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Christmas break: the perfect time to get comfy and cozy with some warm pajamas, fuzzy blankets and a cup of hot chocolate. There’s only one thing that could make the relaxation week even better: a good book. FlipSide has some young adult novels full of representation and great stories to curl up by the tree with during this holly jolly time.

“One of Us is Lying” by Karen M. McManus

This murder mystery has more twists than a pack of candy canes. Featuring four high school murder suspects, a dead gossip blogger and a very eventful semester. “One Of Us Is Lying” will have you craving the next word, skipping lines out of pure excitement to get to the next. This book is a mix of everything — high school problems, finding yourself, bad boy good girl romance, and the ever present fear of everyone knowing your deepest secret. This book also has great representation with many characters of color, different sexualities and different home lives. Pick up a copy to keep warm this break with the flow of thrill and adrenaline from each scene.

“Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit” by Jaye Robin Brown

Representation is one of the most important things for teens to have when discovering themselves, and “Georgia Peaches And Other Forbidden Fruit” is one of the most amazing LGBT+ books out there. Scratch that, one of the best books out there, period. This book takes place in a small religious town in Georgia, very similar to many towns here in West Virginia, where an out and proud lesbian daughter has to move with her preacher dad and his new wife. Upon moving, her dad asks her to hide her sexuality in order to protect her and help his radio show. This is such a heartbreaking thing for youth, so it’s great that her experience is written in this book so teens know they aren’t alone in their journeys. It features sexuality, coming out, prejudice, falling in love and the consequences, dealing with a blended family and new marriages, overcoming homophobia, and other messages. Read it, love it, learn it.

“Girls with Sharp Sticks” by Suzanne Young

I have a million words to describe “Girls With Sharp Sticks,” but to put it simply, this book is empowering. Every scene puts fire in hearts and thoughts in heads, and I think everyone, especially young girls, should pick up this book. This book features an all girl boarding school run by all male staff raising them to be the “perfect” idea on what a woman “should be.” Repulsive. Throughout the book, the main characters begin to figure that out, too, and go through the highs and lows of processing what they thought their life was versus what it really is. This book also has great representation with strong female characters, lesbians and women of color. Each word had me hungry for more, craving each letter after the next and refusing to put it down. It felt like I was in the boarding school, experiencing sleazy men with the girls, feeling what they were. The overall theme of girl power and working together with a found family is a great way to get fired up and inspired this Christmas.

“Hush, Hush” by Becca Fitzpatrick

Christmas is all about self-indulgence, and what better way to fill it than a guilty pleasure read. This cheesy romantic thriller about a bad boy fallen angel and the hesitant girl next door contains sweeter than Santa’s cookies scenes as well as blood-chilling, frostbite plot twists. The slow burn romance between the snarky, lovable angel and the sensitive, in-danger main character may get frustrating when all you want is for them to get together, but the fast-paced plot will keep you begging for more. The writing style is amazing and it feels like you are falling in love with the main characters (and you probably will) as they are. While there is more to this series, “Hush, Hush” is the only one worth reading. It ends perfectly all wrapped up in a little bow, and reading the others may just unravel it into a box of coal.

Spend your Christmas break wrapped up in wrapping paper and good plots with these four books, and let FlipSide know what you think! Happy holidays and happy reading.