Mischenko's Reviews > 25 Days 'Til Christmas

25 Days 'Til Christmas by Poppy Alexander
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really liked it

25 Days 'Til Christmas was nothing like what I expected. It's much more complex than any other Christmas books I've read, dealing with some tough issues like depression, death, loneliness, suicide, and learning disorders.

In this story we read about Kate and Daniel, both living in Bristol, England, who are now suffering grief after loss. Kate's husband (Tom) passed away after leaving for the army and she's left to care for their young son (Jake) with little support. Daniel lost his sister (Zoe) due to a heart condition that was left untreated.

The holidays are a trigger for sadness and depression for many people, and Christmas is just another day--one that Kate would love to avoid altogether. Having Jake though, it seems obligatory to celebrate Christmas, and Kate wants him to be happy. The issue is that Kate's depressed and misses her husband. Even though she works very hard selling Christmas trees and even has some side work, she's living paycheck to paycheck and consistently has to count pennies to be sure there's food on the table. What she needs is to find a social connection, to get outside her comfort zone, and to get back to living life. With the help of a friend and by using an advent calendar, she makes an effort to do something Christmassy with Jack every day in December leading up to Christmas day. With new problems on the horizon, Kate isn't sure she can manage all these struggles, and questions how anything can possibly work out.

Daniel's story is also unfortunate. After losing his sister just under a year ago, he can't stand the thought of spending this next Christmas without her. In his spare time he volunteers on a crisis helpline that assists people who are struggling with mental health issues--mainly suicidal thoughts. He genuinely wants to help others. Daniel strives to connect with someone he's met in the past, someone he calls 'The Christmas Tree Girl', but he isn't sure the best way to go about it.

I was invested in these characters from the very start. The story felt realistic and believable because every conflict faced by these characters is logical and part of everyday life for many of us. As much as I love the holidays, they always seem to evoke some sadness and depression in me due to lost loved ones, and that made the book feel relevant to me. My emotions were running high throughout.

The author's writing is great, but the story was honestly somewhat of a slow burn for me. It was insufferable at times because it was so depressing. For once, I just wanted something to work out for Kate, Jake, and Daniel, and situations just seemed to gradually get worse. With that said, the final pages of the book left me satisfied and I'm so glad to have made it through. This book brought me down, but built me back up again. Even though the ending was rushed, it was lovely.

4****

I won this book in a giveaway. This is my own, honest review of the book.
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Reading Progress

September 27, 2019 – Shelved
September 27, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
November 9, 2019 – Started Reading
November 9, 2019 –
page 30
8.52%
November 9, 2019 –
page 76
21.59%
November 9, 2019 –
page 165
46.88%
November 10, 2019 –
page 226
64.2%
November 10, 2019 –
page 290
82.39%
November 10, 2019 –
page 352
100.0%
November 10, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-27 of 27 (27 new)

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message 1: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Lovely review Mischenko and very honest 💖


message 2: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Lovely review Mischenko. I can see why this book was not what you expected from the write up about the book! Glad it was worth reading though 💕


Mischenko Maureen wrote: "Lovely review Mischenko and very honest 💖"

Thank you, Maureen ♥️


Mischenko Sandra wrote: "Lovely review Mischenko. I can see why this book was not what you expected from the write up about the book! Glad it was worth reading though 💕"

Thank you, Sandra. I'm really glad I finished it though. 💚


message 5: by Starjustin (new)

Starjustin Hmmmmmm. This seems kind of sad. Hoping all worked out for the good in the end. Losing loved ones always makes the holidays seem difficult. I think having faith in the hereafter keeps depression from seeping in.
Great review Jen! ❤️🎄


Mischenko Starjustin wrote: "Hmmmmmm. This seems kind of sad. Hoping all worked out for the good in the end. Losing loved ones always makes the holidays seem difficult. I think having faith in the hereafter keeps depression fr..."

It is sad in my opinion, but there were happy parts too, especially the end. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! ♥️


message 7: by Cheri (new)

Cheri I think most of my favourite Christmas reads have included some level of sadness, and generally that doesn't bother me since it's such a stressful time of year for everyone, and for those dealing with "issues" that go beyond just the season, it has to be that much worse. I'm encouraged by your four stars, Mischenko, excellent review!


message 8: by Mischenko (last edited Nov 10, 2019 02:49PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mischenko Cheri wrote: "I think most of my favourite Christmas reads have included some level of sadness, and generally that doesn't bother me since it's such a stressful time of year for everyone, and for those dealing w..."

Mine too, Cheri, but this one was just different for me. Having suffered from depression and anxiety, mental health is close to my heart. I don't always need a happy ending, but I was yearning for it in this book. I did enjoy this. ♥️ Thank you!


Mischenko Nicola wrote: "Lovely review Mischenko! May you always stay strong keeping those demons away. Unfortunately I know that battle only too well. Sending you a big hug! 🤗"

Thank you, Nicola. I appreciate that so much! You too, friend. ♥️ Hugs


message 10: by Mark (new)

Mark André I feel the same as you about Christmas. We’re trained, encouraged from the time we are very young that it is the most important day of the year. Unfortunately not every Christmas is perfect and some by chance or fate can even be tragic and sad, and yet when the season comes upon we want to celebrate, but it’s hard, or even impossible to separate the good memories from the bad.


Mischenko Mark wrote: "I feel the same as you about Christmas. We’re trained, encouraged from the time we are very young that it is the most important day of the year. Unfortunately not every Christmas is perfect and som..."

Yes, it's so true, Mark. I try to focus on the positive and stay present, but it sure can be difficult. It's truly my favorite time of year. Like Kate, having children is what really inspires me to try my hardest. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it, Mark. I surely hope you have a lovely Christmas, friend. 😊


message 12: by Brian (new) - added it

Brian This was very thoughtful and a wonderfully insightful and constructive review, Mischenko. Thank you for your time in putting it online.


Mischenko Brian wrote: "This was very thoughtful and a wonderfully insightful and constructive review, Mischenko. Thank you for your time in putting it online."

That's so nice of you to say, Brian! Thank you.


Mary Beth *Traveling Sister* Great review, Mischenko! 👍


Mischenko Mary Beth *Traveling Sister* wrote: "Great review, Mischenko! 👍"

Thank you, Mary Beth! ❤


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Really great review, thanks for sharing:)


Mischenko Dorie - Cats&Books :) wrote: "Really great review, thanks for sharing:)"

Thank you! 🙂


message 18: by Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill (last edited Nov 13, 2019 10:21AM) (new)

Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill Great review! I love Christmas books! Well..anything Christmas actually! Although this would have caught me a bit off guard...Thanks for your review. I would have been expecting a super happy read.


Mischenko Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill wrote: "Great review! I love Christmas books! Well..anything Christmas actually! Although this would have caught me a bit off guard...Thanks for your review. I would have been expecting a super happy read."

Thanks, Kim! It was a little different than what I expected, but I'm glad to have read it. ♥️


message 20: by Fred (new)

Fred Great review, I’ve been reading Anne Perry’s yearly Christmas series. Thanks


message 21: by Joe (new) - added it

Joe Krakovsky I enjoyed your review, Mischenko. It sounds like a good Christmas read.


Mischenko Fred wrote: "Great review, I’ve been reading Anne Perry’s yearly Christmas series. Thanks"

I'll have to check that series out, Fred! Thank you 🙂


Mischenko Joe wrote: "I enjoyed your review, Mischenko. It sounds like a good Christmas read."

Thanks, Joe! ☺️


message 24: by Paula (new)

Paula Lovely review, Mischenko!


message 25: by Chris (new) - added it

Chris Nice review, Mischenko! I’m hoping I can get to this one in the next couple of weeks!


Mischenko Paula wrote: "Lovely review, Mischenko!"

Thank you, Paula!


Mischenko Chris wrote: "Nice review, Mischenko! I’m hoping I can get to this one in the next couple of weeks!"

Hope you love it, Chris! Thank you


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