Friday, December 22, 2017

More Holiday-Themed Mini-Reviews

Kiss Me in New York by Catherine Rider (2017)

Charlotte finds herself stranded at JFK airport on Christmas Eve, where she meets Anthony, who was just spectacularly dumped by his girlfriend.  Having been recently dumped herself, Charlotte convinces Anthony that what they need to get over their exes is a night in New York City, aided by a how-to book and the magic of Christmas in New York.

This was a cute story about two strangers meeting and taking a chance, falling in love as the night goes on.  Yes, it was cliché; yes, by the end it feels like instalove; yes, I thought it was a bit weird that a 17-year-old girl would just gallivant around NYC with a stranger in the middle of the night.  But - it's Christmas, and it's New York City - and there are not many more magical times and places than that. 

At less than 200 pages, the story is a really quick read and the action kept moving, although I wanted more about NYC - there are so many things they could have taken advantage of.  If you're looking for a sweet holiday love story, you'll probably enjoy this one.  3 stars

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand (2017)

An updated, modern take on the classic A Christmas Carol.  Holly is a 17-year-old girl - and not a very nice one.  This Scrooge refused to change her ways, even after being visited by the three Ghosts, so upon her death, she becomes the Ghost of Christmas Past for Project Scrooge.  Holly spends the next few years helping the organization try to reform people just like her, but this year, the Scrooge isn't the usual miserly old man - he's a hot teenage guy, and Holly finds herself attracted to him.

I like the idea of modernizing this classic story, but I did have issues with this book.  The beginning of the story happens so fast and I felt like there were either details missing or the timeline kept bouncing back and forth, so I was a bit confused right from the get-go.  The idea that Project Scrooge is an actual company that puts on a sort of "production" each year to help reform people is cool, but some of the details didn't make sense to me.  Holly is technically dead, but she can walk around and interact with living people in the real world?  What if she sees someone she knows?

Holly was not the nicest main character.  Before she dies, she is spoiled and selfish, purposely doing things to hurt people.  Even after working at Project Scrooge for 5 years, she doesn't seem to have changed at all.  For most of the book, she is cold to most people and still acts very selfishly, putting the entire Project Scrooge at risk just to spend some time with a cute boy.  Yet, I somehow still found myself rooting for Holly, hoping that she would have some sort of ephiphany.  3 stars

14 comments:

  1. I thought Kiss Me in New York was so cute, and I just adored Anthony's big Italian family. I wish we had gotten a bigger jump ahead with the ending, but I was happy.

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    1. Yes, his family reminded me a bit of mine!

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  2. I've been interested in the Holly Chase book since I first heard about it, but I've seen mixed things. I read a book like that once too, in which the MC was dead, but he was sent back to earth as a sort of guardian angel, but he could just walk around and talk to people, and I too kept thinking how bad a plan that was because what if he saw someone he knew??? To be honest I think the book might frustrate me, but great review!

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    1. Thanks! I know, it's things like that which make me wonder how the author didn't see it themselves.

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  3. Kiss Me in New York sounds cute!! Great reviews!

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  4. Oh! I'll have to add this to my holiday TBR for next year! They both sound interesting :)

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  5. Kiss me in New York sounds too cute! I must admit I think Afterlife might make me appreciate a Christmas Carol again. I've sort of soured on it the last couple of years.

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    1. Honestly, it's a story I hadn't thought about in years, and this was a fun re-introduction.

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  6. I've been really looking forward to The Afterlife of Holly Chase! Cynthia Hand's Unearthly series was good so I figured this one would be good too. That's too bad about the beginning being confusing though. I feel like sometimes authors will rush through the basic details to get to the action, and while I love action, I still need some basis. Kiss Me in New York sounds great too! Books with NYC settings are always must reads for me. Great reviews! :)

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    1. Thanks, Lauren! I love a New York setting, too! I haven't read anything else by Cynthia Hand but will be reading My Lady Jane soon!

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  7. Kiss Me in New York does sound like a cute holiday read. I've been eyeing that one for a while because of the New York setting.

    That's a bummer that The Afterlife of Holly Chase didn't work better for you though. After reading Mr. Dickens and His Carol, I was excited at the prospect of another retelling of A Christmas Carol. Great reviews though!

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    1. I think I'm kind of in the minority in not liking Holly Chase, so maybe you will enjoy it a lot more than I did!

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!