A Snowman Made of Sand by JJ Carroll

SnowmanMadeofSand[A]LGTitle: A Snowman Made of Sand
Series: Dreamspinner Press’ 2014 Advent Calendar: Celebrate
Author: JJ Carroll
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short (37 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: Last year in England, Australian Ethan Harvey not only met his “perfect” man in Tristan Lewin-Jones, Ethan shared a wonderful Christmas with Tristan’s “perfect” family—an ideal British holiday full of genteel good cheer and all the traditional trimmings.

Now Tris and Ethan are living in Sydney, and Tris wants the quintessential Australian beach Christmas, with sun, sand, surf, seafood… and the Harveys. But Ethan didn’t mention the Harveys are politically incorrect, rude, crude, and loud. He worries his family will drive Tris away. Giving Tris the perfect beach Christmas with the imperfect Harveys is going to take a holiday miracle.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2014 Advent Calendar package “Celebrate!”.
ISBN:  978-1-63216-762-0
Product Link:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5866
Reviewer: Prime
Review: It’s Tris’s first Christmas in Australia and Ethan wants to make it special, he also doesn’t want to spend Christmas with his family. I had to laugh at the latter because I was thinking of my crazy family. But really, Ethan is just scared of doing the big introduction knowing how awful his family is. And Tris is just unbelievably cute at the end after suffering through his boyfriend’s family!

Everything in this story is just fun. I think I found it a blast being an Australian and reading a Christmas story that doesn’t involve snow, being snowed in, blizzards and snow days. (The movie Snow Day was baffling when I saw it as a kid). It’s about as Aussie as you can get, even if we all don’t all go to the beach or beach shacks on Christmas Day to play cricket and footy.

This is a story anyone could relate to, because of the widely varied family involved. I think there’s something for everyone to understand on any level. The thing I related to, but in a different way, is that Ethan mentally refers to his honours thesis (step before PhD, we generally skip Masters) on parasitic plants. I usually have family asking me for my opinion on something not quite in my area of science and truly felt Ethan’s annoyance. I also had to laugh at all the innuendo with the word “bugger” and “buggered”, because it is a common slang here in Australia, but no one really looks into the literal meaning. It’s just a handy curse word.

I realise that editors/publishers have their standard use of language but I think it’s nice to be a bit more real about what different countries call things, to me it adds more to a book. These are just minor picks at language: the use of the word mile instead of kilometre. And “crisps” in Australia are “chips”, just as fries are “hot chips” but we do get fries from MacDonald’s (aka Macca’s) and Hungry Jacks (Burger King).

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

One thought on “A Snowman Made of Sand by JJ Carroll

  1. Thank you so much for a lovely review. However, Dreamspinner did not ask me to change anything (they even let ‘dole bludgers’ through), so mea culpa. I used ‘crisps’ because that’s what they’re generally called in England, and Ethan had adopted the local term while in England. So all my fault for any word usage — or misuse. Thank you again.

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