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The Matzah Ball
The Matzah Ball: A Novel | Jean Meltzer
Oy! to the world Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl with a shameful secret: she loves Christmas. For a decade shes hidden her career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family. Her talent has made her a bestseller even as her chronic illness has always kept the kind of love she writes about out of reach. But when her diversity-conscious publisher insists she write a Hanukkah romance, her well of inspiration suddenly runs dry. Hanukkahs not magical. Its not merry. Its not Christmas. Desperate not to lose her contract, Rachels determined to find her muse at the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah, even if it means working with her summer camp archenemyJacob Greenberg. Though Rachel and Jacob havent seen each other since they were kids, their grudge still glows brighter than a menorah. But as they spend more time together, Rachel finds herself drawn to Hanukkahand Jacobin a way she never expected. Maybe this holiday of lights will be the spark she needed to set her heart ablaze.
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Zuhkeeyah
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

This was a cute holiday season romance with a twist. The daughter of a famous rabbi is secretly a popular Christmas romance novel writer. In search of inspiration for a Jewish themed novel, she tries to find a way to attend the upcoming Matzah Ball which is, of course, being hosted by her childhood sweetheart/nemesis.

The romance had a nice build to it, but the ending was a little much for me. The Grand Gesture was too over the top ⬇️

Zuhkeeyah For me. I liked so many parts of this book which made the ending all the less believable. Still a solid recommend though. 6d
8 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Emily2002
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I‘m loving this book so far y‘all! It‘s so entertaining and really amazing! I‘ve never really read a book about Hanukkah before, and I‘m loving it! I highly recommend!

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Sharpeipup
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Spending too much time in the car this week 😔

31 likes1 stack add
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tracey38
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Pickpick

Finished this audio on Monday. Been sick since then. Not Covid or the flu, thank goodness, but an upper respiratory infection. Ugh. Anyway, this was a fun listen and I really enjoyed a book on Hanukkah and the Jewish faith in general. There were some laugh out loud moments while listening too.

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peanutnine
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Pickpick

This is a soft pick for me. I thought the feud between the two characters was a little farfetched and simple communication would have solved a lot of issues. Also Rachel just annoyed me in general. But I liked the representation of chronic illness and discussion of Hanukkah traditions. Some of the secondary characters were funny and likeable.
#WinterGames #TeamGameSleighers @StayCurious

31 likes1 stack add4 comments
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BookishGirl06
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Mehso-so

I just finished it. This was a good story but just lacks a pick rating from me. I had fun reading it and it was nice to read something holiday related that wasn‘t just focused on Christmas

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tdrosebud
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Pickpick

I really liked this book. It was a sweet holiday romance. I liked how the author wrote herself into the main character and I enjoyed learning more about Jewish faith and Hanukkah.
#wintergames2021 #mistletoemaniacs @Clwojick

Cinfhen I have this on my TBR for when I want something light 🧡😁 1mo
TheAromaofBooks I've seen some mixed reviews on this one, so I'm glad you enjoyed it!!! 1mo
See All 6 Comments
TheSpineView Fantastic! 1mo
keys_on_fire Woohoo!! ❄️🕎 1mo
Jadams1776 🎄👍🏻📚 1mo
19 likes6 comments
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asterese
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Merry Christmas, Litsy friends!! 🎄💖🌟

Read these 3 this month, and The Twelve Dates of Christmas is my favorite of the lot. 👀

Grateful for books and family this season. 🙏🏻

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mdm139
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Pickpick

This is a soft pick for me. I did like the characters and learned a lot about Judaism and ME and like the romance. I did have to suspend reality a little here and there, and I could tell by the writing it was a debut. However, I admire the author for her courage and strength and thank her for education people on invisible chronic diseases. With readathons and word finds 2,740 pts #teamgamesleighers #wintergames @StayCurious

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sebrittainclark
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Pickpick

4/5

Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is living two lives. She is a chronically ill, Jewish woman, but she's also Margot Cross, best selling Christmas romance author. But now her publisher wants her to write a Hanukkah romance, which puts Rachel back in contact with her first love and childhood nemesis: Jacob Greenberg. I loved the journey Rachel and Jacob go on to figure themselves out as they reconnect with each other.

49 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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xicanti
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I think Casey managed a credible 1990s romance cover pose here.

THE MATZAH BALL is one of those books that practically reads itself. I started it last night and I‘m already 100 pages deep!

Graywacke Such a cute pup! 1mo
xicanti @Graywacke he‘s my favourite. 1mo
Cortg Adorable!
1mo
See All 7 Comments
xicanti @Cortg he really nailed the Fabio vibe. 1mo
QuietlyLaura Casey‘s fur rivals any hero or heroines hair! 😍😊 1mo
Cortg @xicanti Yeah, he did!
1mo
xicanti @QuietlyLaura indeed it does! 1mo
36 likes7 comments
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sebrittainclark
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1. The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer and Drawn on the Way by Sarah Nisbett

2. hot beverages

3. The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox

#weekendreads @rachelsbrittain

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BookishGirl06
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Currently reading

59 likes1 stack add
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Jemgirl2014
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This is a gunt punch right here because I paid full price for this book about a couple of weeks ago. Ugh! Oh well, sharing this great deal with you all. Found it on Amazon.

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Laughterhp
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Pickpick

This is a low pick for me. See my previous post for my annoyances. I never could get past them falling in love at 12 yrs old. Overall, I liked the story and learning about Hanukkah. However, they‘re fighting was a bit annoying and so childish. And they were so stubborn. Also, I‘m not religious at all, so I had a bit trouble connecting.

#DashingDecember
#AVeryMerryReadathon
#TeamGameSleighers
#BookSpinBingo
#cosyReadathon
#Wrapitupreadathon

Kimberlone Totally agree! I appreciated that it was a holiday book about Hannakuh instead of Christmas but the details about Judaism and the background of each tradition was WAY too much. I don‘t want to read a Christmas book that goes that deep on Catholic traditions either… 1mo
Kimberlone Also yeah the book basically implies that neither of them have had ANY romantic experiences since they were 12…okay 🙄 1mo
Laughterhp @Kimberlone Right! Which is so weird. Especially when they were both 30 years old at this point of the book. And yeah I agree, I wouldn‘t want to read a Christmas book that goes deep into catholic traditions either. 1mo
See All 6 Comments
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 1mo
Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 1mo
keys_on_fire Yay!! 1mo
62 likes6 comments
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Laughterhp
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I‘m about 5 chapters into this book and I already have lots of thoughts.

1 - I will always hate this kind of talk in my books, if it‘s not dialogue. Just say jealous.

And 2 - I‘m finding it really uncomfortable that they fell in love at TWELVE years old.. yes, now they are almost 30, but it just seems odd to be stuck on someone you met for 1 summer when you were 12. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

Kayla.Adriena 😝 1mo
Erinreadsthebooks Yes! Words like that in books drives me insane. 1mo
marleed You make some solid points! 1mo
Bklover Agree. 1mo
49 likes4 comments
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KathyWheeler
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Pickpick

While I liked this book, there was a point where I thought Rachel was one of the whiniest, self-pitying characters I‘ve ever read about. So many of her problems were self-inflicted — caused by the fact that she cared too much what others thought. That said, it was what I needed — a light book that still has meaning. The impact of an invisible disability, the effect of childhood pain, and identity are themes addressed nicely. #audiowalk

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Linsy
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Pickpick

The Matzah Ball is a Hannukah romance about a closeted Christmas romance author and her summer camp arch nemesis. No only is it addictive, but this book gives an in-depth look at chronic illness and a peek into a tight-knit Jewish community. It's also hilarious and kept me hooked from start to finish!

Thanks @Liberty for recommending!

#dashingdecember #wintercosy #wintergames2021 #mistletoemaniacs #averymerrybingo #averymerryreadathon

TheSpineView Awesome! 1mo
57 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Kimberlone
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Pickpick

Another cute holiday romance. This one has a great, unique premise: Rachel, the daughter of a rabbi, is secretly the successful writer of Christmas themed romance novels, given a second chance romance with her Jewish summer camp childhood sweetheart. Appreciated the look into Hannakuh and Jewish holiday traditions, but I do think it went too much into the minutiae of overexplaining certain aspects. Also, again, too chaste and wholesome for me.

49 likes1 comment
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EclecticBookLover
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Mehso-so

The romance seemed trite. It was great to read a holiday romance novel that wasn't Christmas oriented and learn some things, but I found the "big miss" to drag too much. The lack of communication between the main characters was incredibly frustrating. If this wasn't an audiobook I probably would have given it a pan.

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KathyWheeler
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I managed to get a walk in before it started pouring down rain. It started drizzling while I was out walking, but the rain really began coming down after I got in my car. I always have issues with romances where two people are mad at each other because of a misunderstanding that they refuse to talk about. This is one of those. I guess there‘d be no story if they acted sensibly though. #audiowalk

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AlizaApp
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Pickpick

Fittingly enough, I finished this one during Hanukkah! Very cute romance novel, in which a Jewish writer (and daughter of a famous rabbi) is secretly a world-famous writer of Christmas romance novels, using a pseudonym. She also has a chronic illness she has to deal with (a little preachy about that tbh) and also her former camp boyfriend has shown up again but he‘s hot now.

27 likes1 stack add
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rachelsbrittain
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Pickpick

What a cute Hanukkah romance! Rachel is a good Jewish girl who is also secretly a famous Christmas romance novelist with a chronic illness. But now her publisher wants her to write a Hanukkah romance and her former camp crush / rival just happens to be hosting a huge Hanukkah ball in NYC. Misunderstandings, banter, and a push-pull romance of epic proportions ensues. Jacob and Rachel are both annoyingly dense at times, but the cuteness wins out.

56 likes2 stack adds
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ravenlee
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Mehso-so

I was on board until the ridiculous climax, which was just painful. The characters not talking, keeping secrets, and so on was frustrating but also pretty realistic. I mean, for a holiday romance. The disability rep and the Jewish life view was all really good. I‘m curious how Meltzer will follow up this debut as she seems to have written herself, and authors who start that way don‘t always have much else to do after that. A good-enough read.

ravenlee My first finish of December (it‘s been a heck of a week!) is also my #bookspin for December. @TheAromaofBooks 2mo
TheAromaofBooks I'm on the fence about reading this one - I would love to read a holiday book about a holiday besides Christmas, but I get stressed when the main story could be resolved with one good conversation! 2mo
EclecticBookLover I'm listening to this one right now. I'm almost at the halfway point. The romance seems typical, but as you said the representation and look at Jewish culture are good. 2mo
ravenlee @TheAromaofBooks I‘ll say that some of the tension comes from a genuine misunderstanding, rather than deliberate withholding, and that‘s different. That‘s the old drama of the relationship. The new drama is from dumber things. It didn‘t bother me as much as the slapstick ending, and I‘m still glad I read it. 2mo
TheAromaofBooks haha good to know. I will have to see if I can find it at the library and at least give it a try!! 2mo
34 likes1 stack add5 comments
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EclecticBookLover
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Listening to the tagged book and writing out cards for the #holidaycardswap #cardswap

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Nessavamusic
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Mehso-so

I wanted to like this more. The set up is great, the side characters are great. However, our main characters are both extremely frustrating. Miscommunication to the extreme! Ugh… 3⭐️ because I did finish it and I liked the disability representation.
+26 points for #mistletoemaniacs #wintergames2021
#wgwordsearch - 50 points

Clwojick 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2mo
47 likes1 comment
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WeirdAtHeart
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My mom got this mug for Hanukkah. She doesn't drink tea or coffee, so she regifted it to me!

#wintergames #mistletoemaniacs

Julsmarshall Hilarious! 2mo
4thhouseontheleft Love it! 2mo
7 likes2 comments
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themonaisa
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Pickpick

So cute!!!!!! Finally some Hanukkah rom-com content. There were a few lines that repeated throughout, which honestly are probably only noticeable if you binge read. I wasn‘t clutching at my heart necessarily but did definitely enjoy getting to experience the culture & cutesy relationship. Just a fun, cheesy story — exactly what we‘re looking for during the holidays!

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ChasingOm
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Mehso-so

My second holiday read for #WinterGames2021, with a cherry rugelach background for the #FestivePhotoChallenge prompt.

I love a “misunderstanding in childhood leads to adult rivalry leads to love” trope as much as anyone, but there were pieces of this that fell flat for me. It also had ZERO chemistry on the page between the love interests, which was disappointing. I did like the Jewish traditions and Yiddish that were sprinkled in though!

Laughterhp Oh no! I have this one on my list to read this month. 2mo
ChasingOm @Laughterhp I hope you disagree with me!! 😄 2mo
StayCurious good review! 2mo
45 likes1 stack add3 comments
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sebrittainclark
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My December #bookspinbingo is all set up with The Matzah Ball as my #bookspin and Meet Me in the Margins as my #doublebookspin.

Also going to say my journal spread for the month is red and white and call this today's #FestivePhotoChallenge

@TheAromaofBooks @StayCurious #WinterGames2021 #WinterGames

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! Looks fantastic!! 2mo
31 likes1 comment
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wen4blu
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Up next…..I need something light and fluffy, so here goes.

33 likes1 stack add
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ravenlee
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Yesterday‘s library #bookhaul - bottom for #YABuddyRead, two seasonal reads, and an accidental find (it‘s supposed to be for kiddo‘s history studies, but it‘s beyond her grade level - but it coincides nicely with the most recent #SheSaid book so I just have to read it myself!).

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TheBookStacker
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A little holiday reading! Wishing all who celebrate a Happy Chanukah! 💙

mdm139 I have this one on my tbr too 2mo
36 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Bakingbookworm
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Mehso-so

3 STARS - This was a sweet without the saucy holiday RomCom that had great representation of the Jewish faith and a deeper element involving chronic illness. I had a hard time getting on board with a few plot choices but I loved learning more about the Jewish faith & getting a better understanding of what it's like to live with chronic illness.

Review: https://bit.ly/TheMatzahBallReview

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akaGingerK
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Pickpick

I loved the characters and the initial complication, I got a bit thrown by the business model of the hero‘s company (that is… not how social media revenue works), and I was a bit concerned that some of the hijinks well into the book would cause me to tap out from second hand embarrassment (I do better with rom than romcom) - but I stuck it out, and the author stuck the HEA. Would recommend!

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Kshakal
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Pickpick

A fun take on a holiday romance… perfect for this time of year! 🕎

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TheKidUpstairs
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Mehso-so

I needed something fun and frothy, and this fit the bill. There were some things that didn't work, or didn't quite make sense, but if you don't think about it too much it works as a fun diversion!

#Booked2021 JewishAuthor/MC
@Cinfhen @4thhouseontheleft @BarbaraTheBibliophage

Cinfhen Sounds fluffy… just like a perfect matzah ball 😉 3mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage Diversions are a good thing! 2mo
70 likes2 comments
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TheKidUpstairs
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I needed something light when my brain needs a break from Zhivago, so I grabbed this one from the library for #Booked2021 #JewishAuthor/MC

@Cinfhen @4thhouseontheleft @BarbaraTheBibliophage

Cinfhen Someone else picked this one up….they enjoyed!!! I bet it‘s fun 🤩 3mo
4thhouseontheleft This looks cute! 3mo
85 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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ReadingisMyPassion
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Pickpick

I thoroughly enjoyed this charming rom com starring Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt, a nice Jewish girl who is obsessed with Christmas. Not a big deal, except her father is a well-respected rabbi. And she lives a secret double life as Margot Cross, a prominent author of over twenty Christmas romance novels and four made-for-TV movies. But now her publisher wants her to write a Hannukah romance, but Rachel is not enamored with Hannukah.

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ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

I've been requesting eARCs of holiday books since July so this is your first warning. This is an actual Hanukkah romance with a heroine who also has a chronic illness.

Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is the daughter of a prominent rabbi but has secretly made a living from a career based on loving Christmas and writing Christmas romance novels and rom-coms. ↘️

ReadingEnvy Her publisher wants her to use her lived experience to write a "more diverse" romance and in the process she reconnects with a boy from Jewish summer camp, her first kiss, of course.↘️ 3mo
ReadingEnvy At first I was a bit skeptical, was this author just throwing a bunch of Jewish stuff in to a typical romance? But I think she pulls it off for reasons I'll leave for the reader to discover. It went deeper and was more personal to the author than I might have expected, and that makes a difference. #romantsy 3mo
56 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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ScientistSam
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Pickpick

This felt so much like a Hallmark holiday special (if Hallmark actually had any specials about Hannukah that aren't actually about Christmas). It's cute and cheesey and full of holiday spirit. Despite growing up with family using Yiddish words, I could have used a glossary, so there was definitely some googling of terms.

It's lovely to have a Jewish romance. I liked this one but didn't love it. 3.5💖

Kindle screenshot

Crazeedi Thank you for your card! I'm trying to catch up!! 3mo
ScientistSam @Crazeedi no pressure!😁 3mo
55 likes2 comments
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Bookjunkie57
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Mehso-so

So many things did not work for me.

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KarenUK
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Mehso-so

Sweet and not at all spicy, just about as wholesome as it gets! I rarely read romance, but I requested a copy of this because it was refreshing to see a holiday romance that wasn‘t Christmas! The heroine having Chronic Fatigue syndrome gave this a nice little twist, and the enemies to lovers trope with all the usual misunderstandings worked fine, I would just have preferred a bit more heat! But I‘m not sure that‘s a thing in holiday romances?🤷‍♀️

EvieBee Yay! I currently have this out from the library on Kindle. Can‘t wait to read. 3mo
44 likes1 stack add1 comment
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hissingpotatoes
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Bailedbailed

.5/5⭐ Adults oddly stuck acting like they're 12 & constantly reminiscing on that age; nonsensical, unrealistic, boundary-breaking decisions/dialogue; conflict based on lack of communication; a book with Jewish characters whose entire intro revolves around bashing Jewish holidays in favor of idolizing Christmas; constant thoughts about people's appearances no real person would have...no thanks.

#bookspinbingo

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Lauredhel
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And I'm FINISHED #booked2021! Here's my lineup for this quarter: Frenemies, Jewish author/MC, novel in verse, hidden gem, new in 2021, and "club" in title.

@Cinfhen @4thhouseontheleft @BarbaraTheBibliophage

Cinfhen Woohoo 🎉 congrats on COMPLETING #Booked2021 🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳Look out for #Booked2022!! Will tag u with final quarter link in a few weeks xx 4mo
Lauredhel @Cinfhen Ty! Looking forward to it 4mo
4thhouseontheleft Yay!! Great job! 4mo
See All 6 Comments
Lauredhel @4thhouseontheleft I do like the way these challenges have me digging through my giant TBR and library listing instead of just picking up the next book in a series that I already know. And also love how they're not super prescriptive about genre. (edited) 4mo
Bookzombie Congratulations!!! 🎉 4mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage Wow — fabulous!! 3mo
68 likes6 comments
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Lauredhel
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Reading this for my VERY LAST #booked2021 prompt! It's great so far except for sometimes wanting to slap the hero upside the head. He seems redeemable, though. Great Jewish and disabled rep.

#catsoflitsy @Cinfhen @BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft

Cinfhen This sounds hilarious 😂 and I‘ve attend my fair share of Matzah Balls back in the day 💃🏾🕺🏾💃🏾🕺🏾💃🏾 4mo
Lauredhel @Cinfhen my final verdict is mixed, unfortunately. I liked the Jewish and disability rep, but the boundary pushing tweaked me a fair bit. I would read her again though. 4mo
70 likes1 stack add2 comments
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hissingpotatoes
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Library hold came in! Look at that cover! ❤

Traci1 I just placed this one on hold last night because of the cover. 😁 I have quite a wait, though. 4mo
hissingpotatoes @Traci1 Aw! These days you have to stalk the library catalog and place holds the second the book's record shows up. 😅 4mo
16 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Preciouz29
Pickpick

Gah! It was a mistake to start this just before bed because I just could not stop reading! But it was worth the late night; this is so darn cute! It was like an adorable Hallmark holiday movie and I had all the feels; I laughed, I cried, and everything in between. Also, the author included some great info in ME and lots of cultural info for me to learn more about Judaism.