Christmas and holiday books have quickly become my favorite genre. Up until a few years ago, I don't think I knew this genre existed. For the past few years, I've committed to exclusively reading holiday themed books during the month of December and it has been so fun. Each year it feels like there are more and more books coming out set in during the holidays which is a delight to me and all the other book lovers.

There is something so special about reading a holiday themed book during the Christmas season; it's warm, cozy, and just puts me in the spirit. 

This year, there were so many books to choose from and one of the first ones I picked was "Meet Me Under the Mistletoe" by Jenny Bayliss. The book was released in September and I received an ARC from Netgalley but didn't want to read it until now. I like my timelines with seasons and holidays to be strict.

I read this book in a few days and at first I wanted to give up; I wasn't a fan of the main characters and felt that the story was boring, but then something shifted and I was enthralled. It actually turned out to be adorable, and very heart warming.

Publisher's Summary

A city bookshop owner heads to the English countryside for a holiday reunion—only to face her childhood enemy.

Elinor Noel—Nory for short—is quite content running her secondhand bookshop in London. Forever torn between her working-class upbringing and her classmates’ extravagant lifestyles at the posh private school she attended on scholarship, Nory has finally figured out how to keep both at equal distance. So when two of her oldest friends invite their whole gang to spend the time leading up to their wedding together at the castle near their old school, Nory must prepare herself for an emotionally complicated few days.

The reunion brings back fond memories, but also requires Nory to dodge an ill-advised former fling. When she falls quite literally into the arms of Isaac, the castle’s head gardener, who has nothing but contempt for the "snobby prep school kids," the attraction between them is undeniable. And as Nory spends more time with Isaac during the wedding festivities, she finds herself falling hard for the boy she used to consider an enemy. Nory and Isaac explore their common ground, but pressures mount on all sides, and Nory must decide what kind of life she wants to live and what sort of love is worth the risk . . .

My Thoughts

Like I said above, I did not like this book at first; I didn't understand the point of the story, where it was headed or what was was going to happen. I didn't care enough to find out. But then about halfway through, things start to pick up and the story developed. 

Let me start off with the things I didn't like; I hated Isaac and I hated Nory's family. I was not a fan of the way they talked about others, I didn't like how they were so nasty and close minded about people who had more money than them. The way they blew off Nory's friends and how Nory's brother looked down upon his own sister, it really bothered me and almost ruined the book.

I hated it even more because Nory's friends weren't like that; they were welcoming and seemed like nice people.

My dislike of Isaac really affected how I saw him with Nory; I wasn't rooting for them nor did I want them to end up together. He made me uncomfortable and I just was a little weirded out by him. 

On the other hand, I loved Nory's friends, I loved the bond they had and how they were just seamlessly in each other's lives, with their own language and traditions. It was so sweet and special and brought the entire story together. I loved hearing about their back stories and watching how they all flowed. It was beautiful.

The story didn't feel very Christmasy at first but then, when you get to the climax of the novel and things start moving fast, Christmas became a main character. The fact that this story took place in both London and the English countryside was very cozy, and having Nory be a bookshop owner was so cute. It gave her a little more personality.

All in all, I thought this was an adorable Christmas read with a great group of characters that was sweet and entertaining. 

What did you read this week?

SHARE 0 comments

Add your comment