Review by Veronica

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For reasons that I cannot understand, I am not wearing Alice’s smart-girl, first impression miniskirt. What I am wearing is a puzzle. A riddle. A conundrum. It is also an insult to the spirit, a spike to the soul, and a 100% certain death blow to any hope of first-impressioning I might have planned.

What I am wearing is a knee-length, pea-green polyester skater skirt trimmed with glittering, snow-white faux fur and covered in eye-searing, electric-red candy canes.

When I say electric red, I mean electric red.

Talk Santa to Me is an adorable and entertaining YA Christmas read!

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?

Talk Santa to Me is a lovely easy breezy Christmas read. It’s perfect for those bookworms looking to cuddle in their PJs and spend their weekend reading a good book. I am a huge fan of YA books, but I don’t get to read too many YA holiday books; they don’t seem to cross my path too often. But I am sure glad this one did. Talk Santa to Me is full of big emotions and holiday spirit and has a quirky fun cast of characters. Everything about this book screams Christmas, leaving me feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

Talk Santa to Me is a perfect coming-of-age book with a Christmas twist. Francie and her friends go through so many wonderful and relatable moments. Anyone who has been a teenager and went to high school will relate to Francie as she tries to navigate the different social groups in her school and also work towards buying her first car. Linda does a great job of balancing those teenage drama moments with more charming and sweet moments. The overall story has this nice flow to it. I really felt like I was being transported into the story. A lot is happening in this book; you have Francie trying to deal with the rumour that she is a bad kisser, dealing with her controlling Aunt, helping out in her family’s Christmas business, and trying to figure out her growing feelings for Hector. These side stories all come together to create this really interesting and fun story. Everything was well thought out, and I love how all these different things connect in this book. 

I loved the whole concept of the Holiday Shop and Santa School. It was such a fun, and unique part of the book—the Santa School parts were the heart of this story. I was so incredibly moved to watch Francie and other Santas interact with children. These interactions really spark the Christmas spirit within all of the characters. It was also incredibly interesting learning about the history of Christmas, Santa, and his elves.

I loved Francie; she is a hoot!! If you are a fan of fun, quirky and sarcastic heroines, then you will love Francie. It was wonderful getting to spend the pre-Christmas season with her. It was hilarious watching her as she had to wear these incredibly embarrassing work uniforms (I loved her evaluations of them). I think most of us can relate to wearing work uniforms that were God-awful looking. Her character also has a lot of growth. Being a teenager is tough at the best of times, and watching Francie figure out her beliefs and stand up for herself was wonderful.

Talk Santa to Me is a holly, jolly bookish good time!

Thank you, Simon and Schuster Canada for the copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.