Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Book Review - Joe and Clara's Christmas Countdown by Katey Lovell

Amazon UK
Title:  Joe and Clara's Christmas Countdown
Author: Katey Lovell
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 13th October 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

This Christmas she’ll give her heart to someone special…

As Christmas approaches Joe Smith knows he should be celebrating with friends and family, making the most of the season. But for Joe, Christmas only holds painful memories. Ones he can feel crushing his heart, a reminder of a time he can never forget.

Clara O'Connell loves Christmas. For her it is the most magical time of the year. And she's determined to make Joe love it too! She knows he's hurting, but maybe she can help to ease his pain. Her plan: One special gift every day to remind Joe just how loved he is.

But the clock is ticking. Will the Christmas magic wear off at midnight or will Clara's Christmas countdown be the perfect gift to heal Joe's broken heart? And in doing so, maybe she will get a gift in return…Joe's love for Christmas and forever…?

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, after reading easily the most festive book I've read so far this year!  This is just the sort of book I have been hoping to read, to make me think Christmas may be coming! 

It's not just that its clearly a festive read that has greatly pleased me, but it spoke to me on another level and has brought back so memories of my own time going to my local youth club, and then for a few years being a youth worker for the younger children, helping out, before on a Sunday night attending the club for my own age group. 

Ok my group was a bit different to this one but just from the scenes being described I found myself thinking of various people in my past, and events that were very similar. I just understood the main setting so well and was rooting for a Christmas miracle for The Club on the Corner. 

Now the Christmas Countdown was fantastic, both Clara and Joe are hoping to get different things out of their countdown. Joe is hoping to show Clara that men can be trusted, and that not every man is a nightmare.  Clara is hoping to remind Joe just how magical the Christmas season is. 

To do this every other day Clara gives Joe a gift to conjure up some festive feeling and on the other days Joe takes Clara out as friends to different Christmassy places and activities. All the while they are seeing each other continually at the youth club too. 

If you are the sort that likes to only read a short bit of book each day perhaps before bed, then start this just before December, and then each day just read 1 chapter, the next day of the countdown - each chapter is  day from either Joe or Clara's point of view. You could turn this into a advent calendar of a delightful book! 

Of course if you are like me and get completely hooked early on, then spreading out my enjoyment was never going to be an option, as I couldn't get enough of this book. The story just hit all the right notes for me, and the Christmas gifts and activities are spot on. 

Both Joe and Clara are also trying to heal from events in their pasts, and it was interesting to see just what was making them tick, once they opened up to each other.  

This is a beautifully written piece of pure enjoyment of a book, and has cemented in my mind just how talented Katey Lovell is.  I adored this, and wonder if I will read another this year that makes me feel this festive - I'm actually confused that it isn't December already!

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Harper Impulse for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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