WinterHaven Sleigh Tour: Sara’s Review of Ex-mas by Kate Brian


Today, Sara of What the Cat Read, is excited to join the WinterHaven Sleigh Tour hosted by WinterHaven Books. This week’s task is to post a review of a YA book that has Winter or Christmas in the title, a winter setting, or is a Christmas book. To see who else is on the sleigh, please visit WinterHaven Sleigh Tour for a full list of participating bloggers, murr! =^.^=



Rating: paw3

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Date Published: October 6th 2009

Goodreads Description:

Two Exes. One holiday adventure. Merry Ex-Mas?

Seventeen-year-old Lila Beckwith’s parents just left for vacation, and Lila’s all set to throw the holiday party of the season. But when her Christmas-obsessed little brother, Cooper, discovers that global warming is melting the North Pole, he and his best friend, Tyler, take off on a runaway mission to save Santa.

Lila has to get Cooper safely home before her parents get back on Christmas Eve. But the only person who can help her is Tyler’s older brother, Beau — a.k.a. Lila’s musician, anti-everything ex-boyfriend.

It’ll take more than a Christmas miracle for Lila and Beau to overcome their differences and find their fugitive brothers. But could a journey destined for disaster help these polar opposites fall in love…all over again?


This was a very cute read! While it was predictable at times, and I’ll admit that I had problems suspending my disbelief over one part of the plot, I couldn’t help but like this book. It’s a fast paced read that will make you laugh out loud and help you feel the spirit of the holidays.

Brian’s characters are an enjoyable bunch. Yes, there were times where I was annoyed by the teenage angst, but for the most part I liked Lila and Beau a lot. It was fun to watch both characters reconnect with each other throughout the story, and I was rather sad when they would start fighting again because it’s obvious they both really like each other still. Lila is your typical popular girl who comes across as shallow at times, but really she’s like most teens trying to figure who they are in life and what really matters. Beau’s a sweet guy who strikes me as the type who prefers to fly under the radar. Neither of them really stood out as being exceptional characters for me though. I liked them, could relate to some of what was going on in their lives, but didn’t really form any sort of strong attachment to either of them. Cooper, Lila’s brother, struck me as being rather spoiled. I sort of got the sense that he was able to get away with a lot of stuff that normal eight year olds wouldn’t have gotten away with. To say he was my least favorite character in the mix is rather harsh, but more often than not I found myself wanting to wrap my paws around him and give him a good shaking much like Lila did. He seriously got under my fur, and he wasn’t even that common a character in the story.

The biggest problem I had with the book was that I simply couldn’t believe that two eight year old boys could buy a pair of train tickets and ride unnoticed all the way up to Seattle. Especially with how public transportation is handled these days. The entire time I was reading the book I kept wondering why no one was wondering why these boys were traveling alone and why Lila and Beau didn’t tell the train station attendants that they had a pair of kids traveling without permission. But then I guess there wouldn’t be a story if this happened. ~shrugs~ I can easily suspend my disbelief on a great many things, but I struggled with this one. However, it didn’t dim my liking of the book any. I still found the overall story to be enjoyable.

My favorite scene was when Lila and Beau attended a party over at Standford and Beau punches Erik, Lila’s boyfriend, and takes his car. I laughed for a good ten minutes after reading that scene. It was just too perfect a response after what Erik did. I also loved the final chapter where Lila goes over to Beau’s house with her guitar. It was really sweet and left the promise that things would work out between the two of them. =^.^=

Like I said, this was a really cute story and it’s a great read for the holiday season. If you are in a reading funk, or are just looking for something that’s light weight after having read a ton of heavy stuff, I highly recommend this book. If it doesn’t put a smile on your face, then I don’t know what will, murr!


Giveaway: As part of the festivities, WinterHaven Books is hosting an international giveaway! 4 lucky winners will win a copy of Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares (signed by the authors) and a copy of Let it Snow! To enter, simply visit one of the blogs participating on the sleigh tour and fill out the Rafflecopter form found at the end of their reviews. Good luck everyone and Happy Holidays! =^.^=


Posted on December 4, 2012, in Book Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Great review! This one looks like a lot of fun =D
    Thanks for joining in the fun!