The holidays are coming, and I’ve read some delightful treats. Looking for something sweet or savory? I love our holiday recommendations, and I think you will too. So, hang your stockings, turn on your twinkling lights, and pick up a treat. These books are sure to warm your heart!
- Very Merry Murder Club paired with poisoned *cough* Peppermint Chocolate Cookies
Folks, this is the best holiday short story collection I have read. There are 13 middle-grade murder mysteries set in December by Serena Patel (Editor), Robin Stevens, Abiola Bello, Annabelle Sami, Benjamin Dean, E. L. Norry, Elle McNicoll, Joanna Williams, Maisie Chan, Nizrana Farook, Patrice Lawrence, Dominique Valente, Roopa Farooki, and Sharna Jackson. After listening to the audiobook, I bought the gorgeous hardback edition, and you will probably want to do the same! And, watch out for the poisoned chocolate!
2. Blame it on the Mistletoe by Beth Garrod paired with a Merry M&Ms Milkshake
Blame it on the Mistletoe is a fun teen book with a similar premise to the movie The Holiday. In the book, Elle is a social media star. She’s determined to shake up her content and gain new followers. She’s on a mission: can she find a British fan to swap with for Christmas? Holly loves everything about Christmas. But after a mortifying mistletoe disaster with her ex, her perfect plans unravel like a bad Christmas sweater. Can Holly save the holidays when she switches places with favorite social media influencer? Elle gets more than she bargained for when she meets the cute boy from across the street. And Holly wasn’t expecting Elle to have a handsome twin brother. This holiday is full of surprises and extra sweet with a Merry M&Ms Milkshake!
3. The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo paired with Deep Fried Marshmallows
In The Holiday Switch Lila Castro grew up in Holly, New York which is the setting of a famous holiday love story and movie. She writes anonymously for a blog reviewing holiday books. The snow is plentiful, the mood is full of holiday cheer, and Lila’s earning extra cash working at the cozy local inn. But her perfect holiday plans crash to a halt when her boss’s cute nephew, Teddy Veracruz, becomes her coworker. When they accidentally switch phones one afternoon, they both realize they’ve been hiding things from each other. Teddy joins Lila to take on her last winter break of high school and enjoy all of the unique festivities her town is known for, like Deep Fried Marshmallows! Yum!
4.Winterdream by Chantal Gadoury paired with Candied Spiced Nuts
Every December from elementary school through middle school, I went and saw The Nutcracker ballet. Winterdream follows the story pretty closely with just a little more love, war, and magic. If you love The Nutcracker or want to make it part of your holiday traditions, crack some nuts and pick up this retelling.
5. All I Want for Christmas is the Girl Next Door by Chelsea Bobulski paired with Star-Shaped Sugar Cookies
All I Want for Christmas is the Girl Next Door is the only book on our list told completely from a male point of view, which makes it a rarity (or rare for me) in holiday books. Graham Wallace has been in love with the girl next door for a decade. Unfortunately, she’s been dating his best friend for the past two years. Out of sheer desperation, Graham makes a wish on a shooting star—all he wants for Christmas is Sarah Clarke. When Graham wakes up the next morning, everything has changed, and he’s the one who’s been dating Sarah for the past two years, not his best friend. Graham assumes the wish would have only come true if he and Sarah were meant to be together, but as it becomes clear that he and Sarah bring out the worst in each other, not the best, and as he starts to fall for the new girl in town, Graham wonders if some wishes come true in order to show us what’s not meant to be. There are pieces of the plot that I was definitely not expecting, so grab some sugar cookies and enjoy (but be careful with your wishes)!
6. I’m Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas by Tiffany Schmidt paired with a Gingerbread House
Are you hiring a babysitter this December? Know of a sweet teen that takes care of little kids? I’m Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas would be a really sweet gift – a gift I would have loved when I was in high school. Noelle Partridge is known for three things: being the best ballet dancer, babysitter, and person with the most Christmas spirit in her small town. But lately she’s bored by the lessons at her dance school, and her friends and father are more bah humbug than Hallmark movie marathon. So when her favorite babysitting clients ask her to accompany them on a ski trip over winter break, she packs her bags for the slopes. It helps that they’re offering double her rate—she’ll need the money for Beacon, an elite ballet academy that’s granted her an audition. Noelle is ready for fun, until Wyatt, the older half-brother of her babysitting charges, decides to surprise his family for the holiday. He’s one of the best dancers at Beacon, and makes Noelle’s head spin faster than pirouettes. Unfortunately, she also manages to step on his toes—spoiling his surprise and complicating his secret plans. After a few missteps, Noelle and Wyatt begin to thaw toward each other and bond over the big decisions looming in each of their lives. With enough Christmas magic, Noelle might just start the New Year with lots of babysitting cash in her pocket and a chance with the pas de deux partner of her dreams. At one point Noelle and Wyatt build a gingerbread house together, but my attempt at it looks like the younger kids did it.
7. If the Fates Allow by Rainbow Rowell paired with a Holiday Jell-O Salad
I love Rainbow Rowell, and when I learned of this short story, I pushed our blog publishing date back a little more. I had to include If the Fates Allow. In this novella, social distancing comes easily to Reagan. She’s always liked people better from afar. But Reagan doesn’t want her grandpa to be alone for Christmas this year—he’s already spent too much time on his own in 2020. So she heads back to her hometown with a dish of holiday Jell-O salad, hoping they can have a little normalcy. She isn’t expecting to run into the boy next door and drop her Jell-O! Mason is all grown up now. He’s considerate. He’s funny. He doesn’t mind how prickly Reagan is—he maybe even likes it. And it makes Reagan feel like her defenses are falling. Pack up you holiday Jell-O.. ( But don’t drop it! We included a picture of a failed Jell-O attempt, but you can enjoy the good one over at Nessa’s blog) And, enjoy this sweet story.
What are you going to read this holiday season? Are you a murder mystery fiend or a New Year’s Eve romance reader? Are you going to enjoy something sweet or savory? From all of us, we wish you a happy reading, a lovely holiday season, and a delightful New Year.
And, if you plan to purchase any of the books above (or from other Princessreadsalot Posts), we’d love it if used this link: https://www.amazon.com/shop/sushirainbow?listId=159W2FFCL45UJ&ref=idea_share_inf . We get a commission at no extra cost to you! Thank you for your support.