Goodreads: Snow in Love
Source: City Book Review
Published: October 30, 2018
What’s better than one deliciously cozy, swoon-worthy holiday story? Four of them, from some of today’s bestselling authors.
From KASIE WEST, a snowy road trip takes an unexpected detour when secrets and crushes are revealed.
From AIMEE FRIEDMAN, a Hanukkah miracle may just happen when a Jewish girl working as a department store elf finds love.
From MELISSA DE LA CRUZ, Christmas Eve gets a plot twist when a high school couple exchange surprising presents.
From NIC STONE, a scavenger hunt amid the holiday crowds at an airport turns totally romantic.
So grab a mug of hot cocoa, snuggle up, and get ready to fall in love…
“Snow and Mistletoe” by Kasie West
The plot of “Snow and Mistletoe” is predictable from the first paragraphs, but that won’t be a problem for readers who enjoy cute romances. (After all, a lot of romance is predictable in the sense that the couple is obviously going to get together somehow.) I enjoyed the banter among the characters: Amalie (the protagonist), Sawyer, his two friends, and Sawyer’s older sister. There were a good mix of personalities even with a small cast of characters. I also liked the subplot abut Amalie’s pursuit of opera and her study abroad program. I did think some of the dialogue was over-the-top and not something I can imagine many people actually saying, but I can overlook that.
“Working in a Winter Wonderland” by Aimee Friedman
I liked the premise of this story: a girl who wants a fabulous dress for her friends fabulous upcoming New Year’s Eve party gets a part time job as a Christmas Elf in a department store to help pay for it (nevermind that ‘s she Jewish and “more of a Hanukkah girl” herself!). The details of the job were a little iffy for me, however, which made it harder for me to enjoy the story. The protagonist gets the job immediately and it conveniently lasts only like two or three weeks, ending Dec. 24, but for some reason neither she nor her coworkers know what time their final shifts end on Christmas Eve, so three out of four have plans and just leave early. Also, apparently everyone was paid once, about Dec. 22, without any regard to whether or not they actually showed up for shifts the next two days. (Also, the implication is the store is open from 10 am to 9 pm, and these people work the entire time, but only get a 30 min lunch break, which is illegal.) Basically…this seems like a bad representation of what working in retail looks like.
I get that this isn’t the point of the story; it’s the romance and the character’s feelings of being a bit left out because Christmas isn’t really her holiday. However, it bothered me since most of the story takes place in this weirdly run store. If I ignore it, I think the romance is kind of lackluster because there’s not a lot of build-up, but there is a nice lesson about not judging people without really knowing them.
“The Magi’s Gifts” by Melissa de la Cruz
This is just a modern take on “The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, so if you’ve read the original, you know exactly where this is going. I guess young readers who haven’t read the original may be taken by surprise and appreciate the irony, but “The Gift of the Magi” seems to be such a popular assigned reading in US schools that I think this isn’t really going to be new to tons of people. The characters are cute, and the story’s well-constructed and features a bit of glamour and teenage drama. Yet I can’t help thinking that, in an anthology that only has four stories, the fact that one of them isn’t all that creative is a bit of let-down.
“Grounded” by Nic Stone
This was a tough one for me. I liked the idea of the scavenger hunt through the airport and the idea that most (though not all) of the story was told through text messages. I think some of the banter felt awkward to me, maybe because I didn’t really know either of the characters. Ostensibly they know each other from childhood and last saw each other when they were 14, which was three years ago, but the story puts a lot of emphasis on how they haven’t spoken since then and are basically strangers; they wouldn’t even know what the other one looks like. So they’re bantering like friends when I’ve just been convinced they’re not. This also makes the relationship seem like instalove, and it seems odd to immediately announce to your family that you’re dating someone you just “met” and made out with like three hours ago. I guess more emphasis on what good friends they were in childhood, rather than on the three year estrangement, could have helped this.
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