3 out of 5 stars for craft and 2 out of 4 hearts for spiritual impact.
About the book:
In a sleepy, snow-covered city, Cora Crowder is busy preparing for the holiday season. Searching for a perfect gift, a fortuitous trip to Warner, Werner, and Wizbotterdad's (a most unusual bookshop) leads to an unexpected encounter with co-worker Simon Derrick. And the surprise discovery of a ticket for a truly one-of-a-kind Christmas Ball. Every year, the matchmaking booksellers of the Sage Street bookshop host an enchanting, old-fashioned Christmas Ball for the romantic matches they've decided to bring together.
This year, will Simon and Cora discover a perfect chemistry in their opposite personalities and shared faith? Or will the matchmakers best laid plans end up ruining everything this holiday?
Well, this story was strange, but what else would I expect from an author who writes fantasy, right? The way the story was written made me think of the movie Ella Enchanted, and I could almost see a comedy of errors running through my head as I read the story. I didn't really get the extreme emotion of the characters (like Cora crying because her cat got pregnant) unless that was supposed to be part of the charm of the novel. I didn't sense any sparks flying between Cora and Simon...ever. I felt like I never really got to know the characters that well, and the sister Zee seemed very one dimensional, though ironically I had written a similar character into one of my early stories, LOL! There was some good stuff in the book (spiritually speaking,) but it came off sounding a bit stilted at times.
I have a bit of a pet peeve about people with disabilities being portrayed as children even though are are adults (Sandy was 24 in this story) but that wasn't so bad, it's just a peeve of mine. I work with people who have disabilities and everyone with Down Syndrome doesn't act the way Sandy was portrayed, but every book I've read this year has the same stereotype in it. Now it sounds like I am dissing the author, but I don't mean to. I know there are people who act the way Sandy does in this book. I guess I just didn't get the point of the story, but maybe that is part of the charm for fantasy lovers. Figuring out stuff that doesn't otherwise make sense. I must have missed the point somewhere. But the book cover is stunningly beautiful and the idea is very charming. Plus, it didn't help that I was sick in bed as I read this novella. Maybe it was just me, but I did finish the story, so I'm giving it three stars for the kudos I'm sure I missed.
Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball was published by Waterbrook Multnomah and released in Oct. 2010.