In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

in a holidaze by christina lauren book cover
in a holidaze by christina lauren book cover

Merry Christmas! If you’ve ever read my blog before, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of the author duo Christina Lauren. They write adorable, heartwarming romantic comedies that I love to read over and over. Naturally, any time they have a book coming out, I preorder it the minute it’s available. I was extra excited for In a Holidaze, since it features time loops and is their first ever holiday book (I’ve already read it twice this year).

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.

As per usual for Christina Lauren, In a Holidaze features the excellent writing and witty banter that everyone has come to expect from their books. What I also appreciated was that even though this book was about a character living the same weekend over and over, it didn’t feel repetitive. The authors used time jumps where necessary – not retelling the same scenes over and over. Instead, they skipped over the repetitive parts and focused on what changed every time Maelyn repeated the weekend.

Maelyn was a witty and fun character – she quickly figured out that the time loop situation she was in demanded her to change something – even if she wasn’t positive what exactly she should be changing. Reading about her slowing puzzling out the time loop and how to break it was great – it also led to her working on becoming a better person and improving her entire family’s life.

This book had a massive cast of characters – several families who all got together to celebrate the holidays in a cabin every year. With such a large cast of characters, I wasn’t sure how they would all be managed and not end up being one dimensional. Fortunately, Christina Lauren found a way to make each character vital to the plot – and gave many of them interesting and complex sub-plots.

Now for the most important part about any romance novel: how was the romance between the two leads? Mae and Andrew had great sparks the entire time – and their chemistry remarkably grew despite Mae reliving the weekend over and over and having to start fresh with him every time. My only gripe about this book was that their big final fight (before the classic reunion and fade into the sunset) was pretty forced. I wish their conflict had been more organic, it would have made the happy ever after feel more earned.

This book is perfect for Christina Lauren fans and folks looking for a great holiday romance. It’s light and fluffy, has a fun new time loop aspect, and features a great new couple. In a Holidaze is perfect fare for winter reading this year – it has the levity that I think we all need in 2020. If you haven’t already, you should also check their other books The Unhoneymooners and Roomies. 4/5

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