Book Review

Book Review | In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

Title: In a Holidaze
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Romance, Holiday
Published On: October 6, 2020
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: digital
Pages: 336

Synopsis:

One Christmas wish, two brothers, and a lifetime of hope are on the line for hapless Maelyn Jones in In a Holidaze, the quintessential holiday romantic novel by Christina Lauren, the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners..

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark “downright hilarious” (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays.

My thoughts

(Spoiler free)

Five festive, romantic, and unputdownable stars! I was prepared to be disappointed with this one. It seems to be the way I start all Christina Lauren books, despite the fact that I always seem to enjoy them. I should just stop reading other’s reviews. Clearly, I am just the hopeless romantic audience they are writing for. Was it perfect? No, but I was so immersed in the story, I didn’t care about the little imperfections.

“His breath comes out warm against my neck, voice shaking: ‘It never occurred to me that you might be mine.'”

Christina Lauren, In a Holidaze

I’ve mentioned before that I used to work in a video rental store when I was a teen (yes, I’m old), and I would often play certain movies on a loop. Groundhog Day with Bill Murray was one of them. That movie still makes me smile. So I don’t mind the Groundhog Day trope—when it’s done well. And I think In a Holidaze has done it well. 

Speaking of films, for some reason the first part of this book was giving me major Untamed Heart feels. Most of you won’t even know what that movie is (bonus points if you do!), but it’s a heart-wrenching early 90’s film staring Christian Slater and Marisa Tomei set around Christmastime. Maybe sweet and simple Andrew from the book reminded me of sweet and simple Adam from the film?? I don’t know, there really isn’t much that is similar, but it brought back some nostalgic feelings.

Thankfully, In a Holidaze was more smiles than tears, and while our heroine, Mae, is frustratingly stuck in a time loop, I thought her sweet determination to do everything right outshined her tendency to doubt her choices. She is wonderfully flawed and real and it’s her mistakes that set off her time loop to begin with. It’s about her journey to learn something new about herself. There are a few things I would change about how or why the time loop started, but I was happy with how it played out.

“I’ve spent years not trusting my ability to make decisions and quietly letting life just happen to me. It can’t be a coincidence that the moment I stopped being passive and followed my instincts, everything seemed to fall into place. I know what makes me happy—trusting myself. What a gift, right? I found happiness.”

Christina Lauren, In a Holidaze

And I have to mention the side characters are all wonderful, as well. Especially Benny. He needs his own book!

This is a holiday read I will for sure want to read again, and someone, please make it into a movie by next year! Until then, I’ll just have to go rewatch Untamed Heart and Groundhog Day

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Kobo | Amazon

About the Author

Christina Lauren
Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced sixteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 30+ languages. (Some of these books have kissing. Some of these books have A LOT of kissing.)

A Song For A Book

On Bookstagram I created a hashtag for when I include a song that reminds me of the book I’m sharing, #ASongForABook, I thought I’d make it a regular feature on my reviews, too.

In a Holidaze mentions several songs and artists, so it was easy to create a playlist inspired by the book. (I’ll be including it down below!) One of my favorite songs off Praytell’s Christmas album from last year is “Be Yourself at Christmas”, and I thought it fit Mae perfectly!

Why is it so hard
To be yourself at Christmas time
It would be a shame
If you and I kept up that game

If you’re blue
That’s okay
I’ll take you anyway
I love you means you can feel free
To be yourself at Christmas
Around me

Have you read In a Holidaze? Did you add it to your tbr? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Wandering!

8 thoughts on “Book Review | In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren”

  1. Fab review, Dedra! I think I might pick this one up sooner than I think because it just sounds so perfectly festive and I did start reading an excerpt of it and I was already enjoying so much with that little bit. It’s been a while since I’ve read anything by CLo but I’m really looking forward to picking this up 😍 I love that it also has a playlist! Will defo put it on while reading, I think 😉

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