February 4, 2020

Bite-Sized Reviews :: Edition Fifty-Two

And here we have another Christmas edition! I must have been in the mood for Christmas stories this past December because as I went back over my list there were a whole lot more on there than I'd realized. A good problem to have, though, right? :) Some were good and some a bit forgettable...

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
I decided this was the year I'd finally read this little volume and I'm so pleased that I did! I may have thought I knew this story, but it still surprised me in parts. Which is a good thing. :) For being a "ghost story", it has a whole lot of light and hope within it. I can see why so many have loved it for so many years. A particularly good quote: "The Spirit dropped beneath it, so that the extinguisher covered its whole form; but, though Scrooge pressed it down with all his force, he could not hide the light, which streamed from under it in an unbroken flood upon the ground." (emphasis mine, obviously)

Now I want to try another Dickens novel... :)

The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens
It started out super fun and then went in a completely unexpected direction. But this shouldn't surprise me coming from Dickens, right? :) I did enjoy the story overall, though, I just wasn't prepared for some harsh realities that hit. Yet there is hope threaded throughout the story, so that helped tremendously. Still, the first several paragraphs are perfectly described and woven that I was invested within the story before I knew it. I loved those bits particularly!

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Christmas at the Circus by Joanne Bischof
A sweet and wonderful return to Charlie and Ella Lionheart's world! Entirely too short for my liking (a good problem, yes :), I loved getting a small glimpse into their married life. It reminded me it's been far too long since I last read The Lady and the Lionheart!

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci
Having watched the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie based on this book a couple years ago, I was intrigued to try this. Of course, books and movies always differ, so I had a few disappointments. But overall this was an intriguing story, very Christmasy and enjoyable (mostly). There were parts I particularly liked better than others and I won't say that I will ever pick it up again, but I'm not sad I tried it. (Plus, does it ever make you feel like patting yourself on the back when you try a popular and well-known author even if you didn't love their story? Perhaps I'm the only one... ;)

Snowflakes at the Little Christmas Tree Farm 
by Jaimie Admans
Ms. Admans certainly has a way of writing addicting stories! Because somehow she got me to finish this one when I felt like the beginning wasn't truly hitting all the right buttons for me yet. As I pushed on farther, though, my interest picked up by about midway through. Having now finished it, I can say that it's cute overall. Perhaps not one that I loved, but still enjoyable. The romance was adorably fluffy. If you're interested in a quick, Christmasy and wintery story, then try it! You may just love it more than I. :)

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Christmas Every Day By Beth Moran
I loved Jenny! In spite of her current awful circumstances, she forges a path through all the yuck and discovers life again. Her fabulous personality gets her through just about anything. There were bits about this story that disappointed me, but I stuck around for Jenny. And Mack! Because having a neighbor who does good deeds (while grumbling) makes for hilarious interactions between them. I laughed several times during their conversations. I also love the friendships that spring up around Jenny, through hardly any effort of her own. She is simply just that awesome and easy to love. Bits I loved and bits I didn't made an interesting combination but overall a sweet story.

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Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale
This had it's cute and sweet moments. Particularly when Nick interacts with Max, Abbey's son. Their scenes always made me smile. And the romance was fun, mostly. There were bits that just didn't work for me, but overall an enjoyable read. Very Christmasy and romantic, which was all I was in the mood for, so it worked!

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A Bramble House Christmas by CJ Carmichael
Hallmark movies are terribly addicting and when they are based upon books, I tend to want to try them. Turns out that can mean good things or forgettable things. Unfortunately I would label this story as one of the ones that was just intriguing enough to make me finish it, yet there was much that wasn't flowing so smoothly for me. That's not to say it's a terrible book! Just not for me, sadly.

Christmas Joy by Nancy Naigle
This reads exactly like a Hallmark Christmas movie, which is precisely what I wanted. A little bit cheesy, a little bit predictable, a whole lot Christmasy, and quite an adorable romance. It was the perfect way to while away a sick day spent in bed. It made me smile through the misery! :)

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