Publisher's Note:  

Fresh out of college and about to start her dream job as a photographer in New York, Aubrey is sure her life is picture perfect. From the moment she sets foot in the city, though, everything starts to crumble around her. With family problems back home, a complicated relationship, and an unforgiving city all around her, this Christmas, all Aubrey really wants is to find the real meaning of the holiday.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Sweetwater Books

Picturing Christmas

by Jason Wright, Sterling Wright

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Overall Review:  

It's not officially winter yet, and I rarely see snow at my home in the Southeast, but a good book about Christmas always helps me gear up for the holidays. Whether the story is penned by Dr. Seuss or Debbie Macomber, the quickest way for me to feel the season's cheer is by nestling up with a hot cup of herbal tea, a warm blanket, and a festive book on a cold night.

New York Times Bestselling author Jason F. Wright collaborates with Sterling Wright for the rerelease of his novella, Picturing Christmas. Having not read the original version, I cannot compare it with the latest edition, but by reading the synopsizes, they do have the same premise and characters.

Third person narrative depicts a contemporary story with the hallmark holiday angle:  an unfortunate individual/family who need to be reminded the reason for the season.

The story launches with a prologue that although is sweet, sucks away the mystery of finding out the conclusion of the story, but for some, it may enhance the curiosity on how it all came to be.

The protagonist, Aubrey, is a young adult with a fixed mindset and stubborn attitude. That stubbornness sometimes makes her strong, and other times just hard-headed. Her life and her family are not how she pictured it, and she struggles with the enigma of having the ideal existence.

The story is pleasant as well as entertaining, but for me, missed the mark of delivering a picture-perfect Christmas novel.  The characters are cute and adequately developed, but come across as a bit arrogant, making them unrelatable to me.

Christmas novels are the only time I welcome a sappy, slightly cliche story. This plot does introduce a mild romance that isn't as rushed as most holiday fanfare novels, but what is ushered in abruptly is the ending. Instead of having the readers experience the outcome with the characters, the author gift wraps it up in a tight little bow, with no room for further progression.

If you're not looking for an emotional tear-jerker, but instead an adequate, relatively sweet Yuletide account, then Picturing Christmas is a satisfying seasonal story.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  Mention of JFK's assassination; report of mafia hit; character is threatened and robbed; joke about violence.

Sex/Nudity:   About 5 humorous sexual reference jokes; adults date; hand-holding(2x); joke about marriage; discussion about infidelity within marriage; adult couple embrace and kiss.

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Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Adult drinks wine; about 2 references to drugs; mention of a bar; mention of a drunk adult.

Reviewed By MaryLou
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