When I heard the title of this book all I could think about was Holidaze this ABC Family Original Thanksgiving movie about a woman who enters an alternate version of her life. It’s a little subversive and enjoyable movie with a hint of magic and a second chance at romance. I wonder if Simon & Schuster knew about this?
In this Christmas novel, Christina Lauren captures the spirit of your favorite Hallmark movie with just a touch more steam. Christmas is coming to an end and Mae is in the middle of a quarter-life crisis; she just made out with her crush’s brother and just learned the Christmas cabin she and her family-friends have been visiting for generations is going to be sold. Not an ideal end to the holiday season.
Mae makes a plea to the universe to help her find what makes her happy and suddenly she is reliving her Christmas vacation over and over again. Can she get it right ?
My veridict on this story is that this book is perfect if you like holiday romance movies. It’s a humorous low-stakes story with plenty of christmas magic hijinks. The romance is sort of inevitable but I think watching Mae as she tries to navigate the timeloop is what will keep readers hooked.
To me Mae love interest, Andrew, the eldest of two brothers she’s grown up with at the cabin was like a slice of boring white bread. Mae is constantly going on about how cute and wonderful he is then he proceeds to be cute and wonderful and I’m like…this guy is really boring. I just got nothing from him. I was actually rooting for his silly eternal frat boy brother Theo to be the actual hero. Theo and Mae are closer in age and were inseparable growing up. When Mae decides to go after Andrew, Theo gets pretty hurt because she totally ghosts him. Like…I hope he gets a book…
This book has 10+ recurring characters (the crew at the cabin consists of three families) and the authors managed to introduce and give each of them a unique personality without it being overwhelming. I know it’s just a book but one of their Christmas activities is to have a scavenger hunt and they have to take pictures of certain things and get strangers involved and I’m like NOBODY ASKED TO BE A PART OF YOUR CHRISTMAS SHENANIGANS…but this takes place in Utah so maybe it’s different there.
I feel like I was hard on this book but it actually ignited my interest in Christmas books. I think Christan Lauren certainly had a challenge in front of them because it’s tricky to translate the “Groundhog Day ‘ formula to print. In a visual medium it’s easy to do montages or have moments repeat in a way that wouldn’t work in print. I think they 100% pulled it off by focusing on playing lightly into the gimmick.
If you would like to see this in Christmas movie form may I suggest 12 Dates of Christmas with Amy Smart and Mark-Paul Gosselaar.