Tinsel in a Tangle by Laurie Germaine is a story that looks closely into the concept of "fitting in." Tinsel is a human-sized elf who stands out among other elves who are of an acceptable size. Her size is not the only thing that stands out among the elves; her clumsiness has become a prominent factor in defining her. Niklas, who is next in line to become Santa Claus, is a Kringle. He and Tinsel were best buddies when they were kids; however, things changed between them. Now, Tinsel can't stand the sight of Niklas and he cannot resist mocking her clumsiness every chance he gets. An accident, that was caused by Tinsel, results in her having to feed and clean the stalls of Santa's eight reindeer. This punishment turns out to be a blessing in disguise; she discovers that she can understand the reindeer language and actually communicate with them. Although Tinsel and Niklas don't accept it, there is something between them that's stronger than magic itself. Since romance between an elf and a Kringle is forbidden, they cannot act on their feelings anyway.
The story of Tinsel in a Tangle is deeper than any other magical tale. Besides the fact that it is set in a land that has elves, Santa Claus, and reindeer, there is nothing unrealistic about it. Tinsel is an elf who is trying to make sense of her life. She is a magnet for disasters, but she doesn't give up on life. She falls often, but that does not stop her from getting up. She is my favorite character because she never gives up. Instead of sulking, she brushes off the dust of failure and keeps her head held high. The forbidden romance between Niklas and Tinsel is very hard to resist. I loved their love-hate relationship. There were complications and a sweetness to it. As a reader, I found myself vouching for their love story throughout the read. A very important lesson in the book is never to underestimate yourself. You may be different from others, but that does not make you any less important. We all have our own talents; only when we stop trying to be like everybody else do we realize how special we are. Tinsel in a Tangle by Laurie Germaine is a wonderful combination of love, family, conspiracy, and friendship.