Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Christmas Kerril by Denise Jaden {Review}

A Christmas Kerril by Denise Jaden

ebook, 256 pages
Published October 13th 2015 (first published August 17th 2015)  
Source: I received a copy through ebooks for review in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
In this modern take on a holiday classic, high school junior, Kerril, faces her past, present, and future to be reminded of the good in others, and in herself.

Haunted by the memory of the worst of her divorced parents’ public Christmas blowouts, Kerril, will do almost anything to avoid the upcoming tinsel-filled season. Unfortunately, a teacher with a grudge casts Kerril as the lead in the school’s holiday production. To add to the misery, she will star alongside ultra-awkward Adam as her love interest.

Wanting to ditch the play, Adam, her parents, and Christmas altogether, Kerril accepts an invitation to take off to a cabin with her ultimate dream crush, Perry – only Perry may not be the guy she hoped he was, and it’s not until she’s left Adam behind to fend for himself onstage that she realizes he might just be the guy of her dreams.
My Review:
I was intrigued by the summary--a modern day teen story, loosely based on A Christmas Carol? Interesting...
Kerril is a girl who seems to have it all. She attends a prestigious private school, has a big house, and is well-liked. A few years earlier, her parents had a big blow up at a Christmas party, which led to a nasty divorce and since then, Kerril hates Christmas and anything to do with it. I could understand how hurt and embarrassed she was, but she holds on to the pain for too long and comes across as very shallow and selfish.

When she is thrown into a school play, as a lead, she is forced to act with a school pariah. I loved seeing the moments of kindness that cropped up because of this, but the negative traits far outweighed the positive for most of the story. 
I loved the lessons learned and the lucid dreaming to realize some of these key lessons is a fun twist. I loved the growing and maturing. I loved the variety of characters. I also loved things toward the end, but felt a few things were left unresolved. I found myself disappointed in Kerril many times and along with that, I was disappointed in the adult figures in her life. I know it's a good story when so many emotions are evoked.
I think readers who enjoy A Christmas Carol with a little spice will like this modern take.

Content: moderate language; no violence or religious elements; moderate romantic elements (cheating, kissing, making out, talk of taking things further with no details).
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About the Author: 
Denise JadenDenise Jaden enjoys writing craft books for writers and fiction for young adults.

Her first novel for teens, LOSING FAITH, was released from Simon Pulse, fall 2010. The first draft was written in 21 days during NaNoWriMo. NEVER ENOUGH, her second novel, was released July 10, 2012. A companion group of stories--NEVER ENOUGH STORIES is available for free at WRITING WITH A HEAVY HEART: Using Grief and Loss to Stretch Your Fiction was her first writing craft book. FAST FICTION was released in 2014 and will serve as a guide for anyone wishing to try NaNoWriMo. Denise's next young adult novel, FOREIGN EXCHANGE, will be out in October, 2014.

Denise lives just outside Vancouver, Canada with her husband and son.


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