Today’s review is part of the official blog tour. Be sure to keep reading for your chance to win a finished copy of the book!
A fun, family-focused YA romance filled with holiday spirit, 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston is the epitome of a feel-good read.
Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship.
Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.
When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.
This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever . . . or is it?
This book is just so charming. Sophie’s family is an entity to behold. I come from a tiny family (it was basically just me, my brother, and my parents), but my husband’s family is HUGE, and I still get overwhelmed when everyone gets together. (I’m also still learning about new relatives, and we’ve been together for over 8 years now.) Reading about Sophie’s family reminded me in some ways of my husband’s family, but it also offered a sort of “insider” glimpse into what life is like when you’re part of a big family. Elston’s portrayal makes it seem both horrifying and wonderful, and generally, isn’t that about how it goes with family?
The blind dates are at turns fun and delightful, and nightmarish. Interspersed with her adventures in blind dating, Sophie is also still trying to work out her real feelings about her break-up and coping with increasing worries about her pregnant sister, who is facing some possibly serious complications in her final trimester.
The humor and lightness of Sophie’s extended family and her blind dates balances out the more dramatic, serious sides of the story, and the overall effect is a book that just feels like a warm hug and a cup of hot cocoa. That is, it gives you the warm fuzzy feelings inside, and it’s delightful.
Look for this charming new contemporary YA romance in stores now.
Ashley Elston is the author of several novels, including THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING (a finalist in the Best Young Adult Novel category of the International Thriller Awards) and THIS IS OUR STORY. She graduated with a Liberal Arts degree from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Ashley worked for many years as a wedding photographer before turning her hand to writing. Ashley lives in Louisiana with her husband and three sons.
Ashley is represented by Sarah Davies at The Greenhouse Literary Agency.
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