Holiday Heroine by Sarah Kuhn: Uplifting and Delightful

Nobody loves Christmas like Bea Tanaka—so when her family visits her for a special holiday celebration, she’s beside herself with joy.

 After years of chaos, questionable decisions, and flirtations with the supervillain path, Bea is finally thriving. She’s got a sweet, new gig hunting demons in Maui, she’s working hard to hone her powers, and her big sister Evie is proud of her at last. In fact, everyone is so proud of her that she can’t tell them the truth: she’s feeling lost and adrift. She and her boyfriend Sam Fujikawa are struggling to make their long-distance love work, and her powers are displaying some intriguing new elements—elements that could lead her down an evil, mind-controlling path once more.

 When her family’s holiday visit is disrupted by otherworldly monsters rising out of the Maui ocean, Bea throws herself into the battle—until she’s suddenly and mysteriously transported to the perfect Christmas back in San Francisco, surrounded by her family and an excess of merrymaking.

 As she finds herself trapped in the bizarre holiday rom-com of her nightmares, Bea must unravel a treacherous demon plot, save the world from unspeakable evil, and resist the siren song of a supervillain destiny. And hey, maybe she’ll find time for a little holiday cheer after all….

 

What I like best about Sarah Kuhn’s style with this series is the way she blends fairly serious themes with quirky and unusual heroines. One of the best elements of the sixth book in the series is the chance to hang with Bea Tanaka as she figures out how to believe in herself, believe in her power, and trust that she is a superheroine just like her sister Evie and Aveda. She also learns not to allow others to tell her who she is but to embrace hope, choose love, and break every trope in the book. And in exploring these themes, Sarah Kuhn has created an uplifting and delightful story. 

Bea Tanaka is fun and emotional. I love that part of her journey is embracing her emotions, learning that it’s okay to trust those around you, ask for help when you need it and even that she struggles with the complexities of adulthood. I feel like most women can embrace these issues. I know I have always had a hard time letting go and asking for help, not being 100% in charge all the time and this novel in particular spoke to me, especially as Bea starts out trying to be perfect and tamp down on who her genuine self is. I think more people need to trust themselves and embrace what makes them unique. 

There is also mad sexy romance, loving friends, and warm family moments, both born family and found family. The story is adventurous but it is the emotional ties that resonate with me. This book is glittery, crazy fun but most of all uplifting and delightful because it revolves around love, joy, and hope, just like Christmas and other holidays with family. If you love family, along with demons and magical adventures, check out this book, along with the rest of the series. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 Kaiju

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