Summary (from the publisher):
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.
But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.
The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
When Christina Lauren announced that they would be coming out with a HOLIDAY romance earlier this year, the contemporary romance & holiday fangirl that I am ran to add it to my TBR. I know readers are divided on CLO’s newer releases (the division seems to be around their books published pre-2019 vs. during 2019), but I have personally loved their newer releases, The Unhoneymooners, Twice in a Blue Moon, and The Honey-Don’t List all included. In a Holidaze seems to be another CLo release that readers either LOVED or felt meh about, but I’m so, so happy to report that I absolutely loved this one! I plan on doing a ‘ranking my favorite CLo books’ post one day (I still need to read a bit more of their backlist), but just know In a Holidaze is for sure in my top five favorites.
In a Holidaze is a holiday romance, following Mae and her family’s annual vacation to a family friends’ cabin in Utah for the week leading up to Christmas. The week at the cabin is always Mae’s favorite time of the year, with her immediate family coming together to hang out with her parents’ college friends and their families. Mae’s favorite week of the year soon becomes her least favorite when she drunkenly makes out with the son of her mom’s best friend, Theo, while harboring feelings for Theo’s older brother, Andrew. On top of all that, Andrew and Theo’s parents share at the end of the trip that they plan on selling the cabin. On the way to the airport, Mae finds herself wishing for her to figure out what make her happy and after a freak accident, she finds herself transported back in time to the beginning of the trip.
I 100% admit that I was also hesitant going into In a Holidaze because I’m usually not a fan of the time loop plot trope, but it totally worked for me in this book! It wasn’t repeated as much as I thought it would be, and even when Mae began a new loop, I love how CLo just jumped ahead to where we left off the first time.
I don’t need my contemporary romances to be rom-coms, but I dislike when a contemporary romance gets called a rom-com…and doesn’t have a ton of humor. I’m SO happy that In a Holidaze was for sure a rom-com. There’s one line from Andrew early on in the book about Andrew and Mae pretending to play vampires as kids and giving each other ‘bite marks’ that had me laughing out loud. I also loved Mae and Benny’s conversations & heart-to-hearts for multiple reasons, but I especially thought how Benny has made some money for himself and lines about his life outside of the annual holiday reunion quite funny.
My favorite part of In A Holidaze was not so much the romance, although I totally did enjoy the relationship, was its family and holiday atmosphere. I love that we honestly get to see Mae’s relationship with nearly every member of her extended family there. They all just genuinely care about Mae, and their love for her adds to the book’s theme for Mae to take the holiday to figure out what and who she really wants at this point in her life. Was the ending and the family’s acceptance of Mae being in a time loop a little convenient? Maybe, but it worked for the book! Their annual holiday traditions and activities was just so wholesome and put me right into the holiday spirit. They seriously made me want to try out some holiday-inspired cocktails and try to find a cute cabin for the winter!
Overall, In a Holidaze is another CLo novel not to be missed. This book will seriously make for the perfect compliment on a cozy November or December night.
Have you read In a Holidaze? What’s your favorite Christina Lauren book? Do you have any holiday book recommendations for me? Share in the comments!