Friday, December 31, 2021

Review: "So, This Is Christmas" by Tracy Andreen

I was very excited about this book, knowing it was written by the screenwriter of Snow Bride, one of my favorite Hallmark movies of all time. But Hallmark this ain't...

When Finley Brown returned to her hometown of Christmas, Oklahoma, from boarding school, she expected to find it just as she left it. Christmas hasn't changed much in her sixteen years. But instead she returns to find that her best friend is dating her ex-boyfriend, her parents have separated, and her archnemesis got a job working at her grandmother's inn. And she certainly didn't expect to find the boy she may or may not have tricked into believing that Christmas was an idyllic holiday paradise on her grandmother's doorstep. It's up to Finley to make sure he gets the Christmas he was promised. This is Finley's Christmas. It's about home and family and friends and finding her place, and along the way she also finds the best Christmas present of all: love.

As I think back on this book, I have some definite mixed feelings about it. First, the good. I really enjoyed Finley and Arthur's relationship, which progressed from classmates to friends to more. There's something sweet and innocent about the progression, and I really enjoyed watching them fall for each other. The physical aspect of their relationship is incredibly chaste - nothing beyond hand holding and some mild kissing. There's also a lot of humor in the book, largely because of the Christmas activities.


I really have a problem with YA that includes a lot of swear words. My cousin's teenage daughter loves to read, and I've shared a lot of books with her. But I would certainly not pass this on to her - not only are there lots of "mild" swear words, but the f-bomb is dropped multiple times. The plot also includes teenage drinking, drug use, and the coming out of a family member - but I didn't find any of that to be particularly problematic, just something that could lead to good discussion. But the swearing, that's a deal breaker for me when it comes to recommending the book to its intended audience.

For adults, this is a fairly fun (though perhaps slightly too long) Christmas romance, and I would certainly enjoy seeing it as a film (which most likely would not include the swearing...). 3-1/2 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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