Books reviewed prior on this site prior to March 2019 were provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. Reviews beginning March 2019 come from a variety of sources: advanced copies, library loans, and my own purchases. All reviews are my honest opinions.

November 5, 2015

The Christmas Joy Ride {Melody Carlson}

christmas joy ride melody carlson revell
Miranda 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.

My Thoughts:
This whole book just made me smile. I fell in love with Joy the moment we were introduced to her. She is an older lady who is moving to Phoenix to live near her children. What she fails to tell her neighbor, Miranda, is that she has some health issues that are prompting the move. Instead she “guilts” Miranda into joining her on an RV adventure across the country.

Personally, I think a few weeks in a motorhome on the open road sounds amazing, so this story really spoke to me and made me a little jealous of the characters and their freedom to simply move across the country on their own timeline.

Miranda has been through some tough years in her life, but I love how she cares for Joy and treats her like family. It is obvious that the bond between the two ladies is very close and so heart-warming.

As the Christmas Joy Ride gets underway, it becomes very obvious that Joy has a very specific plan in mind. Miranda is simply along for the ride. But we also quickly learn that Joy is very aware of things that could take place along the trip and has made provisions for such events. Her detailed planning and motives are some of the sweetest I’ve seen in so long.

I love these characters. I love this setting. I love this story. And I especially love the perfectly happy ending that we get at the close of this book. This is a must-read for your Christmas season.

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus. 

She also writes many teen books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series. 

Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon.