In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
Release: October 6, 2020
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Christmas
Targeted Age Range: Adult
Content Warnings: Sexual content, mentions of death and injuries
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Synopsis via Goodreads: 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 hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays.
“I’ve essentially handed my heart over to the person who’s had it on reserve for half my life, and I’m terrified that he doesn’t realize what he’s holding.”
I had such a fun time reading In a Holidaze! Christina Lauren did such an amazing job at balancing romance, plot, and an overarching Christmas setting. I haven’t read too many Christmas-themed books, and that’s typically because I’m nervous that it will feel too Hallmark-y. However, In a Holidaze delivered an exciting romance with a touch of Hallmark instead of the expected downpour of cheesiness. As for the characters, I thought that Maelyn was such a fun narrator with both her inner and outer dialogue making me laugh out loud on many occasions. The side characters were anything but dull as well, and I found myself wishing I was apart of this blended found family!
“I was coming out here to ask why you were acting so weird, but I see I need to keep things present tense.”
Andrew Andrew Andrew! That man had me swooning from the moment he stepped into the scene. He has charm, an amazing sense of humor, and gives major “written-by-a-woman” (in this case, women) vibes. I love how he was always there for Mae, and treated her like a queen (as he should!). Benny was another favorite character of mine. Did I find it a bit goofy that Mae was dumping her love life struggles onto a man the same age as her father? Kinda sorta. But that doesn’t mean that there relationship wasn’t the absolute cutest and had me wishing for a Benny in my own life. Other than those two men, Mae’s family unit was the absolute best. Even Theo grew on me, who definitely had his share of bad moments every now and then.
“I believe now that the universe delivers random acts of kindness, and it’s on us to decide what to do with them.”
Now let’s get down to the main event of the book: the time-loop. Yes, there is some magical realism happening and, yes, I thought it was written fairly well! Do I wish that there was a bit more done with that aspect of the story? Sure! But I honestly thought that the amount of time traveling that was occurring felt pretty necessary to the events of the story. I also thought that the time-loop element not only added an even more magical vibe to an already magical time of the year, but I thought it also added some exciting anxiousness for the readers (never thought I’d say that I was excited to be anxious). The events of the story truly had me on the edge of my seat, anticipating what would happen by the end of the chapter!
“It never occurred to me that you might be mine.”
Though Christmas is officially over, I would still recommend this book to anyone who is in the mood for a wintry read! The characters have such an amazing dynamic, the setting is cozy and beautiful, and the plot has you turning the page until the sun comes up the next morning. This was only my second Christina Lauren book, and I was pleasantly surprised! I cannot wait to read more from these amazing authors and see what adventures (and love interests) I’ll find myself obsessing over next. 😂🥰
Thank you for reading this review! If you’ve read In a Holidaze let me know what your thoughts on it were, and if you haven’t read it, is it a book that you think you’d want to pick up? 💖