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Goodreads Reading Challenge 2018

The Christmas Secret By Donna VanLiere – Book Review #49

The Christmas Secret is the fifth book in The Christmas Hope series of books by Donna VanLiere.

The Christmas Secret

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

When a struggling young single mother saves the life of an elderly woman, she sets into motion a series of events that will test her strength, loyalty, and determination, all the while setting her on the path to finding true love.

Christine Eisley is the mother of seven-year-old Zach and five-year-old Haley. Her ex-husband provides little, if any, child support and makes life difficult for Christine by using the children as pawns. She works long hours as a waitress to make ends meet, but her job is in jeopardy because she’s often late to work due to the unreliable teenaged sitters she’s forced to use. When Christine saves the life of a woman who works in Wilson’s department store, the owner of Wilson’s wants to find her, to thank her, but Christine has disappeared, losing another job once again. He sets his grandson, Jason, to the task of finding the mysterious “Christy.” Jason, an accountant by trade who has lost his job to downsizing, thinks he is “above” working at Wilson’s. Soon, he discovers that this new task gives him more than he bargains for.

The Christmas Secret is a novel for anyone who wants to see how love is a gift that keeps giving back; that hope is a treasure that never runs dry, and that faith is a miracle that is reborn with each new day.

My Thoughts

I remember seeing the movie of this and absolutely loving it so I was really looking forward to reading the book.
It didn’t disappoint, but I think seeing the movie first kind of ruined the book for me because I knew what was going to happen.

 

The Christmas Secret By Donna VanLiere

Goodreads 2018 reading challenge 49 books read


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The Christmas Promise By Donna VanLiere – Book Review #48

The Christmas Promise is the fourth book in Donna VanLiere’s Christmas Hope series, the first three being The Christmas Shoes, The Christmas Blessing and The Christmas Hope.

The Christmas Promise

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Each Christmas we are given a promise from heaven. And each year on earth we make promises to each other.

This is a story about how a promise from one person to another shows us the true meaning of faith, remembrance, and love.Seven years ago Gloria endured a family tragedy that almost shook her faith entirely. Each Christmas she places a card in an envelope on her tree, restating a promise she made to her husband before he died.

Now, having moved from her small town and all the painful memories it held, she is building a life by caring for people in need. Whether it’s a young mother who can’t pay her electric bill or a family who needs some extra food, Gloria always finds a way. Miriam is a thorn in Gloria’s side. Miriam is a constantly critical, disapproving neighbor who looks with suspicion at all the good things Gloria does. When a twist of fate makes them roommates instead of neighbors, it’s the ultimate test of patience and faith.

Chaz has a good job as head of security at Wilson’s Department Store, but each night he returns home to an empty apartment. He longs for a wife and family of his own but realizes that the life choices he’s made have alienated him. He befriends a young boy whose mother has fallen on hard times, giving him a chance to have a life he thought impossible.In The Christmas Promise, the lives of these characters collide and we learn that even as we move ahead, the past is never far behind. And when we are forgiven much, we love much.

In this warmly humorous and deeply poignant story, we are reminded that the Christmas Promise is the promise of second chances.

My Thoughts

We’re introduced to more characters in this 4th book and it got a little confusing at times. I read the book in a day, however, because I was on holiday and spent the day relaxing. If I’d had to keep stopping I might have found it more confusing trying to remember who each person was!

It was still an enjoyable read and Miss Glory is a lovely character.

The Christmas Promise By Donna VanLiere book cover

Goodreads-2018-reading-challenge-48-books-read


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The Christmas Hope By Donna VanLiere – Book Review #47

The Christmas Hope is another of the series that has been made into a movie. We’re planning on buying them all!

The Christmas Hope

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Patricia and Mark Addison have long given up the hope of having a meaningful Christmas. But this year, Patricia’s job as a social worker will lead her to a very special five-year-old. Against her better judgment, Patricia bends the rules and takes the little girl to her own home.

Through the presence of Emily in their house, and her penetrating questions about heaven, the Addisons learn that there is no sorrow so great that faith cannot help you find your way through. And Christmas will once more be a time of joy in their home.

My Thoughts

I’d seen the movie but hadn’t realised it was part of this series. The movie didn’t make me cry as much as this book did!

It’s a tear jerker but still such a lovely story of love, loss, but most of all hope.
I love how all the characters end up tied in some way and I totally wish I lived in this town with all these people!

The Christmas Hope by Donna VanLiere Book Cover

Goodreads-2018-reading-challenge-47-books-read


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The Christmas Blessing By Donna VanLiere – Book Review #46

The Christmas Blessing is the second book in the Christmas Hope series by Donna VanLiere. I’ve been looking forward to reading these all year!

The Christmas Blessing

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

In The Christmas Shoes, young Nathan Andrews was a child who lost his mother to cancer. Now his deepest wish is to become a doctor. When a stranger named Robert gave him the money to buy his mother a pair of shoes for her last Christmas, both Robert and Nathan learned the deepest lessons of love and giving. Now a medical student in his third year, Nathan realizes there are still things to be learned about faith, blessings, and sacrifice. Lessons he will learn from Meghan Sullivan-a young woman born with a hole in her heart that has not kept her from becoming a champion runner. And lessons learned from a young boy named Charlie, who teaches how to live a life of true courage. Together, they will help guide Nathan through the darkest period in his life. The Christmas Blessing is an inspiring about hope existing in the darkest places, and love is always the greatest gift of all.

My Thoughts

Loved it 🙂 I don’t usually get weepy when reading, (unless I’m reading a true story about horrible things that have happened to a child, however, I don’t read those kinds of books anymore because it makes me too sad) but this one brought a tear to my eye.

I enjoyed reading more about Nathan and seeing the man he’s grown in to.

This second book has also been made into a movie but it’s called Miracle Of The Heart rather than The Christmas Blessing.

The Christmas Blessing By Donna VanLiere Book Cover

Goodreads 2018 reading challenge 46 books read


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The Christmas Shoes By Donna VanLiere – Book Review #45

KayCee and I love The Christmas Shoes, movie. We watch it every year and every year it makes us cry!

The Christmas Shoes

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Sometimes, the things that can change your life will cross your path in one instant-and then, in a fleeting moment, they’re gone. But if you open your eyes, and watch carefully, you will believe….

Robert is a successful attorney who has everything in life-and nothing at all. Focused on professional achievement and material rewards, Robert is on the brink of losing his marriage. He has lost sight of his wife, Kate, their two daughters, and ultimately himself. Eight year old Nathan has a beloved mother, Maggie, whom he is losing to cancer. But Nathan and his family are building a simple yet full life, and struggling to hold onto every moment they have together. A chance meeting on Christmas Eve brings Robert and Nathan together-he is shopping for a family he hardly knows and Nathan is shopping for a mother he is soon to lose. In this one encounter, their lives are forever altered as Robert learns an important lesson: sometimes the smallest things can make all the difference. The Christmas Shoes is a universal story of the deeper meaning of serendipity, a tale of our shared humanity, and of how a power greater than ourselves can shape, and even save, our lives.

My Thoughts

There were a few things different in the book compared to the movie, but that’s always the case so I was expecting it. It didn’t ruin the book or the movie for me, I love them both!
This is the first book in the Christmas Hope series by Donna VanLiere. I bought them all for KayCee last Christmas. I’m going to read them all and I’m not worried about getting fed up of them as I did with some of the Harlan Coben series I read earlier in the year because each book is set in the same town, but is about different characters.

They’re not very long books either, I read half of this on the Monday night and the other half on the Tuesday morning before work!

This book was inspired by the song of the same name by a group called Newsong.

The Chirstmas Shoes By Donna VanLiere

Goodreads 2018 reading challenge 45 books read


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This Year It Will Be Different by Maeve Binchy – Book Review #44

I don’t know if I’ve read any other Maeve Binchy books but after reading This Year It Will Be Different, I’ll be on the lookout for more of her books 🙂

This Year It Will Be Different – Maeve Binchy

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Circle of Friends, The Glass Lake, and Evening Class comes a stunning collection of fifteen Christmas stories filled with Maeve Binchy’s trademark wit, charm, and sheer storytelling genius. In A Typical Irish Christmas, a grieving widower heads for a holiday in Ireland and finds an unexpected destination not just for himself, but for a father and daughter in crisis. . . . In Pulling Together, a teacher not yet out of her twenties sees her affair with a married man at a turning point as Christmas Eve approaches. . . . And in the title story, This Year It Will Be Different, a woman with a complacent husband and grown children enters a season that will forever alter her life, and theirs. . .

My Thoughts

I loved this nice, easy to read book. I was surprised at how very short the first short story was! I soon got used to it, though, and found myself actually enjoying reading just a snippet of people’s lives rather than an in-depth tale.

This Year It Will Be Different By Maeve Binchy Book Cover

Goodreads 2018 reading challenge - 44 books read


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The Three By Sarah Lotz – Book Review #43

I found The Three by Sarah Lotz at the charity shop (which is where I find 99% of my books so no news there really!) and loved the sound of the blurb.
I didn’t realise there was a second book. If I had, I wouldn’t have read this until getting the second book.

The Three by Sarah Lotz

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Four simultaneous plane crashes. Three child survivors. A religious fanatic who insists the three are harbingers of the apocalypse. What if he’s right?

The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn’t appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.

Dubbed ‘The Three’ by the international press, the children all exhibit disturbing behavioural problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention. This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse. The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children’s behaviour becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival…

My Thoughts

I’m glad now that I didn’t know there was a second book when I started reading this one because I don’t think I can be bothered to read the second book!
I was really looking forward to reading this book. The premise seemed really good and I did enjoy it through the first half.
It started off quite well but after sitting down for about 7 hours and reading the second half in one go, I got to the end and said to Ant, ‘I have no idea what I’ve just read!’.

I can’t tell you anything more about the story than what the above blurb says because I’m confused as to what actually happened in the end.
I’m not even going to bother trying to figure it out and I’ll be removing the second book from my Want To Read list on Goodreads!

The Three by Sarah Lotz Book Cover

The Three by Sarah Lotz


MamaMummyMum
 

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The Last Anniversary By Liane Moriarty – Book Review #42

Liane Moriarty is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. The Last Anniversary is the third book that I’ve read and I’m itching to get all the others!

The Last Anniversary

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Sophie Honeywell always wondered if Thomas Gordon was the one she let get away. He was the perfect boyfriend, but on the day he was to propose, she broke his heart. A year later he married his travel agent, while Sophie has been mortifyingly single ever since. Now Thomas is back in her life because Sophie has unexpectedly inherited his aunt Connie’s house on Scribbly Gum Island — home of the famously unsolved Munro Baby mystery.

Sophie moves onto the island and begins a new life as part of an unconventional family where it seems everyone has a secret. Grace, a beautiful young mother, is feverishly planning a shocking escape from her perfect life. Margie, a frumpy housewife, has made a pact with a stranger, while dreamy Aunt Rose wonders if maybe it’s about time she started making her own decisions.

As Sophie’s life becomes increasingly complicated, she discovers that sometimes you have to stop waiting around — and come up with your own fairy-tale ending.

My Thoughts

This book kept me pulling at me. When I was supposed to be working, I found myself wondering what the mystery could possibly be. I like the way Liane Moriarty drops little breadcrumbs throughout the story. You know they’re going to lead to some juicy gossip or a twist you would never have seen coming.

I wish I could live on Scribbly Gum Island!

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty Book Cover

Goodreads 2018 reading challenge - 42 books read


MamaMummyMum
 

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Library Of Souls By Ransom Riggs – Book Review #41

Library of Souls is the third book in the Miss Peregrine series. I thought it was the final one but the other day I saw a fourth is being released in October. I pre-ordered it from Amazon 🙂

Library Of Souls

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

A boy with extraordinary powers. An army of deadly monsters. An epic battle for the future of peculiardom.

The adventure that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and continued in Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls. As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all. Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.

My Thoughts

It took me much longer to read this book than it did the first 2. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t as gripping. I found myself only reading at bedtime whereas with the first 2 I kept wanting to read them whenever I had a spare half hour.

It was a good ending, the story was rounded off nicely which is why I thought it was the end of the series. I was very happy, however, to see a fourth book, A Map Of Days, due for release on October 2nd on Amazon 🙂

Library Of Souls By Ransom Riggs Book Cover

Goodreads 2018 reading challenge 41 books read


MamaMummyMum
 

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Hollow City By Ransom Riggs – Book Review #40

Hollow City is the second book in the Miss Peregrin series. A fourth book has just been released and I was very happy when it dropped through my letterbox the other day :o)

Hollow City

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

My Thoughts

I loved how this book carried straight on from the end of the first. It sometimes gets annoying when you have to read things you already know because the author is trying to bring new readers up to date.

I was very pleased I’d got the next book to start straight away because I can’t wait to find out what happens to them all.

I’m really enjoying this series.

Hollow City By Ransom Riggs Book Cover

Goodreads 2018 reading challenge 40 books read


MamaMummyMum
 

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I’m taking part in Blogtober18 with Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos

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