'Twas the Night Before Christmukkah (The O.C.)
by Andes Hruby
This is the first O.C. book I've read, though it's the seventh O.C. tie-in novel. As far as tie-in novels go, it was all right but certainly not the best I'd ever read. It was cheesy and painfully bad at times... but so was the O.C. It was adorable and charming at times, too, just like the O.C. And, considering the show has been off the air for years, it was fun spending another Christmukkah with the characters.
Even though it was a little tough to squeeze into canon, it takes place after a lot of the drama with Ryan & Marissa, but before... yeah. So everyone's alive and speaking to each other. But there are complexities and some tension.
The general plotline is Seth coming up with an idea for Christmukkah--for each of the kids to become helpers for each of the parents. After a somewhat random draw, Marissa ends up with Sandy, Seth with Jimmy Cooper, Summer with Kirsten, and Ryan (poor baby) with Julie. The light competition is to see which one of them is the best helper. And, of course, they face some doubt, but overcome it and each find their strengths as well as the true meaning of Christmukkah ;-)
I enjoyed a lot of little bits--like Marissa reflecting on things she learned during her time living with Alex and Ryan helping out Julie in unexpected ways. The brief look at Ryan's childhood was a treat, as was the opening scene (yeah, I'm a hurt/comfort junkie).
Definitely a short, fun read this holiday season for people who like the show.