My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
First Published: October 31st, 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Christmas
Charlie is determined to be Teo’s date to the Christmas ball. And she has a plan: To rig the paper s Secret Santa so that she can win his heart with five perfect gifts. But to do that she needs help. Enter J.D. Ortiz Teo s cousin, and possibly the most annoying person on the planet. He s easy going, laid back, unorganized, spontaneous, and makes a joke out of everything the exact opposite of Charlie (and Teo). But he s willing to provide insight into what Teo wants, so she s stuck with him.
Yet, the more time Charlie spends with J.D., the more she starts to wonder: Does she really know what, or rather who, she wants for Christmas?
I try not to mind being disappointed by books, because it happens, and that’s life, and there’s nothing you can do about it if you want to live an honest bookish life.
But being disappointed by a YA romantic Christmas read that’s supposed to be insanely cute and magical? A couple of fairies in the dream world just died.
Alright, I’ll try to get over it, but this was my first Christmassy read and I wanted badly to like it. Shake it off, shake it off.
So what’s the problem with this story? Why couldn’t it rock my world? Well, take the context of the Christmas season out and you have a really banal teen romance book with the unpopular girl crushing on the mega-popular star athlete.
Sure, the ‘‘Secret Santa’’ gift exchange does give it some charm that must be acknowledged, but it wasn’t enough to turn this into a special book, because there’s nothing incredibly unique about it. It’s pleasant, but only if you have the time to read yet another book that is predictable always and eye-roll-worthy at times.
Perhaps what sets it apart a little is the fact that Charlie—the heroine—makes a deal with the star athlete’s cousin—who she HATES—to help her find a gift for him, but then realizes he isn’t SO bad after all… Dot Dot Dot. *wave of eyebrows* Can’t make it more obvious. (Not saying anything that isn’t implied in the summary.)
If you’re looking for a Christmas read that will set the mood for your future Christmassy reads, perhaps look elsewhere. But if all you want is a light book that does not require much of your concentration or time (since it’s fast-paced), who am I to block your path to this book? Read away!
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