Name: In a Holidaze
Author: Christina Lauren
Publication date: October 6th, 2020
Length: 307 pages (paperback)
Tropes: Timeloop, childhood friends to lovers
POV: Female main character, first person, past tense
Steam level: ✦✦✧✧✧
Final rating: ★★☆☆☆
Am I a bit early with all the holiday reading? Maybe, but we put up our Christmas tree halfway through november and I’ve been in the Christmas mood ever since. (Who am I kidding, I love Christmas and I want it to last as long as possible).
‘In a Holidaze’ by Christina Lauren is a contemporary romance with a Ground Hog-esque twist. We follow Maelyn, a 29-year-old woman who comes from a family situation that’s.. slightly complicated. Her parents are divorced, but they still visit the same winter cabin with their mutual friends every year, because it’s tradition. And there were so many people in the cabin that it was a little hard to keep track of them all for me.
At the end of the yearly cabin vacation, Maelyn is not happy. She’s made a HUGE romantic error: kissing Theo even though she’s in love with his brother Andrew, and she’s just heard the news that the cabin is going to be sold off, bringing an end to the Christmas at the cabin tradition. But as the family drives to the airport on December 26th, Maelyn wishes and wishes and wishes, hoping to get a do-over. But be careful what you wish for, because seconds later, she hears the impact of a car accident, and she wakes up. Not in the hospital, but back on the plane, on December 20th.
When I started reading this book, I thought the Ground Hog trope was going to be a major part of the story. But the truth is, Mae relives the same couple of days three or four times at the start of the book, and then she realizes what she has to do to stay in the same timeline, so that issue is resolved. That made me feel like the time loop aspect wasn’t really taken advantage of at all. With a concept like this there is so much potential for drama and tension, but that’s not at all what we got.
All in all, the story just was a little vanilla for me. Not in terms of steam (I like books with any steam level) but in terms of storylines. If you can relive the same timeline over and over, and you have two brothers pining over you, why not.. try them both out? I think it would have been fun to read about Mae trying to find out which brother would be the best partner for her, learning about herself and her own needs on the process. Especially because Mae is supposed to be a character who puts others before herself – although I think the author could have done a little more to establish that.
All in all, I had some major problems with this book, but I didn’t hate it. The romance was cute, the dialogue was well written and I loved the setting. But if you’re going to feature a time loop in your story, commit to it.