I wish this was The Holiday.
Everything about this book screams my name, but this one missed the mark for me. It was okay, but nothing I would reread or recommend.
My favorite Christmas movie that doesn’t involve Muppets is the Holiday, so I immediately will grab anything that involves the general plotline of that movie. In The Holiday Trap, we meet Greta and Truman, two people who need to escape their everyday lives rather than face them this holiday season. Greta is a lesbian in a small town who needs to branch out, and Truman has just found out his boyfriend has a second family he knew nothing about. The two have a mutual friend who sets up their house swap, and Truman goes to Greta’s place in Maine while Greta moves to Truman’s in New Orleans. Of course, while there, they both fall for people they meet and have to figure out if it’s worth staying and creating something new or returning to their old lives.
While I love this plot and the idea of a queer version of said plot, this one didn’t do it for me. It mostly fell flat because it lacked the specific things I love about these kinds of tropes. The Holiday works because all the characters are people you’d want to meet, and you root for them to find happiness. In this one, only Truman’s relationship seems okay to me. It was interesting enough, and although the mystery subplot was dumb, it wasn’t the worst.
On the other hand, Greta and Carys ruined the whole thing for me. They’re both such weird characters that I don’t know how anyone can think they were a likable couple. Like Greta, you’re in a big town and fall for the first person you meet? Who is basically a manic pixie dream girl? How quirky can this book be? It was like the author just added eccentricities to the book without reason so that it could be quirky. Also, everyone has pretty terrible families, especially Greta, but that isn’t dealt with enough nor cared about aside from some rather preachy internet therapy advice. Everyone needs a class to enforce boundaries.
I don’t know; I wanted this to be good, but halfway through, I skipped through the Greta chapters and skimmed them to get through them. The writing wasn’t good enough for me to try another book by this author unless it’s reviewed very favorably.
Title: The Holiday Trap
Author: Roan Parrish
Three Descriptors: Overdone, Basic, Quirky
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