The Holiday Detour by Jane Kolven

It’s a wonderful read about respect and genderqueer representation.

What was the book about?
Dana Gottfried is so tired of her stressful job, so she suddenly quits. Deciding to head to a safe place, she starts the journey home to see her grandmother for Christmas. To her misfortune, her car breaks down and leaves her stranded on Christmas Eve. With her cell phone dead, hopes plummeted. When an offer of help appears, she accepts with hesitation. Desperate, she has no choice but to put her trust in a stranger.

Charlie turns out to be a very kind person with a particular sense of humour. Charlie is a pig researcher and identifies as a nonbinary person. Dana is fascinated by them; she will discover this will be more than a journey home, but a journey of self-discovery. It’sIt’s a trip full of detours and everything that could go wrong does. Will they be able to sort out the obstacles and finish the trip?

Featured Tropes
genderqueer, romance, humour, nonbinary, lesbian

Book Strengths
The beginning was interesting, even when, at first, I wouldn’t say I liked Dana for being a tad rude and disrespectful with Charlie. I kept reading because I knew there was a lot more to discover in this book. And I am glad I did; I liked the story and enjoyed their journey very much. The journey was not just a road trip but one of self-discovery. There is an important message to understand in the book. It is a statement that we all can learn from.

If we’re quick to judge Dana and be insulted by her attitude and actions in the first chapters, we’re losing an opportunity. We must understand that, like Dana, many people don’t know what being genderqueer means; some will learn, some won’t, it is part of life. But it is crucial to understand this happens in the real world and what kind of education is needed. I believe, in the end, Dana did redeem herself.

It is not an easy book, and for sure, it will work for some, but not for others. But I consider the book deserves a chance to be read until the end; if not, the beginning can be misjudged, which can cause misplaced judgement.

I will admit that I was mad at Dana in the beginning, but she did redeem herself. This is revealed at the end, making it essential to read the book to the end before making a judgment. Also, a genderqueer relationship was a new experience for Dana, and she asked questions, which is an excellent first step. I think in the end, we all can learn from Dana and Charlie.

Book weaknesses
Dana is a bit harsh with her words toward Charlie can be considered disrespectful because she keeps ignoring Charlie’sCharlie’s pronouns. It did bother me at the beginning. But we got to understand the circumstances, and Dana was in a learning process. It gets better, though; she redeems herself.

Character Chemistry
Both characters are very different, but despite everything, it is easy to feel their chemistry and closeness, which only got more robust as their time together increased. This is a reason why for me, the instant love in this story works, not only because I know it happens, but because I could feel how everything they went through lead them to get to know each other profoundly. Therefore it is easy to understand how easily strong feelings develop in a short time.

Wrap up
There are positive things to consider in this book about genderqueer representation. These stories are necessary to educate. The story leaves you with a message about making mistakes when knowledge or sensitising lacks. This book shows the importance of a learning process, a lesson about respect, and a call on how much we need more education not only outside but within the LGBTAQ+ community.


Would you like to grab a copy?

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