Book Review: The Sh!te Before Christmas By Serena Terry


Christmas time, toddler meltdowns, teenage angst, marriage problems and WINE.

This year, the perfect Christmas is going to take a miracle…

Twas the sh!te before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except for … mum!

Like every mum, Tara wants a perfect Christmas for her family – but no-one else is lifting a finger and she’s losing her elf-ing mind. From the kids behaving badly (vaping! Potty training! The Nativity!), to a distracted husband acting very out of character, the last straw is Tara’s glamorous, feckless, boundary-less mother moving herself back in for the holidays.

Can Tara pull off the holly jolly Christmas of her dreams? Will she deck the halls and not her family? Or is this a Christmas catastrophe waiting to happen?


This novel is the second in the series by this author.

Background to the location if anyone picking this up is not a “local” :

These novels are set in the classified area if you search for it as Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland. Locals would have opinions on the way the above is written however for anyone that is not a local it can be super confusing when they hear one way or another. The area is in the Northern part therefore it is legally Northern Ireland. It is incorrect to say Ireland as another reviewer has done as there is a “Derry” in Sligo which is in Ireland not Northern Ireland. A book is released for people hopefully all over the world and not just locals.

Hilarious and full of laugh-out-loud moments. This novel has lived up to its expectations from the first novel in the series. You do not necessarily need to read the first one in order to read the second. However, the only thing I can possibly fault is that usually when there’s a second in a series, authors usually explain all of the characters as their mentioned and things that happened in the previous book briefly however, I felt those elements could have been stronger within this one.

Apart from that, we see a mother who is pregnant with her fourth child, tackling life and the daily struggles I mean tasks that has on a person who also works, juggling family life and so forth. I felt overwhelmed for her throughout as she is dealing with so much yet managed to keep her cool especially with her seemingly sexist boss.

With her husband, teenage daughter, friends all behaving out of character and being so close to give birth again, Tara is feeling very isolated and confused. I find that she deals with all of this so well. I admire how hard-working she is and her strength to keep her cool throughout each situation.

She manages to laugh or have a smart remark that makes the reader laugh out loud.
I really enjoyed the hilarious situations that later occur and help her relationships with people thrive. Some of these actually reminded myself of similar situations in Emmerdale the Soap show.

With it being the Christmas season this novel hit the spot on a cosy, relatable and hilarious laugh out loud read during this festive season.

I hope to be able to read more as I really do enjoy how Serena writes. Entertaining and captures my attention.

Thanks to the publishers for this novel in exchange for my honest review.

4/5 Stars


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