Cover Image: Monica Adams Skips Christmas

Monica Adams Skips Christmas

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Member Reviews

In all honesty, I struggle with novellas and this one was no exception. There was so much going on in this book for it to be so short. Monica’s breakup, her indecision and struggle with leaving school, pressure from her parents, new relationship with Paige, and her grandfathers declining health. Because there was so much to stuff into the 80ish pages, I feel like a lot of it was glossed over. There was not a lot of depth to the main characters, and it felt like I was reading a story about much younger MCs. Their dialogue felt immature. Also… where was the promised grump vs sunshine? She mentions “skipping Christmas” like twice, and then just forgets all about it.
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"Monica Adams Skips Christmas" is a cute Hallmark type holiday romance, but it faltered due to too many side storylines going on at the same time for such a short book. A lot of these themes introduced didn't have enough time to be explored. There's ex-relationship drama, a grandfather developing signs of dementia and parents who are constantly absent. The potential is still there for a this to be built into a stronger childhood crushes-to-friends-to-lovers book, but it needs more time to develop. I need to see more in-depth discovery, character growth and flirtation between the love interests. 

That said, we need more sapphic stories so I'm happy we still got this one.
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Unfortunately I really didn’t connect with the writing style. Because of this I decided to stop reading early on, before I found out if I may have enjoyed other aspects of the book
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This novella was so inviting with its cutesy cover and sweet storyline. I enjoyed the little taste we got of Monica's story and her road to finding someone better and telling her parents what she actually wanted out of life. I was honestly sad it was so short, it felt a little unfinished in a way. It was taking on SO much and did beautifully but it fell flat when I still expected more depth that you just can't get in that little of a time. Hopefully, this will be branched out and given more one day!
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TW/CW: cheating, a break-up, mentions of death of a grandparent, possible Alzheimer’s/dementia symptoms in a grandparent, college problems, stress about the future
Rep: Bisexual Polish-American lead; Japanese-American lesbian love interest

Well, this was the perfect way to end the reading year. My only complaint is I WANT MORE. I need to know if Paige's sculpture made it into the gallery!!

The perfect little Christmassy story for somebody looking for a feel-good sapphic romance.
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This was a fun little christmassy book that was short and sweet but packed with lots of entertaining moments. I really felt like I was there and although it's a short book, it didn't compromise on setting things up for character actions!
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Just a cute and sweet novella. However, I did feel like there was a little too much going on/ put into this story for its length. There also wasn’t really any romance on the page. I was not satisfied with the ending, I still had some questions and wanted more. I liked the Christmas setting. But it was a quick and easy read I just wish it was a little longer. I did really like all of the representations though. I love good LGBTQIA+ holiday romance! I read it in one setting and would recommend it but would just suggest to not have super high expectations because it is a novella.
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I was seeking out Christmas books as they are very popular in our library for the month of December, but unfortunately this one didn't blow me away. I'm personally not a romance/holiday reader, but I don't think this would be a winner with our readership.
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I received this digital ARC from Netgally in exchange for a honest review. It fit into my holiday month of December. I had never heard of Krista Harper before and went into this one blind (besides knowing it was a holiday themed book by looking at the title). It’s a novella of 80 pages and a quick read. 

You follow Monica Adams, an engineering student in Iowa who is coming home (Chicago) for Christmas Break. However her life seems to be turning upside down - her boyfriend breaks up with her, she hates school and wants to drop out, her parents seem to busy to spend any time with her, and he grandfather is developing signs of dementia. But while being home she bumps into her old high school friend (who conveniently lives in her building. And then they continue to just keep bumping into each other. 

I give this one a 2/5. I disliked more than I liked for this one. I felt it was very simple and the themes that Harper continued to introduce was never explored. An example of this is is the background of her parents and grandfather. We only learned that they were immigrants who owned a butcher shop. I would have liked to learn a little but more about their background because it was referenced so much. Another thing I didn’t love was that there was no real answer to the end of the novella. Finally I felt like it was facile denouement, there were not punches packed. With this the dialogue between Monica and Paige was very juvenile - far beyond normal YA dialogue. I enjoyed the lightheartedness of this book, the idea of the Monica and how she was relatable, and the connected family unit. But it still doesn’t make up for the things I didn’t like. 

If you want a quick read that will make you smile (but not much nuance) this is the one for you.
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Monica Adams returns home to Chicago for Christmas after her first semester away at college. As soon as she arrives, her boyfriend immediately dumps her over the phone. Monica’s parents are so busy working that she has to Uber home. Upon her arrival at home, Monica finds that her grandfather has moved into her room, and she’ll be sleeping in the dingy basement for the time being. Christmas isn’t turning out to be anything like Monica planned. Maybe she should just skip Christmas this year. 

Then, along comes Paige Yoshida, Monica’s upstairs neighbor. They went to high school together but have never really hung out much. It turns out Paige had a crush on Monica back in high school. Paige is determined to get Monica back into the Christmas spirit. Christmas is Monica’s favorite holiday after all. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this little novella. I only wish it was longer so I could read more about Monica and Paige once Monica decided to take some time off from college. 4/5 stars! I highly recommend it to anyone that likes sapphic romance!
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Novellas are very difficult to write. You have such a short runway to ensure everything from the character development to the storyline are well balanced. I feel like Monica Adams Skips Christmas is one of those novellas that really delivers. 

The descriptions are vivid and flow effortlessly. Monica's character arc feels rather typical for someone who is nineteen and been born to do whatever possible to please her parents. She's struggling with finding her voice, and in the end, is pushed to by her older sister, who lives with regrets, to assert "this is what's happening with my life." 

I do wish we got some more resolution on other plot lines outside of her romantic one with Paige. But I see this is book one, so maybe we'll learn more about what happens to Jerzy in the upcoming books.  

I thought the moments with Paige in the bookstore were incredibly sweet and heartwarming. I would definitely read another novella in this series.
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I honestly didn't like this book. I didn't particularly like the writing style. The concept was good, but the writing fell short for me.
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This was a fluffy Hallmark Christmas movie of a novella. I really liked the characters and wished I'd been able to know more about all of them.
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Novellas are hard for me because I love the buildup, world creation, and in-depth discovery of character traits. However, I loved this novella! It packed so much into 80 short pages. I appreciated the character growth, self discovery, and rekindling of old crushes/friendships. 

Sincere thanks to NetGalley and Southside Mountain Press for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
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In my opinion, it is a nice novella for Christmas but it tries to talk about many different topics but, as it is so short, I feel no connection with the problems in the book. Furthermore, I think the rhythm of the story is too fast and yo can't really appreciate the development of the characters.
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Super cute and diverse Christmas read, easy for a one-sitting feels good novella. Enjoyed the cast but felt it could have fared better as a full novel because a lot of things felt glossed over far too quickly. One of the queer focal discussions did feel uncomfortably forced and negative stereotyping. but that was my biggesr ptoblem.
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But did she actually skip Christmas? No. I don't think so.

Thank goodness this was a quick read, I flew through it, and I liked all of the characters, but I want a bit MORE. And you know.....for Monica to actually attempt skipping Christmas, obviously.
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I received a free copy through Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it.

Monica Adams Skips Christmas caught my eye when I saw it on Netgalley and I am glad I got approved for a copy. It's a fun and sweet Christmas novella with a well done romance, clear Christmas vibes and some other topics that got touched upon. 

Monica Adams Skips Christmas is told from Monica's point of view. When she's returning home for Christmas she dreads having to tell her parents she's quitting college, then her boyfriend breaks up with her and leaves her stranded at the train station, when she finally gets home she realizes her grandfather has taken her old bedroom. 

I was immediately impressed with how many topics the book addressed and the way it made Monica's life feel real with everything doing on. It felt well done, but with the shorter length of the book I felt like it was a bit to much. And I would've liked a slightly longer read so the topics could be delved in a bit more and everything had a bit more time to develop.

I thought Monica's struggles with what to study and do with the rest of her life felt realistic and I liked how this was part of the story, although I would've liked to see what she does decide to do/ study. Then there was her grandfather who is confused at times and wanders outside at times, but her parents don't seem to listen. It was sad to see her grandfather in that state, but I liked reading about the bond he and Monica shared. There is a bit of family expectations and struggles going on and touches upon the struggles of her family who immigrated from Poland and the pressure and expectations they put upon their daughters. Besides that Monica has to deal with her boyfriend who broke up and her feelings regarding the matter and her new budding romance with her neighbor Paige.

I liked the romance between Monica and Paige, especially those first few times they spend together and grow closer. I liked the way Monica wasn't afraid to apologize after being a bit stand-offish to Paige when she just arrives home. I liked how Monica confided in Paige about her boyfriend breaking up and her decision to quit school. It was fun to read about them spending time together. There was a clear connection there and I enjoyed reading about them. I thought the last part went a bit too quickly and I didn't really like how Monica didn't go and explain things when something happened to cause miscommunication between them. I liked their romance and wanted to see more of them.

The Christmas vibes were clearly present and I enjoyed reading this one so close to Christmas. Monica loves the season, but is struggling to find her Christmas spirit this year. I liked seeing how she eventually found some joy this Christmas season after all.

To summarize: I enjoyed Monica Adams Skips Christmas. It's an easy read with plenty of sweet and fun moments, a well done romance, plenty of Christmas spirit as well as touching upon some difficult topics like deciding what to study, family troubles and her grandfather being confused. While I liked and was impressed with the variety of topics the book tackles, I thought the book tried to address a bit too much in such a short read and felt the ending felt a bit off due to that as I wanted to delve a bit more into these topics and see how everything played out. The romance was well done and I liked seeing Monica and Paige spend time together, things do progress a bit fast in the second half and I wasn't a fan of the miscommunication issue, but appreciated how things got resolved. The Christmas vibes were well done and I liked seeing Monica find some joy this season after struggling to find her Christmas spirit.
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There’s a reason most romance novels are 300-500 pages long. You just can’t do a love story justice in 80 pages. This was so rushed. Story beats happened on fast forward, characters were underdeveloped for the sake of brevity, and the romance, which had the potential to be a really cute, queer, friends to lovers moment, ended up falling so flat, with Monica and Paige displaying little to no chemistry. I felt nothing  for the side characters and the main tension came and went so fast I almost didn’t realize it was happening. 
As a longer, more involved romance, I think this could have a lot of potential. But unfortunately, as a short story, it just isn’t it.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I love reading holiday-themed books during the holidays, so I requested this on Netgalley, thinking it would be a cute, easy romance. It turned out to be a romance, sure (albeit a very, VERY tame one), and it was easy to read (barely took me an hour). But my main complaint was the writing, which was … bleh. Characters were flat. Potential conflicts which would’ve added to the plot were boring. And everything is supposed to wrap up nicely in a romance novel, but I absolutely refuse to believe all the various things that were messed up in Monica’s life resolved themselves in one day. So yeah, not the book for me. Maybe it will be for someone else!
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