Review: The Christmas Clash, Suzanne Park

Review: The Christmas Clash, Suzanne Park

The Christmas Clash by Suzanne Park is a Christmas rom-com that combines a family rivalry with a fight to save the local mall, all set during the holiday season. I loved the social themes the author tackles, including the importance of malls, although I would have liked to see even more Christmassy elements in the plot. This is a great book for younger YA readers looking for a more casual holiday read.

Review: The Christmas Clash, Suzanne ParkTitle: The Christmas Clash
Author: Suzanne Park
Also by this author: Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: October 4, 2022
Rating: three-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

Who's naughty and nice at Riverwood Mall? In this hilarious holiday rom-com, two rivals get together to save their families' livelihoods, and Christmas, too!

Chloe Kwon can't stand Peter Li. It's always been that way. Their families don't get along either: their parents operate rival restaurants in the Riverwood Mall food court―Korean food for the Kwons and Chinese food for the Lis. Now it's the holiday season and Chloe's the photographer at the mall's Santa Land, and Peter works at the virtual reality North Pole experience right across the atrium. It's all Chloe can do to avoid Peter's smug, incredibly photogenic face.

But it turns out the mall is about to be sold to a developer and demolished for condos. Eviction notices are being handed out right before Christmas. Their parents don't know what to do, and soon Chloe and Peter realize that the two of them need to join efforts to try to save the mall. Just when it seems like they can put aside their differences and work closely (very closely) together, they discover that the Kwon and Li feud goes far deeper than either of them realize...

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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 Christmas Clash by Suzanne Park

As a result of a decade-long rivalry between their families who run rival restaurants in the mall food court, Chloe and Peter are sworn enemies. When they find themselves working at the mall during the holiday season–Chloe as a photographer for Santa and Peter at a virtual reality North Pole experience–the holiday cheer comes to a halt as they learn that the mall is going to be demolished for condos, meaning eviction is imminent. In order to save their parents’ businesses, Chloe and Peter must team up, and as they spend more time together, they begin to question why they are even enemies in the first place.

❀ Mall Setting

I loved the mall setting in this one and the way the author explores the purpose of these spaces. Malls have been less popular these days in favour of online shopping, but I liked the way this book highlights the importance of malls not only for entertaining holiday pop-ups but also for the many shop owners. Suzanne Park does a fantastic job capturing the sense of community surrounding the mall, and it was heartwarming to see the different owners coming together to fight to save the mall.

❀ Needs More Christmas Content

Something I found myself hoping for while reading this book was more Christmas content. The cover and synopsis hint at a lot of holiday cheer, but beyond a few scenes of photography for the mall Santa, this one feels like a regular contemporary. I do appreciate the social themes the book tackles, but I would have also liked to see more of a Christmassy plot.

❀ Cute Rom-Com

The Christmas Clash by Suzanne Park is a cute enemies-to-lovers holiday rom-com. I enjoyed the idea of a family rivalry in the mall, and the author does an excellent job bringing the mall and its community to life. I would have enjoyed even more Christmas from this one, but it would be a great choice for those who enjoy more subtle holiday reads.

About Suzanne Park

Suzanne Park

Suzanne Park is a Korean-American writer who was born and raised in Tennessee. In her former life as a stand-up comedian, she was a finalist in the Oxygen Network's "Girls Behaving Badly" talent search, and appeared on BET's "Coming to the Stage." Suzanne was also the winner of the Seattle Sierra Mist Comedy Competition, and was a semi-finalist in NBC's "Stand Up For Diversity" showcase in San Francisco alongside comedians Ali Wong and Nico Santos.

16 thoughts on “Review: The Christmas Clash, Suzanne Park

  1. Sam@WLABB says:

    I always love the sound of Park’s books, but then they fall short for me. Sunny Song was the best I read from her, but I had high hopes for this one because I adore holiday books. Too bad it needed more Christmas.

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