By: Cait Marie
Originally posted on YA Books Central.
Shoshanna Greenberg loves working at Once Upon, her favorite local bookstore. And with her moms fighting at home and her beloved car teetering on the brink of death, the store has become a welcome escape.
When her boss announces a holiday bonus to the person who sells the most books, Shoshanna sees an opportunity to at least fix her car, if none of her other problems. The only person standing in her way? New hire Jake Kaplan.
Jake is an affront to everything Shoshanna stands for. He doesn’t even read! But somehow his sales start to rival hers. Jake may be cute (really cute), and he may be an eligible Jewish single (hard to find south of Atlanta), but he’s also the enemy, and Shoshanna is ready to take him down.
But as the competition intensifies, Jake and Shoshanna grow closer and realize they might be more on the same page than either expects…
I feel like I should start this off by telling everyone that I love Christmas more than any grown adult should. It’s my favorite day of the year, and people often call me Buddy the Elf. It’s a whole thing…
That being said, I also love all other holidays and truly enjoy reading about other cultures and celebrations I don’t personally partake in.
This book was a beautiful blend of the winter holiday season.
Shoshanna is struggling with her moms fighting, needing to repair her car, and the annoying new coworker. She’s an enthusiastic, bubbly person, which isn’t typical of a lot of books I read. It was refreshing, to say the least.
Jake is this kind of mysterious, new guy that she can’t figure out. Primarily because he doesn’t read outside of school, so she can’t fathom why he wants to work in a bookstore. Even more so, she hates that he thinks he can come in and win the contest of most sales with his limited book knowledge.
It’s a fun rivalry that starts, but this book is so much more than that. Though it is a YA romance, that isn’t the main focus. The romance is a super slow burn, but the flirting and witty banter is great. The book is really about the growth of Shoshanna and her connection with all the people in her life.
One of my favorite things about this story is the variety of characters, the diversity, and the inclusion. Not only do we get both Hanukkah and Christmas, but Shoshanna has two moms and her boss is in a wheelchair. I cannot express how much the latter meant to me. As someone with a physical disability who relies on a power wheelchair, I absolutely loved how the author wrote Myra. It wasn’t some big thing or part of the plot at all; she just happened to be in a wheelchair. For example, the author subtly added descriptions like the lowered shelves in her office, but the story kept moving. It was so well done! I think this is the first time I’ve ever read a book that handled disability so perfectly.
All of this book was well done. I enjoyed it immensely and would absolutely recommend it to those looking for a fun holiday read or a YA rom-com (though, like I said, the romance is extremely slow).