Friday, December 14, 2012

Sometimes, the best stories to read at Christmastime aren’t about Christmas at all. Some stories need only a moment of Christmas cheer to transport you. These books may not have reindeer and elves or tiny babies in mangers. But the holiday spirit is there — in the memories, the magic, the atmosphere.

Here are some of our holiday favorites:

Stephanie: Whenever I reread THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, I always feel like a kid at Christmastime. I still remember my surprise the first time I read the part where they think they’re being chased by the White Witch but Father Christmas shows up instead. I remember crawling into our downstairs closet, packed with winter coats, and wishing with all my heart that a snowy wood would appear. For me, the first Narnia story is steeped in nostalgia and Christmas spirit. It’s one of those stories I wish I could discover for the first time, all over again.

Kristan: For me, THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern evokes holiday spirit because at its core, it's a story about magic and giving. (And the magic OF giving.) Celia and Marco take turns creating the most beautiful, elaborate spells for one another — like bottled scent-memories, wishing candle-trees, and colorful fire-fountains. They also share their wondrous creations with the public, drawing endless crowds to the traveling circus. Oh how I wish I could drift in and out of those tents, basking in the moonlight and smiling under the soft white snowfall.

Sarah: For me, Christmas isn't complete without Christian Bale... er, LITTLE WOMEN. Every year, I watch Winona Ryder break Christian Bale's heart. And I lament. Marry Laurie and not Professor Bhaer! He's trying to be your dad or something by telling you not to write about vampires. Jo says, "But this is what sells!" and I nod my head. MmmHmm. Strangely, I have the same reactions when I re-read the book (and I always re-read at Christmas.) But somehow every time, I come around to Professor Bhaer. He stirs her imagination, her mind, he brings out the best of her talents. He is her match. Then again he doesn't sing "Here We Come A-wassailing" and fall down with her in the snow. Hmm. Perhaps some Louisa May Alcott fanfic is in order. Either way, I hope Susan Sarandon can one day accept that she's my mom in an alternate universe. Peace. On Earth.

Ingrid: DASH AND LILY'S BOOK OF DARES sort of makes you feel like you're experiencing the holidays in the Big Apple right along with these two characters. I once visited New York City during the month of December, and I still vividly remember the lights, the ice skating, the shoppers... the festive atmosphere that pervaded the city. There is nothing quite like it. Dash and Lily capture that excitement perfectly (and often, humorously). If you need a good, upbeat story to see you through the holiday haze, check this one out.

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Let us know what your favorite holiday reads are!


Rebecca @ Crunchings and Munchings said...

Yes! Oh, Christian Bale: you are the best Laurie ever.

Christina Fiorelli said...

I completely agree with you about Little Women and Dash and Lily's Book of Dares:)

Dash and Lily is awesome, very Christmasy and I love the sisters' relationship and the Christmas scene!!

Mary @ BookSwarm said...

Aw! Little Women. *sigh* A classic. LOVE!

We Heart YA said...

@Rebecca, Christina, and Mary...thanks for the comments!!! Little Women for the win! xx

Erica said...

I really need to read Dash and Lily's book of Dares - I have heard so many wonderful things about it. I actually started reading it once, but I got busy and never got past like page 25.

Emma said...

Most Christmas Eves (although not this one, for some reason), I read the YA anthology Let It Snow. I love the sweet and witty romances in it, as well as how it evokes the holiday spirit. Nice post!

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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
The Fault in Our Stars

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