Summary (from the publisher): Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship. Cue devastation.
Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.
When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.
This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever… or is it?
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Ashley Elston’s 10 Blind Dates made my TBR radar earlier in 2019 thanks to its holidays-inspired premise. As many as you know, I love when books incorporate one of my non-bookish faves. And Christmas is definitely a favorite interest of mine. I am proud to admit though that I have been fully embracing fall and Halloween this year by decorating my dorm room and purposely buying a Halloween costume. But never fear, my Christmas decorations are at the ready. Anyway, I also wanted to read 10 Blind Dates because I wanted to read more of Ashley Elston’s work. Although I enjoyed it, I wasn’t a super fan of her This Is Our Story as much as I hoped to be given the hype. However, I was really excited to embrace her first true contemporary story.
10 Blind Dates follows Sophie’s holiday break at her grandparents’ house in the next town over, after deciding to stay home while her parents visit her very pregnant sister three hours away in South Louisiana. Sophie couldn’t wait to get some alone time with her long-time boyfriend, Griffin- until she’s overhears him talking at a party about breaking up with her. With a big family who wants nothing but happiness for Sophie, her cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles set Sophie set her up on ten blind dates.
One of my favorite parts of 10 Blind Dates was of course Sophie’s crazy extended family. There are a lot of family members, but Ashley Elston does a really nice job of reminding readers who is who and focusing on the ones who are most central to the plot. Sophie’s Nonna was my favorite family member, creating the blind date idea and having homemade cannolis ready at the go. Living with her grandparents also allows Sophie to reconnect with her childhood best friends and cousins Charlie and Olivia (not to mention their best friend and neighbor, Wes).
As expected, Sophie finds herself on both good and bad dates. They provide a lot of light-heartedness to the story, while also allowing Sophie to explore her pre-Griffin self and spend more time with her family. 10 Blind Dates is a fun and fluffy read that is the perfect mood read for the holiday season. However, while this might just be me, 10 Blind Dates was a bit too cheery at times in the sense that the story became very predictable. I think some of this might have to do with the writing style, as it was very simple and matter-of-fact as told from Sophie’s narration. I’m all for fluff and light-heartedness, especially in a holiday read, but I think I wanted a tad more maturity on Sophie’s part.
Even though I usually save my holiday-inspired reads for November and December, I think 10 Blind Dates is such a great read for when you’re in need of the Christmas spirit, regardless of the time of year.
This review is based on an uncorrected advance proof. By no means did this affect my thoughts or opinions.
My Most Anticipated Christmas Movies
As mentioned above, 10 Blind Dates has sparked my 2019 Christmas spirit. The movie has also encouraged me to start complying my must-watch Christmas movie list. Thankfully, there have recently been so many Christmas films announced!
Last Christmas- The most anticipated movie on my list, I cannot wait for Last Christmas featuring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding (aka one of my celebrity crushes since seeing Crazy Rich Asians)! It’s been a while since I’ve seen a Christmas movie in theaters, and I already love the cast, not to mention that one of the producers is Emma Thompson.
Release Date: November 8
Let It Snow (Netflix)- I feel like we have all been waiting forever for the adaptation of John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson’s Let It Snow! I’m pretty sure that I first read this book in middle school (if not the 4th or 5th grade!) and I’ve definitely re-visited it over the years because it is one of my favorite holidays reads. I doubt I will be able to because of school, but I’d love to sneak in a reread before seeing the movie. I’m really interested in seeing the book featuring three interconnected stories come to life on the screen.
Release Date: November 8
The Knight Before Christmas (Netflix)- The Princess Switch was another one of my Netflix-Christmas watches last year, starring Vanessa Hudgens. Vanessa Hudgens is returning to Netflix’s holiday world again with The Knight Before Christmas. This one is definitely in the super-cheesy Christmas movie category, but again also in the must-watch category.
Release Date: November 21
Sugar Rush: Christmas (Netflix)- Although it’s not at all a movie, I cannot help but mention the upcoming Christmas-inspired Sugar Rush. This timed baking competition is for sure a Netflix favorite of mine, so combine that with my love for holiday-esque baking shows, and you’ll likely know what I’ll be watching on November 29th.
Release Date: November 29
A Christmas Prince: Royal Baby (Netflix)- Everyone needs a least one three cheesy/Hallmark-esque Christmas movies on their watchlists. My friends and I binge-watched the first two Christmas Prince movies last November, which obviously means we’ll just have to watch the third.
Release Date: December 5
Is 10 Blind Dates on your TBR? What holiday-inspired books and movies will you be reading & watching? Share in the comments!