Finding My Elf by David Valdes

Published on December 13, 2023

two teen boys dressed as Christmas elves

Reviewed by Samantha Calderone 

Back home after his first semester at college, Cameron feels like a failure. After having spent the semester trying to be “City Cam” and struggling through his acting classes, Cameron feels like his only option is to drop out. Should he even manage to pass his classes, the loss of his scholarship will be hard to overcome.

For fear of having to tell his father the truth, Cameron decides to take a job as an Elf at Santa-land in the hopes that work will keep him busy and out of the house. However, once Cam begins his job at Santa-land he learns that being an Elf is more than just working in customer service. Cam and the other elves are competing to be Santa’s Top Elf for the season, and the winner will receive a five-thousand-dollar bonus. Worried about his future, Cam realizes that if he can make Top Elf, he may be able to return to college even without his scholarship. However, the competition is fierce, and he just may not be able to compete with Marco, an Elf who seems to have holiday cheer running through his veins.

Cam is determined to win the competition, but the more time he spends with the other elves, Cam starts to question what it is he really wants.

“Finding My Elf” reads like a holiday movie where everything seems to be going wrong in the best ways. Although Cam faces some real struggles, Valdes keeps the overall tone of the story light and fun. As Cam and his fellow elves learn more about one another, Cam also begins to understand himself more. This novel is truly a coming-of-age story and is thoroughly enjoyable for teens and adults. Cam’s journey to self-discovery is relatable in more ways than one and will leave readers feeling hopeful for their own futures.

Valdes’ Christmas romance is perfect for readers looking for something light this holiday season. 


Tagged as: