I was really hoping for a book to get me both out of reading funk and into the holiday spirit, but sadly this was not the book for the job. Maybe I’m just not the demographic for it (I requested a review copy thinking it was about a woman in her 20s, and while Sam’s age is never given exactly I’m guessing she’s mid-40s), age-wise or lifestyle wise. I’m only rating it this high because, despite my multiple eye-roll moments, the writing style was actually decent and flowed well – which goes a long way in a book. Piss poor writing (or editing) will make me fling a book across the room long before a shaky plot. Also, this was the 3rd in a series, but it was definitely readable and completely understandable (maybe not relatable) even without having read the other two books. So props for that.
The Feels: I was mostly just annoyed. About the only characters I felt real empathy for was Sam’s teenage (19? 21? I was never completely sure) son and her 16 year old stepdaughter. No one else was horrible, I just…felt nothing. The storyline was SO unrealistic, at least from my point of view, that at one point I thought my eyeballs would fall out of socket from all the rolling. It definitely didn’t give me the warm fuzzy I was hoping for.
The Characters: See above.
The Plot: Way, WAY too churchy and preachy for me. In the first 20 pages I had been lectured about how alcohol is bad – BAD! – and drugs are next to hell (my words, not the author’s).
I understand alcoholism is a real issue for some people…but geez louise, does it really need to be a plot point? The actual plot is about Sam getting married (yay! I love happy endings) but since Sam was generally just annoying me with her helicopter mom syndrome…yeah. Take your white poinsettias and shove them. I feel like I’m too old to be THIS annoyed by that aspect of her character but…yeah. I am.
The Description/Worldbuilding: Not bad, but not stellar. Nothing to write home about.
The Rating: 3 stars overall. I actually used the breakdown of the rating functionality this time! Because I really felt like…this author could do better. As in she is capable of writing a better story. I didn’t LIKE this one, but it wasn’t her writing style that put me off, it was the subject matter and content.
Many thanks to Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer for getting me a review e-book!