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5 YA Books to Get You in the Holiday Spirit When It’s 90 Degrees Outside

I am an advocate for Christmas in July. I’m an advocate for Christmas whenever you want it, to be perfectly honest, but July works. There’s nothing I want more than a nice snow shower when I’m entering the fiery pits of the New York City subway in mid-July, so here are a few books to put you in the holiday mood!

I would, of course, be remiss if I didn’t point out the fact that it IS winter in some places (hey, southern hemisphere!), as well as the obvious disparity in YA holiday books. Christmas? I’ve got you covered. Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, literally anything else? Not so much. If you’ve read something great that takes place during a different holiday, let me know in the comments!


my true love gave to me

My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

This is a delightful collection of holiday short stories from some of YA’s biggest names, from Holly Black to Jenny Han. It's full of wit and charm and swoon and magic. It’s perfect for when you only have time for bite-sized stories between summer afternoon naps. Also, it’s one of the rare YA holiday books to celebrate more than just Christmas! Come for your favorite author, stay for the well-crafted collection of stories that will keep your attention.

Let It Snow cover

Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

I don’t know what it is about Christmas that makes people want to write short stories, but apparently that’s a thing! This is yet another short story collection, this time featuring a pre-The Fault in Our Stars John Green, alongside Lauren Myracle and the absolutely hilarious Maureen Johnson. These three intersecting stories are equal parts charming and laugh-out-loud funny, as any story that contains both a herd of stranded cheerleaders named Amber and a teacup pig is wont to be. This is the perfect poolside read when you want a dash of romance (and a blizzard) in your life!

my new crush cover

My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff

If we have My True Love Gave to Me, it’s only right that we also have My New Crush Gave to Me, a totally hilarious, completely compelling novel about Charlie Donovan, a girl with a plan: to seduce Teo Ortiz, star athlete and most popular guy in school. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned, but the rom-com mishaps make this book a joy to read. I mean, look at the cover, this is LITERALLY a Christmas sweater in book form!

Dash and Lily cover

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

People who live in New York (like myself) are often guilty of loving books and movies that are set in New York often much more than they actually deserve, but hear me out: this book is great. It’s basically a scavenger hunt across the city during the holidays, complete with secret codes hidden in library books, wax replicas of famous people, and a swoony romance. A great book for any time of year, but especially in the midst of the summer doldrums when you need a good pick-me-up.

Stealing Snow cover

Stealing Snow by Danielle Page

For those fantasy lovers who want a chilly summer read, look no further! Danielle Page is famous for her Dorothy Must Die series, but this retelling of the Snow Queen fairy tale is a must-read. Snow, a seventeen-year-old girl being held in a mental health institution, knows that she doesn’t belong there, and when she escapes into the woods the line between her present reality and the one she’s always known begins to blur. If you’re a sucker for a good retelling (I know I am), then this is the book for you!

Author spotlight

Rachel D.

Growing up in rural Oregon, books were my way out. Now, books are my way of reconnecting with my home. …

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