Sunday, December 19, 2010
Ex-Mas - Kate Brian
Author: Kate Brian
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Date of Publication: 2009
Length: 224 pages
From the Publisher: 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?
Part road-trip adventure, part Christmas romance, Ex-Mas is a fun holiday story from the author of the Private series.
I have to admit, I didn’t find Ex-Mas as enjoyable as some of the other festive novels I’ve read this year (however, I haven’t read much of the Private series, so perhaps that has got something to do with it?). I found it took me a loooong time to warm up to Lila (and even then I was kind of ‘eh’ towards her) and found Beau to more likeable (though he was quite often turned into an emo/scene stereotype). Lila comes across as quite spoilt and self-centred, and ultimately I wasn’t sure if she had that “ahhhh” moment where she discovered the true meaning of Christmas. I also felt like I had pegged the whole story’s plot within the first couple of chapters (which there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that I suppose, but I prefer to be surprised). Still, there was certainly enjoyable aspects and liked some of the scenes between Lila and Beau whilst on the road, as they drove in search of their brothers (and re-visited their old relationship and shared past).
For pop culture junkies like me, you will probably appreciate the amount of references Kate Brian throws in there throughout Ex-Mas. I actually think that Ex-Mas would work quite well on-screen (I think with the right actress, Lila might be a bit more vulnerable and a bit less vain). If I was pitching it in movie-terms, Ex-Mas would be Mean Girls meets Drive Me Crazy with a dash of I’ll Be Home for Christmas.
Ex-Mas is light-hearted, fluffy and kind of silly though would be ideally suited for a lazy afternoon read after a big Christmas lunch.