Friday, 20 December 2013

Review ~ The First Christmas Without You by Michelle Betham

eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 19th December 2013

Publisher: HarperImpulse

A story of love and hope at Christmas, The First Christmas Without You is an emotional and poignant novella. A truly magical Lapland fairytale…

Jessie Collins has always wanted to visit Lapland. But this Christmas, more than any other, it’s the place she feels she really needs to be as she tries to come to terms with a future she really needs to start living.

My Opinion

The First Christmas Without You was a very short read that I flew through. It surprised me with where the author took the story as I was not sure what to expect when requesting it. The description gives virtually nothing away so all I had to go off was the title. It turned it my thoughts were way off base though.

Set in Lapland, it created the perfect winter feel with a hint of magic that comes with Christmas and snow. I will admit I didn't feel there was much description with the setting and I would have liked more to really involve you in the world but you could still see the world through a general knowledge. However, because of the small amounts of detail, the writing flowed quickly and the character's story evolves rapidly which kept me engaged.

There was an instant attraction but the mixed emotions and hardly any contact didn't make it seem like a whirlwind romance. I would have liked more of the romance but the book ended in a nice sweet spot that leaves you smiling which was surprising. Everything I had heard up to reading 
The First Christmas Without You was that I would need tissues it was so sad but honestly, I didn't feel sad at all reading it. I sympathised with Jess and felt sorry for her loss but I never felt sad for her. I went in with the idea that it was going to be about a break up but I was soon corrected in the first few pages that Jess lost her husband. I guess this was the sad aspect people were talking about but personally because it's only stated and you never hear about Jase when he's living I didn't feel much towards it as there was no connection built.

Overall though, it was a quick, sweet read about getting over the loss of someone. It was enjoyable and something I sped through in front of the fire.


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