Rad Reads

5 YA novels to put you in the holiday spirit

Christmas is *right* around the corner, and as we continue to combat the coronavirus pandemic, it is increasingly important to find ways to get into the holiday spirit safely this year. While celebratory parties and gatherings may be canceled, there are *so* many other ways to get ready for the holiday season. We've rounded up some of the *best* novels to get you in the spirit this holiday season—because what is a better way to start your holiday countdown than by reading festive YA novels?

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The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

The sequel to the bestselling novel Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, this novel takes place exactly a year after the titular characters fell in love in their local bookstore. After Lily's grandfather suffers a devastating heart attack, Lily finds herself struggling to cope with his difficult road to recovery. As the holiday season approaches and Lily still hasn't regained her cheerful disposition, Dash sets out to help his girlfriend get in the holiday spirit. 

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What Light by Jay Asher

Sierra has always lived two lives: her normal life and her life at her family's Christmas tree farm during the holiday season. Filled with romance, friendship and difficult life lessons, this novel shows that not everyone's holiday season is merry and bright. Because there is no setting more appropriate for a holiday YA novel than a rural Christmas tree farm, What Light will undoubtedly help you get in the holiday spirit—while teaching you the value of such a special time of year. 

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Ex-mas by Kate Brian

When 17-year-old Lila Beckwith's parents leave for vacation, Lila is planning to throw the *best* holiday party of the year. After Lila jokingly tells her little brother, Cooper, that global warming is melting the North Pole, he and his best friend, Tyler, run away to save Santa—ruining her party plans and leaving her responsible for two missing children. With the help of Tyler's brother, a.k.a. Lila's ex-boyfriend, Lila sets out on a mission to get her brother home safely before her parents return from their trip on Christmas Eve.

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My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

What's better than one holiday novel? Twelve holiday short stories. My True Love Gave to Me is the *ultimate* compilation of holiday romance stories centering around the winter holidays. Whether you want to read about Hannukah, Christmas or the Winter Solstice, this book has a story for you.

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Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen

Love and Other Train Wrecks isn't your typical enemies-turned-lovers romance novel. Noah, a hopeless romantic, and Ammy, who doesn't believe in love, are stuck on a train to upstate New the middle of a blizzard. After their train breaks down, the two teens are forced to continue their journey together. After spending one whirlwind night traveling as a pair, Noah and Ammy must make sense of their feelings for each other—before the real world gets in the way.

Do you have a favorite YA holiday novel? Let us know by tagging us on social media @girlslifemag.


by Claire Hutto | 12/13/2020