BLOGMAS 2021 | REVIEW: Home Shopped Holiday by

Published: 17th December 2020

Publisher: Audible Originals

Pages: Unknown. Currently only released as an audiobook that runs for 1 hour 51 minutes.

Format: Audiobook (part of the Audible Plus Catalogue)

RRP: $20.95 AUD for non-audible subscription members/Free as part of the Audible Plus catalogue.

2/5 Stars

Can you fall in love while operators are standing by? Kevin’s a widower doctor with a precocious 12-year-old. He’s just met Mary, his daughter’s substitute teacher, who is experiencing her first Christmas without her beloved mother. As the holiday season ramps up, the twosome is unaware they’re also both in hot pursuit of a limited edition poinsettia angel being sold on their favorite television shopping channel.

For those seeking a Christmas rom-com that leaves you feeling merry and bright.

If you saw my November Wrap Up posted a couple of days ago, you would know this audiobook missed the mark for me slightly. Was it terrible? Not entirely. Was it fun? I guess. Is it a cute romance? For sure. Am I glad I listened to it? Yeah. Do I recommend it? Unfortunately … no.

For the time being, Home Shopped Holiday is only available as an audiobook, and Audible studios have spent a small fortune turning this into the ultimate festive romance novella. Featuring a full cast of narrators including Ron Butler, L J Ganser, Brine Palencia, Chris Kipiniak, Mia Jenness, Ann Osmond, Therese Plummer, Lauren Fortgang, Brittany Pressley, Suzanne Toren, Allison Hiroto and Ali Ahn and using an array of background ambient noises (doors opening and closing, car sounds etc) to enhance the reading experience, I should have loved this book. I wanted to love this book, because the whole premise sounded cute, possible a little cliche, but what Christmas read isn’t really? However, Home Shopped Holiday was perhaps my most disappointing read of last month.

As you can see above, there are a lot of narrators for this book. Perhaps too many. While I loved the multi-narrated audiobook of Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid and Sadie by Courtney Summers, the casting felt a bit flat for me this time. Don’t get me wrong, all of the narrators on their own were brilliant. They annunciated clearly, and there was real emotion in their voices at times. Together however it was too much. Honestly, I did not even realise there were twelve narrators for this book. I thought maybe five or six at most! I, unfortunately, found too many of the narrators sounded similar that it was unclear as to who was talking at various points. This immediately took me out of the moment and out of the story, as I struggled to work out if it was Mary or Kevin’s sister talking for example.

While the above issue was a bit confusing, my biggest reason for not being able to recommend this particular festive read is the writing. The entire story is dialogue. And only dialogue. This makes the audiobook feel more like a podcast, with a group of friends chatting about random topics than an actual narrative with a plot being read, and acted, aloud to you. There was no story building, no description, barely any context and almost no story being conveyed. The whole one hour and fifty-one minutes was jarring because of this. The time jumps were hard to recognise, as we switched between characters, families, settings, and even days at different times.

The romance itself is the story here, and it’s honestly a pretty cute concept. Our hero Kevin, is a single father struggling to adjust to life as a single parent one year after his wife’s passing and unexpectedly finds himself falling in love with his daughter’s school teacher, Mary. The secondary romance between our heroine’s father and his leading lady closely follows the main storyline, and was thus potential overkill, albeit I did love hearing about their relationship development and it was refreshing to see Mary react so naturally to it. All of that said, I didn’t find any of the relationships, except that between Mary and her father, developed. With no context, and zero references to it, Mary confides in her colleague that she is in love with two people; the first being Kevin, the father of one her students and the second being a man she heard call in to the Home Shopped Holiday TV show and exchanged a total of like two emails with? It just didn’t make sense to me.

All of that said, I can see the appeal of this narrative for other readers. Reading through reviews left on Audible, I can see that many readers did in fact love this book, and I’m glad it’s finding its market. I think readers who are looking for a quick and easy romance will love this book, however, regular romance readers will find it lacking in parts and seasoned audiobook listeners might be turned away by it’s editing. I did really enjoy the concept and premise of this book, but ultimately this one just wasn’t for me.

To purchase a copy of Home Shopped Holiday, visit Audible’s website:

Audible Australia | Audible USA

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