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The Holiday Detour

2.99  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Sometimes it takes everything going wrong to make you see how right things are.
Dana Gottfried is a stressed-out Jewish lesbian who’s just quit her job and wants to get home to see her grandmother. When her car breaks down in Indiana on Christmas Eve, Dana is stranded—until she’s rescued by Charlie, a pig farmer who doesn’t identify as male or female. Although they come fro
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 1st 2020 by Bold Strokes Books
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Average rating 2.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  73 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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Lex Kent
2.75 Stars. I thought this was a slightly below average debut. I hate being the first to review a book when it doesn’t really mesh well with my personal tastes. I do like holiday books, and I’m getting more into contemporary romances, but this one had more of a fun, almost rom-com feel that doesn’t always work for me. I tell people my funny bone is broken so I don’t always click with humor reads. With this book I had trouble realizing if parts were supposed to be funny or not. This didn’t have t ...more
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
I was really excited for this road trip romance featuring a Jewish lesbian and her genderqueer knight in shining armor who picks her up from the side of the road when her car breaks down. But, alas, it wasn't exactly what I was expecting.

Even after I finished the book, I'm not sure if it was supposed to be funny or not. Was it?? There were scenes that were bizarrely written with over-sized reactions and odd conversations, and I'm not sure if that was the author writing humor. In fact, the way t
Content warnings: misgendering from main character and minor character, car accident, recalling parental loss

As someone who is both genderqueer and sapphic, The Holiday Detour is very difficult for me to review. I wanted to love it so badly but I didn’t. I appreciate Kolven writing a sapphic story featuring an f/gq relationship however, so I rounded up my rating. There are too many issues that kept me from fully enjoying the story, but it was nonetheless chaotically entertaining.

On Christmas Eve
Aug 24, 2020 rated it liked it
This story has been a bit silly. It's simple because it's about a car trip between two cities that are about 5 hours apart, but given the circumstances in which the two protagonists face it, it seems like a much longer trip. And the two protagonists are also somewhat strange, regardless of their sexuality. Dana is a woman who has decided to turn her life around, has left her job and is on her way to her grandmother's house to spend the Christmas holidays and decide what to do. But her car breaks ...more
Aug 29, 2020 rated it liked it
It was Christmas Eve and Dana, 32, was driving to see her Nana. Unfortunately, her car broke down. But fortunately for Dana, Charlie, a genderqueer, came to her rescue. It was the beginning of a series of unlucky events that eventually led to an extremely quick love connection.

This story had a rom com feel to it, which I thought I would like, but the shenanigans seemed to be too much. This was especially true when Charlie’s ex girlfriend was introduced and lies, deception, and outrageous behavi
I thoroughly enjoyed Jane Kolven’s debut novel The Holiday Detour. The quirky MC is facing some big life changes, and we get an inside view of her thoughts and feelings as she processes them all. A journey of self knowledge, told in a fun and light-hearted way, I’m looking forward to more by this talented author.

a copy of The Holiday Detour was provided by NetGalley for the purpose of my honest review
2.75 stars for this Holiday Road trip story. This is a debut novel. I wonder if they published it midsummer so it wouldn't get lost in the onslaught of new and old holiday books?

This is about Dana Gottfried, a Jewish lesbian determined to get to home to see her Grandmother (Nana) for Christmas Eve. Unless I missed it, she doesn’t explain why she didn’t visit during Hanukkah a couple weeks earlier. Dana is driving from Cleveland to Highland Park, Illinois (near Chicago). And as many road trip boo
Jo reece
Sep 05, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm not really sure about this book. It was a bit daft and had all the traits of a cheesy Christmas film. The story is set around a few days and I feel like too much was tried to squeeze into the story line.

The characters don't seem to have a romantic spark. But the author touch's the subject of Pronouns discrimination and family acceptance.
The story is about Dana, who's decided quit her job around Christmas time and go back home to live with Nana, but on the journey home things don't go smoot
Sep 16, 2020 rated it liked it
This was what I’d describe as a quick read page turner. The main part of the story took place over less than 24 hours giving it a road trip caper movie kind of vibe and making me want to know what would happen next. In the moment I quite enjoyed the craziness of the storyline and the genderqueer representation, but after dwelling for a little while before writing this review I feel somewhat differently, so it’s possible that there are many people out there who will feel differently to me.

Dana is
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

You'd think with a cute ass cover and title that I would absolutely fall head over heals for this. Yet, I didn't. Okay, so in the beginning The Holiday Detour was a bit cute. I can't and wont lie about that little tidbit. It's just that things went downhill after that and ugh, I just got frustrated.

In it, you will meet Dana and Charlie. Eh, they were okay. I honestly can't say I have a favorite out of the two because things
The premise of this is super cute, a girl trying to get home to her Nana for Christmas and she has a sort of meet cute with a kind person who helps her with her journey. I was excited that one character is lesbian and Jewish and the other is genderqueer, but unfortunately it didn't play out well.

Our main character Dana was rude, bratty, and transphobic. She called Charlie by the wrong pronouns, even after Charlie told her they went by they/them. She freaked out when Charlie used the women's bat
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtq-read
This could have been a really cute LGBT holiday romance but unfortunately, the writing completely ruined it for me.

I wanted to love this book. I mean, how could I not? A lesbian jewish character trying to go home to her grandmother for Christmas and a genderqueer character who was kind enough to help Dana when her car broke down. What's not to love, right? Well... plenty. First, the dialogues. They were so bad and Dana kept being a brat. She said things like "Your car looks so stupid," or "I do
Riya Reads
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Well, being stuck indoors due to COVID-19, reading about books having road trips is my comfort for now. I was planning to vicariously go on this roadtrip through the book.

Dana Gottfried quits her job and decides to visit her Grandma for Christmas who stays in Chicago.
Dana hates long car rides aka roadtrips. But in the last minute she has no other option but to drive from Cleveland to Chicago. She begins her dreadful journey and soon suffers a misadventure when her car breaks down when she isn'
Dana Gottfried meets Charlie after her car breaks down on her way home to visit her grandmother in Chicago for Christmas. She is saved by Charlie who uses the pronouns they and them. Charlie is also from Chicago and has decided to give Dana a ride to her grandmothers house. The ride home becomes an adventure that neither are looking for and Dana worries she will not make it home in time for Christmas.

I struggle with what to write about this one. Let me start by saying that the characters in thi
Nov 18, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book pissed me off so much that I bailed almost a quarter of the way in. As a genderqueer woman, I cannot recommend it and I regret picking it up in the first place. I was so mad about this book that I rage wrote the whole review on my phone while laying in bed, because this was supposed to be my fun bedtime read. You know you’re mad when you’re willing to write a whole ass review with just your thumbs.

Full review:
I was so excited to pick The Holiday Detour up because Christmas is my favourite holiday and there's genderqueer and Jewish rep in here, but I was sorely disappointed. The book follows Dana, who, on Christmas Eve, is making the journey home to be with her grandmother. However, on her way there her car completely breaks down at the side of the road. Luckily, Charlie, a pig farmer, is there to help her out and offers her a ride home, but not without some diversions on the way. Admittedly, this boo ...more
So, this person is the one? This is a read about family, friendship, and finding self. Dana Gottfried is an uncertain individual looking for who knows what. She does love her grandmother and would like to spend more time with her. Charlie Barlow is a research scientist with a focus on pigs. Dana and Charlie meet on the road when Charlie pulls over to help Dana. She needs help because her car broke down. Dana likes Charlie from the start. As readers, we are unsure how Charlie feels because the st ...more
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs, lgbtqia
2.5 ⭐️

This book was pretty disappointing if I’m being honest. I LOVE holiday romances (just ask my fiancée - I’ll happily watch the Hallmark channel any month of the year 🎄😍), but I felt like the premise of this book was far too constraining for what the author wanted to achieve. It’s a shame because not only do I harbor a deep love for the holidays, but I also adore road trips, so it was disappointing to see the featured route be so short and dull. As someone who lives in Chicago and routinely
Sep 01, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. Dana Gottfried is stressed out about return home to her grandmother for Christmas. She starts making the drive from Cleveland to Chicago when her car breaks down. When a friendly stranger, Charlie, a pig farmer, offers to help her, she can't resist. She is instantly attracted to Charlie and would love to spend more time getting to know this stranger headed to Chicago too. When Charlie's car gets towed and nothing seems to go right on their trip, it seems as though the world is against ...more
Cheryl S
Oct 08, 2020 rated it liked it
3 star
Im glad this was a debut so the author can only get better.
The premise was clever....genderqueer gives a ride to young jewish girl. Great setup for a rom com but it just missed for me. I didn't like the main character, Dana. She kept saying inappropriate things. And talk about insta 2 days?
As I said, the author can only get better, and Im sure she will. Maybe you dont need quite so many oddities and happening in one story.
Sep 10, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
Either my expectations were too high or something just didn’t translate well from the description to the actual writing. The events in the description “But the journey home is paved with detours. From car accidents to scheming ex-girlfriends to a snowy and deserted Chicago Loop, everything that could go wrong on their road trip does, but it leads Dana on a path of self-discovery that just might end in love” does all occur, but I thought it was going to be more adventurous than it turned out to b ...more
The Lesbian Book Blog
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Holiday Detour had me with its opening scene and it didn’t let go until it’s very end. Jane Kolven knows the importance of a hook and uses it most effectively. One is immediately engaged in this charming romance and motivated to keep turning pages late into the night. Her entertaining storytelling is filled with energy and smiles throughout. At its conclusion, readers will most certainly be searching for Kolven’s next book. Fortunately, readers won’t have to wait too long; her next book, the ...more
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
You have insta love and you have The Holiday Detour, insta love is nothing compared to The Holiday Detour.

Dana is on her way from Cleveland to Chicago when her car breaks down on the interstate, as her luck would have it her phone battery is dead as well. Stuck on the interstate without any idea what to do she lucks out when Charlie drives by and helps her out. Together they embark on a road trip to Chicago. On the way, Dana rambles on about many things, one topic is her being a lesbian. Charlie
Aug 29, 2020 rated it liked it
The Holiday Detour by Jane Kolven is a semi-road trip romance that follows our down on her luck protagonist as she faces seemingly never ending hurdles to try and reach home to spend Christmas with her Jewish grandmother. Dana is a lesbian woman trying to do anything to spend the holidays with the only family she has. Driving from Cleveland to the burbs of Chicago by herself, the first obstacle she encounters is her car breaking down on the side of the road and it only spirals from there.
She l
Aug 26, 2020 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this. The plot and the actual writing were okay, if a bit confusing at times. Not particularly memorable, but not worth a critique. I never came around to liking Dana or Charlie. Neither seemed to have much depth, to the point where a few adjectives could describe their characters. Dana was especially disappointing, which is unfortunate when the story happens to be told from her perspective. While some concession must be made when she's having one of the worst days of ...more
Sep 05, 2020 rated it liked it
The Holiday Detour by Jane Kolven // ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to @netgalley and @boldstrokesbooks for the eARC! The Holiday Tour is out 9/15 ✨

“Dana Gottfried is a stressed-out Jewish lesbian who’s just quit her job and wants to get home to see her grandmother. When her car breaks down in Indiana on Christmas Eve, Dana is stranded—until she’s rescued by Charlie, a pig farmer who doesn’t identify as male or female. Although they come from different worlds, Dana is intrigued by Charlie’s sense of humor an
Aleana Harris
Aug 28, 2020 rated it liked it
I’m all for instant love romance but this was a bit to instant.

Dana just quit her job have been stressing out so she decide to go see her grandmother during Christmas holiday even though they don’t celebrate it.

While on the road her car breaks down there she meets Charlie who helps her but when the car can’t be fixed Charlie offers her a ride.

I like both characters I like that Dana just say what on her mind even if your like what most of the times. I think I would’ve like their romance if it
I really enjoyed reading a book with a genderqueer (non-binary, although never said) main character. I identify as non-binary and read a ton of "f/f" books and deeply want more non-binary representation.

I liked the bits that dealt with Charlie. Unfortunately I didn't really like Dana.

The plot itself was too much too fast. I get that it was a chaotic adventure/misadventure, but it didn't quite work for me. The insta-(almost) love was too fast for me.
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book was a little odd for me. The couple meets and instantly falls in love all with in a very shirt time frame. I get insta love, but this one seemed wicked fast!
And Dana was trying to get home for Christmas, even though they don't celebrate, so why the rush? Take your time and go home for New Years instead!!
Sumedha (the wordy habitat)
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs
1.5 stars
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Jane Kolven is an author of contemporary, fun LGBTQ romances. She is proud to create stories that show a variety of LGBTQ people finding happiness—because everyone deserves love. Jane currently lives in Michigan with her wife and their pets.

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