Thank you to Underlined/NetGalley for a copy of Eight Dates and Nights in exchange for an honest review.


New Yorker Hannah Levin is allergic to exactly two things: horses and tinsel. Unfortunately, she’s surrounded by both when she’s snowed in at her grandmother’s home in a small Texas town.

Super lonely, missing latkes and reliable Wi-Fi, Hannah wanders into an old deli where she meets the only other Jewish teen around, Noah, who happens to be equal parts adorable and full of annoying, over-the-top festival of lights spirit that he’s determined to share with Hannah one itchy Hanukkah sweater at a time.

As the days pass — and a spectacularly memorable kiss following Noah’s made-up game of truth or dare dreidel takes place — Hannah begins to wonder if maybe there’s more to Hanukkah than she thought …

Shalom, Y’all!

Betsy Aldredge’s Eight Dates and Nights‘ Hannah has a Jewish answer or explanation for everything, and I love it. There may be some who wonder if this is realistic. Those people aren’t Jewish. Do teens talk about being Jewish this much? Yes, yes, they do. It’s delightful.

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What I find more unrealistic is that a teen so in touch with her Judaism doesn’t realize that a town called “Rosenblum” has Jewish roots. I know people from cities can get a bit narrow-minded about the South, but c’mon. I mean, Jewish people exist in Texas, y’all. A few other moments hit me as over the top, but they venture into spoiler territory. Minor quibbles, though.

As an aside, as someone who tries to use inclusive language, I will now incorporate “Shalom, y’all” into my daily life.

Who Is It For?

There’s no getting around it: Eight Dates and Nights is a Hallmark holiday movie, but make it for teens. And like the annual one or two Hallmark Hanukkah movies, there’s some overexplaining for the gentiles in the back. 

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That doesn’t mean Jewish teens won’t get a kick out of Betsy Aldredge’s book. On the contrary, this is a book where they might finally see themselves on the page. (Halleluyah!)  That’s worth a lot. When you’re a member of a minority — any minority — seeing yourself in media is a powerful thing. And while I’ve seen other minority groups getting more and more books about them, I haven’t seen an influx in Jewish YA in recent years. That makes Eight Dates and Nights something extraordinary. 

Should You Read It?

If you like taffy-sweet books with a grumpy/sunshine couple, then yes, absolutely. This might be a more challenging book to swallow if you’re not a fan of such a pairing. Speaking of swallowing, cynical foodies out there might still love Eight Dates and Nights. Especially those who love pickles. (No. None of that was euphemistic.) In any case, this is a cute book, perfect for the holiday. 

Eight Dates and Nights hits shelves on October 03, 2023. You can pick up a copy at your local indie bookstore or library.📚 🕎👩‍❤️‍👨

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