The Holiday Switch

­Underlined. Oct. 2021. 272p. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780593379554.
Gr 7 Up–Sounds like it belongs on a Hallmark Channel countdown? It does. High school student and book blogger Lila Santos is ready for winter break in her small town of Holly, New York. Her plans are upended when her boss’s nephew Teddy becomes her coworker, and the two continually butt heads. One afternoon, Lila and Teddy accidentally switch phones and realize they’ve both been keeping secrets. While Lila navigates through her last year of high school in an almost perpetual Christmas town, there’s a constant air of gingerbread lattes and candy canes that give college decisions, secrets from parents, and romance an extra layer of sweetness. Even in her most frustrated moments, she finds a cutesy-Christmasy way to convey her feelings, à la jumping jingle bells. Despite being a relatively light read, this work has themes of family, life decisions, and relationships woven into the plot, giving the book enough weight to carry through the holiday season. Though there isn’t a ton of depth to the story, it’s a charming, easy read that will broaden most reader’s experiences.
VERDICT The Filipino American main character and various supporting characters make this novel by a Filipina American an easy purchase for most high school libraries.

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