Book Reviews

Review: The Christmas Clash by Suzanne Park

Christmas has come early y’all! The Christmas Clash is a delightful rivals to lovers YA contemporary. Full of delicious food, it’s a story about saving our family and confronting our fears. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Who’s naughty and nice at Riverwood Mall? In this hilarious holiday rom-com, two rivals get together to save their families’ livelihoods, and Christmas, too!

Chloe Kwon can’t stand Peter Li. It’s always been that way. Their families don’t get along either: their parents operate rival restaurants in the Riverwood Mall food court―Korean food for the Kwons and Chinese food for the Lis. Now it’s the holiday season and Chloe’s the photographer at the mall’s Santa Land, and Peter works at the virtual reality North Pole experience right across the atrium. It’s all Chloe can do to avoid Peter’s smug, incredibly photogenic face.

But it turns out the mall is about to be sold to a developer and demolished for condos. Eviction notices are being handed out right before Christmas. Their parents don’t know what to do, and soon Chloe and Peter realize that the two of them need to join efforts to try to save the mall. Just when it seems like they can put aside their differences and work closely (very closely) together, they discover that the Kwon and Li feud goes far deeper than either of them realize…


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I’m a huge fan of Suzanne Park’s books and The Christmas Clash is precious new addition. This romance takes place – you guessed it – around Christmas. And so while I definitely enjoyed the Christmas touches all the way from nostalgic songs to mall exhibits, the story is about a rivalry and two teens who might have to team up to save both their families. I enjoyed reading The Christmas Clash maybe because of my delightful nostalgia in mall exhibits and holiday displays – which are becoming a thing of the past now. My own local mall which used to be the place to be, has become a ghost town even if I visit every time I go home.

So while I have zero percent relatability to running a mall food court restaurant, this hit an unexpected sweet spot. The Christmas Clash goes further to tell a story about hidden history, complicated sibling relationships, and family. It’s dual POV which allows us to see behind both sides of this feud: Chloe and Peter. With rivalry which seems to consume their family, can Chloe and Peter find common ground to save their family’s businesses? There are some seriously mouth watering scenes which made me itching for some good homemade food.

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On the surface The Christmas Clash is about trust and friendship. About what happens when someone betrays us, loses our trust, and hurts us. But deeper than that, Park takes Peter and Chloe on a journey where they have to fight for their future. To explore their own hidden secrets and desires. While I felt – maybe a bit biased-ly – that Chloe got more character development, I enjoyed The Christmas Clash as a feel good holiday themed contemporary. Find The Christmas Clash on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite holiday themed story?

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