*I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher. This has in no way influenced my review.*
Don’t let this book fool you—from the cover and blurb, it seems like it’s just going to be silly and sexy and campy, but, while it may in fact have Dickens twirling in his grave, it’s actually very touching and meaningful.
This book was far more emotional than it was funny. I only laughed maybe twice, but, while I can’t say I cried either, I really felt for all these characters. I felt terrible for Willie, who was taking care of his mother with dementia and being heartsick over Ebbie. I felt terrible for Barley, who loved Ebbie but died knowing Ebbie was only using him for his money. I felt terrible for Wendy, who was suffering from an unknown illness, and her mother, who was struggling to pay for everything and help her daughter. I felt terrible for young Ebbie, who was treated horribly by his family and his whole town for being gay. I even felt terrible for current Ebbie as he started realizing what a terrible person he was and was ashamed of himself because, even though he hurt people and did selfish things, I understood his motivation (I’m not excusing his actions, simply saying I understand why he became that way), and he was learning and growing and willing to see the error of his ways.
But even though there was a lot of sad and serious stuff, this was not a sad book. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say there’s a happy ending since you’d have to be living under a rock to not know that Ebenezer Scrooge becomes a changed man by the end of the original A Christmas Carol story, and thus Ebbie Scrudge becomes a changed man by the end this retelling. In fact, the ending was rather sappy, and the romance moved rather quickly and suddenly, but I can’t even complain because that’s really the only ending that would’ve been right.
It was also kind of fun how the author used a witty omniscient narration style, similar to the original. And even though in most cases I don’t like omniscient, it worked here and didn’t make me feel any less connected to the characters.
So overall, this was a modern and fun but still sweet and touching retelling that I absolutely recommend and really enjoyed reading!
M/M readers looking for a sweet and touching story about love and redemption. Anyone looking for a modern and/or M/M A Christmas Carol retelling.