YA Books to Read During the 2021 Holiday Season

‘Tis the season! We love this time of a year and we’re also a sucker for a cute holiday romance. Now that Thanksgiving is officially over, it’s time to get into the holiday spirit. We put together a list of 15 books to help you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, the Winter Solstice and New Year’s Eve. 

Whatever you celebrate, have a great holiday season filled with fun, family, friends and books! Now excuse us while we go grab a cozy blanket, get a cup of hot chocolate and dive into some holiday reads. 

1. Pretty Little Secrets by Sara Shepard

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Pretty Little Secrets is a companion book to Pretty Little Liars. It’s Winter in Rosewood, Pennsylvania and each girl has a crazy holiday season. Hanna’s Hanukkah isn’t off to a good start, Aria’s Winter Solstice leads to a shocking discovery, Emily’s Christmas plans lead to an arrest and Spencer gets into a New Year’s Eve competition. We love this hilarious and dramatic addition to one of our favorite series.

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Recommended for You follows Shoshana Greenburg, who is looking forward to spending Hanukkah with her moms and spending her time off working at an indie bookstore. But when Jake Kaplan starts working there, Shoshana and him clash immediately. He doesn’t read, yet he works at a bookstore and he’s totally obnoxious. To top it all off, her mom’s have been fighting more than usual. Shoshana is determined to have a great holiday season no matter what and maybe learn that Jake isn’t so bad after all. Though Jake and Shoshana got off on the wrong foot, watching their relationship blossom was worth it. It’s rare you find such a sweet and pure romance these days. 

3. Blame it on the Mistletoe by Beth Garrod

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Elle and Holly live completely opposite lives. Elle is a social media influencer in New Jersey and Holly’s a normal girl from a small town in England. When the two decide to switch places for Christmas, they learn a lot about themselves and they both find love along the way.

4.  What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter

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Can a love triangle have only two people in it? Halle proves it can. YA book blogger Halle Levitt moved from place to place her entire life. All of her friends are online through her blog, where she goes by the pen name, Kels. Halle’s best friend online, Nash Kim, happens to be the first person she meets in her new town. The problem: Halle and Kels are very different. Halle believes if Nash knew the truth, he wouldn’t like her. 

What I Like About You is one of the only YA contemporary books with Jewish representation. Not only does it talk about more known holidays such as Hanukkah and Passover, it also discusses the importance of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Plus, most of the town is Jewish! We really enjoyed this cute contemporary and had fun watching Nash and Halle’s slow-burn romance.

5. The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo 

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We recently posted our review for The Holiday Switch, which was our November book club pick. Lila and Teddy work at the Bookworm over the holidays and don’t get along. When they accidentally switch phones one evening, the two start to understand each other better. Set in an adorable town obsessed with Christmas, the book is the fun light read we needed to kickoff the holidays.

6. As If on Cue by Marisa Kanter

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Kanter’s sophomore book was even better than the first. As If on Cue is about Natalie Jacobsen, who is certain about one thing: that she and Reid Callahan will always be enemies. Unfortunately, she can’t get away from him. 1. He’s always at her house for clarinet lessons. 2. He’s Natalie’s dad’s protégé. 3. He’ll do anything to be better than Natalie at everything. When a crazy situation forces the two to work together, they have no choice but to cooperate. The hate to love trope had us excited from the beginning. Natalie and Reid had great banter and we cheered for them to get together. Their romance was slowburn and felt realistic.

Kanter is all about bringing Jewish representation to YA contemporary. The characters celebrate Hanukkah in the book and even exchange gifts, which was adorable. Building upon these themes, Kanter also discussed the rise of antisemitism and how it impacts the characters in this small Massachusetts town. 

7. So, This is Christmas by Tracy Andreen

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So, This Is Christmas recently released and we can’t wait to read it. Finley Brown recently returned from boarding school to her hometown of Christmas, Oklahoma. Everything has changed since she’s been home, including her ex and her bestie are dating, her parents are separating and her grandmother hired her enemy. To make matters worse, she told someone that this town was a holiday paradise, only for him to show up at her grandmother’s ready for a celebration. Finley has to take back Christmas and see if she can make it the best one yet.

8.  My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

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We read My True Love Gave to Me last December, which is a collection of short holiday stories. From YA favorites like John Green, Holly Jackson and Jenny Han, read their tales on Hanukkah, Christmas and the New Year. We ranked our favorite to least favorite in the link.

9. Let It Snow John Green , Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

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Let it Snow follows an ensemble of characters as a snow storm hits a small town on Christmas Eve. Jubilee can’t make it to Florida by train and ends up spending the day at the Waffle House. But, running into a stranger named Stuart might change her entire outlook. An adventure to get to Waffle House for three friends might be the most surprising night of all for two of them. Tobin started to see his friend Angie “The Duke” as something more, but will the Christmas Eve blizzard give him the courage to tell her? Finally, Addie is having problems with her boyfriend Jeb. He doesn’t show up to their Starbucks meet up and Addie tries to heal by having her own adventure. One that includes an unlikely ally: a cute teacup pig! 

It’s now a Netflix movie and as far as YA book to movie adaptions go, it’s pretty great! Read the book and then follow it with the movie. Don’t forget the hot chocolate!

10. 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

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Sophie is ready for winter break! With her parents away seeing her sister, Sophie finally has the freedom to spend time with her boyfriend. But when Sophie surprises him at a party, she overhears him telling his friend that he wants a break. He wants to have fun and Sophie isn’t fun.

Sophie leaves the party in tears and shows up at her nonna’s house for the holidays. Her nonna wants to help Sophie’s broken heart and devises a family plan: 10 days of 10 dates. Family members get to reserve days to set Sophie up on a series of blind dates. Art first Sophie is horrified, but then uses it as a way to spend quality time with her large Italian family. Besides, she’s missed her cousins Olivia and Charlie, plus Charlie’s best (and cute) friend Wes.

10 Blind Dates was laugh out loud enjoyable. We loved Sophie’s large Italian family and their fun/over the top reunions. This is the perfect feel-good Christmas story! Do yourself a favor and read this book with a plate of Christmas cookies by your side.  

11. Ex-Mas by Tiffany Schmidt

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Lila’s ready for the holiday season. Her parents are on vacation and she’s planning a huge party for all of her friends. But when her brother and brother’s best friend run away, there is only one person who can help her: enter her ex-boyfriend Beau.

The two go on a mission to rescue their brothers and are forced to overcome their differences to be successful. But maybe this Christmas disaster could turn into an unexpected love story. Join Lila and Beau on this unexpected Christmas road trip in Ex-mas.

12. Kiss Me in New York by Catherine Rider

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Charlotte and Anthony meet by chance in an airport over the holidays. Both of them have been dumped and neither can get out of New York City because of a blizzard. In the gift shop they pick up a book about getting over their exes and set off to explore NYC in the snow.

Kiss Me in New York is a heartwarming story about losing love and finding it in an unexpected way. With the snow covered streets and the city decorated for the holiday season, how could you not fall for the person who understands what you’re going through?

13. I’m Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas by Tiffany Schmidt

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I’m Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas is on our TBR for the holiday season. Noelle ends up on ski vacation over Christmas with the family she babysits for. Enter Wyatt: the kid’s older half-brother and nothing goes as planned. Noelle annoys Wyatt from the beginning, yet the two are forced to spend time together at the resort. This book promises to be a hilarious rom-com about two teenagers who are both trying to make it in the competitive world of ballet.

14. Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle

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Kendall, who just returned from a semester in Europe and Max, who is doing a gap year before going to college, witnessed something tragic together while in New York City. Filled with guilt, the two accept a dare to perform random acts of kindness to strangers. The challenge pulls Max and Kendall, who have a history together from back home, closer and closer as they explore the city and learn a lot about people and themselves. We haven’t read this one yet, but we recently added it to our TBR.

Published by I'm All Booked Up YA

We write recommendations and reviews for YA books.

17 thoughts on “YA Books to Read During the 2021 Holiday Season

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