Jennifer Echols & Catherine Hapka
Simon Pulse, 2012
Winter's Kiss is actually two books in one cute little volume: The Ex Games by Jennifer Echols and The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Catherine Hapka. The two novels pair together beautifully, and I read them during a particular cold week - which made them doubly fitting.
The Ex Games is an intense ride. Hayden and Nick were an item in seventh grade, and have been enemies ever since. Well, maybe not entirely enemies, considering how Nick is all Hayden can think about, and if her little brother's logic is right, then Nick maybe likes Hayden more than he lets on too. When their best friends pair off, the Exes find themselves thrown together more and more, and soon Winter Break turns into a hot contest with Poser tickets on the line. A fun mix of snowboarding and high school dynamics, The Ex Games was a perfect wintry read. I also really enjoyed that Echols used chapter headings to introduce snowboarding lingo (I'm a word nerd, and I happen to love the winter X Games).
With a similar theme of exes and potential romance, The Twelve Dates of Christmas is a series of misadventures. Lexi thinks that she and long-time boyfriend Cam need to break up, so she applies the theories of science to orchestrate the plan. It works too well however, and soon she's trying new theories: those of her best friend Allie, who hopes to write a self-help romance book one day. As plan after plan backfires, Lexi realizes that maybe this is not a time for theories and hypotheses. Maybe this requires something even more drastic. A fast-paced read that had me chuckling out loud, as well as cringing sympathetically at times, The Twelve Dates of Christmas is the perfect companion read for The Ex Games.
Book provided by author for review.