Published in 2020 by acclaimed author Christina Lauren, In A Holidaze is an amazing yuletide read. It might be summer currently, but for many people – the weather feels more like Winter than Summer. In any case, why not lean into the cozy vibes and appreciate the cool temperatures? Rather than living vicariously through summer reads, let’s settle into the coziness that the later seasons can bring.
One Christmas wish, two brothers, and a lifetime of hope are on the line for hapless Maelyn Jones in In a Holidaze, the quintessential holiday romantic novel by Christina Lauren, the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners.
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In a Holidaze
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.
“I’ve spent years not trusting my ability to make decisions and quietly letting life just happen to me. It can’t be a coincidence that the moment I stopped being passive and followed my instincts, everything seemed to fall into place. I know what makes me happy—trusting myself. What a gift, right? I found happiness.”
The story begins with Mae Jones, a young woman in her late twenties, feeling stuck in her life. Every year, Mae and her family join family and friends at a cozy cabin in Utah for the Christmas holidays. This tradition has been a cherished part of her life since childhood, but this year, everything feels different. Mae’s parents have decided to sell the cabin, and she is uncertain about her career and love life.
On the final night of the vacation, after a particularly disappointing romantic encounter, Mae makes a desperate plea to the universe to show her what will make her happy. Little does she know, her plea is about to be answered in the most extraordinary way. On their way back to the airport, the group faces a terrible car accident, which transports Mae back in time to the very beginning of the vacation.
Confused and disoriented, Mae soon realizes she is trapped in a time loop, reliving the Christmas holiday over and over again. Armed with the knowledge of her past experiences, Mae is determined to make the most of this unique opportunity and find a way to break the loop.
As the time loop repeats, Mae attempts to change her actions, hoping to alter the outcome and find the happiness she longs for. She becomes more observant, paying attention to the small details and interactions she previously took for granted. Along the way, she forms deeper connections with the people around her, including her childhood crush, Andrew, and his charming brother, Theo. Through these relationships, Mae discovers the importance of taking risks and being true to oneself.
Mae’s journey isn’t just about finding romantic love; it’s also about rediscovering the love within her family. Throughout the time loop, she realizes the significance of the cabin and the Christmas tradition. The cabin symbolizes a place where love, laughter, and memories are created. Mae becomes determined to save the cabin from being sold. As she now knows tha it holds the key to preserving her family’s bond and her own happiness.
As Mae continues to relive the holiday, her actions and choices begin to affect the people around her. She brings together estranged family members, repairs broken relationships, and helps her loved ones discover their true desires. Through her efforts, she transforms the holiday into a time of healing and reconciliation.
With each repeated day, Mae learns more about herself and what truly matters in life. The time loop becomes a catalyst for personal growth, and she realizes that finding happiness is about embracing the present, following her heart, and being open to the unexpected.
Finally, after countless loops, Mae understands the lessons the universe has been teaching her. She recognizes that love isn’t always perfect or predictable, but it’s worth fighting for. With newfound clarity and determination, she breaks free from the time loop, ready to face the future with courage and hope.
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren is a delightful and enchanting holiday romance that captures the essence of the season with its warmth, humor, and heartfelt message. This book is a perfect choice for anyone seeking a feel-good read during the festive period or simply wanting to escape into a charming love story.
Whilst the time loop may be a surprising deviation from Lauren’s usual expanse of writing, she executes it well. It allows for a different method of personal growth and forces Mae to relive the same festive days over and over. This shows her, over time, the true things in life she should be appreciating.
Mae is a relatable and endearing protagonist who navigates the complexities of her love life, career, and familial relationships. Her journey of self-discovery is beautifully depicted, as she learns to appreciate the present, take risks, and follow her heart. Learning to appreciate the present is probably one of the most important acts of self-help one can do — and we strongly encourage those who don’t already, to make an effort to do so. Hopefully, this book will spark the change in many of those who read it.
The romance aspect of the story is handled with care and tenderness. The chemistry between Mae and the charming love interests, Andrew and Theo, is palpable. We found ourselves swooning and hoping for a happily ever after. The exploration of romantic relationships is portrayed in a realistic and nuanced manner, showcasing the ups and downs, the doubts and vulnerabilities, and the power of true connection.
Extra credit in this book for the portrayl of family dynamics. The importance of cherished traditions, the bonds that hold families together, and the impact of open communication are all beautifully woven into the narrative. The focus on family really makes the novel feel real. This then made me reflect on my family’s personal traditions whilst reading it. The holiday setting serves as a backdrop for reconciliation and growth, highlighting the significance of love and togetherness during this special time of year.
While the story is enchanting and heartwarming, there are moments when the pacing feels a bit slow. Particularly during the middle portion of the book. However, the engaging characters and the anticipation of the resolution definitely kept our investment!
In a Holidaze is a delightful holiday read that will warm your heart and leave you with a renewed sense of hope and joy. Christina Lauren’s writing is engaging and witty, and their ability to create lovable characters and a magical atmosphere is always thrilling. Whether you’re a fan of romance, holiday stories, or tales of self-discovery, this book is a must-read. We know that this book will transport you to a world of love, laughter, and the spirit of the season.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is In a Holidaze about?
Mae Jones finds herself trapped in a time loop during a Christmas vacation with her family and close friends. Desperate to break free from the repetition, Mae embarks on a quest to discover the true meaning of love and happiness. With each repeated day, she forms deeper connections, repairs broken relationships. She soon learns valuable lessons about embracing the present and following her heart.
How many pages is In a Holidaze?
Depending on the publication, In a Holidaze sits around 335 pages.
Who does Mae end up with?
Without spoiling anything more than necessary, Mae eventually ends up with Andrew.