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This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

Looking for a book revolving around the New Year? Then take a chance on this heartwarming fiction book revolving around two adults who were both born on New Year’s Eve.

Quinn and Minnie were born on New Year’s Eve in the same hospital. But this is the only thing they have in common. Quinn’s family was given the cash prize for being the first baby born in London in that year, and Minnie’s mother feels that Minnie has had bad luck ever since. She feels jealous of him even more when they meet years later at a New Year’s party because he is successful while Minnie struggles to keep her pie-making business afloat. But they keep meeting and feelings develop.

Seeing Minnie’s journey to save her business and make her own luck was delightful. For every humorous moment in the book there was a heartwarming or heartbreaking one. Without giving spoilers, it is revealed that Quinn’s life is not as perfect as Minnie or other people believe, and that he has his own insecurities to overcome. Family is a huge theme as both Minnie and Quinn’s families have issues yet ultimately love. The supporting characters are just as lovable as Minnie and Quinn, and the novel does not just revolve around Minnie and Quinn’s relationship but how each of them grow.

The Christmas Clash by Suzanne Park

Chloe Kwon and Peter Li’s families operate rival restaurants in the Riverwood Mall fall court. Chloe’s family runs a Korean food restaurant while Peter’s family runs a Chinese restaurant. The teens have to set aside their differences to save the mall when it is about to be sold to a developer, threatening both family businesses.

I read this delightful holiday read for many reasons, one of which is that I like it when characters have interesting jobs. Chloe works as a photographer at the mall’s Santa village and Peter works a virtual reality North Pole experience. The story explores how owning a business can impact family life in both positive and negative ways, such as busyness, especially during the holiday season.

The reader will want to save the mall as much as Chloe and Peter because it is a community and holds many memories for both teens. Their relationship is sweet even when they are still in the “rivals” phase and their romance is perfect for fans of a Romeo and Juliet situation. A reader may also be able to relate to both Chloe and Peter struggling with comparing themselves to “perfect” older siblings. The Christmas Clash is good for fans of sweet, food-filled rom-coms.