Book Review – Approximately Yours by Julie Hammerle

This Christmas young adult romance was, surprisingly, exactly what I’ve been looking for! Remember how I mentioned a while back that I’ve been searching for a great Christmas romance? I can’t say that this was perfect, but it was pretty dang close. And it takes place in Minnesota, which holds such a special place in my heart!

In Approximately Yours, Danny Garland’s high school basketball career is over, all because of an ill-timed attempt to dunk to impress a local newspaper reporter. On top of that, he catches his longtime girlfriend cheating on him with the student athletic trainer! He’s down in the dumps, and North Pole, Minnesota is headed right into the Christmas season with no regard to Danny’s feelings on the matter. One day he’s working at the coffee shop his family owns, and in walk the Page girls…

Holly Page hasn’t been back to North Pole in years, and the reason she’s back this year isn’t a great one – her grandmother passed away, and the family is in town to pack up her things and sell the house she lived in. One of the reasons Holly has been avoiding coming back? Her longtime crush on boy next door Danny Garland. But Danny obviously has a girlfriend, so when they meet up again for the first time in eight years in the coffee shop his family runs, she’s disappointed. And then… when Danny no longer has a girlfriend, he’s interested in Holly’s cousin, Elda. So… Holly helps Elda get with Danny, pretending she doesn’t have feelings for him at all.

Fate has other plans.

approximately yours

3 Things I Loved

  1. Holly. She was super dumb at times when it came to Danny, but Holly was a funny, spunky protagonist and I was on Team Holly from the very first time she’s introduced in the story. Such a relatable character, and someone I’d love to be friends with, someone with real dreams and goals and a killer work ethic.
  2. Danny. Again… he was super dumb a lot of the time when it came to Holly and Elda, but I still loved his character a lot. He was a suitable love interest for someone like Holly, and it was nice to read a story where the cool guy was actually a closet nerd at heart.
  3. North Pole. THIS TOWN! I loved this town! Not only is it in Minnesota, but it’s quirky and very Stars Hollow! I think this was the last book in the North Pole series, so I’ll have to find the first two and read those too!

Dislikes/Problematic Content

So this is normally where I rip apart the books I read for being super white and super heteronormative, but this one was different. The characters weren’t really described, and their features weren’t discussed in a way that referred to race, for the most part. Like, the character named Dinesh was described in the same way as the character named Craig – by the quirky way he dressed, and nothing more. I really liked that! It was still super heteronormative, but you’ve got to start somewhere. I need to read more gay romances, I’m telling ya…

Aside from that, the only thing I didn’t love was that, throughout most of the book, Danny was convincing himself that he had to change who he was for someone to like him. And while that was rectified by the end of the book, I didn’t love the narrative. This is a young adult romance – we need to make sure that young adults know that they’ll be loved for exactly who they are, even if it doesn’t always seem like it. You know?


A reminder of the rating scale:

  • Red = DNF, I hated everything
  • Orange = Ugh, no thank you
  • Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
  • Green = This was good! 
  • Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
  • Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!

I flew through this book, and actually really enjoyed it! It was quirky and cute and funny and I want to read the rest of the series because the town was so enjoyable. I’m giving Approximately Yours a GREEN rating! Cute and kitschy, which is just my style.

Thank you to Entangled and to NetGalley for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Sorry I’m so late, but I got there eventually.

Happy reading!

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