Review: Approximately Yours by Julie Hammerle
Danny Garland is so out of Holly’s league. And her family is only back in North Pole, Minnesota, long enough to sell Grandma’s house and say “Merry Christmas.” So telling her basketball-star, too-hot-to-be-real long-time crush that she’d like to kiss him under the mistletoe just isn’t going to happen. And now he’s asked out her cousin, Elda. Elda is a mess at flirting, so when she begs Holly to intervene, she does. Holly helps her flirt with him over text. And then again. And again. Now she’s stuck texting him as her cousin, and Elda is the one going on the date. Holly thought she could settle for just conversation with Danny, but talking with him is some kind of magic. He’s got the perfect comebacks, she makes him laugh, they text until everyone is asleep. She just can’t ever tell him it’s her he’s really texting. Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book has hot texts, gingerbread wars, and a slow-burn romance that could melt a Minnesota winter.
I have a soft-but-uncomfortable spot for Cyrano-inspired stories. I generally feel uncomfortable about all the deceit and anxious about the moment when all the truth is revealed. (Don't worry, there's some excitement in there, too). Approximately Yours this is definitely one of those tales. And it sort of delivered on those fronts?
Holly has had a crush on Danny from afar for about as long as she can remember. She competed fiercely against him in childhood at the annual gingerbread house contests, and now she applying to colleges to study architecture. He's from her grandmother's town, and when her family comes back to North Pole after her death to get her affairs in order, they run in to each other again. The only problem is Holly's newly-single cousin has set her eyes on him. Holly loves her cousin very much and agrees to help Elda get him, because Elda has a very difficult time talking with boys. So Holly begins wingman-ing like crazy. She talks Elda up, tells her what to say, has text message conversations with Danny. But maybe Danny actually likes Holly? There are a lot of sweet moments in Approximately Yours. I love the friendship between Holly and Elda, and I love watching them discover things about their grandmother's life. The town and its traditions is super cutesy (like, the coffee shop is named Santabucks) and kind of reminds me of Stars Hollow.
But I felt like this book was really messy. Danny likes Holly from the beginning (like a LOT), and Elda doesn't even seem that into him, but for some reason the majority of the book is still spent trying to shove Danny and Elda together. The Cyrano conceit was okay, but it kind of fell flat - it could have been more exciting, or more funny, or more...anything. A lot of it happens off-stage, too, which is annoying. I'd never read a North Pole book before, but this one is a standalone novel. I don't know if there were any references to either of the other books in the series, but I never felt lost.
Should you read it? Approximately Yours is a super sweet, silly, festive book about a tight-knit family and finding love at Christmastime. While our characters are high school seniors, they read much younger, so younger YA readers will probably enjoy this much more.
2 1/2 Stars
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Published October 2, 2017 by Entangled: Crush