding out for a Hero

Holding Out For A Hero by Victoria Van Tiem
Release Date: 14th January 2016
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Buy: Paperback |  Kindle


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?


Libby London is fast approaching her 33rd Birthday and things couldn’t get much worse. The eighties super-fan is dreading the party that her friends are intent on organising and it looks as though she is going to have to relocate her vintage shop, Pretty In Pink. Libby is incredibly proud of what she has achieved with the success of Pretty In Pink and sees the shop as her identity. How can she even consider moving it?
Then when Libby’s friends decide to step in and stage is #80sInvertention things looks set to go from bad to worse. Libby’s well meaning friends are determined to bring her into the twenty-first century and find Libby love, whilst forcing her to ditch her love of leg-warmers at the same time.
But is being stuck in the eighties really a bad thing? And why is Libby so reluctant to move on and live her life in the present day?

First things first – I love the eighties. Whilst I was only around for 12 days of that particular decade it doesn’t stop me seriously loving eighties music, fashion and of course, films – so naturally I was ridiciously excited about reading Victoria Van Tiem’s second novel. It sounded wonderful. (It also looks pretty wonderful too…That cover is stunning!)
Whilst I really liked the idea of Libby’s friends staging an #80sIntervention and I knew they meant well, I was slightly concerned as to why they wanted to change Libby so much. Why couldn’t they accept her for who she was and let her have crazy hair and wear leg warmers? However, as the novel progressed I began to understand why they were so keen to move Libby on from that decade and also why Libby was so intent on staying exactly where she was. In fact, the real reason broke my heart just a little bit.

I went into this book expecting it to be a total LOL-fest and I can assure you that it certainly is. Libby is a fast-witted, intelligent character who certainly gets herself into some scrapes. Her #80sIntervention dates are absolutely brilliant and had me snorting with laughter. ‘The Athlete’ was certainly the funniest but ‘The Basket Case’ was my personal favourite…You’ll see why when you read this novel for yourself…
I loved how all of the dates were based on character’s from Libby’s favourite 80s film, The Breakfast Club. It was a concept that worked so well and made for a cracking story with hilarious consequences.
Apart from being initially unsure about the motive behind the #80sIntervention, I soon grew to love Libby’s friends. Finn was great and I adored Dora who has sass by the bucket load.

One thing I was not expecting was the deeper, slightly darker side to this novel. I haven’t yet read Victoria’s debut novel, Love Like The Movies (but I hear that it’s great!) so this kind of took me by surprise. However, this was an exceptionally good thing and the way that Victoria dealt with the topics covered in the story was done sensitively and realistically. I always admire authors who can combine humour, real life and emotion all in one story and Victoria does this with ease.

This story was beautifully crafted by Victoria, so that you don’t find out everything you need to know until you’re well in to the story and by that time you will become completely engrossed. There’s so many themes touched upon within this novel, from friendship to grief, from healing to heartbreak, along with the joy of discovering who you really are in life.

Ultimately, Holding Out For A Hero is an extremely well-written and hugely uplifting read. If you want something that will make you smile and make you think at the same time then I highly recommend this inspiring story. Oh, and if you’re an 80s fan then this book will have you feeling full-on nostalgic. Pass the shoulder pads…

A huge thank you to Lucie at Pan Macmillan for kindly sending me a review copy of Holding Out For A Hero. 


Victoria Van TiemVictoria Van Tiem (pronounced team) is an international author of romantic comedy and dramedy novels. Her second novel, HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO, is now available in the US and in the UK from Pan Macmillan. LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY, a FREE prequel short to Holding out for a Hero is available on Wattpad, and her debut, LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES is available internationally.

Victoria Van Tiem   |  Website |  Twitter |  Goodreads  |


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s