Book review: The Christmas Joy Ride

27 Nov

UnknownMiranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that’s exactly what she’s getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix — in the dead of winter, no less — the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Besides, a crazy trip with Joy would be more interesting than another Christmas home alone. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off to Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride — and a hidden problem that could derail the whole venture.

No one captures the heartwarming fun of the Christmas season quite like Melody Carlson. Fasten your seat belt, because it’s going to be an exciting ride!


515ITCagVtL._UX250_Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller”. Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including Romantic Time’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at

My Impressions:

I am a big fan of Melody Carlson, especially her Christmas novellas. Each successive one that I read is my new favorite, and that proved true with with The Christmas Joy Ride. Combining a fun duo spreading Christmas cheer with a trip down the famous Route 66, this book will kickstart your holiday spirit.

Joy Jorgensen is the 85 year old dynamo behind the Christmas with Joy blog. Facing a new chapter in her life and a cross-country move to be close to her sons, Joy enlists next-door neighbor Miranda to assist her in bringing a special Christmas blessing to 6 contest winners. Miranda is facing her own closing chapter as well. Divorced, unemployed, and soon to be homeless, Miranda is short on the holiday spirit, but agrees to accompany Joy on an RV adventure mostly to ensure Joy’s safety. Road blocks and bad weather, obstacles and unforeseen events beset the women as they bring blessings to those who have little cheer in their lives.

I loved the premise of this book — bringing unique and personalized Christmas celebrations to those whose hope is fading. Joy chose a nursing home, a rehab center, a struggling diner owner, a foster family, a salon owner battling cancer and a motherless girl whose father has quit celebrating Christmas. With each stop, people are blessed with her generosity and determination to make everything perfect just for them. The Christmas Joy Ride made me rethink the acts of kindness and charity that I routinely do. Should we act routinely or with fresh enthusiasm and personalized action? Joy’s character is inspired, but it is Miranda who grows in her attitude towards life. There is a bit of romance in the book that I thought was perfect as well. This book may be short in pages — 168 — but big in impact. I loved it and highly recommend it!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Revel for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2 Responses to “Book review: The Christmas Joy Ride”

  1. kelly @kellyblackwell November 28, 2015 at 6:17 pm #

    I am reading this right now! I am just loving it!

    • rbclibrary November 28, 2015 at 9:03 pm #

      Glad to hear it. Enjoy!

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