Talk Santa to Me: Lina Urban’s cute Christmas comedy

Hadyn Nuttall, Sports/Entertainment Editor

   15-year-old Frankincense– Francie– Wood needs to buy a car, impress her boss, and learn how to kiss, stat. 

   Buying her uncle’s Mazda Miata is essential to the survival of Francie’s friendship with her best friend Alice. Since they no longer go to the same school, Francie feels a growing divide between them. But the Miata will fix everything and she’s saving every last penny to buy it. The Miata means freedom, autonomy and friendship. 

   This year Francie is finally old enough to work at her family’s Christmas store in their town of Hollydale, Illinois. Francie knows Christmas, and the store, like the back of her hand. She was raised on it. But things at the store are not going smoothly. Following her Grampa Chris’ recent death, Francie’s dad has had to take over running the business Grampa Chris started and they’re struggling to turn a profit. Francie’s Aunt Carole has stepped in to help but she seems set on making Francie’s life difficult. Francie has a new embarrassing holiday uniform to wear every week and Aunt Carole doesn’t take her seriously as an employee and puts her on probation. 

   On top of all that Francie has a crush on the cute boy in her Mythology class, Hector Ramirez. As they become better friends with whispers of more, will Francie be able to move past her haunting first kiss and its social repercussions? Years ago the boy Francie first kissed told everyone she was a bad kisser and she’s been bullied for it ever since. Now she’s worried her lack of kissing expertise will ruin everything with Hector. 

   Everything gets crazier when Francie becomes widely known as Santa’s Intern and has endless letters to respond to in order to keep Christmas alive for the children of Hollydale– even the rest of Illinois. Francie enlists the help of Alice and Hector to spread Christmas cheer and she and Hector grow closer.

   Will Francie’s efforts be enough? Will she get the car, the job, and the boy of her dreams? 

   If you’re looking for a Hallmark movie in a book, this is it. It’s a fun read full of Christmas spirit and is perfect for the holiday break. The characters are charming and draw you into their world. Francie’s spunk and energy drive the story and you can’t help but root for her as she works to find herself as a teenager and experiences the growing pains of youth. 

   Full of Christmas puns, Francie’s wit, and hilarious situations, “Talk Santa to Me” is a good book for a laugh. This book feels real and relatable as Urban masterfully creates strong emotional connections that address the real insecurities and experiences of every teenager alongside the giddy feelings of a blossoming romance. 

   This holiday (and any time of the year) fall in love with Francie as she falls for the boy and faces the challenges of grief, worry over her family’s store, and a changing friendship. Francie will fill you with the holiday spirit as she does for the children of Hollydale through letters from Santa’s intern and service in her community. “Talk Santa to Me” is heartfelt and humorous and reminds us of the important parts of Christmas, the giving spirit, cheerful festivity, and the way the holiday brings people together.