This is the tenth festive treat in this collection and going into this one, I didn’t have any expectations going into this story as I’ve never read any Kiersten White books before but I was totally blown away. I loved this story. It was on par with Stephanie Perkins. I adored the characters and the plot and the setting. The writing style was engaging and easy to read and was filled with humour and wit and charm. It was wonderfully Christmassy and even though it is now well and truly 2015, I was transported back to December and I loved every single second of it.
This story follows Maria, who lives in the tiny and unknown town of Christmas, California with her Mexican mother and her supposed new father-figure, her boyfriend, Rick. ‘Home’ is a tiny flat. Home is cold and sterile and Maria is yearning for the day when she will have enough money and she can leave Christmas and never come back. But working at her mother’s diner hardly brings in any money and Maria has been saving for years – but she still has nowhere near enough money and home life is as hard as ever. But with the arrival of new cook, Ben, Maria discovers that not everything and everyone are always as they seem. Will Maria discover the true meaning of her Christmas? And will see achieve her dreams of leaving everything behind?
This book was a complete and utter surprise, but I loved it. Maria was sarcastic and sassy and able to stand up for herself and she wasn’t afraid to get what she wanted. But she was also loving, compassionate and a great friend. I adored the romance between Maria and Ben because it was adorable and super sweet and charming. I loved Maria’s mother and Rick – they both cared so much about Maria and I loved reading about them. I also loved reading about the locals who frequent the diner – they were all so different and unique with their own contrasting personalities. All of the characters in this story were realistic and relatable and really easy to connect to.
The writing was entertaining and engaging to read and I loved reading from Maria’s point of view. She was so sarcastic and witty and straight to the point. The dialogue was hilarious and I loved the bits of Spanish dotted around because it made the dialogue feel that much more real. The plot was fun but also emotional as Maria’s friend Candy goes through a very, very hard time and we’re introduced to the main baddie of this story – her boyfriend Jerry. He is a complete jerk but he is so realistic because I know that there are people like him out there and that added a very real aspect among the Christmassy themes. The Christmassy themes were adorable and wonderfully festive and they put me right back into the feeling of Christmas even though Christmas actually finished almost a month ago.
Overall, I loved this story. The characters were fresh and interesting and I loved them all. I’d give this one a 5 out of 5 stars and this is definitely my joint first favourite story of this collection so far.