Saturday, December 17, 2022

Review: In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

Genre: Holiday Romance
Pages: 313
Published: October 6, 2020

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.

What must it be like to have had sex with so many people that you have to first name-last initial them?

"Isn't this what the holidays are all about?" he asks. "Kisses under the mistletoe? Making out in a pantry?"

I won a copy of this book through Goodreads, but then I discovered that I'd bought the ebook two years ago, so the only reason me winning the Goodreads copy is relevant at all is because I've been trying to do so for three Christmas seasons now, and I finally succeeded. This is my honest review. 

Have you seen the movie Groundhog Day? Have you ever wished that it was a book set during Christmas time? If you answered yes to these questions, have I got good news for you! 

I've noticed some interesting non-Christmas related themes in my reading and movie watching this holiday season, and the Groundhog Day plot is probably the weirdest one to encounter more than once. While the movie with this themes a flop for me, this book was a smashing success. And I think part of that is that the focus of the regeneration here was making Mae a better version of herself. She was already a good person, but at her own expense. 

Another highlight of this book is that in spite of time travel being a fantasy (time travel is a fantasy, right?) Mae is logical about it. Once she realizes it's not a prank and that it doesn't seem to be a figment of her imagination, she tries to figure out why it's happening and what she needs to do to stop it. She also figures out a way to easily convince one other person that it's happening every reboot so she at least has someone to confide in, and to maybe help her when she gets her timelines confused and mentions something that never happened in this one. 

The way this story progressed made me feel all giddy inside, but also pretty anxious for the end, because I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. The way the relationship blossomed between Andrew and Mae just felt way too good to be true considering the circumstances. And I wanted to slap Theo for the way he behaved in more than one of the timelines.

This book contains all kinds of holiday magic, things this group has done every year like clockwork, but they feel different or are completely different this time around because of Mae's new attitude. This was definitely a good follow-up book after Resting Scrooge Face for me, keeping the holiday momentum going. 

Overall I give this book 4.7 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of longtime writing partners and best friends Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, the New York Times, USA TODAY, and #1 Internationally bestselling authors of the Beautiful and Wild Seasons series, Dating You / Hating You, Autoboyography, Love and Other Words, Roomies, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, My Favorite Half-Night Stand, and The Unhoneymooners. You can find them online at, @ChristinaLauren on Instagram, or @ChristinaLauren on Twitter.

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