All I Want For Christmas Is The Girl Next Door

 
4.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
99 0
All I Want For Christmas Is The Girl Next Door
Publisher Name
Wise Wolf Books
Age Range
16+
Release Date
October 28, 2021
ISBN13
978-1-953944-11-5
ISBN10 or ASIN
      

It's a Wonderful Life meets Wish Upon A Star in this Christmas-themed young adult contemporary romance.  

Graham Wallace has been in love with the girl next door for a decade. Unfortunately, she's been dating his best friend for the past two years. Out of sheer desperation, Graham makes a wish on a shooting star—all he wants for Christmas is Sarah Clarke.

When Graham wakes up the next morning, everything has changed, and he's the one who's been dating Sarah for the past two years, not his best friend. Graham assumes the wish would have only come true if he and Sarah were meant to be together, but as it becomes clear that he and Sarah bring out the worst in each other, not the best, and as he starts to fall for the new girl in town, Graham wonders if some wishes come true in order to show us what's not meant to be. 

“A town called Christmas. An iffy wish come true. A new girl who could change it all. Chelsea Bobulski’s The Girl Next Door kept me on my toes, turning pages from the start, and loving each revelation as it unfolded. Deep, funny, and real—this holiday romance will completely warm your heart and remind you that not all wishes should come true.” — Nova McBee, author of the Calculated Series

Editor reviews

4 reviews
Overall rating
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0(2)
Plot
 
4.0(2)
Characters
 
4.0(1)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A(0)
A Wish For the Wrong Girl
Overall rating
 
4.5
Writing Style
 
4.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
N/A
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
I adored this book! All I Want for Christmas is the Girl Next Door by Chelsea Bobulski is the first in a holiday romance series that is sure to leave you smiling and get even the Scrooge in your life in the holiday spirits. In this book, we meet Graham Wallace who has been in love with his next door neighbor for as long as he can remember. The only problem is she is dating his best friend. After a heart-breaking confrontation, Graham wishes on a shooting star that he’d gotten the girl first. Never did he imagine that his wish would come true.

If you are having a bit of deja vu, you are not alone. This book puts off major It’s a Wonderful Life vibes without being a straight retelling. Like George Bailey, Graham is so lost in his own heartache that he is blind to what is right in front of him. I found myself wanting to reach through the pages to slap him or give him a hug depending on the current event.

Graham’s wish changes his life overnight, quite literally. He has the girl, but everything else is off. His best friend is no longer a wiry, geeky gamer. Now he’s a popular wrestling star at school. Sarah is no longer the sweet, care-free, fun-loving neighbor, but a highly competitive, wants-to-go pro ballerina. Sarah’s parents, who used to love Graham, now can’t stand him. Despite these obvious changes and small personality changes, Graham is determined to make this work. However his guilt over his friend’s unhappiness slowly eats at him. Even Sarah, so sure about her future and her self, is now insecure and a little clingy which Graham tries to overlook as something he just didn’t notice in their other life.

Then enters Piper, the new girl in town who is currently living with her grandmother. Piper was already on Graham’s radar before his ill-fated wish, but as an unattainable girl. Now she is working at the local bookstore with him, and suddenly he finds himself wishing for his life to go back. He should be happy right? He’s got the girl of his dreams, so why is he fantasizing about the new girl? This question brings about all sorts of self-examination for Graham, and as the reader it was nice to see.

Overall I really enjoyed All I Want for Christmas is the Girl Next Door. It’s a relatively short read, clocking in at just over 200 pages, but full of wit and the butterflies of first love, not to mention the angst of YA. If you are looking for a sweet holiday romance to read this year, I highly recommend it!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
The warm feeling of a Hallmark movie in a book
Overall rating
 
3.7
Writing Style
 
4.0
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Graham Wallace has loved his next door neighbor, Sarah Clarke, for years. He hasn't told her, because for the last two years (and counting), she's been dating his best friend. Jealous and heartbroken, he makes a wish on a falling star to be with her. When he wakes up the next day, something is drastically different. He's now the one who has been dating Sarah for two years. At first, he is ecstatic, but as the days pass, he starts to realize maybe Sarah isn't right for him, and maybe he isn't right for her either. It doesn't help that he feels a growing connection to the new girl in town, Piper. If he doesn't accept the truth in front of him, happily-ever-afters may be a distant dream for everyone involved.

Going into this story, I was really worried Graham, Sarah, Piper, and Jeremy would fall into negative stock characterizations with the familiar set up of the love triangle/square. I was thrilled to find that, while each character does fit into a familiar label or placement in the story, the author does a wonderful job making each of them go deeper than their labels. For example, with Graham, he lives in a tourist heavy Christmas town (literally called Christmas). It would be so easy for him to be the character who hates Christmas or wants to get out more than anything. Since Graham is local to the town, he does feel understandable exasperation with all the intense Christmas hype with the tourists, further fueling his desire to go to college in a big city, but he also has genuine affection for his family and neighborhood.

While there are several overarching themes, my favorite is about figuring out what you want out of life and pushing away the judgement if what you want isn't as grand or is grander than what people expect. This is particularly demonstrated with Sarah. When she is with Jeremy at the beginning of the book, she wants to go to a local college and then open up her own business with a dance studio in her hometown. When she is with Graham in the alternate universe, she wants to go to Julliard and become a professional ballerina, even if that means making herself unhappy. While her true dream might not seem as ambitious, she learns that what she wants, outside of everyone else, is what is most important.

On the plot side, there aren't many surprises or special twists. However, since this is a Christmas romance, I think it does have the charm and heart-warming feeling of a Hallmark movie, even if it is a little predictable. One element that threw me off was the religious aspect. It seemed like the story was working with the general shooting star magic for most of the story, but then it takes a big turn towards the end to being a sort of religious or divine intervention. While I feel neutral about the general inclusion of this, I think making it clear that's what Graham believed it to be earlier would have helped it not feel as sudden in the end.

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS THE GIRL NEXT DOOR is a warm, sweet Christmas romance about figuring out what you want in love and in life.

Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account