Twelve Days to Save Christmas by Elizabeth Neep – Book Review

Book Title: Twelve Days to Save Christmas

Author: Elizabeth Neep

Genre: Christmas Fiction, Dramedy, Contemporary Fiction, Romance

Blurb from Goodreads

On the first day of Christmas, my true love… dumped me.

Poppy loves Christmas and always goes all out to make this magical time of the year extra special for her boyfriend George. But George is strangely not in the spirit this year. As Poppy wrestles him into her Christmas jumper built for two for a holiday snapshot, she finds out why.

He’s leaving her. And she only has twelve more days until he moves out.

Poppy is heartbroken. But she’s not going to give up on their five-year relationship without a fight. George is the love of her life, and his warm and stable family are worlds away from her own chaotic upbringing. And she is sure he still loves her too – she just needs to remind him of all the reasons why. Twelve days: twelve chances to get her man back and save Christmas.

But festive surprises aren’t only found under the tree. As Poppy’s twelve days count down and she goes to ever more ambitious lengths to prove to George she’s exactly the kind of girl he wants, she starts to realise that maybe the Christmas miracle she’s working towards is not the one she really needs. And that the person she’s truly meant to spend Christmas with is closer than she thought…

This bittersweet and uplifting festive read is perfect for anyone who has ever worried they’re not enough as they are. Fans of One Day in December, Beth O’Leary and Mhairi McFarlane will be completely enchanted by this witty and warm story about friendship, love and finding yourself.

My Review

I’m a big fan of Elizabeth Neep having previously read two books by her, Never Say No and The New Me, and giving both my highest rating/recommendation. So I was delighted to see she was releasing a Christmassy book because who doesn’t love a good Christmassy read!

And this story followed a similar style to Neep’s previous works focusing on creating a multilayered and authentic lead female in Poppy.

The premise is that Poppy suddenly finds herself dumped by her long term boyfriend George much to her utter heartbreak as she firmly believes he is *the one*. His complaint is that she’s too needy and so she hatches a plan to show him that she is very much not in the hopes that it will cause him to see the light and they will spend the magical family Christmas she had planned for them together.

This plan leads to Poppy volunteering at a community centre where she meets a wide range of people who begin to change her life in more ways than one!

I did very much enjoy this for the most part. Poppy was a very relatable character and the supporting cast were each interesting in their own ways… but something was missing for me. This tends to happen when I read multiple works by the same author; instead of their style of writing and narrative structures feeling comfortably familiar, they feel tired and a bit jaded.

So okay, this is basically a romantic read and thusly the plot has to be somewhat formulaic because there needs to be a happy resolution in the end … but this felt too long for me.

I’m going to be as vague as I can be so as not to give spoilers but as is typical there was a hiccup of sorts for Poppy and her quest for true love somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of the way through, and for me this didn’t work. I get that she is a character with deep rooted emotional issues and therefore was not always going to react to emotional situations in the best way for herself. However the way the novel dealt with it made the storyline feel rather frustrating instead of heart wrenching. I felt that the secrets from her past that Poppy refused to talk about for so much of the novel were used more of as a plot device to keep the reader hooked rather than a genuine exploration of the emotions impacts of her difficult childhood. To me, Neep just sadly missed that balance between drama and emotional integrity within Poppy’s characterisation.

There is still much to enjoy with Neep’s writing as she does write about characters and situations that aren’t traditional cookie cutter types within the romantic dramedy genre which I very much applaud. But if you’re looking to read her for the first time then I would recommend both Never Say No and The New Me over this one.

A mixed bag.

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