Review: Icing on the Lake by Catherine Clark

Review: Icing on the Lake by Catherine ClarkTitle: Icing on the Lake
Author: Catherine Clark
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: December 13, 2005

four-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

New Year's Resolutions
by Kirsten (with help from Crystal, Jones, and Emma)

1. Survive the month at my sister's house. Survive my 3-yr-old nephew and crazy sister.

2. Learn to ice skate better. Or not fall down. Or just get a cuter skating outfit.

3. Find hockey-playing, winter-loving hottie. and invite him to the weekend cabin trip (aka "groundhog getaway") with everyone.

Oh, sure. No problem.

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Review

As a fan of anything skating related, I was excited when I first saw Icing on the Lake by Catherine Clark This book is short and sweet, and the main character is relatable. There is a love triangle in the story, but I still ultimately enjoyed it. Continue reading

Review: Snow Queen by Emma Harrison

Review: Snow Queen by Emma HarrisonTitle: Snow Queen
Author: Emma Harrison
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: November 24, 2009

four-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Chamberlain Ski Resort and Spa

Welcome to the 10th Annual Snow Queen competition!

I can't believe I got roped into this.

Snow Princesses must attend all pageant rehearsals, with appropriate outfits.

Well, no matter what it takes, I'm going to wipe that smirk off Layla Chamberlain's face.

Our rehearsal space can be booked to practice your talent.

Um, does "looking dumb in a dress" count as a talent?

See Grayson Chamberlain, the assistant director, with any questions.

If you insist! First question: How can someone so sweet (and hot!) be a Chamberlain?

Good luck! One of you will soon be our new Snow Queen!

Oh joy.

Unless Grayson comes with the tiara . . .

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Review

When I first heard about Snow Queen by Emma Harrison, I knew I would enjoy it since I love anything about competitions and revenge. This book is so adorable as it recounts a winter beauty pageant, and the main character is quirky and caring. It is pretty clichéd, but that’s part of its charm. Continue reading

Review: The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork

Review: The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon WallworkTitle: The Enchanted Sonata
Author: Heather Dixon Wallwork
Publisher: The Wallworkshop
Publication Date: October 23, 2018

four-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Clara Stahlbaum has her future perfectly planned: to marry the handsome pianist, Johann Kahler (ah!) and settle down to a life full of music. But all that changes on Christmas Eve, when Clara receives a mysterious and magical nutcracker.

Whisked away to his world—an enchanted empire of beautiful palaces, fickle fairies, enormous rats, and a prince—Clara must face a magician who uses music as spells…and the future she thought she wanted.

The Enchanted Sonata, a retelling of The Nutcracker Ballet with a dash of The Pied Piper, will captivate readers of all ages.

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❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review

The Nutcracker and The Pied Piper are two of my favourite stories, and when I saw that they had come together in The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork, I was thrilled. This book is fast-paced, and it contains a cast of characters who are each well developed. I especially enjoyed the writing style and descriptions of music. I would definitely recommend this book for the holiday season, even if you are unfamiliar with the two original stories. Continue reading

Review: Snow in Love by Melissa de la Cruz

Review: Snow in Love by Melissa de la CruzTitle: Snow in Love
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Point
Publication Date: October 30, 2018

four-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

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...

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Review

As an avid fan of any book about the holidays, I was thrilled when I heard about Snow in Love by Melissa de la Cruz, and so many other amazing authors. This anthology is comprised of stories from some of my favourite authors, and each story is so cute. My personal favourite had to be Nic Stone’s work. This book is the perfect thing to get you ready for the festive season. Continue reading

Review: The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

Book cover for The Afterlife of Holly Chase

Title: The Afterlife of Holly Chase
Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: October 24, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.

She didn’t.

And then she died.

Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge–as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.

Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly’s afterlife has been miserable.

But this year, everything is about to change. . . .

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The Afterlife of Holly Chase truly surprised me. This is an original story based on the classic A Christmas Carol where the main character works for a company trying to save Scrooges every year. I found the main character to be likeable, even though she is intended to be dislikable, and I loved reading about the secrets at Project Scrooge. This is such a festive book that will definitely get the reader in the Christmas spirit.

This book has such an original concept! Basically, a spoiled rich girl is killed and wakes up to learn that she is the new Ghost of Christmas Past. Frozen in time, she must work for an organization dedicated to changing the ways of modern Scrooges for the better. I really enjoyed the complexity of Holly’s afterlife and how believable Project Scrooge is. The book is also witty, making it more fun than a typical retelling of A Christmas Carol.

Normally, I am not a fan of dislikable characters, purposeful or not, but I actually really enjoyed Holly’s character. She starts off pretty snobby, and is actually a failed Scrooge, but she really transforms as the story progresses. Holly’s snarky attitude and witty retorts are hilarious, and I loved her sass. She is also pretty daring and willing to do whatever it takes to follow her heart, which is such a nice characteristic.

What I most enjoyed about The Afterlife of Holly Chase is the fact that it isn’t a generic retelling of A Christmas Carol. It takes the idea of the original story and creates something entirely new. Every character assumes the role of one of the classic characters for the mission every year, and the book focuses more on the behind the scenes work at Project Scrooge. Also, the main character isn’t actually Scrooge, which I thought was a nice twist. This book is unlike any A Christmas Carol retelling you will ever read, and I would definitely recommend it this holiday season.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase is an inventive story based on A Christmas Carol. I loved the sassy main character and the various twists on the original story. If you are looking for something different to read this winter, this is the perfect book to pick up.