So, This Is Christmas (#1) by Tracy Andreen
Published: October 11th 2021 by Viking Books
Rating: ★★★★ (4)
Genre: Young Adult // Romance, Contemporary
Quick Thoughts: Ultra-sweet contemporary winter read, bursting with hometown feels.
About The Book: Let It Snow meets Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares in this new small town Christmas romance. When Finley Brown returned to her hometown of Christmas, Oklahoma, from boarding school, she expected to find it just as she left it. Christmas hasn’t changed much in her sixteen years. But instead she returns to find that her best friend is dating her ex-boyfriend, her parents have separated, and her archnemesis got a job working at her grandmother’s inn. And she certainly didn’t expect to find the boy she may or may not have tricked into believing that Christmas was an idyllic holiday paradise on her grandmother’s doorstep. It’s up to Finley to make sure he gets the Christmas he was promised. This is Finley’s Christmas. It’s about home and family and friends and finding her place, and along the way she also finds the best Christmas present of all: love.
As soon as I saw So, This Is Christmas on Goodreads in October, I knew it had to be one of my Christmas reads. There’s something about it that just screamed read me! And knowing it’s part of a series? Even more exciting!
Our main character Finley is from a small, blink-and-you’ll miss-it town named Christmas. It’s nothing spectacular, and hasn’t been for a while, but that’s not what she’s told her elite prep school classmates. Namely Arthur, a boy that’s pretty dreamy—not that she’s noticed—who just so happens to rock up at Christmas, in Christmas, at Finley’s grandmothers inn.
Things go from bad to worse in an instant. Finley finds out her mom isn’t at home and her parents are taking some “time apart”, her ex-boyfriend and best friend are dating and now she’s got British and beautiful Arthur, telling her that she’s duped him into believing this town was a place fit for him and his Aunt’s special Christmas celebrations. Feeling guilty—and sort-of trapped with her secret of fudging the details of her town—Finley has to make this Christmas one to remember for Arthur to make up for her lies, but the more her life unfolds and closer she gets to him, the more fate seems to be spiralling out of control.
Overall, I adored So, This Is Christmas. It had that Hallmark vibe (the author actually wrote some Hallmark movies so I’m pretty sure she gets that picture-perfect thing every time!) giving me a total atmospheric reading experience. There were some things I didn’t enjoy as much—Finley definitely annoyed me at times and I would’ve loved the romance explored a little more—but it had so many beautiful qualities I enjoyed, namely the LGBT+ rep and POC inclusivity. This is an ultra-sweet contemporary winter read, bursting with hometown feels. Four stars!
Tracy Andreen was born in Southern California but raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in journalism and professional writing then promptly moved to Los Angeles, where she spent many years in the world of film development, employed at Amblin/DreamWorks and Mandalay Pictures, among others. She began her paid writing career when she took it upon herself to revise some properties in development at Mandalay and ultimately left that side of the film world to pursue writing full time. In her spare time, she enjoys staring at her fantasy football lineup, hiking, gardening, perusing homes on Zillow, and making some amazingly cool candles that you totally would buy if only she would at long last set up that website.