Audiobook, Books, Contemporary, Debut Author, Fiction, Novel, Queer, Romance

The Summer of Christmas is a debut romantic comedy novel by Juliet and Keith Giglio (2.5/5 stars)

The Summer of Christmas by Julie and Keith Giglio
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My rating: 3 of 5 stars (2.5 rounded up to a 3)

The Summer of Christmas is a debut romantic comedy novel by Juliet and Keith Giglio. The ebook version is 320 pages. I listened to the audiobook, which clocks in at ten and a half hours and is narrated by Elizabeth Cottle. We follow multiple characters with third-person points-of-view.

Ivy Green just sold her first screenplay, based on her first love which ended poorly when he dumped her right before Christmas–her favorite holiday. Her movie producer boyfriend surprises her by deciding to film in her hometown, in July, though the movie is set around Christmastime. Nick Shepherd–the aforementioned high school sweetheart–is not pleased to see her again over five years after their breakup, partly because she kills off his character in her script. Things get even more complicated once the actress playing Ivy’s character starts crushing on the real Nick.

I agree with several other reviewers in that this book felt very choppy and disjointed at times. A lot of the prose is written in very short sentences. While the whole thing is written in the third-person, it jumps back and forth between different forms of that point-of-view. The authors mainly write screenplays, and that really shows as in scripts you don’t have to worry as much with transitions but in novels you really do. This would have been much better as a movie, where we can see the emotions on the actors’ faces instead of reading things on a surface level.

The characters weren’t really believable, either. There’s a rather ham-fisted story line where a side character realizes that they may be queer, but it really came out of nowhere and didn’t have a trail of breadcrumbs to make it seem real. Overall, I liked the concept of the book but not the execution.

The cover is super cute! The book is a pretty quick read, and would be good as a palate cleanser between other heavier stories (which is what I ended up doing when I read this). If you like Hallmark movies, you may enjoy this one. It’s also not very steamy at all, so if you don’t like that in your romance books you may want to try it.

Tropes in this book include: friends-to-lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers, second-chance romance, small town romance, Christmas in July

CW: COVID mentions

Special thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca, Dreamscape Media, and NetGalley for providing an audio galley of this book for me to review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

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