I’m happy to have Julie from Struck By Stories on the blog today to share have five favorite YA Christmas books, as well as some 2020 holiday book releases that she’s excited about! That Artsy Reader Girl started out as a mostly YA book blog, but my tastes have changed and I don’t read nearly as much YA as I used to. It’s fun to have it back on the blog today!
Merry (almost!) Christmas & happy holidays, book-lovers! I’m so excited to be sharing with you a list of my favorite books to read during the winter season today, plus a few 2020 holiday books that I’m eagerly anticipating. All of these books have a special place in my heart, and I hope you guys find some new books to add to your TBR ;) Special thanks to Jana @ That Artsy Reader for allowing me the opportunity to do this!
Dancing Through the Snow by Jean Little
First on my list of favorite holiday reads is by far the most underrated! It’s about a girl named Min who, after being abandoned as a baby and rejected by yet another foster family in the height of the holiday season, experiences a Christmas miracle when a member of her foster center decides to take her in. This book is extremely heartwarming, and the perfect reminder of what the Christmas season is all about. Ever since I discovered it at my school library in 6th grade, I’ve made a point of rereading it every year. Definitely a must-read!
The Dash & Lily series by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Next on my list are two additional books that I always read during the Christmas season! David Levithan’s natural dry humor shines through in Dash, a bookish-yet-snarky teen boy who makes the bold decision to embark on a list challenges he finds embedded in a red notebook left on a bookshelf at the Strand. He and Lily, the teen girl who initiated the dares, continue to trade various Christmas-centered challenges, all while trying to avoid their growing feelings for each other. I love how Lily, with all of her festive holiday cheer, compliments Dash and his cynicism so well. Also, be sure not to miss book two, The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily, set a year later and featuring the same fantastic cast of characters!
Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson,
& Lauren Myracle
Many of you guys will probably recognize this from the newly formed Breakfast Book Club with Ms. Freeman, as this was the book we chose to read this month! John Green (writer of the famed book The Fault in Our Stars) teamed up with two other popular YA authors to write a story about what happens when a train breaks down in a small town right before Christmas, and the result was perfection! I especially liked how even though they were three separate stories, they are all set in the same place and time and a few characters make guest appearances in the other stories. P.S. Don’t have time to read the book? No worries – it was just released as a Netflix movie this year!
My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff
If you are in the mood for a light, fluffy and cozy Christmas romance, then this is your book! This one centers around Charlie Donavon, a teen girl who’s convinced that she is meant to be with Teo Ortiz, who, in addition to being a star athlete and NHS member, is also a member of the school paper with Charlie. When she not-so-coincidentally picks his name for Secret Santa, she enlists the help of his cousin, J.D. Ortiz, to pick out the perfect presents and win his heart. However, she soon discovers that maybe, just maybe, the boy she really wants is not who she has been envisioning. Highly recommend!
Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle
And last-but-not-least on my list of favs is Together at Midnight, which ironically is the only one that’s not set during the Christmas season! As the title hints, this novel takes place entirely on New Year’s Eve. After witnessing a tragic accident earlier that day, two teens (Kendall and Max) make it their mission to spend the rest of it performing random acts of kindness, while also falling for each other along the way. What made this one truly special to me was that instead of just hearing the perspective of Kendall and Max, the story delved into the lives of the recipients of their good deeds. Overall, this one was a fantastic read, and it’s without a doubt one that’s not to be missed!
Anticipated 2020 Releases
Recommended for You by Laura Silverman
This is easily my most-anticipated YA holiday-centered book of 2020, and for good reason! Not only is it going to be super-bookish (as the main character, Shoshanna Greenberg, is a teen bookseller), and a hate-to-love romance (my second-favorite trope!) it’s also going to be a JEWISH (!!!) holiday romance with both Shoshanna & her love interest, Jake Kaplan, both being Jewish. This is something we *definitely* need more of in YA lit, and it’s beyond me that this is the only YA Jewish holiday romance that I know of (I’m really hoping that this starts a trend!) If this isn’t on your TBR right now, definitely be sure to add it ASAP 😍
The Detour by Natalie D. Richards
One of my earliest reviews on my blog (and my first review in my school paper!) was for Six Months Later, another book by the same author, so you can safely bet that I’ll be checking out this one as well! This book has it all: a teen girl struggling to get home to her family before the holidays, a Christmas blizzard that causes plane delays, and bad road conditions that turn an innocent car ride into the scene of . . . a mystery??? I have yet to read (or discover) a YA Christmas thriller, and I couldn’t think of a better time of year to read one than when I’m curled up in bed with a mug of hot cocoa and my fuzzy PJs ❤️
One Way or Another by Kara McDowell
While I wasn’t the ~biggest~ fan of Kara’s debut book, Just for Clicks (nothing bad, I promise, just not my cup of tea!) I am still SUPER hyped for this one! It’s basically the winter equivalent of Two Summers by Aimee Friedman, and centers around Paige, a teen girl with anxiety who’s struggling to decide between spending her Christmas break in a snowy cabin with her best friend/unrequited crush, or living it up in NYC, and ends up simultaneously living out both fates. I absolutely adore the premise for this one, and I can’t wait to read it come October 2020!
A Royal Christmas Quandary by Samantha Hastings
Finally, we have A Royal Christmas Quandry, a book by the same author of The Last Word, which has been on my TBR for what feels like forever! Anyways, the only info that has been released about this book is that it’s going to be a YA historical romance (hello, Jane Austen fangirls!) about “a young lady who must find a missing prince during the Christmas season.” While the synopsis is super short, I cannot begin to describe how perfectly irresistible that sounds (I’m an absolute sucker for books with royalty). Also, this is kinda unrelated but can we talk about how this is the *second* book that Samatha has releasing next year? Honestly, I’d be lucky if I could finish writing just one book in my entire life 😂
About the Blogger
Hi! I’m Julie, and I’m the girl behind the YA book blog, Struck by Stories.
A little about me . . . I’m eighteen (does that still count as a teenager???) a senior in high school, ailurophile (which is just a fancy word for cat-lover), HUGE Disney fan, and proud resident of New England. My dream in life is to become a Children’s/Young Adult librarian, and I’m slowly working my way to achieving that!
In addition, I am also a self-proclaimed Thunderclaw (Thunderbird/Ravenclaw) which I think perfectly sums me up because I love to adventure, especially through stories!
When I don’t have my head stuck in a book, you can probably find me either cuddling with my calico cat, baking treats in the kitchen, studying hard for all my classes, jamming out to the top 40 songs, or fangirling over all my favorite TV shows. You can follow along with all of my bookish adventures at struckbystories.com, or on social media @struckbystories ❤️
What are some of your favorite Christmas/Holiday books (YA or not)?