Winter is finally here and, with it, everything festive and cozy and snowy. I love this season so much, and I’m excited to share a few books that remind me of the cold season as well as the holiday season.
Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren
“This is my favorite time of the day, early morning. I was up long before anyone else, out on the frozen lake. It’s just me and my skates, my stick, the puck, the net. The only sounds: my breathing and the sharp edge of blades on ice.”
Cold Day in the Sun follows Holland Delviss, an avid hockey player who happens to be the sole girl on a team comprised of entirely boys. Throughout the book, Holland struggles with the sexism she faces as she pursues her dreams, as well as the upcoming pressures of HockeyFest. Along the way, Holland also starts to fall for her teammate, Wes Millard, who she might have a lot more in common than she thinks. Holland is also a writer and blogger, which is reflected in the blog posts and articles that supplement the main narration. I really loved rereading this contemporary this holiday season because it combines both an adorable romance and a powerful feminist message. I also love Sara Biren’s writing style, and how incredibly atmospheric it feels. It screams winter to me in the best way possible.
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
“It snowed right before Jack stopped talking to Hazel, fluffy white flakes big enough to show their crystal architecture, like perfect geometric poems.”
Breadcrumbs is a middle grade retelling of the Snow Queen, centered around best friends Jack and Hazel. When Jack goes missing one day, Hazel must journey through a magical forest and face a woman dressed in icy white to save her best friend. I love the fantastical aspects of Breadcrumbs, and how it takes a new twist on a beloved old fairytale but still manages to keep that fairytalesque magical feeling. I also appreciate how much emphasis there is on friendship, and it’s so wholesome and sweet to read about these friends that love each other so much. When thinking of winter-related books I think the first go-to is holiday rom-coms, but I feel like this sweet fantasy also does an amazing job at encapsulating the wintry season.
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
“I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still. Cozy couples lazily meandered the streets and children trudged sleds and chased snowballs. No one seemed to be in a rush to experience anything other than the glory of the day, with each other, whenever and however it happened.”
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares follows Lily, an optimistic holiday enthusiast who leaves a red notebook with a challenge in her favourite bookstore, and Dash, a pessimist who happens to find Lily’s notebook by chance. As Dash and Lily trade dares and messages through the notebook, they begin to fall for each other in this adorable holiday romance. I thought the concept of this book was really interesting in that two drastically different people can connect so well and believably through just a simple notebook. I also liked how this book feels very grounded in its location, New York City, and it really brings to life what the city feels like during the holiday season. The book also has a Netflix show based on it that’s really adorable as well, so I would definitely recommend giving it a watch after reading the book!