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The First Holidays

The First Holidays

  • Author: Cait Marie
  • Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance
  • Publication Date: December 23, 2020

CONTENT WARNING: mention of cancer

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Lila Weston is a pro at keeping secrets, but this time, she can’t wait to share with her friends and *ahem* boyfriend.

She has been counting down the days until Gavin, Beth Ann, and Dylan are home for the holidays. Despite seeing Gavin most weekends, however, they haven’t spent more than a day or two together since the summer. And she’s worried their time apart might have changed things, that he might not be as excited about her big decision as she hopes.

Beth Ann is skilled in avoiding her issues, but she’s never had to face someone just as stubborn.

All year, she’s brushed off Dylan’s flirting, claiming he’s ridiculously friendly to everyone. Yet, the extra attention he seems to save just for her warms her from head to toe. It was easy to ignore while in New York, but now she’s home for three weeks. And there’s no way she’ll be able to stay away.


This short story is perfect for readers who just want some fluff for the holidays. Our favorite characters from The Last Summer are back and full of love and dreams… and nerves.

While this story can be read on its own, it does follow the events of The Last Summer and serves as a sort of prequel to The Final Chance. One couple does get their happy ending, but the other has to wait until The Final Chance, out 1/20/20!

I absolutely love Cait’s writing, and this story is certainly no exception. After reading The Last Summer (you can find my review here), I couldn’t wait to read a short story that continued Lila and Gavin’s story, and kicked off something between Dylan and Beth Ann to be carried on in The Final Chance

Lila and Gavin are the cutest couple ever. This story gives them plenty of time to showcase their adorableness (is that even a word? If it wasn’t before, it is now!) I was thrilled to see that it wasn’t just a Christmas story, either. One of the characters is Jewish, and having my own family traditions echoed in a holiday book made me feel SEEN! The Christmas traditions are beautiful as well, but the main focus of the book is on so much more than the holiday celebrations — it’s about the connections between the characters.

Lila and Gavin are a solid and established couple basking in their happiness, which is well-deserved after how hard they fought to be together. If you haven’t read their story in The Last Summer, now is the time to give it a read. They’re super sweet together, and it made me so happy to see them celebrating holidays together again.

Dylan and Beth Ann are so clearly crushing on each other, but Beth Ann is fighting it. It’s hard to start a relationship with someone when you live 800 miles away for most of the year, so I completely understand where she’s coming from. Long-distance relationships are tough, although I also understand Dylan’s point of view. He’s such a good guy, so I really wanted to see Beth Ann just get over it, and get the happily ever after, or at least a happy for now. 

But … it’s a short story, and Dylan and Beth Ann’s story is just getting started. The story is great, and it made me super excited for The Final Chance to drop so I can dive right into it and find out what happens next. Trust me, you won’t be sorry!

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads. And it’s on Kindle Unlimited!

About the Author

All her life, Cait Marie has loved fairy tales. When she discovered a passion for writing in 2015, she knew she had finally found the right path.

Cait is the creator and manager of Functionally Fictional. In 2019, she joined the indie staff of YA Books Central as a reviewer and then Indie Co-Manager in 2020. From 2017 to 2020, she held multiple positions within Coffee House Writers, including C.O.O., Editor, Advertising Supervisor, and Writer. She graduated with honors in 2019 from Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, and she is currently enrolled in their Master of Fine Arts program.

She lives in Indiana, where she freelance edits and provides a variety of other author services. When she’s not writing or reading, she can usually be found watching Disney movies, creating pages in her bullet journal, painting, or singing showtunes to annoy her family and cats.

You can find her here:

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3 replies »

  1. Aw, this sounds like such a heartwarming book with strong friendships and of course, sweet young romance! Never heard of the first book in this series but this has piqued my interest enough to check it out! Great review, Leah 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks love! You totally should, they’re such heartwarming and sweet books that melt even my cold non-romance-loving heart! And the author is incredible – talented and a sweetheart. So check the series out!


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