‘New Year’s Kiss’ is the Seasonal YA Readers Will Enjoy!


STORY | Life for Tess isn’t stellar just now. Her parents are divorcing which is throwing her entire life into chaos. In order to deal with some of the particulars, over part of winter break, her parents send Tess along with her older sister, Lauren, to stay with their grandmother. Trouble is, Loretta isn’t like most grandmothers.

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Loretta has a strict mandatory activity schedule for both girls, she insists on being called by her name, and she owns and operates the family inn. This means the girls are not getting a homey experience. Things start to look up when Tess connects with the lodge ridden Christopher who’s vacation is suddenly boring after a skiing accident leaves him on crutches. But inspired by Christopher, Tess decides to make an end of year resolution list in the hopes of being loss structure… and more living life to its fullest.


REVIEW | Part of the Underlined Paperbacks line, this novel is cute and easy reading, just as one might expect. It’s also low on page count, which for me is the bomb (likely because of a weird reader mentality I have). Everything about this novel is cute. From the setting (I love the idea of more New Year romance) to the characters, New Year’s Kiss is certainly one fun read.

I like the friendship angles that play out. There’s more than one between Carina and Tess, Christopher and Tess, and the bigger “group” who do things together. Of course, the closer one-on-one relationships are what feel more important. There’s a hint of a sweet romance and there’s also the family complications that play a role in Tess’ mentality. This isn’t totally smoothed out by book’s end, but we do understand that things will get there.

When all is said and done, New Year’s Kiss isn’t dynamic in the sense of being on the level of an epic fantasy, but then again, this is precisely my kind of good genre “fantasy.” I’m more of a simple girl reader, and so this one hits the spot. It’s cozy and sweet, which is always, my happy reader place.

CONTENT: This one is pretty clean throughout. There’s minor innuendo, and some profanity (d*mn, etc.) but nothing terrible.


‘New Year’s Kiss’ is the Seasonal YA Readers Will Enjoy! A review of the novel from Underlined by Lee Matthews. Text © Rissi JC
‘New Year’s Kiss’ is the Seasonal YA Readers Will Enjoy! A review of the novel from @GetUnderlined by Lee Matthews. #BookReviews #YALit #HappyReads #WhattoRead Click To Tweet

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Author: Lee Matthews
Publisher: Underlined (Penguin)
Source: Bought
Publication Date: 2020
Add the Book: Goodreads
Genre: Fiction; Secular, Contemporary Young Adult
Rating: 4 out of 5

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. Thanks for the heads up about content warnings! It sounds like the teens weren’t close to Loretta. I can’t imagine sending my kids to stay with a person they don’t know well.

    1. They are not close with Loretta. It’s kind of an unusual relationship, but we have the hope that through this they may head towards a better future relationship. :)

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