The Snowman

The Snowman: Inspired by the original story by Raymond Briggs

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

One December morning, James is thrilled to wake up to see snow falling.

He spends the whole day making his perfect snowman; he has coal eyes, an old green hat and scarf and a tangerine nose… just like the snowman from his favourite story.

That night, something magical happens- the Snowman comes to life!

He and James take to the skies on a magical adventure where they meet someone very special.

Thoughts:

Aw. The Snowman! I absolutely loved the picture book and the movie growing up. It’s still a story that has a very special place in my heart. When I heard that Michael Morpurgo was writing a story inspired by the original story, I was very excited to get my hands on a copy. I really enjoy reading Michael Morpurgo and I knew that he would do well with this story. He really did. It’s such a Christmas classic and Michael Morpurgo’s words really complement this wonderful story.

James wakes up on Christmas Eve to discover a snow covered world outside. He’s super excited to go out and build a snowman. He spends hours building him and showing him off to is family. Later that night, he discovers his snowman has to come alive and they go on a journey together!

It would be heard to beat Raymond Briggs and I don’t think this is the intention with this book. It’s to pay homage to a wonderful classic. I believe that Michael Morpurgo’s story really adds something to the original story. It’s quite faithful to the original story. I did like how nods to the original story were actually mentioned within the story. A nice touch and a reminder that this isn’t Michael’s original story. However, there are some original moments that he has added into the story, which I very much appreciated- especially because it focused on a difference a child had and I think that’s important.

I can imagine that I will read this story next year to my class around Christmas. It’s such a charming, sweet read and they are all so familiar with the original. It will be nice to compare and contrast… and of course, give them an opportunity to watch the movie too! 

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A wonderful take on a magical Christmas story!

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The Truth Pixie (Christmas #3.5)

The Truth Pixie (Christmas Series, #3.5)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Christmas

Synopsis:

From number one bestselling author Matt Haig comes a hilarious and heartwarming story, brilliantly illustrated throughout by Chris Mould Wherever she is, whatever the day, She only has one kind of thing to say. Just as cats go miaow and cows go moo, The Truth Pixie can only say things that are true.

Thoughts:

The Truth Pixie was one of the stand out characters in Matt Haig’s Christmas series, so I was super happy that she got a short story of her own. I wasn’t expecting this little book to be in verse, so that was a lovely surprise! It’s such a sweet, quick read centring around a pretty awesome character.

The Truth Pixie is finding it hard to make connections with people around her because she has to tell the truth. As we know, lots of times the truth can hurt and so- people do not want to be around her. She’s feeling very isolated until she bumps into a sad human child named Aada. The Truth Pixie has to tell Aada the truth. However, this time The Truth Pixie’s truth is given with wonderful advice. The Truth Pixie guides Aada through life’s ups and downs.

It’s a beautiful short story that centres around life very much being an up and down journey. I think it’s wonderful to read to young children and very charming to read if you’re an adult! 🙂

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

An awesome addition to the Christmas series from the superbly talented Matt Haig!

Decked With Holly

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How did I get it?:
Downloaded with Kindle Unlimited

Synopsis:

Taking a Christmas cruise with her two cousins from hell isn’t Holly’s idea of a good time. And when seasickness forces her into an open suite, she’s pepper-sprayed by a gorgeous guy called Nick. But when Holly makes her exit, she’s greeted by a horde of screaming teenage fans. Because Nick happens to be Dominic Wyatt, drummer for one of the hottest bands in America. Suddenly rumours are swirling and Holly’s face is plastered all over the Internet. The band can’t risk a scandal destroying their family-friendly image, so Dominic convinces Holly to be his fake girlfriend – just for two weeks. How bad could it be to be “fauxmantically” involved with a cute rock star? She’s about to find out…

Thoughts:

Decked With Holly is a cute festive read. It’s not got the most original or stand out storyline, but it is incredibly cute. The characters are quite standard for this sort of book. You’ve got the seemingly unobtainable rock star, the plain girl who isn’t stick thin and her horrible aunt and step-sisters. What stands out with Decked With Holly is the writing style. Marni Bates writes in such a way that you can’t help but keep reading.

There’s no insta-love in this story, which is refreshing in Young Adult books. Of course, there is an attraction to Nick for Holly, but it never really seems forced. I thought it was great how they didn’t initially get on. I loved their banter with one another, but at other times, I really wanted to tell them to get on with it! I loved reading how their relationship developed over time.

I could totally tell where this story was going, however that didn’t affect my opinion of the book. It was funny, well written, sweet, festive read which is perfect for this time of year! I’m definitely glad I picked it up. If you ever want a quick, contemporary, Young Adult read then this book might be perfect for you!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A little predictable, but quick, enjoyable and easy to read!

Comparing ‘My True Love Gave To Me’ An Anthology

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If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.

 

Click on the image to get to Luna's blog!

Thoughts before you started reading My True Love Gave To Me?

CHRISSI: It’s beautiful. Can I just stare it at for a while? Beautiful cover, just beautiful. I  was hoping it was just as beautiful inside!

LUNA: Those are some neon pink pages! 😀 Ok slightly more seriously I was thinking C’s = Cute, Cosy, Comfort reading.

What did you think of My True Love Gave To Me an anthology?

CHRISSI: I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I expected it to be a little cheesy. Some stories were. But mostly, I just got the warm fuzzy feeling when you read a very cute, festive, romantic story. Lovely! I think there was something for everyone within this anthology.

LUNA:  My True Love Gave To Me surprised me. I originally thought it was going to be all contemporary Christmas stories but there were other genres in there as well. I was also really happy to see there variety of characters, backgrounds, believes, etc.

There will always be some stories that you prefer more than others but My True Love Gave To Me has a really good collection. I’d be surprised if there isn’t at least one you really love, with a good few more you enjoy a lot.

Favourite story/stories?

CHRISSI: I really liked ‘Angels in the Snow’ by Matt De La Pena. An author I hadn’t heard much about, but I absolutely devoured the story. I also thought ‘Midnights’ by Rainbow Rowell was cute.

LUNA: ‘Angels in the Snow’ by Matt De La Pena was my favourite I think. Also loved: ‘The Lady and the Fox’ by Kelly Link, ‘It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown’ by Stephanie Perkins, ‘Welcome to Christmas, CA’ by Kiersten White and the quirkiness of ‘Krampuslauf’ by Holly Black.

Have you discovered any new authors because of My True Love Gave To Me?

CHRISSI: I’ve read quite a few of these authors, hence my interest in the anthology. I have to add Matt De La Pena to my list, although Luna has discovered he doesn’t have a UK publisher. Boo!

LUNA: I have actually read a fair few and do have books by quite a few others on top of that. Kelly Link’s ‘Pretty Monsters: Stories’ has moved quite a bit higher on my TBR pile and I’ve added Matt De La Pena to my Christmas wish list. He doesn’t seem to have a UK publisher though, which really sucks…

Any you didn’t enjoy?

CHRISSI: I didn’t really dislike any of the stories, but my least favourite was probably Jenny Han’s ‘Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me.’

LUNA: There weren’t any that I disliked as such but I was expecting to be blown away by David Levithan’s ‘Your Temporary Santa’ (because you know it’s David Levithan!) and I was also really excited about Jenny Han’s story but neither really connected.

Would you recommend it?

CHRISSI: Of course! An anthology full of talented authors. What’s not to like?

LUNA: Absolutely, with a hot drink and a cuddly blanket.

Christmas With Billy and Me

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Billy and Me
You’re The One That I Want

Synopsis:

Christmas has come to Rosefont Hill and it’s destined to be a particularly special festive season for Sophie May.

When a smitten stranger emails Sophie to ask her if he can propose to the woman he loves in her little teashop, the romantic in her finds it impossible to refuse. Even though Christmas is her busiest time of year she has her own sweetheart, Hollywood actor Billy Buskin, to lend a helping hand. How could she say no to making someone’s dream come true?

As Sophie and Billy work together to plan the perfect fairytale proposal for this couple, excitement in Rosefont Hill is mounting. Who is this mysterious man? And who is the lucky lady he’s about to get down on one knee for?

Thoughts:

Giovanna Fletcher is becoming one of my favourite writers of the women’s fiction/chick-lit/whatever you want to call it genre. I thought Christmas with Billy and Me was a super cute Christmas read. I thought I had predicted the ending, the big engagement but I hadn’t which was a lovely surprise. This book genuinely made me ‘Aww!’ out loud.

Christmas With Billy and Me is set a few months after the events of Billy and Me. I thought it was going to be a happily ever after story for one of my favourite couples in this genre. It was a happy, heart-warming story and was a happily ever after story all the same, just not the one I expected. However, I’m sure Giovanna can get a lot more out of these wonderful characters that she’s created.

Reading Giovanna’s books makes me feel like I’m listening to a friend tell their story. Giovanna’s bubbly personality (as seen on her YouTube channel) really shines through in her writing. Christmas With Billy and Me is a fantastic festive read to get you into the Christmas spirit.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

This story is well written, cute and almost magical!

Let It Snow

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

An ill-timed storm on Christmas Eve buries the residents of Gracetown under multiple feet of snow and causes quite a bit of chaos. One brave soul ventures out into the storm from her stranded train and sets off a chain of events that will change quite a few lives. Over the next three days one girl takes a risky shortcut with an adorable stranger, three friends set out to win a race to the Waffle House (and the hash brown spoils), and the fate of a teacup pig falls into the hands of a lovesick barista.

A trio of today’s bestselling authors – John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle – brings all the magic of holidays to life in three hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and kisses that will steal your breath away.

Thoughts:

I’ve seen this book about so much, I felt like I should get to it! The only author that I’ve read before is John Green. I like John Green but I don’t seem to love him as much as everyone else does. Still, I was intrigued by this collection of short stories, perfect for the Christmas season. If you’re not a fan of short stories, don’t be put off. They’re not too short. The action takes place in the same small town, with some recurring characters and links between the stories.

Maureen Johnson’s story is first up, The Jubilee Express. This was my favourite stories in the collection and I think I’m going to have to check out more of Maureen Johnson’s work. Our narrator Jubilee is forced to miss her boyfriend’s Christmas smorgasboard. She’s sent to stay with her grandparents when her parents are arrested in a shopping riot. Jubiliee finds herself stranded in Gracetown on a train in a carriage full of cheerleaders. It’s completely over the top, but well written and witty. I’ll read more from Maureen Johnson.

The second story is John Green’s A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle. I have seen many people list this as their favourite story, but for me, it didn’t overly stand out. Tobin and his friends brave the blizzard to be with the cheerleaders from the previous story.

Lauren Myracle’s story, The Patron Saint of Pigs, finishes the story. I didn’t find Addie, the character in the story very likeable. She’s recently split with her boyfriend, who appears in the previous two stories. She’s about to learn an important life lesson with a help from an older lady.

Let It Snow is an enjoyable, easy to read, seasonable book. I’d definitely recommend it to get into the Christmas spirit.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Reading next:
Vain- Fisher Amelie

Short Story Sunday #5 In A New York Minute

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How did I get it?:
Downloaded free for my Kindle, many months ago. It’s not free anymore, but it’s very cheap!

Synopsis:

Amy is on a film set in New York, trying very hard to wrap the advertisement she’s filming in time to catch the last flight home for Christmas. But the actors are squabbling, the star of the piece, a cat, won’t play ball and, truthfully, Amy’s heart isn’t in it anyway – she’d escaped to the Big Apple to try to forget her broken heart. But as snow begins to fall on Christmas Eve, someone on set with Amy makes her realise fairytales really do happen in New York.

Thoughts:

This story is quick (very quick) to read. Obviously, being a short story, it doesn’t have very much to it. I didn’t feel like I particularly got to know the characters. It’s got a good plot, that moves fast. I think it’s perfect for a five or ten minute break away from the Christmas festivities!