By Angela Maria Hart
Ex-mas is a quick young adult read. It is only 216 pages and it follows the story of Lila Beckwith and her quest to get her little brother back before her parents come home on Christmas Eve. After having just been scolded by her parents for attempting to throw a party in their absence (they were planning to leave for Nevada from California), Lila’s little brother decides he needs to go to the North Pole to save Santa. Brian interweaved his motivation for seeking Santa swimmingly – Lila receives a global warming homework assignment that sparks her imagination to inform her brother that the North Pole is melting. Not only does her little brother run off, but he decides to leave with his best friend, who just happens to be her ex-boyfriend’s little brother.
Lila and her ex-boyfriend, Beau, pair up to chase after their little brothers. Lila broke up with Beau shortly before their sophomore year of high school in an attempt to get in with the popular crowd. She got exactly what she wanted, but she may have lost some of her old friends along the way. Brian wrote some fun one-liners that are guaranteed to make a reader laugh. Her storyline rings true to what YA should be.
Personally, my favorite part was when Lila told her little brother that the polar bears and the entire North Pole was melting away and Santa was pretty much guaranteed to be expelled from his home environment. Being inspired by her homework assignment from science class, Lila thought this was an appropriate measure to take to guarantee her brother a night of worry. I thought it was a funny inclusion.