This sweet, funny holiday romance from the author of Romeo And What’s Her Name features cute boys, plenty of rom-com mishaps, and a determined heroine readers are certain to fall for.
Charlotte “Charlie” Donovan knows exactly what she wants for Christmas: Teo Ortiz. He’s a star athlete, a National Honor Society member, and the most popular guy in school. Plus he contributes to the school paper, where Charlie is a co-editor. Basically, he's exactly the type of guy Charlie’s looking for. The only problem is—he barely knows she exists.
But Charlie has a plan: rig the paper’s Secret Santa and win his heart with the perfect gift. The catch? She has no idea what to get him. Enter J.D. Ortiz–Teo’s cousin, and possibly the most annoying person on the planet. He’s easy going, laid back, disorganized, and spontaneous—the exact opposite
of Charlie (and Teo). But he knows what Teo wants, so she’s stuck with him.
Yet, the more time Charlie spends with J.D., the more she starts to wonder: Does she really know what, or rather who, she wants for Christmas?
Shani Petroff's newest young adult comedy of errors, My New Crush Gave to Me, is the perfect read for those searching for some love and laughter along with their holiday spirit.
Praise for My New Crush Gave to Me:
"Fans of holiday movies, rom-coms, and “All I Want for Christmas Is You” will enjoy My New Crush Gave to Me.... Petroff’s festive story will have readers baking gingerbread cookies and bunuelos at any time of year." —VOYA
"It’s light as powdered sugar and just as sweet." —Booklist
|Publisher:||Feiwel & Friends|
|File size:||12 MB|
|Note:||This product may take a few minutes to download.|
|Age Range:||13 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Shani Petroff is a writer living in New York City. She is the author of Romeo and What's Her Name, My New Crush Gave to Me, and the “Bedeviled” series, which includes Daddy’s Little Angel; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Dress; Careful What You Wish For; and Love Struck. She is the co-author of the "Destined" series, which includes Ash and Ultraviolet. She also writes for television news programs and several other venues. When she’s not locked in her apartment typing away, she spends a whole lot of time on books, boys, TV, daydreaming, and shopping online.
Read an Excerpt
"Did you get yours yet?" my best friend, Morgan Levine, asked, waving the gaudiest invitation I'd ever seen. It was a total glitter-splosion. An ornament-shaped invitation with enough red, green, and gold glitter to cause shortages at art stores around the globe. And that's not even getting into the velvet lettering and the rhinestones.
I let out a sigh. "Yeah, I got it."
"Why aren't you more excited?" she practically screamed as we made our way down the hall from our locker to the computer lab. "You love this party. I love this party. Everybody loves this party."
"Everybody used to love this party," I corrected her. For as long as I could remember, Noelle Hawkins held a giant party on December 26th, and it was always way over the top. Her parents owned a lavish banquet hall in town that only the ultra wealthy could afford to book, and every year on the day after Christmas it was all Noelle's. She was born on December 25th, which meant, obviously, that the day was about a lot more than just her. But she hated that her birthday got overshadowed (which I could relate to, since I was born on January 1st). So, in order to make sure their only daughter's birthday didn't go unnoticed, the Hawkinses went all out the day after. One year it was a carnival. Another, an indoor winter wonderland that made the movie Frozen look dull. The past couple of years it's been the Christmas Birthday Ball: A Holiday Extravaganza. Noelle's words — not mine. An elegant event complete with snowflake ice sculptures, enough twinkly lights to power a small city, and food that would make the judges on Top Chef salivate.
Only this year Noelle decided to go in another direction — the romance route. Ever since Lee Ampuero declared his love for her during summer vacation, everything became couple this and couple that. The invitation even called the party the Lovers' Ball. As if that wasn't bad enough, the other day she told me dates were essential. She was going to have all these little tables for two, mistletoe over every square foot of the place, and slow songs galore.
"It's going to be awful," I said, picking up my pace.
"Oh, come on," Morgan said, matching my stride. "You still talk about that chocolate fountain Noelle had last year."
"Well, they did it with Nutella," I objected. "That's impressive. I can love chocolaty-hazelnut goodness and hate a party."
Morgan stopped walking and crossed her arms over her chest. "Charlotte Donovan, please tell me this is not about Ajay."
She always called me Charlotte instead of Charlie when she was trying to make a point. She got that from my mother.
I turned to face her. "It's not entirely about him." Ajay Das went with me to Noelle's party last year — and he was supposed to go with me again. But there was no way that was happening now. Ajay and I had gone out for thirteen months and twelve days before he dumped me, but who's counting? We met at a program that was basically summer school for kids who wanted to keep learning, even over vacation. But he broke things off this past August. He was starting Yale, and even though the university was only thirty minutes from where I lived (closer than our actual houses), he said he didn't want to start college with a girlfriend. We managed to stay friends. Sort of. At least, he promised he'd still go with me to Noelle's party. That is, until last week when he informed me that he had a new girlfriend, and she wasn't comfortable with him spending time with me, so he was backing out.
Morgan waited for me to continue.
"It's just ... you know Noelle. She's laying it on about the date stuff and how important it is. And now I have no one to go with."
"You have me," she said.
"You know what I mean."
I started walking, and Morgan followed. "Charlie, you know you don't have to have a date to have fun."
That was easy for her to say. She had a boyfriend. Ira Weitz, and they had been a couple pretty much since Morgan moved to town five years ago. "Maybe for most things, but not this party. It will just be one big reminder that Ajay didn't want me."
"You didn't really want him, either."
"I did, too."
Morgan pursed her lips. I knew she was biting her tongue. We'd been over this about six trillion times. Despite my protestations that Ajay was perfect for me (I mean come on, he was cute, ridiculously smart, and a planner), Morgan claimed I only liked him on paper and that I didn't have true feelings for him. But she was wrong. Just because a girl doesn't break down into a weepy mess when a guy ends things doesn't mean she didn't like him. It just means she's able to rationalize what happened and get her emotions in check.
"Even if you're right," I told her, "which you're not, this party is going to be the longest night of my life if I go alone. And you know Zakiyah is never going to let me live it down." Zakiyah Armstead was the gossip columnist for the school paper. She was amazing when it came to finding out dirt on people. She also hated me. It probably wasn't helping my situation that when she'd made a snide comment to me about Ajay finally getting rid of me for good (and that she couldn't blame him), I lied and said Ajay and I were in a great place — and that she could enjoy the lonely losers' table at Noelle's while I danced the night away with my date. It wasn't one of my finest moments, but she caught me less than twenty-four hours after Ajay broke up with me, and I still hadn't fully processed my plans blowing up in my face.
"Who cares about Zakiyah? You two have been butting heads forever. You never let her get to you this bad before."
"It's just everything. I know I don't need a boyfriend, or even a date, I just ... want one." I pretended to look through my papers as we continued on. This was the best time of year to be a couple. The snow, the cold, Christmas, New Year's Eve, my birthday. And with Morgan spending so much time with Ira lately and my mom taking on more hours at the hospital, I just thought it would have been nice to have someone special to spend the holidays — and Noelle's party — with. "It doesn't matter. It's not like I have time for a boyfriend anyway."
"Hey," she said, sensing my mood like she always did, "if anyone can juggle it, it's you." She elbowed me lightly. "Just add 'new guy' to your calendar. You can fit him in between 7:15 p.m. snack break and 7:33 p.m. newspaper layout design."
I laughed and shook my head, my long titian braid swatting me in the face. "I'm not that bad."
"Right," she said. "And tell me again why we couldn't stop at the vending machine to grab a drink?"
"Okay, fine," I relented. "I like to be on time. I like schedules." That may have been a slight understatement. I had my whole day planned out on my phone, which I synced to the calendar on my iPad and computer and then printed out as a hard copy every day. I even allocated time for "unplanned holdups." It may have been a smidge obsessive, but it kept me focused and made me much more productive.
"So let's schedule you time to find a guy. We have four weeks before the party," she said, her brown eyes lighting up. "This will be fun. A boyfriend by Christmas. It can be like one of those holiday Hallmark movies! We can call it Countdown to Christmas or Jingle All the Way to Noelle's Christmas Ball or All I Want for Christmas Is a Boyfriend. Wait, wait, wait, wait. I got it. The Twelve Guys of Christmas!"
Morgan loved holidays. All holidays. And cheesy TV. She couldn't get enough of either.
"Try more like A Christmas Miracle," I said. "There aren't twelve guys for me. If I could find even one in the whole junior class, I'd be shocked. Believe me, I've looked. There's no one."
"That's not true," she objected. "Sean McGinn."
"Can't differentiate between their, there, and they're," I shot back.
"Todd Murphy," she said.
"Didn't know Canada was part of North America."
"Jason Sohn," she tried.
"Late to first period at least twice a week and is always finishing his homework from the night before during class."
"Charlie!" Morgan threw up her hands. "People make mistakes. No one is perfect."
Well, Ajay was pretty close. He had it all. The Seans, Guses, Todds, and Jasons of the world were fine to talk to in school, but not to date. Not for me. I wanted someone that wowed me.
Morgan and I neared the computer lab for our school paper meeting. We coedited the Sandbrook High Sentinel (four print editions and weekly online updates). As we were about to go inside, someone came barreling down the hall.
"Watch it," Morgan yelled out.
But it was too late. Teo Ortiz ran right into me, knocking all of my papers to the ground.
"Whoa," he said, and I almost laughed at the stunned expression on his face. He bent down to help me pick up my stuff. "I didn't see you there."
"Sorry," I said.
"Why are you apologizing?" Morgan asked, her voice rising. "He bumped into you, not the other way around."
Teo gave me a sheepish grin and handed me a pile of my papers. "She's right. I'm really sorry. Was mid-text and wasn't watching where I was going. I was just in a rush to get out of here. I hate being late."
"Me, too," I said as we both stood back up. He hadn't broken eye contact with me, and I felt a little light-headed. I had never been this close to Teo before. Wow, he was good-looking. Short dark hair, the same color as his deep-set eyes, those lashes that stretched to eternity, square jaw, full lips, and that V-shaped torso with muscles you could see even though he was wearing a sweater. Not to mention, he acted like a gentleman helping me gather my things and he was into being on time. There was a distinct possibility he was perfect. "I'm Charlie."
"Teo," he answered. "I should get going, or I really am going to be late. Sorry again about before." He gave me another one of those smiles of his and jogged the rest of the way down the hall.
I was starting to get that wow feeling.
"Do you know who that is?" I asked Morgan, once he was out of hearing range. "That's Teo Ortiz."
"Yeah, so?" she said.
"So?" I tried not to shriek. "You're the one who wants to turn my life into a TV movie, and you don't realize I just had my meet-cute!" Meet-cutes were where a future couple "meets" for the first time in a "cute" way in TV shows and movies. What was better than literally bumping into the guy/girl of your dreams? "I can't believe I didn't think of Teo before. I was so focused on the guys from our class, when I should have been focusing on the seniors. Teo's going to be valedictorian, and he's the quarterback of the football team. He's never had a losing game, he's in the National Honor Society, and he plays chess."
"Since when do you play chess?" she asked.
"You're missing the point." I twisted my braid through my fingers. "Teo is perfect. He's the one. I can feel it. I hope he's not seeing someone. A guy like that is bound to have a girlfriend. Right?"
"What? Why are you getting that voice? I'm finally excited about somebody."
"But that somebody is Teo."
We entered the computer lab. No one else had arrived yet, but they still had a little time. Classes ended only a few minutes ago. "Don't you think he's a little 'all about Teo'?" she asked.
"Why? Because he didn't say sorry first?"
"First? You shouldn't have had to say it all!" she objected.
"Okay, fine, but I did. That's not his fault." I sat down and powered up the computer. "And yes, I know some people think he's self-absorbed, but people say that about me, too. And you. They say it about everyone who's focused on a goal and works hard to make it a reality. It doesn't mean it's true. You are the least self-centered person I know."
"Maybe," she conceded.
"Definitely," I told her. "Now are you going to help me win him over or not?" I hoped my excitement would transfer to her.
She looked at me for a moment and then broke into a broad smile. "Like I'd let you do this by yourself? Of course I'm going to help you," she said and logged into the computer next to me, pulling up Teo's GroupIt page.
I clapped my hands together. "I knew you would. Now tell me everything you know about him."
"Not much more than you do. Did you know he's J.D. Ortiz's cousin?"
"What? NO!" I tried not to cringe. J.D. was the photographer for the Sentinel, and he drove me crazy. He was always trying to be artsy instead of getting the shots I needed him to get, and he acted like deadlines were suggestions instead of actual deadlines. I could only handle him in small doses, so he primarily worked with Morgan. It helped that they were neighbors. I couldn't believe someone like J.D. was related to someone like Teo.
"He is," she said, and then pointed to the computer screen. "Hey, look. Teo's relationship status says single!"
"Yes!" I said, and looked over on her screen. "Wait? Does that say Sandbrook High Sentinel under activities?"
"It does, but I don't remember him doing anything for us. Do you?"
"No," I answered.
"Well, what are you waiting for?" she asked, her voice perking up. "Pull up the archives."
I did as instructed. And there they were — my way of getting closer to Teo — four articles that he had written last year. Teo was part of the paper. This I could work with.
"That's pretty much it for the business side of things," Morgan said to the group seated in front of us. "Anyone have anything else before we move on?" Morgan and I were editors in chief of the paper, and we met biweekly with the heads of each section. We had already gone over the number of hits we received on last week's online stories, assignments for next week, and the big holiday print edition.
"I do," Zakiyah said. "I want extra time for my column, just in case there's any last-minute gossip about who's going with who to Noelle's party. Or who winds up all alone. You know what I mean, right, Charlie?"
Unfortunately I did, and I was regretting not putting up a bigger fight to keep Zakiyah out of my meeting. She wasn't supposed to be there because she wasn't an editor, but she popped in whenever she wanted a ride home from Katie Boon, the head of features. And Morgan always insisted we keep the peace and let her stay.
"Your deadline is the same as everyone else's," I said. "Unless, of course, you don't want to be in the issue. That can be arranged."
"Okay," Morgan interjected before Zakiyah could respond. "Is that it?" she asked, turning toward me.
"Actually no." I had one more idea that had been percolating since I found out Mr. Right used to be involved with the Sentinel. "Next week is the big football game against Laurelwood. We should get the quarterback to do a firsthand report, make it more relatable. I think he wrote for the paper last year. What's his name? Tom, Taye ...?" I asked, playing dumb.
"Teo," J.D. Ortiz said, sauntering into the room like it didn't matter that he had missed the majority of the meeting.
"You're late," I told him.
"You are correct," he said and winked at me. Then he flipped a chair around and sat on it with his arms resting on the back. He was so completely smug. He obviously thought the paper was a joke. He hadn't been on time for one meeting all year, he didn't take direction or critiques well, and he always wanted to do his own thing. But there wasn't much I could do about it. Firing him wasn't an option. It wasn't like there was a line of people waiting to be photo editor, and Morgan seemed to have a soft spot for him. So I had no choice but to just deal.
"Anyway," I continued and directed my attention to Bobby Williams, the sports editor. "Do you think you can reach out to Teo and get him involved?"
"Sure," he said.
"Great. Then I guess we're all set for today."
"Not so fast," Morgan interjected and stood up. "The holidays are almost here, and I think we need to celebrate!"
I tried to subdue a groan, but it managed to escape anyway. Christmas was a month away, and with everything going on I was already holidayed out.
If Morgan heard me, she chose to ignore it. "We need a party. We can do it right before vacation, the day the paper comes out. What do you say? We can all bring stuff in. It'll be the perfect way to end the marking period." When she didn't get any reaction, she added, "I'll be baking, and I'm taking requests."
"In that case, count me in," Bobby said.
I guess I couldn't blame him. Morgan did make killer desserts. It was pretty much the only reason we got such big turnouts at our monthly full-staff meetings. She tempted everyone with her unique chocolaty creations.
Excerpted from "My New Crush Gave to Me"
Copyright © 2017 Shani Petroff.
Excerpted by permission of Feiwel and Friends.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was a sweet, feel good story that was written and narrated by Shani Petroff. A holiday story that will get you in the mood for the festive season and I enjoyed it. I found myself laughing out loud on numerous occasions and certainly got some strange looks from fellow travellers. This was a young adult story and I found it heart warming.
I thought this was an okay Christmas story, but I did have some issues with it. The main female character, Charlie, took awhile to get used to. I know part of the plot was her liking another guy and rigging the Secret Santa to pick him, but she was so stubborn about not seeing the red flags about the one she thought was perfect until well beyond halfway through the story. She was also stubborn to a fault and not in a way that shows she knows her mind. She was also a horrible friend throughout the story. Her best friend was consistently bending over backwards to help her and I didn't see Charlie reciprocate other than a baking incident. Her character traits basically annoyed me greatly and that's why a few stars were left off. On the other hand, I really liked the main male character. He had his faults, but he was kind when he didn't have to be and the faults all worked out in the end. Other than his sarcasm, he was the positive light at the end of the tunnel. Speaking of the end, I really expected a little more of an ending! It felt a bit rushed and it could've been just a little bit more than okay-they-figured-out-who-they-really-like and here's the end! Overall it was a fast and cute Christmas read that gave me some headaches, but managed to give me fuzzy feels at the end.
Charming! This book won't shock you, I mean you'll KNOW who's meant to be together, but it's a really fun and romantic journey to get there.
Charlie need a date for the Christmas ball, so she set her eyes on Teo, the punctual, smart, quarterback. So she plotted to rig the Secret Santa to get his name. But she needs help. Unfortunately, nobody knows Teo better, than his annoying cousin J.D. I was never meant to read this book. A lot of people got a hold on a lot of Christmas books, so I wasn't expecting this to be available. And I thought why not! And I do not regret it at all! The plot is pretty basic, it's one of those enemies-turned-lovers. But I like the whole story. I like the cute, sweet moments and even cringed on the embarrassing and just-so-wrong moments. I did like the whole secret Santa plot. I thought that was very unique! Over all it was such a fun read. I liked that Charlie was not a very likable character. I just thought Charlie was very realistic. I also like the way Charlie's realizations were written. They were subtle yet very convincing. I have to give props to author for the gifts in the book. I just thought that we get a glimpse of the character and got to know them more. I also like the other characters. They were very helpful in finding Charlie's way, and I thought that was pretty cool. This was definitely a fun read for the holiday!
“My New Crush Gave to Me” would have been much better as a short story. As a book, it’s cute and a quick read, but there is a lot of filler in there. Once it finally picked up around the middle I enjoyed it, though I could never spend much time in real life around the main character, Charlie! This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.
Sometimes, I need a change of pace from my usual reading fare and a light, romantic comedy can be the perfect palate cleanser, so to speak. Also, I don't mind saying I'm starting to have a few Christmas-y thoughts and, besides, I love this cover ;-) Now, there are things about this particular story that plucked a few nerves. For one, this is about a bunch of privileged, pretty teens whose biggest problem is finding a date for the party of the year. Second, there were times when Charlie is kind of hard to like, not because she's mean-spirited or anything like that, but because she is so unrelentingly rigid and opinionated. Still, she's a good kid and gets a pass because she is, after all, a kid and can't be expected to be swimming in maturity. In fact, a lot of maturity would take all the fun out of things, right? Now, for characters you can love, no one beats Charlie's BFF, Morgan, because she really cares about Charlie and wants what's best for her, and J.D. is a delightful sort of sideways Cyrano de Bergerac. The plot is both lighthearted and filled with teenaged angst and it all works quite well. From the very beginning, I was pretty sure what was going to happen eventually and getting there gave me a couple of hours of pure pleasure. Who knows, I may just read another romcom soon!
I was in the mood for a light and fluffy YA romance and this one from NetGalley really did the trick. It was a quick, fun, and sweet read. To top it off, it's the end of August and I'm suddenly ready to set up my tree and string garlands and lights around my house! The characters were all unique and fun to get to know. Charlie is a very type-A girl, she likes lists and keeping to a schedule. She's very orderly and a little uptight. JD is pretty much her opposite, he's more of the "creative type" and really wants Charlie to just chill a little. When she bribes him to help her win over his cousin via a rigged Secret Santa gift exchange, Charlie ends up learning a little about herself. And realizing that maybe she was judging JD too harshly. The romance in this story very much had a Pride & Prejudice feel to it. With a little bit of Cyrano. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a retelling, but it certainly had a bit of those elements at least as far as Charlie goes (P&P) and JD (Cyrano). The first half of the book I liked it, but I really wasn't smitten. Something was just falling flat for me. But the more JD and Charlie interacted, the more I fell in love with the story and their chemistry. JD was the perfect yin to Charlie's yang. There was a point when I thought they wouldn't end up together and I was angry and crushed! That was the moment when I realized this 3 star book had hit 4 star status for me. So, should you read it? If you're in the mood for something light, sweet, and festive, I don't think My True Love Gave To Me will disappoint!
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff Publisher: Swoon Reads Publication Date: October 31, 2017 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): Charlotte Charlie Donovan knows exactly what she wants for Christmas: Teo Ortiz. He s the school s star athlete, in the National Honor Society, invited to every party, contributes to the school paper (where Charlie is co-editor), and is about to be featured as One to Watch in a teen magazine basically, he's exactly the type of guy Charlie s meant to be with. The only problem he barely knows she exists. But Charlie is determined to be Teo's date to the Christmas ball. And she has a plan: To rig the paper s Secret Santa so that she can win his heart with five perfect gifts. But to do that she needs help. Enter J.D. Ortiz Teo s cousin, and possibly the most annoying person on the planet. He s easy going, laid back, unorganized, spontaneous, and makes a joke out of everything the exact opposite of Charlie (and Teo). But he s willing to provide insight into what Teo wants, so she s stuck with him. Yet, the more time Charlie spends with J.D., the more she starts to wonder: Does she really know what, or rather who, she wants for Christmas? What I Liked: I've been in a weird reading slump lately, in which I've been reading half as much as I did earlier in the year. I've enjoyed what I've been reading, for the most part, but it has been hard for to read as much as I used to earlier in the year (which is hilarious because earlier in the year I was busting my butt during my last semester of college). I picked up this book last night on a whim; I had just gone shopping earlier in the day and I bought a bunch of things for people for Christmas. I've really been in a Christmas mood and this book seemed perfect. And you know what? It was a really great read. Let me start by saying that I wouldn't usually go for this type of story - in which the girl decides she is into this one guy, and she starts to go after him, but along the way she realizes that this other guy who she has been hanging out with is the guy she really likes, and UGH how will she choose? I hate love triangles and anything even remotely close to being a love triangle, so the presence of two guys/potential love interests in the story is usually enough for me to back far away. But I will say that Petroff executes this type of story perfectly. There is no love triangle, despite Charlie thinking that Teo is the perfect guy for her. But I'll get to that. It all starts with invitations to Noelle Hawkins' Dec. 26th party, in which the theme is the Lovers' Ball, and everyone has to come with a date. Too bad Charlie's boyfriend Ajay dumped her recently. Charlie can't go to the party alone, and she certainly can't let Zakiyah (the newspaper's dating columnist and resident nosy snob) find out that she doesn't have a date. So what's a girl gotta do? Find someone who she might be interested, and get him to like her and be her date. Teo Ortiz is perfect - he is smart, good-looking, athletic, and charismatic. But in order to charm Teo, Charlie needs help, and the only person that can help her is J.D. Ortiz - Teo's cousin. J.D. is irritating and always late and always pushing Charlie's buttons, but he knows Teo really well. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
2.5 stars I loved the synopsis of this and was quite eager to settle into a sweet Christmas story. I couldn’t get behind Charlie. I wanted to root for her, yet most of the time I was irritated with her and she just felt flat to me. I loved Morgan and JD was fun, so they were the reasons I kept reading. Plot wise, things moved along and it felt like nothing actually happened at the same time. I would have liked a little bit more at the ending, but it was sweet. Overall, it was cute, but still a little boring. I can see how people will love it, especially for a bit of holiday cheer. **Huge thanks to Swoon Reads for providing the arc free of charge**
Initially when I read the plot, I thought it was just a typical teen romance during the holidays book. Boy, was I wrong. Immediately after reading the first chapter, I knew I had to get and read this whole book. I loved everything about it: the characters, the story, and especially the holiday season and how it was portrayed. If you're a fan of teen romance during the holidays, this is one book you do not want to miss adding to your collection.
A lighthearted and cute Young Adult romance just the way I needed. And so hard to put down I read this in one sitting. A 3.5. It's kind of funny how a Christmas-themed novel is released on Halloween. But yes, the plot centers around a secret santa that control-freak Charlie uses to get the perfect date for a lovers' extravaganza a classmate is giving the day after Christmas. But to have the perfect gifts to her Mister Ten Teo Ortiz, she will have to make concessions and ally with his cousin J.D., who seems to know exactly how to drive her nuts. While Teo is the date she needs for the party, is he the one she wants? Oh, how fun this was! I wasn't too fond of Charlie but it never got in the way of my enjoyment—it didn't help that I identified with her a lot... probably the reason we didn't hit it?—, but the book was precious. Surely, there wasn't much for me to call unforgettable, yet this didn't make any difference. Just a few side characters were more round but they made up for the rest. I really loved Charlie's best friend Margot. I have repeated this ad nauseam, but it's always a win when a YA novel portrays good friends. I wish Charlie showed a little more appreciation, to be honest. So there was room for a big fight, and I'm glad it doesn't follow that unnecessary route. Phew. It's also good to note how religion is present here without being the main topic—unless you consider Christmas as a religious event. It's very rare for a common novel to remember some teenagers do have religions they follow. And we've got two here, Christianism and Judaism. Kudos. Details apart, the main plot was a lot of fun. I loved how the chemistry between Charlie and J.D. evolved without having to turn Teo into a jerk. That's hard but it's also my favorite sort of love triangle. Also, the many times Charlie tries to win Teo's attention really brought me back to those days. I can't accuse the book of not being real enough. Argh, lol. I think it lacked the extra meat and that's why this isn't a full 4 or 5 stars. This was cute, quick but that's it. You'll love reading it, if it's your cup of tea. And yet, it didn't go beyond expectations. Also, Charlie could have been a little more charismatic or learned much from the whole experience. Honest review based on an ARC provided by Netgalley. Many thanks to the publisher for this opportunity.
“Forget an electric jolt, this was shooting stars, Christmas morning, first-place trophies, early Harvard acceptance, and fireworks all rolled into one. I never wanted the feeling to stop. My wish had come true.” My New Crush Gave to Me is the perfect holiday read for all your contemporary needs. We follow Charlie Donovan as she searches for her dream date to Noelle Hawkins’ annual birthday party. Charlie is convinced she’s found her guy in Teo, star athlete, stellar GPA, and absolutely no clue she exists. Charlie enlists JD, the school paper’s resident photographer and Teo’s cousin, to help get the perfect secret santa gifts so she can land her dream guy. But not everything goes as planned along the way, and Charlie has to figure out who and what she really wants. Things I Liked This book gave me all the warm and fuzzy feelings! This was honestly the perfect book to read after a super weird paranormal and get me back in a happy reading mood. This is such a great holiday read to cozy up with. I loved seeing the caroling, tree decorating, secret santas and all the fun holiday traditions - it made me want colder weather asap. All of the relationships in this books are swoony and adorable. Even though there is a bit of an insta-infatuation on Charlie’s side with her and Teo they have some really cute interactions. Morgan and Ira are toothachingly sweet, and Charlie and JD’s banter is matched by none. Morgan was such a great best friend to Charlie. She’s super spunky and supportive. And an amazing baker too! I also love reading about bakers in YA because I LOVE baking and it’s fun to see characters who share your hobbies. And I loved that she and her boyfriend were Jewish and talked about Hanukkah and their traditions as well. JD was the arrogant-yet-thoughtful guy who works with Charlie on the paper, and helps her with her crush on Teo, his cousin. I really liked him! He was such a genuinely good person with such a happy nature, despite his slacker persona . I loved his relationship with his parents and how he and Charlie grow to be friends. Things I Didn’t Like Charlie was probably my least favorite character. I liked that she was focused, but she was a little too rigid for me. She was a very my-way or no-way type of person and I just didn’t connect to her like I did others. But I did like all of the dynamics with the other characters, so she didn’t ruin the story for me or anything. I just didn’t click with her. I almost finished this book in one sitting, that’s how easy it was to read. The only reason I didn’t was because it got late, and I was tired. My New Crush Gave to Me was the perfect fluffy contemporary book. Holiday books are always fun and instantly make me happy, and this one is no different. We get great banter, cute flirting, fun holiday activities, and all the wonderful drama of high school politics. This is a book that has such a pure entertainment factor, you can’t put it down. I received a Copy of the book from Swoon Reads via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Charlie needs a date for the biggest party of the year, and she has her eyes set on Teo Ortiz. She uses her position as editor of the school newspaper to get to know him better, but Teo's annoying cousin J. D., the newspaper's photo editor, is always getting in the way. With her mother constantly busy with work, things aren't feeling very Christmasy. So Charlie tries to create a little holiday cheer of her own by rigging the paper's Secret Santa draw with a plan to win over Teo. The thing is, she might need J.D.'s help to find Teo the perfect gifts. Charlie always plans everything, but what happens when things don't go to plan? This book is cute, funny, sweet, and wistful. It's also kind of predictable, but the journey is fun. I enjoyed getting to know all the characters, especially Charlie and J.D. A light, quick read that will get you in the mood for Christmas. I received this book in return for an honest review. Full blog post (2 November): https://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com/2017/11/my-new-crush-gave-to-me-by-shani-petroff.html
First I want to say that I did really like this book, it was super cute, it had one of my favorite tropes (the love to hate relationship) and it really put me in the holiday mood, but while I really enjoyed it I don't think everyone will, and I think people should know what they are getting from the book before they go into it. This is not some deep, thoughtful book that will make you emotional, it is very much so like those cheesy Christmas movies you would see either on ABC Family or Hallmark. The plot is very predictable and the characters are not the most lovable, so if that is not the kind of book you would like, I would advise to skip this one. For me personally, I love binging those kind of movies during the holiday time, which made this book perfect for me. The problems I had with this book were mostly with the writing, one thing specifically was the use of exclamation marks. I don't know if this bothers anyone else, but the use of exclamation marks is one of my biggest pet peeves for books, and there were definitely more than a few used in this book (they were usually used with more than one at a time like "really?!!!!" which just made it worse. Other than that and a few things with the writing, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.