Holiday books have been a real comfort to me this year. So, I couldn’t resist the idea of reading the holiday romance that seemed to take Instagram by storm in December. In a Holidaze, the newest romance from Christina Laure, Maelyn Jones is just not winning at life. She’s had to move back home with her mother. She’s working a job that she’s not interesting in. Her love life has went completely wrong, and she’s somehow found herself kissing the brother of the man she really longs for.
To top things off, she learns that it will be the last Christmas that her family will spend at the cabin that they (along with their best friends) call home during the holidays. All seems to have failed or been going wrong, and Maelyn sends out a wish to the universe to show her what would make her happy. The next thing she knows, she’s on an airplane, reliving the holiday. Each time she makes a wrong turn, a disaster occurs that sends her straight back to start over in the airplane again. Will she get out of this time loop? Will she find happiness? Will she get her true love?
I noticed . . .
I noticed that I really enjoyed the peripheral characters in this story–the big families, the togetherness that they seem to have. In face, there are characters other than the main character that I might have preferred to have been the perspective character. At times, I found Mae a little irritating and whiny.
I also noticed, as a reader, that the time loop gimmick felt a little stale. I was like “please don’t screw up and end up back on the plane again,” and I didn’t feel very patient with it. Maybe that’s me being less fun.
I also really didn’t like Andrew. I also felt that he was touchy and whiny and way over-reacted to Maelyn’s perceived wrongs. I was really sick of both Andrew and Mae by the end of the book. I hated that because I loved the families and the family dynamic.
I wondered . . .
I wondered if I could have some books from the other characters’ perspectives. I would love a book about all the parents when they were younger or something like that. I also would have liked to see some more variation in Mae making wrong choices and getting sent back to the airplane.
It reminded me of . . .
Of course, this book will remind you of the movie Groundhog Day. Groundhog Day is one of those pop culture icons that this book is very obviously referencing. It also kind of reminds me of the movie The Family Man because the protagonist finds himself at the beginning of the holiday, reliving the holiday in a way that shows an alternate of what that holiday could be.
The big happy family reminded me a little of the Bridgertons. I’ve been re-reading the first book, after inhaling the new show, and I have been really enjoying the camaraderie of the Bridgertons of the books.
I also thought about All Adults Here. The family in In a Holidaze was blandly interesting, and I felt the same way about the family in All Adults Here. They had their problems and there wasn’t a pure winner anywhere, but they worked as a group.
One excellent quote . . .
One of Maelyn’s struggles in the book is a struggle that I face in my own life. She wants to make everyone happy, but often she ends up disappointing others, and she’s not happy at all with herself. I feel constantly under the pressure of not being good enough for others, and I feel constantly disappointed in myself as I struggle to be approved by others. I forget sometimes that the people I love are not the people who I am supposed to be trying to gain approval from. So, it really spoke to me when one of the characters told Maelyn,
The only person whose expectations you have to live up to is yourself.
It might be that I should take their advice.
In the end, this is a good, but not great romance. I’ve definitely read better this holiday season, but if you’re looking for a cheesy diversion, you could go worse.