Review of The Christmas Joy Ride






From the inside flap:
 
Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that's exactly what she's getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix--in the dead of winter, no less--the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off with Joy toward Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride--one that could derail the whole venture.

No one captures the heartwarming fun of the Christmas season quite like Melody Carlson. Fasten your seat belt, because it's going to be an exciting ride! Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than two hundred books with combined sales of more than six million. She is the author of the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, Christmas at Harrington's, and The Christmas Cat. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com.                 

From the back cover:

"I'm going on a mission, Miranda. I'm going out to spread some Christmas joy along Route 66. And no one is going to stop me."

"But you can't go driving across the entire country in the middle of winter and--"

"I can and I will," Joy declared stubbornly . . .

"I think it's a totally outrageous plan. I can't bear the thought of you being out there by yourself--and at your age too. I'll be scared sick about you being on the road . . ."

Joy had an idea, and she knew this was her chance. She had to give it one good try. "And that is exactly why I want you to come along with me, Miranda."


My thoughts:

Fans of Melody Carlson's Christmas stories are not going to be disappointed! The Christmas Joy Ride was a delightful, quick read. It's short - only 176 pages - but a charming story that fills you with Christmas warmth. I found myself wishing for snow outside, and I fought the urge to decorate for Christmas right now. Thankfully, I remembered that I was pregnant, and I didn't have the energy or the capability to maneuver those large boxes around my nine month sized bump. Regardless of the cold, hard facts, reading this story without the backdrop of garland and my Christmas décor seemed wrong on so many levels. This is a great story to read for a little Christmas pick-me-up, or even to give to someone as a gift.

Joy "Christmas Joy" Jorgenson was a delightful, spunky, incredibly generous lady. Her Godly, Christmas spirit was so loveable, and she was the type of character you expect to see revealed as an angel or one of Santa's elves in a Christmas movie. Miranda Fortner seems slightly jaded from the hard times that have fallen on her, but her love for her elderly neighbor/friend outweighs all that. As she and Joy spread God's Christmas magic, it turns out that Joy has a little Christmas joy planed for Miranda as well.

I did wish that the story was longer. There's an awful lot of stuff happening in a 176 pages. You wish for more details. More stops on their Christmas joy spreading road trip. More time spent on the developing romance at the end of the story. I'm not a fan of the widower scenario that was used for the potential love interest. It's done a lot, and it's just not a story line I like. However, the author did not spend a lot of time on that, which I greatly appreciated. I would have liked to see their attraction spread out more and given more time to develop into the love we know would happen, but again, it's a short story.

I was so, so honored to be able to read one of Melody Carlson's books for review. She has been a favorite author of mine since my preteen days. Even more fun, given that "Christmas Joy" and I share a name. ;)

I was given a copy of The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson from Revell in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

V. Joy Palmer