Wednesday, October 31, 2012

G5 Book Review of A christmas Home by Greg Kincaid

Name of Book: A christmas home

Author: Greg Kincaid

ISBN:978-0-307-95197-7

Publisher: Random House

Part of a Series: christmas series

Type of book: dogs, shelters, disabilities both physical and mental, problems, close-downs, ideas, hope, miracles, independence, growing up, 2012, December

Year it was published: 2012

Summary:

Todd McCray, hero of A Dog Named Christmas, is now twenty-four years old and working at a local animal shelter, where he meets and quickly becomes best friends with Laura, a young volunteer. Laura, like Todd, has disabilities of her own, but her struggles are more physical than developmental. Their friendship is sealed when Todd—with the help of his trusted companion, the tenacious Labrador retriever named Christmas—trains a beautiful dog named Gracie to help Laura with the day-to-day life tasks that are difficult for her.

Life seems good for Todd, but all is not well in his hometown. Struggling families unable to make ends meet are abandoning more and more dogs, and the shelter is swelling to capacity. The local government is struggling to meet its obligations too, and in early December, on the cusp of another holiday season, Todd’s boss delivers the bad news. Due to funding problems, the shelter will close its doors before the end of the year. But what will happen to all the animals?

As the Christmas holiday approaches, Todd has limited time to find homes for all the dogs. Not to mention that he needs to secure a new job and figure out what to do when his friendship with Laura takes an unexpected romantic turn. All this seems overwhelming unless you’ve got a loving family, dedicated friends, and a couple of very special dogs behind you. In which case, nothing is impossible.

Characters:

The characters are somewhat simplistic and not very complex. I think I would have liked to see more interactions between the characters and the dogs; I feel that there wasn't enough interaction. Also, what happened to Gracie's family, and how did a few things get solved? I do think there will be a sequel next year maybe. I wanted to know what exactly was wrong with Todd, and would have liked glimpsing their foibles as well as personalities. The story is more plot driven rather than character driven.

Theme:

Miracles do happen with help of other people.

Plot:

This is in third person narrative from omniscient point of view, although it's primarily from Todd's point of view. There are glimpses into Laura's and George's thoughts as well. (Kind of liked George. Makes me want to read the previous two books the author wrote...) the language is a little unrealistic because I doubt that some people darn or whatnot. The plot itself seems to be simplistic, and I wonder if in previous books the chemistry between Laura and Todd is addressed. (It felt forced not realistic to me.) I also would have liked to know what was wrong with Todd. (The author never mentioned what was wrong.)

Author Information:

Greg Kincaid is the author of A Dog Named christmas and christmas with Tucker. He lives in Kansas with his wife and two dogs.

Opinion:

This is the first time I read a book that was related to christmas. My family and I don't celebrate it (obviously,) therefore I can't wait until its over and I can move on to the fun New Years. The story is true to christmas spirit; filled with hope, love and fuzzies. The author briefly addresses the major problems but doesn't provide solutions to them. Miracles do happen. Also, I have to add, I never read the prequels to this book. Some problems seemed to be solved way too simply and very conveniently. It is an inspiring story and probably will prompt a desire to give a dog from the shelter a good home.

Quick notes: I won this book on goodreads.com thus this review will appear in its entirety on goodreads as well as the blog

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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