Book Review: All I Want for Christmas

Author: Wendy Loggia

This sweet and magical romance about a girl who has just one wish–someone to kiss under the mistletoe–is the perfect holiday escape!

Bailey Briggs is counting down the days to Christmas: she lives for holiday music, baking cookies, going on snowy sleigh rides, and wearing her light-up reindeer ears to work at Winslow’s bookstore. But all she really wants this year is the one thing she doesn’t have: someone special to kiss under the mistletoe. And she’s 100 percent certain that someone isn’t Jacob Marley–athlete, player, and of questionable taste in girlfriends–and that Charlie, the mysterious stranger with the British accent, is the romantic lead of her dreams. Is she right? This will be a December to remember, filled with real-life Christmas magic . . . and, if she stays on Santa’s nice list, a wish that just might come true.

All I Want for Christmas is a cute young adult Hallmark movie in book form. The story follows teenage Bailey Brigg, who loves all things relating to Christmas. Her wish this year is to have a kiss under the mistletoe. There are two possibilities for her wish to come true with Charlie, a handsome British boy who seems to be exactly what she is looking for, and Jacob Marley, who has a secret crush on Bailey. While the target audience for this novel seems to be younger YA/middle grade, it is enjoyable for people of all ages. It is a very sweet holiday-filled story that is great for putting me in the Christmas spirit.

As the main story focuses on the magic of Christmas filled with wintery activities, such as, sledding and Christmas cookies, along with the romance, Bailey felt a little underdeveloped. Although the entire novel centers on her, I feel that I do not know her well as a character aside from her love of Christmas. I wish that Bailey was more likable as I did not enjoy how judgmental and rude she was multiple times throughout the story. It could potentially be her age that was a factor in her behavior, so it is difficult to be too harsh on her character. She does grow a little by the end of the story, but it seemed that she did not learn from any of her mistakes.

While the cute holiday moments are a lot of fun, this story lost me a little with the love triangle. While there are two boys that she is torn between, it was fairly obvious who she would choose in the end. In this story, it is apparent that Jacob likes her, but it was difficult to understand the reasons why. As he is supposed to be one of the love interests, I wish the reasons why either would like the other was further explored. Charlie has a habit of showing up when Bailey needs assistance, so she was kinder to him, although she seemed to be more caught up in the idea of him than actually him. There is a nice plot twist towards the end that was clever, but, unfortunately, it felt rushed. Overall, this was a very cute and warm-hearted story that, unfortunately, felt a little underdeveloped for me. The pieces are there, but they just needed more exploration to feel complete for me.

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