Etta

Book Review: Talk Santa to Me

Published September 27th 2022 

Author: Linda Urban

A teen girl gets the perfect second try at a first kiss in this young adult romantic comedy.

Francie was born in a stable. Really. Granted, it was the deluxe model with the light-up star on the roof, one of the many Christmas items for sale at her family’s Hollydale Holiday Shop. Their holiday gift empire also includes the Santa School, which was founded by Francie’s beloved grandpa, who recently passed away.

Francie’s always loved working in the shop, but lately Aunt Carole has been changing everything with her ideas for too-slick, Hollywood-inspired Santas and horrible holiday-themed employee uniforms. Aunt Carole’s vision will ruin all the charm and nostalgia Francie loves about her family’s business…unless she does something about it.

But this winter is about more than preserving the magic of Christmas. Francie is saving up for a car and angling to kiss the cute boy who works at the tree lot next door—hopefully it will be good enough to wipe her fiasco of a first kiss from her memory.

As the weather outside gets more and more frightful, can Francie pull off the holiday of her dreams?

Find It On: Goodreads / Amazon

** 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. **

Talk Santa to Me is a standalone holiday young adult novel that follows Frankincense “Francie.” Her family owns the Hollydale Holiday Shop where Francie loves working there more than ever. Not only does the Shop sell holiday themed items, but it also runs a Santa School. After the death of her grandpa, the shop has not been quite the same. Now, her Aunt Carole is back in town trying to bring a new twist to modernize the store. During this holiday season, she is also adjusting to her new role as Santa’s intern plus she decides this is the time to redo her first kiss.

At 15-years-old, Francie feels a lot of pressure to do it all. As there are multiple pieces in the plot, it was difficult to figure out the focus as I went into this believing it was supposed to be the romance based on the cover. The romance aspect with Hector, who works at the tree lot next door, was cute and a slow burn, but it was not the focus. This element of the story was included mostly in the second half of the story, which did not leave a lot of time to explore the romantic connection between them. One of the reasons Francie wants a boyfriend is to disprove the rumor that she’s a terrible kisser after the boy she kissed spread it around school. There’s a huge focus on Francie trying to set the record straight and I felt the way she went about it and almost let it consume her was not healthy. Maybe I read too much into it, but I felt it was a huge, missed opportunity to explore this more.

This story reminded me of a Hallmark movie with some great light-heartedness. The Santa’s Intern part of the story turned out to be my favorite as Francie has a clear passion for helping others. She works hard to keep the illusion of Santa alive, and I loved this part of her character. The family dynamics were fun as there were different approaches to figure out the best way to run the Holiday Shop. Unfortunately, I am not quite sure about the kissing plot or the development of the romance. Overall, this was a sweet story, but not entirely for me.

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