Book Review: A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

a-boy-called-christmasWhat’s it about?

You are about to read the true story of Father Christmas.

It is a story that proves that nothing is impossible.

A Boy Called Christmas is a tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and a boy called Nikolas, who isn’t afraid to believe in magic.



My thoughts

Well I finished this delightful little book last night and even though I’m terribly behind on my reviews, I had to push this to the top of the to do list.  So here I am, sat in bed with my Christmas cold tapping out my thoughts before 2017 lands!

“Impossible – An old elf swear word”

So here we have an alternative Father Christmas story and in my opinion one that makes perfect sense.  By his own admission the author tells us readers that if you are not a believer in magical occurrences then put the book down…

“But if you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away.  It is most certainly not for you.”

Well I’m not one for magical realism but that little sentence was really just a challenge….go on I dare you to read it!  So I did and I found it to be rather lovely and just what I needed to be reading this week.  From the first few pages I enjoyed the humour, the one-liners and later the cheesy elf jokes, they can’t help but put a smile upon your face!

Nikolas is such a brave, sweet character that I was rooting for him from the very beginning, he has to make some difficult choices for someone so young and deal with some exceptionally hard tasks that are not without sacrifice which will have you willing him on all the more.  I suppose you could say it’s a cross between a fairy story and a moral as strains of the story are about doing the right thing even if it means losing something or someone that you love.

A feel-good book that is for children and adults to read alone or share and one that is crying out to be made into an animated movie a la Arthur Christmas! (and the glittery sparkly cover is an added bonus!).

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Author Links: Twitter | Website

Small print for info
Source: Borrowed
No of pages: 266
Publisher: Canongate


Book Review: A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg

A Redbird Christmas What’s it about?

Oswald T. Campbell, aged fifty-two, down-and-out in a Chicago winter, is given only months to live unless he moves South… He finds himself in the small town of Lost River, Alabama, where the residents are friendly if feud-prone and eccentric to a fault.

One of them, Roy, keeps a red cardinal, a once wounded bird called Jack. Patsy, a sad, sweet little kid with a crippled leg, from the trailer park up in the woods, takes to dropping by the store – and falls in love with Jack.


My thoughts

This was our book club choice for December and while I normally keep my book club reads till closer to the next meeting, I thought I should like to read this one over the Christmas holiday rather than mid-January.

It’s a sweet tale of small town America that has a modern day fairy tale feel to it; full of hope, compassion, and a general willingness to help others for no other reason than you can.

Very simply written but beautifully effective; the sentiment and emotion is conveyed perfectly without the use of long fancy over-descriptive words.

It’s not necessary to read at Christmas time as the story progesses over the year, it just happens to start and finish at Christmas.

If you liked The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend you’ll enjoy this book too.

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

 Learn more about the author – visit her website or  Facebook

Book Review: Bella’s Christmas Bake Off by Sue Watson

Bella's Christmas Bake OffWhat’s it about?

Bella Bradley is the queen of television baking – a national treasure. Her Christmas specials have been topping the ratings for years and her marriage to Peter ‘Silver Fox’ Bradley is the stuff of Hello magazine specials.

But this year things are going to be different.

For Amy Lane, Bella’s best friend from school, life hasn’t held quite the same sparkle. And when Amy’s husband walks out three weeks from Christmas, it seems their lives are further apart than ever.

Amy has watched Bella’s rise to fame fondly, despite the fact Bella was always a terrible cook. But when she realises that Bella’s latest Christmas book is made up entirely of Amy’s mother’s recipes, the gloves are off…

My thoughts

I think there’s just time to fit in a quick Christmas book review and as it’s quite an easy read you can squeeze it in before the holidays are over

It took me a while to get into the story as it wasn’t quite what I expected and found the opening few chapters a tadge slow but it does pick up pace and with some nice character development.

I think fans of The Great British Bake Off would enjoy this as it comes with some interesting insights into tv programmes and so comes as no surprise that the the author worked in the TV industry. You’ll also enjoy this if you like books with copious amounts of lovely foody descriptions and festive goodness that’ll make you feel a little bit warm inside (I even found myself unexpectedly filling up towards the end during one particular poignant scene, quite unusual for me).

No real plot surprises for me but I enjoyed the writing and the humour and so I don’t think it’ll be my last Sue Watson novel.

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Connect with the author Sue Watson

Website | Twitter

Book Review: Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin

Many thanks to Holly for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for her new book, billed as “A perfect romance to curl up by the fire with” and I can’t argue with that!

Christmas at Lilac CottageWhat’s it about?

Welcome to the charming seaside town of White Cliff Bay, where Christmas is magical and love is in the air…

Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen.

When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penny is determined to make them feel welcome. But while Daisy is friendly, Henry seems guarded.

As Penny gets to know Henry, she realises there is more to him than meets the eye. And the connection between them is too strong to ignore…

While the spirit of the season sprinkles its magic over the seaside town and preparations for the ice sculpting competition and Christmas eve ball are in full swing, can Penny melt the ice and allow love in her heart? And will this finally be the perfect Christmas she’s been dreaming of?

My thoughts

Welcome to White Cliff Bay; a small sea-side town where everyone knows everyone else’s business 😉

From the opening scenes you know where this book is going to lead (nudge nudge wink wink)! Henry’s hot and hot-tempered whilst Penny doubts her self-worth and her self-esteem is in the toilet but it’s still lust at first sight. It’s a fun read as they go through all the initial “he likes me, she likes me not” to-ing and fro-ing and then their ensuing relationship antics.

You can always guarantee Holly will give you likeable unpretentious characters; all flawed in some way but totally relatable, just like people you know down the street. This book gives the impression that it’s all sweetness, light and cuteness but there is a deeper theme running through it; in that stuff that happens in our past, affects and shapes our futures, and is always there lingering in the background waiting to mess with our heads. It’s scary how much I saw of myself in Penny even with the 10 year age gap and still do.

Now, I did find Henry’s over-protectiveness of Daisy somewhat grating, having been a single parent to a teenage girl I understand how hard it is but you just get on with it. I did find some of the pussy-footing around Daisy somewhat mollycoddling; then I don’t have much patience for this type of stuff in real life, harsh I know! Also not entirely sure I would have chucked myself in the sea for that child either; heartless maybe, god I sound like the worst human being ever! I would have sounded the alarm of course!

Top marks go to character Jill; think we could all do with a Jill in our lives!

What I do like about Holly’s books is that you do know what you’re gonna get…a heart-felt rom com with likeable characters, a heart-warming story and a happy ending. A lovely Christmas read!

Many thanks to Bookouture for approving me for an ARC via Netgalley, and Holly as always, best of luck with the book!

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

About the author Holly Martin

Holly has been writing for six years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival Holly-Martin-500pxof Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. Holly lives in Bedfordshire.

Connect with Holly

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