Choose Your Own Misery: The Holidays - Mike MacDonald, Jilly Gagnon

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.

If you are of a certain age, you remember, most likely with fondness, those Chose Your Own Adventure books. You know where you flipped to different pages depending on what action you chose to do. (You also most likely remember games like Zork and King’s Quest where you typed in commands). Those books seemed to end most of the time with the reader being eaten by wild dogs, trapped in a sewer, imprisoned by Santa Claus. In other words, a very messy ending.

But that was part of the charm.

Something that MacDonald and Gagnon seem to realize. This is a Choose Your Adventure for the Real World. In other words that holiday that should be fun but is so loaded with everything from family drama, perfection stress, and what not – Christmas. The pair of authors not only parodies the Choose Your Own Adventure books, but also how people fuss during the holidays.

It’s not a perfect book – the basic assumption is still that the reader is straight male, but that’s part of the parody. MacDonald and Gagnon incorporate that beautiful into various jokes. Play attention to the names that they use as well.

Wonderfully funny.