Title: Ex-mas: A Love/Hate Story
Author: Kate Brian
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 6, 2009
Summary (from Goodreads): Two Exes. One holiday adventure. Merry Ex-Mas?
Seventeen-year-old Lila Beckwith’s parents just left for vacation, and Lila’s all set to throw the holiday party of the season. But when her Christmas-obsessed little brother, Cooper, discovers that global warming is melting the North Pole, he and his best friend, Tyler, take off on a runaway mission to save Santa.
Lila has to get Cooper safely home before her parents get back on Christmas Eve. But the only person who can help her is Tyler’s older brother, Beau a.k.a. Lila’s musician, anti-everything ex-boyfriend.
It’ll take more than a Christmas miracle for Lila and Beau to overcome their differences and find their fugitive brothers. But could a journey destined for disaster help these polar opposites fall in love…all over again?
As a sucker for all things road trip and Christmas, Ex-mas is like heaven for me. I loved the idea of a little boy going to the North Pole to save Santa from global warming and how cheesy the book really is. I only had one problem with this book (the main character’s snobbiness), but still enjoyed the book.
Ex-mas has such an adorable concept that really made me smile. After Lila shows her little brother an article from her science class, he goes on a mission to the North Pole to save Santa from global warming with his best friend, who just happens to be the brother of Lila’s ex. Lila then sets out with her ex to go find her brother before her parents come home from their own trip. I loved reading about the journey from Southern California to Seattle and all the drama along the way. If you enjoyed books like Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, you will love Ex-mas.
This is the kind of Christmas book that is perfectly cheesy and unrealistic. I mean, who lets two eight-year-olds take public transport across the country unsupervised? However, in this kind of book, the whole thing is cliché, so you don’t bother questioning it. I love to read these short and cute books around Christmastime, so I don’t mind the predictability at all.
At the beginning of the book, I didn’t really like Lila’s character. She is such a snob and is so rude to her brother. She also doesn’t see what’s right in front of her and how much she’s changed for the worse. Lila’s personality bothered me so much at times that I almost wanted to put the book down. While a trip with someone from her past was able to knock some sense into her, I still had trouble connecting with her character.
Ex-mas is a sweet holiday road trip book that is perfectly cliché. I loved everything about this book except for the rude main character. Nevertheless, I still really enjoyed the story and would recommend it this winter.