Beth Reekles, author of The Kissing Booth, is on the blog today with her adult-themed debut, a story of twins at Christmas in
It Won’t be Christmas Without You
Eloise and Cara are the focus and narrative perspectives in this little story – a quick and non-demanding read that focuses on the different lives and perspectives of the twins as Christmas celebrations are in the planning stages. While Cara is working every hour sent (almost literally) to get a coveted promotion – foregoing dating, visiting family and denying the holiday celebrations, her sister Eloise is running multiple Nativity pageant rehearsals for the students in the school while she works, nursing a broken heart and returning to her parents’ home at every opportunity. An admitted Christmas junkie (everything is decorated to the nth degree in her flat) she’s also obsessed with the holiday at home to hang with her parents and sister – she’s more than a bit homesick and nostalgic and can’t quite deal with Cara’s apparent lack of interest in anything that isn’t involved with or important to her work.
While their parents book a holiday away (much to Eloise’s dismay) and Cara will only dip into her savings for a bus home on the day, with a return the next, all with plans to work as often as possible, things between the sisters are fraught with tension, and only the questions both have about relationships or lack of them seem to bring any sort of camaraderie, at least until the subject of the holiday comes forward. When you add in unexpected (and significant) snowfall, two relationships finding answers and new understandings, and a bit of growth, insight and conversation about what matters between the sisters, the story brings an expected and heartwarming conclusion.
I’ll be honest when I say that the story was quick to read and had little emotional impact, even in moments meant to bring an “oh wow” reaction. Both sisters and the characters introduced were a bit “young’ in their perspectives and approaches to problems, and the core issue between Cara and Eloise and their perceptions of the “struggles” each had faced was dashed off rather quickly without really addressing anything of substance. In reality, reading the story brought little to no emotional engagement, and adding the snowfall in seemed to add a bit of melodrama to the plot, giving this a feel of a series of unfortunate events (or conversational miscues) story – although enjoyable, it’s not particularly remarkable for depth and ability to draw the reader into the world. It was, however, a quick read that was easy to pick up and put down – and perhaps just what is needed for a little mini-escape during the frenetic moments of the holidays.
Title: It Won’t be Christmas Without You
Author: Beth Reekles
Genre: Coming of Age, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Friendship, Holiday Themed, Humor elements, New Adult - Coming of Age, Romantic Elements, Setting: Britain
Published by: Harper Impulse
Published on: 30 August, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon
From the author of the smash hit Netflix romcom The Kissing Booth!
Eloise, a self-confessed Christmas obsessive, can’t wait for the big day. Devoted to her Michael Bublé playlist, she’s organising the school nativity play and even her gorgeous Grinch of a neighbour, James, can’t get her down.
Her workaholic twin sister, Cara, on the other hand, plans to work over the holiday – and figure out what secrets her seemingly-perfect boyfriend George might be keeping from her.
The sisters used to be close but since Cara moved to London, everything’s been different. Only, Eloise isn’t giving up just yet, and with a white Christmas on the cards, Cara can’t fail to be moved by the magic of the season … can she?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: