Holiday Specials · Reviews

Bookmas Day 8: Ex-Mas by Kate Brian Book Review


Spoiler Free Review


Book Title: Ex-Mas

Author: Kate Brian

Point of View: Single

Writing Style: First Person 

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Christmas Romance

HEA: Yes

Additional Notes: Smile Clicker Total: 72, Goodreads Updates.

“Who Will Save Santa?”

Two Exes. One holiday adventure. Merry Ex-Mas?

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?


This was my first time sticky noting and note taking while reading and I really enjoyed doing this.  When I finished the novel I noticed that I hadn’t used as many sticky notes towards the end of the novel or made as many notes because I was so invested in the story I didn’t want to put it down.  I also noticed when trying to make record of all the things I sticky noted that I used too many…

This novel was filled with fun, adventure and an -in my opinion- adorable romance.  Though the Christmas element wasn’t as in your face as some other Christmas stories you definitely get the warm family fuzzy feelings associated with Christmas in this book.  I was hesitant starting this book due to Lila’s personality but I persevered and wasn’t disappointed with the end result.

While I wouldn’t call this story ‘heart-warming’ it definitely gave me the warm and fuzzies towards the end.  I loved how Lila’s character was developed and some of her and Beau’s past was revealed – helping us as the reader understand their interactions a little better.  While it took me a while to warm up to Lila, I instantly fell for Beau.  I could immediately tell that he wasn’t the stereotype that Lila had placed him in her mind.  To me he wasn’t anti-social or even anti-everything.  He was simply a teenager who matured sooner than his peers and I could relate to that as I was in a similar position throughout high school.  I’m a huge sucker for a great love/hate relationship, I loved the banter between the two and I loved the way Beau tried to protect Lila even when she didn’t realise it.

The main plot of the story was also a highlight.  Although as someone who didn’t grow up believing in Santa I found it hard to put myself in the boys shoes and feel their desperation to save Santa.  I’m not sure what I would have assumed at that age if I saw that article and believed in Santa, but I still enjoyed their wit and dedication to the cause.  While the two sets of siblings didn’t interact much throughout their adventure I love how it made their relationships stronger with one another.

Final Thoughts:

Overall I give this novel a 3.5-4 star rating.  This genre group could so easily be filled with cliché’s and boring repetitions of the same thing and for the uniqueness of this story I commend the author.  To come up with a unique YA Christmas based story can be difficult and I believe that Brian achieved that goal.  Ex-Mas is unique, fast paced (once the plot started) and an easy read for a younger audience.  I was able to read it in one sitting, it took me about 4 hours.

While I don’t think that I would recommend this book in any other context, as a Christmas recommendation I believe it will give the reader a fun, adventure based story about family.  Perfect for Christmas time.


“You decided that the appropriate response to an eight-year-old tattling on you was to threaten to kill Santa Claus?”

“It’s not my fault he’s a moron.  Did you believe in Santa Claus when you were eight?”

Page: 42

“It’s not a philisophical objection.  It’s a practical objection.”

Page: 60

“Roses are red, violets are blue, are you allergic to flowers too? What if I bought you cookies instead?  One sniff of your roses and I could be dead.

Let me just say that gifts are cool, though allergies make me feel a fool.  Roses are red and violets are blue, and animals are better off in the zoo. Maybe this spring fever will pass, maybe I’m acting like an ass.  Maybe the flue will do us in, and maybe your heart’s not mine to win.

Roses are red, violets are blue, daisies are yell- achoo! Ahoo! Claratin helps me through the night- llergy meds make love all right.

Page: 90, 153-154, 213

Have YOU read Ex-Mas?

What did YOU think of it?


My Links:

Goodreads : Becca Winter

Instagram : becca_theory

Twitter : @Becca_Theory

Facebook : The Troubles And Woes Of A Bookworm



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