Book Review: In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

Goodreads: In a Holidaze
Publisher: Gallery Books
Published: 06 October 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

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.

TL;DR: It has been a long time since I’ve read a CLo book and now I’m wondering why! This book was such a fun and wonderfully festive holiday romance and it served a good dose of feel-good family vibes, a swoony albeit slightly cheesy romance, and likeable characters that you can’t help but root for and wish you were friends with, too! If you’re looking for a holiday read to lose yourself in for a little while, I would definitely recommend this one.

Mae was such a relatable main character. She’s a people pleaser and a peacekeeper—she doesn’t like to rock the boat and tries to be the calm medium in all interactions, but her need to be the level-headed person all the time is also draining and has hindered her more than it’s helped her in the end. I loved how she evolves and comes to realise that reaching for the things that make her happy is worth the risk of being bold and speaking up. Once she decides to be honest about her feelings, things progress pretty rapidly in the romance department and I have to admit, although it wasn’t really insta-love, at least on Mae’s part, it took a little while for me to be convinced about Andrew’s feelings. That said, I thought the sexual chemistry between them developed nicely and I thought the way CLo tackled their evolving relationship from friendship love to romantic love was done well. I really loved the easy comfort they had and the ways they really understood each other, which added to that ease! Their romance was so heartfelt, sweet and okay, sometimes super cheesy at times, but that didn’t stop a big grin from decorating my face whenever those moments happened. Even with the requisite drama and romantic break-up angst, theirs is a love that will have your insides glowing with all the warm and fuzzy feelings. 🥰 This also had fade-to-black sex scenes, so if on-page sex is something you don’t jam within romances, this one will be fine for you!

What I wasn’t so chuffed about was how the whole thing between Mae and Theo was handled. I get that Mae is reacting to something that, in this version of reality, didn’t happen, but Theo was basically a non-entity until close to the end. I felt like the whole “Theo and Mae” set-up was unnecessary since it added nothing but unneeded drama and little tension, not to mention it was resolved so easily (view spoiler). I wasn’t particularly sold on it.

Ultimately though, this was a super-fast read and I had a great time, as I always do, with CLo’s characters and their romances. This is probably one of the most festive holiday romances that I’ve had the pleasure of reading, so if you’re looking for something that’s for sure set during the holidays (and not during the summer lol) then I’d definitely recommend giving this a shot! 🙂

Have you read In a Holidaze or is it on your TBR?

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

  1. I just finished re-reading this and I think I liked it even more the second time! So happy you enjoyed it–for the most part. 😉 It’s such a cozy read!

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  2. Great review, Dini! Every Christmas I mean to check this book out, and then every year I keep not getting to it for some reason. I’m glad you ultimately enjoyed it, though! Sometimes some warm festive fuzzies are all we need.

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  3. I’m so excited to see that you liked this book! I never had much interest to read it, but everyone has been obsessing over it lately and now I’m dying to read it haha. Great review 🙂

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  4. I liked the romance in this because friends-to-lovers is my thing, but I think my enjoyment was more driven by my adoration of the family and their holiday traditions. I had so much fun with these people.

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  5. Great review! Even though, it wasn’t one of my favorites by them, I really enjoyed it! I mean.. I bought it.. haha! Hoping to re-read it next holiday season.

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