December 16, 2013

Review: Ex-Mas by Kate Brian

Title: Ex-Mas
Author: Kate Brian
Release Date: October 6th, 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Page Count: 224
Source: Borrowed from the New York Public Library
Rating: A snow-tastic book full of road trips and runaways.
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?

[Summary Source: Goodreads]


I think this was the first YA Christmas book I've ever read and, guess what? I LOVED IT. I expected no less from Kate Brian, but still.

Let's break this down:

So many things to talk about. I mean, BEAU for starters. I totally get why Lila broke up with him, but I can't say I would have. He's just so swoony and strong and adorable and I LOOOOOOVE him. He and I can drive to Seattle whenever he likes.

And then I suppose I should also mention Lila. Oh Lila. I'm still not totally sure why Lila wanted to be popular. Sure, there's the standard "everyone wants to be popular" but I feel like that's kind of weak and makes Lila out to be way more pathetic than she actually is. So Kate Brian failed me a little here, but this book was SO SWOONY it doesn't even matter. For realz, yo.

I should also mention that I love the plot here. I ESPECIALLY love that Beau and Lila don't blindly go on this road trip. They actually debate calling the cops, which is THE RIGHT THING TO DO WHEN CHILDREN RUN AWAY. Please, everyone take note: when a child is missing, you call the police. Beau and Lila are totally irresponsible and don't, but I suppose I get why they didn't. Also, if they did, there'd be no ca-yuuuuuuute story for me to read. Also, if they didn't, we wouldn't get a chance to see how clever and resourceful Lila and Beau's little brother's are. Seriously though, way more clever than I ever thought a little kid could be. I'm still not totally sure where they got the money for those train tickets from. I know Amtrak and those tickets are FOR SURE pricey.

But that's totally besides the point. Love this book. Love the plot, love the characters (I even love to hate Erik and Carly) and I even love the writing style. Kate Brian REALLY knows how to tell a story, but then again, I've known that since the first time I read Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys (That book is FULL of swoony. Please read if you haven't already).

The long and short of it?

Plot: A fun, realistic road trip that had me all happy and excited inside.
World Building: Yeah, all of the pieces fit together and everything is totally believable. Except these little boys having all this money. But I guess if you save up for long enough...
Character Development: Not everyone's as fleshed out as I'd like, but STILL.
Prose: Squee-tastic.
Would I Recommend This Book?: Yes! Even if you have to hide the cover and label this one a guilty pleasure. So cute.

Do you think this book as adorable as I do? And HOW MUCH do you love Beau? Do you think giving him book boyfriend status is too much? Let me know in the comments below!