I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.North Pole Reform School by Jaimie Admans
Series: Stand Alone
on November 6, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Holiday, Romance, Young Adult
Mistletoe Bell hates Christmas. So would you if you had a name like hers. Her Christmas-mad parents make the festive season last all year, and with another Christmas looming, Mis doesn’t think she can take any more. After her carelessness causes an accident at school, it seems like things can’t get any worse.
Then she wakes up to find The Ghost of Christmases Ruined in her bedroom.
She is taken to the North Pole, to a reform school run by elves determined to make her love Christmas. Stuck in a misfit group of fellow Christmas-haters with a motley crew of the weird and even weirder, watched over by elves day and night, she doesn’t expect to meet cute and funny Luke, who is hiding a vulnerable side beneath his sarcastic exterior. She doesn’t expect to fall in love with him.
But all is not as it should be at the North Pole. A certain Mr Claus is making the elves’ lives a misery, and pretty soon Mistletoe and Luke are doing more than just learning to like Christmas.
A YA romantic comedy in which Santa is the bad guy, teaching reindeer to fly is on the curriculum, and zombies have a fondness for Christmas music.
Suitable for older teens and upwards due to bad language.
My Initial Reaction…
North Pole Reform School was my first holiday read of the season and what a way to kick it off! I was laughing pretty much non-stop and was surprised by the number of heartfelt moments that had me tearing up a little too. A thoroughly fun read to get you into the holiday spirit!
The story is told from the perspective of Mistletoe Bell, who was born on Christmas Eve 17 years ago and has gradually grown to hate Christmas. With a name like that she was doomed to either love it or hate it, right? As you may have guessed her parents adore Christmas and her father spends every year working as a department store Santa. Mistletoe resents that he spends Christmas away from the family and that her birthday gets swallowed up by the holiday and basically hates Christmas. Which is why she’s been sent, by a purple moose who visits her while she’s sleeping, to North Pole Reform School. I liked Misty from the get go. She has a smart mouth and snarky sense of humor that I love. And she really cares about people, something we get to see as the story progresses. I wouldn’t say that she really changes that much as a character; she’s always been a good person, she just never understood what Christmas could mean to some people and needs to learn it.
Luke is the other character we get to know best, as he’s Mistletoe’s Reform School partner. He’s in college and, like everyone there, has his own set of reasons for disliking Christmas and his own offences. I enjoyed the banter between him and Mistletoe as they commiserate and gripe together, in their fun, snarky way. Getting to know him was a lot of fun and there were some touching moments. The romance that builds between him and Mistletoe isn’t anything complex or mindblowing, but it’s pleasant to see two characters grow from strangers, to friends, to the possibility of something more.
All the other characters at North Pole Reform school are brilliantly fun to read. The elves are just hilarious, complete with a variety of different personalities and wacky, non-sensical sayings sure to put a grin on your face. The other reform students were a fun addition. Joe is the character you love to hate. Duck-lady (whose name I forget, because I seriously can’t think of her any other way) is hilarious. Hugo was a bit heartbreaking, but also funny at moments. There’s no way you can’t enjoy reading about these wacky characters!
The premise of North Pole Reform School is that this year’s five reform students have been ruining Christmas for other people and that’s crossing the line for the elves. You can hate Christmas if you want, but you can’t ruin it for other people. So they’ve been swept away while sleeping one night and basically are being held prisoner in the North Pole, where they will learn to appreciate what Christmas means to other people and maybe even learn to like it themselves. They can’t leave until they figure that out – so the challenge for them is to grin and bear it. Or escape, but since they’re in a virtual snow globe surrounded by zombies, that will be tough. Yep – I said snow globe and zombies… read it to find out what I mean 🙂
The North Pole that Jaimie Admans created is just too much fun. We get to see all the different jobs elves do to make Christmas a success every year and the way that the live. I absolutely loved seeing Mistletoe and Luke work their way through the different stations – favorite moments were when they taught the reindeer to fly and helped answer letter to Santa – but really every station was fun to read about. Although I’d definitely classify this as a book to make you laugh, I was surprised by some seriously touching moments that popped up throughout that made me tear up a little.
In a way, Jaimie puts us all through Reform School with this book. I mean I love Christmas, but it’s easy to forget how lucky you are and what Christmas might mean for those less fortunate than you — and this book manages to remind you of that too. I’m actually tearing up a little writing this, just thinking about some of the kids in this book – because despite being fictional, you know the scenarios she wrote about are all too true.I absolutely recommend North Pole Reform School to everyone, it was just such a great, quick, fun read that’s guaranteed to put your in the holiday spirit!
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