Welcome to day 23 of blogmas! I’m going to talk about the latest book I gave 5 stars to: Faking Under the Mistletoe by Sara Shepherd!
Title: Faking Under the Mistletoe
Author: Ashley Shepherd
Synopsis: Olivia Langley is the human embodiment of Christmas cheer, and she has absolutely no problem spreading it around for all to hear.Christmas sweaters? She has twenty. Christmas cookies? She’ll take three dozen. Christmas movies? Yeah, she’s seen them all. So it’s no surprise when she’s put in charge of Loveridge & McGowan’s holiday festivities. Secret Santas? Yep. Ice skating? Of course. Holiday trivia? Duh. Christmas-themed bar crawl? That’s one big jingle bell hell yes. Kissing her boss at a Christmas tree lighting in front of his ex-girlfriend? Well… it is the season of giving. And Olivia does not come with a gift receipt. No exchanges. No returns. No refunds. All sales are final. In an effort to ungrinch the grinchiest man she’s ever met, Olivia enlists herself, Santa’s Executive Helper, to scheme up a plan that includes sleigh rides, snow days, and one too many mistletoe kisses, which certainly gets Asher’s tinsel in a tangle. She’s pretty sure that she sleighed this whole fake dating thing. Well… until she realizes there’s nothing fake about her feelings for Asher, and suddenly tangled tinsel, unsolicited Christmas trees, and celebrity heartthrobs are the least of her worries. (Goodreads).
5 stars: Persephone – Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring. Persephone is my favourite goddess because she is full of contradictions – she represents both strength as queen of the underworld and a softness as a floral maiden. She teaches me how it’s okay to be both. If Persephone appears, that means that the book was one of the best books I’ve ever read, that it holds a particular place in my heart and that it is now part of my favourite books ever.
Iris– Goddess of rainbows. Nothing new here, we all know that rainbows represent the LGBTQ+ community so this Goddess will be featured whenever a queer relationship or character appears. Here: secondary characters (married lesbians with a child, gay grandmother?)
Medusa – Gorgon. She is mostly known for being a monster, but before she was a monster, she was a beautiful mortal woman with beautiful hair who has been sexually assaulted by Poseidon in a temple dedicated to Athena. As a punishment she was transformed into a monster. This goddess will be featured whenever sexual assault is mentioned in a book. It will also be a trigger warning. CW: mentions of sexual assault.
This book was the best Christmas book ever. It’s the Love Actually of Christmas books. I read it in a day and almost pulled an all-nighter for it (I still went to sleep at 4am). I couldn’t put it down. I nearly turned down watching a Christmas movie to keep on reading (I still watched the Princess Switch and it was cute).
There are so many things that I loved about the book.
The writing style was superb. I mean there were cute and funny pop culture references, the banter was incredibly witty and the characters are all fleshed-out and endearing. What more could this girl need? There were so many moments in the plot that could have been caricatural and cliché especially since the main character, Olivia thinks she’s in a Hallmark movie, but it went way beyond that. Usually, in the fake dating trope, when the couple tries to make an ex jealous, the ex is usually caricatural and two-dimensional. Here, the author chose another route and actually decided to show women supporting each other, being kind and have a healthy relationship with one another. It felt like a breath of fresh air. The women stood together and helped each other, especially when there was a situation of sexual assault and I nearly cried. The whole talk about men taking advantage of women, treating them like sexual objects was so refreshing and I wanted to hug the characters and clap. This book was so much deeper and more profound than I thought it would be and it nearly brought me to tears because of some things that were said and done.
The chemistry between Asher and Olivia is incredible. The banter, the banter, the banter!! It was amazing. It showed how much the love interests were in sync and it was delectable. This book confirmed that I love the fake dating trope – that moment when the characters realize that this is not pretend and that they’re falling in love for real? Yes, yes yes.
Olivia was a true delight; I would kill to have a friend like her. Her confidence is so inspiring and I wish I were like her. She has a lot of things going against her and she faces so many bad things but she lets herself feel them. She’s still a positive person and tries to see what’s beneath appearances. She gave me so much hope.
Asher was really unique. He made me laugh so much. He is brave, demanding and weird but he knows what he wants and he is so loving and attentive. I loved reading about all the small gestures he did quietly and secretly. It made my heart stop.
The other characters were all relevent and I grew attached to them all.
I loved the first person narrative oh so much.The writing style is very fluid and makes the story easy to follow. I think that’s why I couldn’t put it down because everything was coherent and moved perfectly. The dialogue was fantastic and all of the characters had their own distinguishable voice and it gave the story authenticity. I almost wish I hadn’t read it so fast because it was so good and I don’t know what I should do with my life now. This book is perfect if you’re looking for a funny, cute and deep Christmas story!
Have you read this? What are some of your favourite Christmas movies/ Tv shows?
Let me know in the comments!