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Stay Another Day – Juno Dawson

Thank you so much to the publishers and Netgalley for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

The McAllister house on Arboretum Road has seen 120 Christmases since its completion.

This year, FERN is bringing her gorgeous boyfriend home and she wants everything to be perfect.

But her twin brother ROWAN would rather go on the pull than pull crackers with the family.

And their younger sister WILLOW is terrified of Christmas Day.

With FOUR sleeps till Christmas,
THREE secretive siblings,
TWO hot houseguests,
And ONE juicy secret …
This Christmas, there will be some BIG surprises under the tree.

Sometimes at Christmas, you don’t get what you want, you get what you need…

Stay Another Day is the YA Christmas book that we all need in our lives right now. It is chaotic and stressful but it is so entertaining! Juno Dawson is such an incredible author and it is no wonder she is a shining star in the UKYA world. 

Juno Dawson does not shy away from showing her readers the darker side of being a young adult and subjects other authors may be afraid of discussing. Her books look at so many things, LGBTQ+ issues, class dynamics, women’s issues, mental health and a whole lot more. When discussing these things it is done so in a way that does not make her readers feel like children.

I adored the characters in this book. All of them are self-aware and we get to see some really open and honest discussions between them all. The McAllister siblings may be self-centred and battling one another for attention but it means we see characters who feel very real. I feel it was a change to see people with flaws in a YA story and a change I greatly appreciated. None of the siblings are innately nasty but they all have their flaws. We see them be selfish, jealous and react negatively to things without really thinking about consequences. It shows how human these characters are. They are a messy bunch of siblings but Juno Dawson makes you fall in love and root for them all. We can see how much they love one another and it is just wonderful.

There are a lot of supporting characters in this book too and they are all wonderful in their own rights. Syd is such a witty, wise and wonderful character who is never once reduced to their non-binary identity. The insight that they give into mental health and LGBTQ+ issues was inspiring and eye-opening. I would love to see more characters like Syd in YA in the future, those part of the LGBTQ+ living their authentic self without fear.

I think this has to be my favourite book I’ve read from Juno Dawson. I love how chaotic the plot was and how stressful at times it was to read. I love how Juno Dawson discusses mental health in her books so boldly and doesn’t shy away from topics others authors would do. Also, the Christmas element of this book is excellent. It makes you feel nostalgic for Christmases past and look forward for future Christmases. I love the message that no matter what happens new traditions and memories will be made and we will share them with new people. It really brought a smile to my face.

Overall, Stay Another Day has all the joy of Christmas as well as the parts we all have to deal with and don’t enjoy. It has drama, romances, amazing representation and dark humour. If you love all of these things, I cannot recommend this book enough!

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