The Fairydust Book Blog’s Top 3 Books for Christmas!

Hey guys, as it’s Christmas I thought I’d do a special post on my top 3 favourite Christmas books, along with reviews! Enjoy!

  1. The Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris

Blurb from GoodReads:

The wind has always dictated Vianne Rocher’s every move, buffeting her from the French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes to the crowded streets of Paris. Cloaked in a new identity, that of widow Yanne Charbonneau, she opens a chocolaterie on a small Montmartre street, determined to still the wind at last and keep her daughters, Anouk and baby Rosette, safe. But the weather vane soon turns, and Zozie de l’Alba blows into their lives. Charming and enigmatic, Zozie provides the brightness that Yanne’s life needs–as her vivacity and bold lollipop shoes dazzle rebellious and impressionable preadolescent Anouk. But beneath their new friend’s benevolent facade lies a ruthless treachery–for devious, seductive Zozie has plans that will shake their world to pieces.

Review: 

This is probably one of my favourite books of ALL TIME, so much so that I always try to re-read it before Christmas. It’s a rich, sensual, decadent, gorgeously-written slice of magical realism set in quaint, cobblestoned Montmartre, beginning just before Halloween and ending at Christmas. It features one of my favourite characters ever, Vianne Rocher-I love Vianne so much she was once a #Literary Hero of the Month– who first appeared in Harris’s ‘Chocolat,’ another of my favourite novels. With exotic outsider Vianne comes her daughter Anouk, now a teenager struggling to fit in within her Parisian secondary school, and her toddler daughter Rosette,  a delightfully different bundle of red hair, freckles and an engaging smile, who speaks only in sign language and who may or may not be as magical as Vianne herself.

Vianne has always been different- weaving magic into the chocolates she sells within her boutiques, using cantrips and spells and Tarot cards to drum up business and change hr customers’ lives, but now she is trying to fit in, for the sake of her daughters, and lead a normal life. Into this unique family life comes the mysterious wanderer Zozie, who helps business to flourish just before Christmas, with her own Mayan magic ‘System.’ Soon the boutique is blossoming, Vianne is about to organize a massive Christmas party for her customers- including twelve traditional deserts hand crafted by Vianne herself- and her old love interest, the red-headed traveller Roux, comes back…but is Zozie all she seems? And will this Christmas be the last that Anouk spends with her mother, or will she be tempted by a darker, wilder magic? Much recommended, this is a luscious, lovely book, and one I will treasure reading forever.

Overall rating: 10 out of 10

Read if you enjoyed: ‘Chocolat’ by Joanne Harris, ‘Practical Magic’ by Alice Hoffmann

2. ‘Let it Snow: Three Christmas Romances’ by John Green, Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson

Blurb from GoodReads:

Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.

Review:

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Each story was fun, fresh and festive without being cloying. The characters felt real and easy to relate to, although I’m not sure how realistic it was that a group of teenagers would drive through a blizzard to get to a waffle house full of cheerleaders. (John Green’s ‘A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle FYI.) As a sappy romantic at heart, I also loved the love stories in each tale, and my favourite character was Jeb, the taciturn Native American who has a heart of gold (*swoon,*) although extra special brownie points for Tobin and his sweet ‘I’ve-always-liked-you’ romance with Duke (who’s a girl by the way, Duke is a nickname.) Tobin was awesome, and the Duke was so sassy and tomboyish.

My favourite story though was probably  Maureen Johnson’s ‘The Jubilee Express’- I found Jubilee’s character engaging, and some of the lines made me laugh out loud at points. My least favourite was Lauren Myracle’s ‘The Patron Saint of Pigs’ which I felt drifted a little, although it does get a gold star for HAVING JEB IN IT. (MORE JEB PLEASE! #TEAMJEB!) The only thing I really didn’t like was how one story used the term ‘spaz,’ which I personally find offensive, and how there were no LGBT characters. However, this is still a really festive, funny and uplifting collection, and it’s perfect for the holidays.

Overall rating: 8 out of 10

This Book in Four Words: Funny. Down To Earth.

Read if you enjoyed: YA short story collections such as ‘Under my Hat’ (full review here) or ‘Prom Nights From Hell.’

3. ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ by J.K Rowling

Ah, it wouldn’t be Christmas without Harry Potter waking up at Hogwarts and realizing, with a moment of achingly touching vulnerability, that he finally has Christmas presents. Ron’s Christmas jumper, hand-knitted by his beloved mum, (she does one for each of her seven children, and one for Harry too,) presents of Chocolate Frogs (they ‘hop realistically in your stomach!’) massive gut-busting Christmas feasts made by house elves in the Hogwarts kitchens, and games of magical wizarding chess- this is what Christmas treats are made of! My favourite Christmas scene? Where Dumbledore swaps his wizard’s hat for a bonnet he pulled from a cracker, of course.

Overall rating: 10 out of 10

Read if you enjoyed: ANYTHING HARRY POTTER OF COURSE!

This Book in Four Words: Pure. Unadulterated. Christmas. Magic!

All images via Tumblr

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