Author: Tracy Andreen
Sarah Dessen meets Let It Snow in this new YA Christmas romance!
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.
** Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon, and I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through my links. **
So, This is Christmas came on my radar for my Christmas reading challenge. Finley Brown goes to a boarding school, Barrington, in Connecticut. She returns to her hometown Christmas, Oklahoma after some time away. Her town may have the name of Christmas, but it is far from living up to the Christmas spirit and magic. A fun fact about the author is her involvement with the creation of Hallmark movies, which made a lot more sense as this story read like one.
After transferring to the prestigious academy, Finley found that she was out of her element as she was no longer the top dog. She decides to leave and when she comes home, she discovers that her ex-boyfriend is now seeing her best friend. Not only this, but her parents have separated and her archnemesis now works at her grandmother’s inn. To top everything off one of the students from Barrington, British transfer student, Arthur, and his aunt are visiting as they believed Christmas would live up to its holiday name thanks to Finley. As Arthur believed Finley’s stories about Christmas, then he relies on her to make this the best American Christmas ever.
Finley was an interesting main character as she struggled to fit in while at the academy and she has trouble coming back home. Both are very relatable to people of any age as she was a big fish in a little pond who had some difficulty when the pond became bigger. While life continues back home, it is not the same when she returns. Now with Finley trying to readjust to life back in her small hometown, she tries to make it a great and magical Christmas for Arthur. While the two do not start as straight-forward enemies, they do seem to have an insta-love connection. I did appreciation, though, that through spending time together, the two of them do get to know each other.
The pacing of the story is nice, although there were times the writing was bogged down by descriptions. Some of the wording choices and sentence structures did not quite fit the general vibe of the story. There were also some places where there was a lot of telling instead of showing where it read more like a script than a story. It was a sweet debut story with a nice ending. There is a sequel featuring the same characters called So, This is Love, which comes out this December. While the story of these characters will continue in the sequel, the ending of this story is satisfying where it potentially could be a standalone.