Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Twelve Days of Christmas (Debbie Macomber) Book Review

2016 Reading Challenge

50. Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber
      Topic/Theme: first book you see in a bookstore

Friendly and bubbly, Julia Padden likes nearly everyone, but her standoffish neighbor, Cain Maddox, presents a particular challenge. No matter how hard she’s tried to be nice, Cain rudely rebuffs her at every turn, preferring to keep to himself. But when Julia catches Cain stealing her newspaper from the lobby of their apartment building, that’s the last straw. She’s going to break through Cain’s Scrooge-like exterior the only way she knows how: by killing him with kindness.
To track her progress, Julia starts a blog called The Twelve Days of Christmas. Her first attempts to humanize Cain are far from successful. Julia brings him homemade Christmas treats and the disagreeable grinch won’t even accept them. Meanwhile, Julie’s blog becomes an online sensation, as an astonishing number of people start following her adventures. Julia continues to find ways to express kindness and, little by little, chips away at Cain’s gruff façade to reveal the caring man underneath. Unbelievably, Julia feels herself falling for Cain—and she suspects that he may be falling for her as well. But as the popularity of her blog continues to grow, Julia must decide if telling Cain the truth about having chronicled their relationship to the rest of the world is worth risking their chance at love.  

My Review:
This was one of my favorite Christmas stories I have read. When Julia starts getting aggravated with a neighbor, she tries to come up with a way to handle the situation. With the help of a friend, they come up with the idea of killing him with kindness. At the same time, a company that Julia's applying for couldn't decide on whether to hire her or another person. The company decides that the position will go to whoever can get the most views and comments on his or her blog. Julia decides to call her blog, the Twelve Days of Christmas, as a way of recording how her twelve days of kindness campaign with Cain goes. Of course, it goes without saying that the twelve days are the twelve days leading up to and including Christmas. The kindness campaign doesn't get off to a great start, but she's determined to not give up. The blog, on the other hand, is a hit. Slowly and surely, Julia begins to crack his shell. She soon realizes that there's more to him than meets the eye. As much as they hate to admit it, they start to feel attracted to each other and they start having dates. As the blog continues to grow each day, Julia struggles to come clean about how she's been chronicling not only her kind acts, but their relationship as well. Once the media gets involved, Cain finds out by accident and everything that they have worked for comes crashing down, as Cain thinks she was only putting on an act. In Cain's defense, he has struggled with the hurt and pain of a past relationship in which he was taken advantage of, among other things, and has a hard time trusting others. He also has struggled to come to terms with his mom's death and I can't blame him. I can't imagine how much it hurts to lose a parent or a child. It's a grief that goes on and on. While they start fixing things, Cain's grandfather becomes the hero in salvaging their relationship. 

The Twelve Days of Christmas was another heartwarminging tale from Debbie Macomber. She has this way of keeping a truth of reality to her characters. It can be hard to capture the essence of real life situations and what people really go through. Debbie never fails to deliver. The overall theme was that people aren't always what they seem. We don't know what a person is going through and have no place to judge based on how they act or seem like on the outside. 

Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!


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