Let me start off by saying…I have NEVER read a Christmas themed book. Like ever! How weird is that?! But when one of my favorite authors, Jenny Hale, released her newest book It Started With Christmas I knew I wanted to pick it up and dive in. Sometimes I feel like Christmas books can be sort of cheesy but I don’t even know where I came up with that assumption?! Because I could have not be more wrong if I tried. Haha.
It Started With Christmas by Jenny Hale is legit one of the best books I’ve read in a while. Maybe it’s the holiday season that made the book even better, but probably not. Simply because Jenny Hale is a straight genius. She writes with an effortless grace that makes me not want to put her books down. I finished this book in like…2 days? If that. Ugh, so good. I’m definitely picking up her other Christmas themed novels in the near future!
PS: You can find my review of another book of Hale’s I read here. (More of a summer time book, but still amazing nonetheless)
It Started With Christmas takes place in a small town outside of Nashville centering around the main character, Holly. Her grandfather had passed away a few years back and her grandmother (Nana) hadn’t truly recovered or had a special Christmas at their cabin (that they rent out frequently) since his passing. It starts off with Nana deciding she wants to head to the cabin for Christmas. There, they find Joe, an affluent renter from out of town who has extended his stay due to bad weather. This is where the true story begins and their relationship unfolds for us readers to dive into.
WHY I WROTE THIS REVIEW RIGHT AFTER FINISHING IT STARTED WITH CHRISTMAS BY JENNY HALE
As soon as Hale began Holly’s character development, I was sold on her. She is legitimately my soul sister. From having a passion for planning events, family, restoring old furniture, and all of the other details that Hale depicts, Holly’s character truly hit close to home! Hence why I instantly fell in love with this book. This actually goes for each character in It Started With Christmas by Jenny Hale. In addition to Holly, Nana’s spunky character, even throughout her sadness, in this book gave me such a good laugh a time or two. Not that I’m from the South or have any Southern relatives, but Nana seems like your typical Southern grandma and I am SO here for it! Because of my immediate response to Holly’s character, once I finished reading the book, I immediately went and started writing this review!
I don’t want to give too much away because that isn’t any fun! But long story short, Joe ends up spending Christmas with Holly and her Nana because of the weather and they begin to spending time together and get to know each other. Holly’s childhood best friend turned famous musician comes into town and drops some truth bombs on Holly, too. Seriously, that’s all I’m going to say. You have to read the book to see what I’m talking about!
I’m always honest with my opinions here. So, about half way through the book, I got the vibe of “The Wedding Planner” movie and in turn, got a tiny (only a tiny) bit discouraged. But then as I read on, my discouragement turned around IMMEDIATELY. I mean, the movie was great, sure, but this book is so much more and different in so many ways. & I’m so glad for that! After I finished the book I kicked myself for even comparing the two!
Reading It Started With Christmas by Jenny Hale actually gave me the feeling like I was watching a movie at times because of how well Hale sets the scene. The description of the cabin, the shed where Holly and Joe find a fun Christmas box from her Papa, the market, the barn where the party was held, everything! It’s so well thought out and detailed without being too “wordy”. Jenny Hale is truly such a great writer, it blows my mind. For a writer to portray a scene or a setting to well that you feel like you’re in a movie is such an admirable trait to have. Not many writers have it, but Hale surely does.
OVERALL RATING OF IT STARTED WITH CHRISTMAS BY JENNY HALE
It Started With Christmas by Jenny Hale gave me ALL of the feels. Seriously, all of them. I shed so many happy and sad tears! If you’re looking for a book to keep the Christmas spirit alive this holiday season, be sure to pick up a copy of It Started With Christmas by Jenny Hale. I promise you this book will not disappoint. I rate this book a solid 10/10. It’s just that dang good.
As always, thanks for tuning in and be sure to pick up a copy of It Started With Christmas by Jenny Hale to keep the Christmas spirit alive this holiday season! (You can snag it here!)
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