Cover Image: In a Holidaze

In a Holidaze

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Member Reviews

First of all, thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for allowing me to review In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren!
I was so excited once I found out this amazing duo was coming out with a new book, as after reading the masterpiece that is The Unhoneymooners, I fell in love with their writing and original storyline. 

This book is set around Christmas time (the most wonderful time of the year), and begins by telling the reader how Maelyn Jones has spent all her holidays in her lifetime: in an old cabin with way too many people that she only sees twice a year but loves them to death (one in a particular way). However, soon enough, when she thinks the holidays are over, she gets to relive them for a couple of times until fate thinks she got it right. 

Once I starting reading the first few chapters, I was sure I knew how the story line would end, but I could not be more wrong even if I had tried. Maelyn quickly realizes it is more than just a deja-vu and that life (or whatever) is giving her another chance to actually do what she wants, instead of being a people pleaser. I loved to see how her character had a huge growth over the chapters, and even though it started because of wrong reasons (she thought nobody would remember), at the end, she really did it for herself - she was done being a passenger in her own life. 

I expected the romance (of course!), but I really fell in love with the family dynamic that was felt every time all the other characters interacted with Maelyn. Everyone had a reason to be part of the story line, which is extremely rare in the YA world. All the holiday activities really showed the reader how close this group of people cared about each other, and also serves as an explanation as to why Mae took so long to come clean about her feelings toward one of the other family's son. 

I do not want to spoil it to anyone, so I won't mention the guy's name, but I completely understood how the development of this romantic relationship. I found it extremely realistic how easy but also tricky it is to go from friends to lovers in a matter of days. The sense of familiarity that Mae felt to be with him, at the same time as wondering if things are going too fast too soon. 

Beautifully written! 

I recommend this book and all the other ones written by Christina Lauren.
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In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren is a sweet holiday romance where Maelyn and Andrew, longtime friends, realize their true feelings for each other during their annual respective family trip to a cabin in Park City, UT.

I really enjoyed the cabin setting and the cast of characters in this book. The nicknames for each of the characters were unique and always made me smile. 

Mae and Andrew had a chemistry that was rooted in their lifetime of friendship, and I loved reading how their feelings shifted from friendship to romantic.  

Overall, I am rating this book 4 stars!
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I’m giving sweeter than Hershey kisses, entertaining, heartwarming, feel-good, lovely holiday spirits, refreshing, romantic four absolutely well-deserved stars!

Maelyn Jones has one wish: she wants to see how she can catch her own happiness! 

After the divorce of her parents, she moved back to her childhood house, stuck a job she truly hates and her love life is a mess: she dumps her last boyfriend because he tasted like ketchup (by the way I’m giving a small spoiler about the game in this book: Don’t shoot me!)

Only thing she loves to do spending her Christmas holiday at cabin in Utah belongs to her family friends: Each time she takes her first steps to the cabin, her happy childhood memories come out, wrap her tightly so she never wants them leave her.
 
Even though her mother married with another man, she is still dedicated to the tradition and spending the holiday with her father and her 17 years old brother as if they’re still happy family. And of course the best thing about the holiday is seeing Andrew: her 13 years longtime crush. She never dares to confess her feelings. 

 But she makes one of her biggest mistake after getting drunk by a couple eggnogs (really?), she hooks up with Andrew’s brother Theo and Andrew sees them in action but he just teases Mae. And the other worst news is Andrew’s family decides to sell their cabin because they cannot afford the additional expanses. So her most meaningful childhood era is closing and Mae gets more depressed to go back to her family house, resume to work in the same place, the very same job suffocates her. She wants changes. She wants a fresh start! She wants to be happy! And BANGGG! They had a car crash!

As soon as she opens her eyes, she starts screaming: checking her wounds and looking at his right to check her brother’s condition who is seated next to her. But she realizes: her brother is fine. Actually both of her family members are fine, healthy, popping their eyes out to give her quizzical looks including hostess who is worried about her mental condition. Yes, I didn’t write it wrong: She is on a plane and she went back to square one: the beginning of the holiday: she is trapped her version of Utah style Groundhog day spiral. She has to live the same holiday experience over and over again till she comes clean and faces her true feelings to find out her own happiness!

My confession: I didn’t enjoy the first %15 of the book. Maybe at the first version: I didn’t like how Andrew teased Mae about her hookup with her brother which made me think their romance may be the lost cause. And I read so many books about the same Groundhog Day spiral so I wished my favorite duo may have found another plotline. But after getting through the first chapters and two deaths of Mae, story completely changes and as soon as her love story starts with Andrew, I truly start to enjoy the story’s progression. It turned into heartfelt, spirited, enjoyable, soft, sweet, lovely holiday story. Especially last third of the book: the way Mae facing the consequences of her mistakes and her bravery to get action for her dreams and her honest talks with the loved ones gave me teary eyes.

  The ending was promising, emotionally charged, satisfying as well. So it started as a two to three starred reading but thankfully story’s changing and hopefully sweet direction made me change my mind. If you want to feel the entire, beautiful, magical holiday spirit, this is the magnificent choice for you! 

Special thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for sharing this one of my favorite duo’s remarkable ARC with me in exchange my honest review.
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Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my ARC in exchange for my honest review. I was so excited when I got it! I loved the Christmas theme and friends to lovers romance. My concern was the time loop. I’m not a fan of those but this was the exception. I ignored that part, because the story was beautiful.  Yes, I absolutely loved this book. The romance was so sweet and the family members were amazing. I was definitely rooting for Mae during her journey of happiness. And the ending was awesome!! Thank you again for my copy!!
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Christina Lauren does it again! While I recommend reading this book during the holiday season (not June), it was an absolute delight. I love their books, and this one was no exception.
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Y'all will need to excuse me for a second, because it's three hours after I finished this book and I'm still sitting in my feels.

Whew, whew, WHEEEEEWWW.

All right, now that I got that out of my system, let's talk about this lil work of art. In a Holidaze no doubt takes some risks. Time travel can be a polarizing backdrop for a lot of people; some folks will fixate on the mechanics of it, while others will get swept up in the suspension of disbelief. I'll understand if it's not readers' cup of tea, because it's a tad lopsided in this book. On the romance side of things, the relationship that Maelyn is chasing is both a classic friends-to-lovers story and a more complex one; people will also no doubt have #THOUGHTS on that.

But I think In a Holidaze does what the duo of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings do best: The banter is pithy, the love is sweet, and the setting is cozy. It's just a breezy read that's really about Maelyn's growth and who we'd be if we were given multiple chances to get our lives right as much as it is about finding love.

Also, one of the romantic gestures towards the end of the book legitimately made me tear up, so that needs to count for something. I'm still feeling incredibly emo about it.
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Christina Lauren can do no wrong in my book, and their new holiday romance (which I PREDICTED) is the perfect read no matter the time of year. I read this book in May, during a global pandemic, and loved it! It's a little Groundhogs Day, a little Love Actually, with hints of my favorite book by them--Love & Other Words.

We meet Mae Jones (who has more nicknames than anyone I have ever met LOL) as her family's annual holiday vacation with another family is coming to an end. Thing suck. Mae kissed her longtime best friend Theo, and then he was weird about it the next morning. Lisa & Ricky announced they were selling the beloved cabin. And then, on the way to the airport, they are in a car accident and Mae wakes up on a plane...at the beginning of the vacation. It's December 20th now, and she's heading back to the cabin, but will she figure out why she's reliving this vacation? And will she make the same mistakes, or different ones? Will she finally reveal her longtime crush on Theo's older brother, Andrew, and will it be reciprocated? Will the cabin still get sold? There's holiday antics, a family unit you'll want to live with forever, and a sweet, blooming romance!

I always feel like Christina Lauren books are EXACTLY what I need..so maybe I should get around to reading the Beautiful series, huh? Or will that make my pent up pandemic life even more frustrating? Anyway, this book was great. It's was fun, low-stakes romance with someone you've known forever--both my favorite trope and one that makes me unable to sleep at night because youknowwhy--and the holiday antics are adorable. This could be a Hallmark Movie in the BEST WAY, ya know? It's got the bits of depth that Christina & Lauren do so well but with the smoldering romance and characters you want to spend even more time with.

In a Holidaze is on sale everywhere October 6, 2020.
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