Am I writing as many of these posts on Monday as I can, and scheduling them to post throughout the week? Yes, yes I am! I am going to catch up!!!!
Sometimes I don’t feel like writing a full review for whatever reason, either because life is busy and I don’t have time, or because a book didn’t stir me enough. Sometimes, it’s because a book was so good that I just don’t have anything to say beyond that I loved it! Frequently, I’m just wayyy behind on reviews and am trying to catch up. For whatever reason, these are books that only have a few paragraphs of thoughts from me.
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren – 3.5*
This one was perfectly fine, but it weirdly felt not-quite-gimmicky enough, if that makes sense. If you’re going to do a Groundhog Day thing, then you should do it more than just like, three times. I also was a little confused about what the “message” was supposed to be… I guess the universe just wants the MC to “be happy”?? Or something?? While I was actually reading it, though, I enjoyed it just fine, and it did check off some pesky time-travel-y bingo squares for all my holiday bingos, so there is that!
The Birds’ Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggins – 3.5*
This is classic late-1800s reading material here – the dear, sweet, girl not long for this world, who does her best to make Christmas a little better for her impoverished neighbors. While it was a little over-the-top with the sweetness, it was still a perfectly lovely little story, even if it was really sad. I wasn’t surprised to find out that this was originally intended as a play – it definitely has that vibe about it.
Finding Christmas by Karen Schaler – 3.5*
Another one that I struggled with a little. Emmie has an amazing Christmas getaway planned with her boyfriend, including a scavenger hunt with clues for him to follow so that he will end up at a magical Christmas village where she has reserved a spot for them at a B&B and has loads of fun holiday activities planned. She’s excited about introducing her to a season that means a lot to her, especially since it helps her cherish the memories of her parents who have passed away. But things get a little mixed up, and the wrong guy follows the clues – Sam writes detective novels, but he’s been stuck ever since his sister died of cancer the year before. He thinks the clues are a set-up by his agent to help get him back in the groove. What with weather and other things, Emmie and Sam end up spending a lot of the week together, which was fine – except this was one of those borderline-cheating books, since Emmie is still in a relationship with her boyfriend, a relationship that, until this week, she thought was really serious/heading towards marriage. Even though “nothing happens” I still didn’t like the vibe. Schaler is also the author of a few Hallmark movie/books, and it was pretty eye-roll-y when she had Emmie talking about Schaler’s books and movies in this book, referring to them as “Christmas classics”. All in all, another perfectly fine but not amazing holiday read.
The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss – 3.5*
It’s funny because this one is a reread – I really enjoyed it last year so I decided to read it again this year, but actually didn’t enjoy it as much this time around. The overall story was still really enjoyable and some of the dates humorous, but I was more aware of how it really felt like Kate’s best friend/secret crush is kind of a user… he’s always expecting her to help him with the cafe, or do some more baking for him, or run errands for him, etc. There was one scene in particular where she is on her way back home late at night and is exhausted and thinking about how excited she is to go to bed… and Matt basically waylays her and guilt trips her into coming to help him do some more baking, and it felt kind of manipulative. I think this story would have benefitted a lot from getting Matt’s perspective, as that’s part of the problem – we’re only in Kate’s head, so it’s hard to tell what Matt is really thinking, or what is motivations really are. I did enjoy rereading this one, but I’m not sure it’s going to become an annual tradition.
A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale – 3.5*
I realize all these books are pretty predictable, but this one felt extra predictable. Girl goes to work as a nanny for a rich guy who is always busy at work… gee, I wonder what is going to happen next? In this one, the dude is divorced, which honestly felt weird just because why does he need a nanny when his kids don’t even live with him?? He also has an awesome family… so again, why does he need a nanny?? It wasn’t a terrible read, but I kind of ho-hummed my way through it.