When I saw the picks for December’s Amazon First Reads, there was an ad for a free holiday short story on Kindle Unlimited, so I thought it would be the perfect addition to my lineup since I knew I was cutting it close for reading another whole Christmas book this year. Resting Scrooge Face (um, that title sold me, I didn’t even read the synopsis) by Meghan Quinn sounded like it *had* to be good.
After a bad breakup, Nola wants nothing to do with Christmas, especially in her quaint hometown of Bright Harbor, Maine. Infuriatingly charming and cheery, Nola’s surroundings only worsen her sour mood.
To make matters worse, Caleb, the boy who broke her heart years ago, is all grown up and still living in town. While doing her best to avoid him, Nola bumps into the local mailman, who gives her a mysterious letter. And when she finds that the writer is a fellow Scrooge, she can’t help but feel her spirit lifting.
Nola writes back to her new pen pal—who, unbeknownst to Nola, is none other than Caleb. When Caleb gets a response hand delivered by the mailman, he’s intrigued by the mystery sender. A friendly correspondence develops—and quickly turns flirtatious.
Although Nola and Caleb claim they can’t stand each other, they can’t deny the simmering attraction that brought them together in the first place.
Can these nameless pen pals write their own love story—or will they be too caught up with the ghosts of their Christmases past to find a future together?
Because the whole book is only 80 pages, I will keep this short and sweet.
What didn’t work for me
The brevity: Ever since The Princess Diaries, I’ve loved the epistolary format. I enjoy that you can quickly get into the characters’ innermost thoughts and feelings and that it generally moves the plot. That being said, because this book is so short, I feel like we don’t get enough of Nola and Caleb in real life. I feel like I don’t understand why they didn’t speak to each other after their original breakup…not really.
The fact that it’s not You’ve Got Mail: So…the plot is basically a rip-off of You’ve Got Mail, which is one of my favourite romcoms. And because of how short it was, there was no way to capture that magic.
What I liked
That it was loosely based on You’ve Got Mail: Despite what I said above, the fact that it calls back to the Hanks-Ryan classic made me have a soft spot for it. I kind of pictured the two of them reading each other’s letters, like in the movie.
All in all, it was a cute holiday story that really put me in the spirits, but that’s about it. It’s hard to get much substance with only 80 pages when you don’t already know the characters.
“Does my piss-poor attitude—including my insane letter to Christmas—have anything to do with the one that got away, the woman who just so happened to move back to our small, wintery town in the heart of Maine? Absolutely, it does.” —Meghan Quinn, Resting Scrooge Face