The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo


“Lila Santos is ready for her last winter break of high school. The snow in her small town of Holly, New York, is plentiful, the mood is as cozy as a fuzzy Christmas sweater, and she’s earning extra cash working at the local inn – the setting of the greatest film of all time Holiday by the Lake – while moonlighting as an anonymous book blogger. But Lila’s perfect holiday plans crash to a halt when her boss’s frustratingly cute nephew, Teddy River, becomes her coworker. Lila is Type A, Teddy is type “Anything but Lila’s Way,” and the two of them can’t stop butting heads over tangled icicle lights and messy gift shop merchandise. But when they accidentally switch phones one afternoon, they realize they’ve been hiding things from each other. Will their secrets – and an unexpected snowstorm – bring these rivals together?”


Cover image from StoryGraph

I’m not sure where I first heard about this book, but it sounded cute and I thought it would be a fun holiday read. It was!

Holly, New York is a fictional town that truly comes to life in the beginning of the book. Within a few pages, I was right there with Lila at the Bookworm Inn and could picture everything about the town and the fictional movie Holiday by the Lake.

I appreciated that the cast was diverse, that the teen dialogue and narration sounded realistic (at least to me) and the descriptive writing style. I also really loved that Lila was a book blogger. Seeing that portrayed in the story was fun and I thought it was very realistic.

The one thing that faltered for me was all of Lila’s college planning. It was pretty much lost on me since I can’t relate to any of that. In particular, I didn’t understand why she was so worried about making money to pay for school when she qualified for so many scholarships. In my experience, housing/textbooks/classes are so unbelievably expensive that I don’t think a part-time job could even put a dent in one semester.

Overall this book surprised me in a good way. It felt like a Hallmark movie, and since I tend to look for lighter reads around this time of year, I really enjoyed it. I know that Tif Marcelo has written some adult fiction, but this was the first book of hers that really interested me. If she writes more YA in the future I will definitely check it out.

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