Full of Holiday Spirit | Talk Santa To Me by Linda Urban

Friday, October 14, 2022

 Talk Santa To Me by Linda Urban

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 9/27/22
Pages: 288
Source: Netgalley/ from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (thank you, Atheneum Books!)

A teen girl gets the perfect second try at a first kiss in this hilarious, romp-filled young adult romantic comedy perfect for fans of Jenna Evans Welch and Hallmark Christmas movies. Francie was born in a stable. Really. Granted, it was the deluxe model with the light-up star on the roof, one of the many Christmas items for sale at her family’s Hollydale Holiday Shop. Their holiday gift empire also includes the Santa School, which was founded by Francie’s beloved grandpa, who recently passed away. Francie’s always loved working in the shop, but lately Aunt Carole has been changing everything with her ideas for too-slick, Hollywood-inspired Santas and horrible holiday-themed employee uniforms. Aunt Carole’s vision will ruin all the charm and nostalgia Francie loves about her family’s business…unless she does something about it. But this winter is about more than preserving the magic of Christmas. Francie is saving up for a car and angling to kiss the cute boy who works at the tree lot next door—hopefully it will be good enough to wipe her fiasco of a first kiss from her memory. As the weather outside gets more and more frightful, can Francie pull off the holiday of her dreams?
Francie, short for Frankincense, grew up in her family’s holiday shop and Santa school. She knows the ins and outs of the business. When her aunt decides to make a few changes, Francie isn’t particularly happy about it, especially when their annual TV special seems to be going all wrong. When Francie places herself in front of the camera, exclaiming that she works for Santa himself, several children begin sending her letters to give to Santa. Francie must balance her school life and her work as the self-appointed intern of Santa. Talk Santa to Me is a hilarious read that will certainly have readers believing in the magic of the holidays.
  • From the introduction, I knew I was going to love this. Its easy readability coupled with downright laugh-out-loud humor makes this book release one you definitely want to have on your radar.
  • It follows Francie, whose inner voice is filled with funny antidotes and relatable moments. She's quite snarky at times and her sarcasm makes the setting even more funny. Her family runs a Santa school and owns a holiday shop, where Francie also works. 
  • The story is incredibly short, totaling under 300 pages. For such a short book, there was a lot of moving elements without any real focus on one main plot. Not only did readers get a glimpse of Francie's school life with bullies but also the battle with her aunt who hopes to change her family's business. This was more of a day-in-the-life kind of tale than anything else. 
  • While I went into the book expecting an adorable romance, that storyline doesn’t become prominent until the last half of the book and even then, it seems to take place as a secondary plot point. Primarily, Francie is busy with her family's business as she poses as Santa's intern. Urban centered the story around family, an element that I really enjoyed. It made the book even more heartwarming.
  • The synopsis, along with the cover, is what truly drew me into this book. The summary likens Talk Santa to Me to a Hallmark Christmas movie and I would most definitely agree. In fact, I would love to see the book be turned into a holiday movie. 
  • The ending is so charming. It will have readers finishing the book with a warm heart.
If you adore cute holiday reads, you definitely don't want to miss this one. 

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