Published: December 1st 2020
Format: eBook (ARC)
Tag: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realism, Romance, Holiday
| Synopsis from the Publisher |
Tess and her opinionated older sister Lauren are spending the week after Christmas at the snowy Evergreen Lodge in Vermont and they aren’t happy about it. Their stern grandmother, who owns the holiday resort, is not known for her warmth and good humor. But when shy, straight-laced Tess meets Christopher in the lobby, things are suddenly looking up. And when she decides to get out of her comfort zone and create a bucket list of things to accomplish before the New Year-like singing in public and skiing a black-diamond slope-Christopher is happy to help, even as he keeps a secret that could turn everything upside down. When the ball drops, will Tess and Christopher share a magical kiss-or will Tess start the new year off alone?
| Book Review |
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House Children’s through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Describing This Book in Adjectives: Cozy, Compelling, Romantic
I love reading cozy holiday reads, and that is one of the main reasons I picked this book up. It takes place in that nebulous period between Christmas and New Years, so it’s still got that holiday charm to it without being all about Christmas. The romance in this is so sweet and cute and it’s also wrapped up in a quest for self-discovery. Tess is so used to following the rules. She personally labels herself as a Type A. She’s constantly at odds with her sister, who seems to do whatever she wants. And when it appears that their grandmother has mapped out their whole break with family activities, it looks like Tess is the only one who is willing to do as they’re told.
Until she meets Christopher, the boy with the broken leg and no where to go. Their attraction is pretty instantaneous, a very sweet meet-cute. I was totally down to watch them fall for each other, and their romance is built upon Christopher’s insistence that Tess let loose a little and try new things. So they make a list of 10 new things for Tess to try before New Year’s.
Obviously complications ensue, and there is a subplot where Tess and her sister are dealing with their parents’ divorce, which is one of the reasons they’ve been shipped off to their grandma’s resort. That’s right – this whole story takes place at a holiday resort! The setting for this story just adds to the general holiday atmosphere. I love the winter feel of it, the coziness that comes with it.
The character development is really what makes this book so compelling. Tess is a relatable character, who truly does go through some self-discovery over the course of the book and finds new things about herself and a new sense of confidence, as well as to be more flexible and let go every once in a while. Christopher is a good match to her – he’s outgoing, warm, and funny, and he’s able to bring her out of her shell and support her as she goes out on a limb. Their chemistry is off the charts and, as the reader, I was rooting for them the whole way. The side characters are also really interesting. Tess’s sister, her grandmother, and the friends she makes along the way all add to the story in clear ways and help keep the novel relatable and realistic.
With the cozy atmosphere and the compelling characters, this story is an easy read with only minor conflict for the characters. It ends very neatly and I don’t mind, because that’s what I want from these kinds of stories. It feels like a present given to me and all I have to do is enjoy the ride.
| My Rating |
Definitely Worth the Read
I had a lot of fun reading this book. It’s so cute and fun and an easy read. I’d definitely suggest it as a reader’s block buster. You don’t have to commit much to reading it, just sit back and let the story unfold. The pace is fast and the love story will definitely pull you right in. It’s pretty get-go from the first chapter. All of the characters are relatable and interesting and the plot reflects many a Hallmark Christmas movie, with many a too-good-to-be-true moment, yet you can chalk it up to holiday magic.
I’d recommend this book to teens who are looking for a cute, contemporary romance, or if they a read that reflects the season. Just grab a mug of hot chocolate, curl up under a fleecy blanket, and let the story take you away.