Blogmas! Mini Book Reviews of Two Christmas Short Stories

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Hi Readers

Recently I’ve read two festive short stories and I thought I’d do a combined review post. Unfortunately, I didn’t love either of them. 

Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backmanthree half stars

I’ve read and enjoyed two of Backman’s novels now and, whilst I liked this, it is my least favourite of his so far. 

It follows a man who is in hospital with cancer and he’s reflecting on his life and regretting his neglect for his son in favour of his career. 

As you can guess by the premise, this book will definitely tug on the heart strings, which is what Backman does best. The writing is great and some of the characters were very well fleshed out for such a short novel. 

I suppose it didn’t amaze me because there’s just nothing new about it. Weirdly reminded me of Elf. They have the same sentiment but a much happier ending and more Christmas cheer. 

That was my only other issue with this book. The covers way more Christmassy than the story itself. 

Overall I would recommend this to Backman fans but not for a new comer. Definitely read A Man Called Ove first. 

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evanstwo half stars

This is about a husband and wife who are hired to care take a mansion. They move in with their young daughter and create a bond with the owner. One day they find a Christmas Box which unlocks the sad history of the family. 

My biggest issue with this one was the writing. It was stiff and I felt some words were used in the wrong place. I probably won’t read more by Evans.

I also felt like I didn’t know the characters at all and the conclusion depends on you caring about a certain character and I just couldn’t. I sympathised with the situation but I felt strangely detached from it. 

I wouldn’t recommend this one. 

Have you read either of these? What did you think?

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

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