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Released: November 2 2021
Genre: Young Adult
“The Holiday, but teenage edition.”~ Under the Covers
The Holiday, but teenage edition.
Elle is a social media rising star trying to gain more followers. She ends up deciding to ask a British fan to swap lives with her for Christmas. Holly absolutely loves Christmas, but after an embarrassing interaction with her ex, she’s ready to get out of town. With her favorite social media influencer looking to swap, what could be more perfect? As they each try out the other’s home town, they also find some unexpected people: Holly’s neighbor for Elle and Elle’s twin brother for Holly.
First off, The Holiday is one of my favorite Christmas movies, so I was so excited to see a book version. However, having it be about two 15-year-old girls was not exactly what I was hoping for. I guess I should have examined everything more carefully, but the blurb definitely doesn’t make it clear that this is a YA book. It was a bit hard for me to imagine a bunch of teenagers running around completely unsupervised in some of the largest cities in the world without knowing anything about those places ahead of time. Assuming you can suspend your disbelief sufficiently for that, then it’s an interesting set up. Getting to explore big cities and small towns in two different countries was probably the highlight of the book for me. I liked to get that taste of small-town life in both the US and UK.
My biggest frustrations were really around the conflicts. I don’t really enjoy stories about catty girls seeking revenge over perceived slights and people making decisions solely based on what will endear them to the “popular” kids. I get that this is a YA book, and therefore should have YA-relevant problems, but aren’t there other options? I completely acknowledge that while this is a problem for me, many other readers might enjoy this kind of plot.
Overall, if you like YA contemporary fiction and like The Holiday, then you’ll enjoy this story as well. It’s well-written and pretty fast-paced. The Christmas setting made for some extra seasonal fun that can definitely put you in the mood for the holiday.
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