ARC · book review · NetGalley · St. Martin's Press

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope: Book 9) by Donna VanLiere

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)

3 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: October 16th, 2018

Genre: General Fiction, Christian

Series: Christmas Hope

The Christmas Shoes—Book 1

The Christmas Blessing—Book 2

The Christmas Hope—Book 3

The Christmas Promise—Book 4

The Christmas Secret—Book 5

The Christmas Note—Book 6

The Christmas Light—Book 7

The Christmas Town—Book 8

The Christmas Star—Book 9

Where you can find The Christmas Star: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Hope series comes another heartwarming, inspirational story for the holidays.

Thirty-two-year-old Amy Denison volunteers at Glory’s Place, an after school program where she meets seven-year-old Maddie, a precocious young girl who has spent her childhood in foster care. Unbeknownst to Amy, Maddie is a mini-matchmaker, with her eye on just the right man for Amy at Grandon Elementary School, where she is a student. Amy is hesitant – she’s been hurt before, and isn’t sure she’s ready to lose her heart again – but an unexpected surprise makes her reconsider her lonely lifestyle.

As Christmas nears and the town is blanketed in snow and beautiful decorations, Maddie and the charming staff at Glory’s Place help Amy to see that romance can be more than heartache and broken promises.

In The Christmas Star, Donna VanLiere delivers yet another sweet, joyous story that is sure to capture readers’ hearts.


My review:

It seems like I am reading and reviewing a lot of Christmas books lately. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays and I like reading books that put me in the holiday mood. Especially when it is the middle of October, in the mid to high 80’s and as humid as it is in mid-August. So, yes, I enjoyed reading The Christmas Star.

The Christmas Star is a cute second chance romance, even though it isn’t billed as one. Amy is volunteering at an after-school program called Glory’s Place. It is there that she meets Maddie, an adorable 7-year-old who has spent her entire life in foster care. Gabriel is a custodian at a local elementary school. He knows Maddie from school and has become fast friends with her. Maddie is not so subtle about them meeting. And when they do, surprise doesn’t even cover what they both felt. See, Amy and Gabriel were married and had gotten divorced. They try to stay apart but life keeps throwing them together. What will happen to them? Will they rekindle their romance? Or will they go their separate ways?


What I Liked About The Christmas Star:

What did I like about The Christmas Star? Hmmm, let me think for a minute. I liked reading this book and finding myself smiling during certain scenes. Mainly the ones with Maddie in them. I loved that little girl. I liked most of the characters. I liked that it was set during Christmas (duh…lol). I also liked that it was a second chance romance, even though it wasn’t billed as one. But, what I liked the most, is that there was no sex in this book at all. It was 100% a clean book. I also liked that this book was a Christian book. I liked that Christianity was discussed but not pushed down my throat.

To Recap:

  1. Certain scenes made me smile
  2. Most of the characters
  3. It was set during Christmas
  4. A second chance romance
  5. Zero sex. Not even kissing!!
  6. A Christian book but didn’t overwhelm me as I read it.

What I Disliked About The Christmas Star:

There were things that I didn’t like about this book. I was confused about why Amy and Gabriel’s relationship ended. There were two explanations. One was dumbed down to a 7-year-old (I wasn’t a good husband). The other one was when Gabriel was thinking about the past (I was a bad husband and I drank too much). I figured Gabriel drank too much but what else happened? I also didn’t like that Lauren and Travis’s story took over the book. That is something I cannot stand when I am reading a series of books. Those characters and that storyline should have been regulated to the background. I also didn’t like how happy Amy’s parents were about certain things that happened at the end of the book. Even though Gabe talked to them for 5 hours, it still struck a chord on my BS meter. And the last thing: The adoption. I know people who have adopted out of foster care before and it took months (even uncontested). There were so many hurdles that they had to jump through it wasn’t even funny. So to have one go through in under a month didn’t ring true to me.

To Recap:

  1. Confused about why Amy and Gabriel’s relationship ended
  2. Lauren and Travis’s relationship being one of the main storylines
  3. How happy Amy’s parents were about what happened at the end of the book
  4. The adoption. Not a realistic situation

What I rated the book and why:

I gave The Christmas Star a 3-star rating. I enjoyed reading the book and thought it was a sweet story. I loved that it was set around Christmas. I also liked this book was 100% clean. There was no sex. Don’t get me wrong, I loved me some sex but in this case, the book didn’t need it. But there were some things that I didn’t like about this book. The main thing, which affected the rating, was the adoption at the end of the book. It was not realistic. My other reasons were what I felt personally about certain things in the book and listed above.

I would give The Christmas Star an Older Teen rating. There is no sex or sexual situations. There is no language. There is no violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread The Christmas Star. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends


Other stuff:

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Christmas Star.

All opinions stated in this review of The Christmas Star are mine.

I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read The Christmas Star?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

3 thoughts on “The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope: Book 9) by Donna VanLiere

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