Summary: Charlie plans everything possible in her life, from scheduling her free time to co-editing the school newspaper with her best friend. What else does Charlie plan? Finding the perfect Secret Santa gifts in hopes of winning over Teo Ortiz, the perfect guy for her—star athlete, National Honor Society member—but the only problem? He doesn’t know Charlie exists. Enter J.D. Ortiz, Teo’s cousin, who is the complete opposite of Teo and Charlie—late to everything, disorganized, and the most annoying person Charlie’s ever met. But J.D. knows Teo better than Charlie, and with his help, Charlie’s plan for a Christmas romance may actually work.
My Star Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
My festive reading continues this month with Shani Petroff’s My New Crush Gave to Me! Before getting into the holiday aspects of the novel, I want to talk about the book itself. The story is a bit fast-paced, as Charlie is in crunch-time mode to find the perfect Secret Santa gifts for Teo in time to ask him to Noelle’s birthday party. The speed of the plot by no means negatively affected my opinion of the novel, as we have the perfect amount of time to see Charlie and J.D.’s friendship develop. I also loved Charlie and Morgan’s friendship (yay positive female friendships!), and I liked seeing Charlie’s relationship with her mom. As a character, I liked Charlie—she was a bit typical YA protagonist (perfectionist, good student, etc.) –, but I think J.D. stole the show for me, between his humor and his care for Charlie. The book is a tad predictable in the romance department, but I did enjoy seeing Charlie and J.D. warm up to each other more and more. I thought Morgan really balanced out Charlie, and reading about their baking business was one of my favorite parts of the novel!
So how festive is My New Crush Gave to Me?
On a scale from 1 to 10, I have to give the book a 10 for its festive, Christmas vibes! Throughout the novel, Charlie is hoping for some sort of perfect Christmas, as her Christmas at home is different this year with her mom taking on a more-time consuming job at the hospital. With receiving J.D.’s help for her Secret Santa gifts, Charlie gets to celebrate old and new Christmas traditions, from decorating the Christmas tree and gingerbread house to going caroling for the first time. We also get to experience Hanukah, as Morgan and her boyfriend, Ira, celebrate the holiday. I think Charlie and friends decorating the tree with J.D.’s family was my favorite scene in the novel.
Overall, My New Crush Gave to Me was a fun, Christmas-themed read that’s perfect for the holiday season. If you enjoy Christmas movies and books with rom-com vibes, this one is for you!
I was sent My New Crush Gave to Me by Swoon Reads. By no means does this affect my rating or opinion of the novel.
Have you read any festive reads this holiday season? Have you read My New Crush Gave to Me? Share in the comments!