James Kennedy has crafted a premise and a novel that starts in one place, and ends up somewhere completely and utterly different. It only takes 300 pages but it works perfectly and at no point does it feel rushed, or like anything is missing. We follow our narrator in across almost his entire life. Intertwined with the present day parts are bits and pieces from his past. It ranges from Physics camp with his new best friend, days out with his ex-girlfriend and affairs while he travels. Every moment is important, every moment somehow leads into that ending. You get something entirely different to what the blurb promises, but in the best possible way.
Secret Santa was a blast to read, short, but an interesting YA paranormal mystery. This 216 pages novella mixed the spirit of Christmas with the mysteries of a demonized doll and peppered it with a dose of humour. The principal character, Lussi, was well developed — we had a great sense of who she was — her reasoning. This made the ride all the sweeter. I especially loved the publishing world backstory, which represented a proper setup for the narrative.