Saturday, December 9, 2017

[Book Review] The Christmas Town by Donna VanLiere

Lauren Gabriel spent many years of her childhood in foster homes, wishing her mother would come back for her and be the family she needs. Now twenty-years-old, she still longs for a place that she can truly call home. Her work as a cashier is unfulfilling, and at Christmas it’s unbearable with the songs and carols and chatter of Christmas that she hears throughout the day.

When Lauren ends her shift one night, she finds herself driving aimlessly in order to avoid returning to her lonely apartment. And when she witnesses a car accident she is suddenly pulled into the small town of Grandon, first as a witness but then as a volunteer for the annual fundraiser for Glory’s Place, a center for single mothers and families who need assistance. Could this town and its people be the home she has always longed for?

3.5 STARS 

This is exactly what I wanted when I decided I would read a few holiday books this season. Especially when I signed up for the 12 Books of Christmas Challenge. The Christmas Town reads just like those cheesy Lifetime or Hallmark holiday movies that marathon all through December, which I am a huge fan of. I love any holiday story that involves community or family. There can be romance but it has to be more about family for me. I am not big on gushy romances being the main focus. 

The Christmas Town was perfect for exactly what I needed. It was warm and fuzzy, it had a charming little town, cute kids, and warm characters. It was super cheesy and super predictable, but that is kind of the fun in the story. I think I love these kinds of stories, whether it be in movies or in books, this time of year because of it's predictability. It's sometimes comforting. 

The characters were great, I enjoyed our main character Lauren, who has been through some tough times and wants a place where she belongs. I really enjoyed the characters Gloria and Miriam who were very comical. Although I enjoyed the characters, no one in particular popped out as a character I loved. I think the one downside of the predictability to these kinds of stories is the fact that you've seen it before. But all of the characters served their purpose and I liked reading about them. 

The story itself was really cute. Sure, a bit heavy on cliches at times but overall I thought it was super heartwarming. There are a couple of story lines intertwined that I think could have been wrapped up a bit better by the end but overall I think it was great. The main character, Lauren, is going through a lot of loneliness during the holidays, there's a boy named Ben who works at a grocery store who is known for giving out encouraging notes to the customers, and there is a group of adults doing an auction for an annual fundraiser. Lauren finds herself caught up in a lot of miscommunications and its really sweet. 

Overall, I highly recommend this book if you're looking for a fun cheesy holiday read, I think this is the one for you. I would easily buy this book and make it an annual tradition to read it each December. It's exactly what you need to get into the holiday spirit. I wouldn't be surprised if this book has already been made into a movie. I'd easily watch an adaptation! 

Do you like reading holiday themed books? 

Thanks for reading! 

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