Ex-Mas by Kate Brian ( @ Twitter )
Note: Kate Brian is the pseudonym of author Kieran Scott. Familar? 🙂
Publication Date: October 6, 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: Christmas, popularity, exes, siblings, road trip
Format read: Bought used online.
Summary: Lila has been prepping to through the biggest winter break party forever, in hopes of securing her position as the most popular in the high school hierarchy. But when her parents catch on about about the party from her noisy little brother, her plans go down the drain. As if her brother didn’t ruin her life enough already, he disappears with his best friend and the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she’s pretty much written off completely.
At first sight, I really disliked Lila. All she cared about was showing everyone just how popular she was, so proud of how she ditched her uber-curly hair, her love of singing, and ratty wardrobe for all the beautiful things. I was pretty much muttering to myself how this book was doomed if Lila didn’t buck up a little bit. A whole 200 pages of her queen bee personality was going to send me over the edge, even if it was a holiday-themed book.
But in an almost Scrooge-like twist, we got to see the true Lila, even if it took a few detours to get there. Thanks to the crazy antics of her brother and his best friend, who also happened to be the brother of her ex-boyfriend, Beau. Beau la la. (Get it?) A Loner musician type with muscles! Way back when, Lila and Beau were best friends who fell in love. Unfortunately, their relationship took a nosedive when Lila’s reputation to be the coolest, awesomest gal in town started to take precedence over everything. She started dating an upperclassman turned college boy, landed a best friend in the popular crowd, and said goodbye to everything Beau meant to her.
In a Pacey and Joey-like scenario, two people who want nothing to do with each other are forced in a car together, looking for their brothers, two kids who would do anything to save Santa Claus — even run away from home. Though Lila and Beau make a pretty terrible team in the beginning, there’s still a hint of something between them… and it’s a whole lot of fun and havoc watching it all pan out.
Just like the Let it Snow short story collection did for me last year, Ex-Mas was adorable and funny and got me rightfully pumped for the magic and romance of the holidays. And despite its fluffy nature, it still does a great job of tying up loose ends and working through all the minor plotlines. A bonus!
And if Santa made all dreams come true… this book would be on its way to being a feature flick on ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas! Someone get on it! (And I guess if that doesn’t happen… I’ll just have to re-read it again next year.)
I have two for this Ex-Mas… I always liked Bette Midler’s version of Winter Wonderland because she bases it in L.A. + also for a fun romantic Christmas song, I’m obsessed with Huckapoo’s Wild Christmas and have been for about 10 years now. (Ignore the Miley Cyrus montage.)