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Book Review: Santa's Countdown to Christmas, 24 Days of Stories by Kim Thompson, Illustrated by Elodie Duhameau

Santa's Countdown to Christmas by Kim Thompson, Illustrated by Elodie Duhameau was published on October 2, 2017 and is a book format of an advent calendar.  Told from the perspective of Santa Claus, the storyline chronicles what Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the elves, and the reindeer do in preparation of Christmas on each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. I'd like to thank NetGalley and Crackboom! Books for giving me a copy of Santa's Countdown to Christmas in exchange for my honest review.  I was thrilled to be approved to read this book because I love Christmas and am a kid at heart. This picture book was well written and engaging.  The illustrations were phenomenal as well.  I even enjoyed reading it as an adult.  I wish I had kids of my own so I could buy it for them, but I guess I'll have to settle for buying it for family members and friends who have kids that believe in Santa Claus.  I'd recommend this book for babies through eight years old.  Reading

Book Review: The Villa by Rachel Hawkins

book review the villa rachel hawkins

The Villa by Rachel Hawkins is about the friendship between Emily and Chess.  Friends since elementary school, their friendship has become strained now that they're in their thirties.  When a trip to Italy is suggested by Chess, Emily leaps at the chance to get away and work on their relationship.  However, the villa they rent has a dark past.

I'd like to thank NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the digital review copy of The Villa by Rachel Hawkins.  I haven't read any of the author's works before, but I have heard glowing reviews of her novels.  I was ecstatic when I was approved to receive a copy of Hawkins' latest novel in exchange for my honest review.

Told from two different perspectives and times, The Villa by Rachel Hawkins was an interesting read with things that I loved and disliked.  I loved the two different storylines told in the present by Emily and in the past by Mari.  However, there were times I had trouble switching back and forth between the storylines, but that was on me and not the author.  Both timelines were great, but I think I enjoyed the one set in the present the best.

There were twists and turns galore, and I didn't see the ending coming.  I won't give it away, but there was one thing that happened in the past that caused something to happen in the present.  I hated that it happened, but then a twist came in to play that caused me to have an "Oh . . . my . . . god" moment.  You'll have to read the book for yourself to see exactly what I'm talking about.

Like most books, there are likable and unlikable characters.  With a few of the unlikable characters, I do understand that their history made them who they were, but I still didn't care for them.  The characters that I did like were the two main characters.

Five out of five stars is what I gave The Villa by Rachel Hawkins.  I'll definitely read the authors other books.

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