Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Christmas Star by Ace Collins - REVIEW

Goodreads Synopsis:
Robert Reed gave his life for his country in the early days of World War II. His sacrifice was honored when his widow and son were presented with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Each Christmas the final decoration Madge Reed hangs on the family s tree is that medal. Rather than being a symbol of honor for young Jimmy Reed that shining star represents loss, pain, and suffering. Yet a letter delivered by one of Robert s fellow soldiers and a mystery posed in that letter put a father s sacrifice and faith into perspective and bring new meaning to not just the star hanging on the Christmas tree but the events of the very first Christmas. Then, when least expected, a Christmas miracle turns a final bit of holiday sadness into a joy that Jimmy has never known.

My Take:
4 Stars

Jimmy Reed is a teenager, still grieving over his father's death after he's been gone for three years. This has put a heavy burden on his mother and they don't have much money to work with now. Even though Jimmy's father died a hero and was awarded a Medal of Honor, one they hang last on the Christmas tree each year, he still doesn't feel any better because of it. In fact, it makes him even angrier. What's worse is his dad is gone and the rest of the soldiers are coming home, which leaves Jimmy choosing to hang out with the wrong kids and getting into trouble because of his anger.
I like stories that take place during this time, yet sometimes it's not always happy such as in this book, and as I said above, Jimmy decided to get into trouble with some bad kids/the wrong crowd, rather than try to get over his father's death in a more constructive way, but at that time, was there really such a thing as counseling available back then? Not really.
A soldier brings Jimmy a letter before Christmas and he learns how his father really died, which brings great joy to him. Christmas now has a new meaning for him, and he changes his life accordingly.
This book has a strong Christian theme, too, which did make it go well with the season.
For myself, being female, this book was hard for me to get into, and it wasn't one I really enjoyed all that much because I couldn't get into it, but I think others will like this story a lot more than I did only because it's something I usually don't read. I do recommend this book, but for 'me', it was just one I was not crazy over. However, just because "I" had a hard time getting into this book does not mean you won't. I would still rate this book a good 4-star book as it will appeal to a large audience. In this instance, it's 'just me'.
I believe this book will appeal more to young boys/teens/male adults, perhaps more so than women.  I received this book for FREE from Abington Press through NetGalley in exchange to read and write a review about it. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but of my own honest opinion. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255,
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

About the Author:

From Amazon:
Ace Collins is the writer of more than sixty books, including several bestsellers: Stories behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, Stories behind the Great Traditions of Christmas, The Cathedrals, and Lassie: A Dog's Life. Based in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, He continues to publish several new titles each year, including a series of novels, the first of which is Farraday Road. Ace has appeared on scores of television shows, including CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News, CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and Entertainment Tonight.


  1. This is a great Christmas story, complete with a miracle at the end. Collins is at the top of his form with this novel. The characters are so real you feel like you know them. The small town of Ash Flat, Arkansas is brought to life through the wonderful people living there. Reading this novel was like taking a journey back in time to a simpler place, a place where people cared for each other and helped each other out. A truly heartwarming story.

    Informative URL for Landscaping Olympia WA click here

    1. Hi Marlene,
      Thanks for giving us what your feelings are about this book. "Your" mini-review.
      However, the feelings you got out of this novel, about people caring for and helping each other "BACK THEN" when times were simpler is wrong. I cannot with your statement whatsoever. I'm not sorry about saying that, either. The 'ambience', or the 'setting' for this book did not take us back to simpler times. In fact, this book took place during WWII, and the young boy LOST HIS FATHER! HIS FATHER WAS KILLED IN WAR! That is NOT a simpler way to live. However the book ended should NOT be given HERE, but should be left for people to read on their own so we don't SPOIL their enjoyment of this novel for them.
      Yesterday AND today people care for and help each other out JUST AS MUCH, equally. Just because this took place in a fictional city does NOT mean that today we love each other less. This book was NOT trying to imply your feelings that life back then was simpler, either. As far as the past being a 'simpler place to live in', I must also disagree as well! The past has always been more difficult to live in or why else would be continuously trying to make things better?
      You are talking about the 'romantic ambiance' of this novel which does NOT exist in real life.
      We CANNOT mix romantic 'memories' of the past with the realities of today or we will not be living in reality. I HOPE you understand this?
      Even electronics help to make life so much easier and enjoyable today! We have smart phones, computers, tablets, and I can go on and on and on! Life today is MUCH simpler than it was yesterday, even for farmers! They have much better farming equipment to use, some of it is even air conditioned, something you would NEVER have even imaginrf back then!

      Marlene, I wish you would have asked me if it was okay with me if you could ADVERTISE YOUR COMPANY ON MY BLOG. You did NOT. That is wrong and rude. Please do not do this again in the future or I'll have to remove your comment because of this reason alone.
      Thank you.


I LOVE Comments so please leave one! After I review the comments and make sure they are NOT SPAM - I HAVE BEEN BOMBARDED WITH SPAM - YOUR COMMENTS WILL BE PUBLISHED HERE! Thanks SO MUCH for your patience and for leaving a comment!!! Comments are ALWAYS welcomed, YET THEY WILL NOT LINK TO GOOGLE+ EITHER DUE TO THE AMOUNT OF SPAM!!! When I say this blog is experiencing SPAM, we are talking 30+ comments PER DAY that are spam! Please understand!! Again, thank you!!