Book Review: Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Donita K. Paul
Donita K. Paul
Can mysterious matchmaking booksellers bring two lonely hearts together in time for Christmas?
In a sleepy, snow-covered city, Cora Crowder is busy preparing for the holiday season. Searching for a perfect gift, a fortuitous trip to Warner, Werner, and Wizbotterdad’s (a most unusual bookshop) leads to an unexpected encounter with co-worker Simon Derrick. And the surprise discovery of a ticket for a truly one-of-a-kind Christmas Ball.
Every year, the matchmaking booksellers of the Sage Street bookshop host an enchanting, old-fashioned Christmas Ball for the romantic matches they’ve decided to bring together.
This year, will Simon and Cora discover a perfect chemistry in their opposite personalities and shared faith? Or will the matchmakers’ best laid plans end up ruining everything this holiday?
Did you read the synopsis? Assuming that you did, let me give you fair warning that the "enchanting, old-fashioned Christmas Ball" is actually termed a "Wizard's Christmas Ball" in the book. Which doesn't bother me a bit. In fact with all the fantasy I enjoy reading, some that involve wizards, I thought it was a fun bit of genius. But not every reader feels the same way about magic and wizards, so just be aware this book has some of both. As for me the addition of the magical street that's only there sometimes along with the the special Christmas Ball with only the vaguest information on how to attend or where to find it really made Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball shine.
It's funny how a decidedly magical book also has a decidedly Christian flavor. The magical elements were so much fun! I loved the old booksellers and the costume sellers who were working so hard at bringing Cora and Simon together. The mysterious element of Sage Street where sometimes it's there and other times, POOF, it's gone. The Wizard's Ball and all of the elements that come together to get Simon and Cora to attend. Even the dress Cora purchased to wear that literally disintegrated off someone else who was not intended to wear it. It was all so magical! Like reading a mellower version of Harry Potter.
And then you have Christian faith. Every character in this book except for Cora's family is a Christian. Cora's family ostracized her for getting uppity when she became a Christian so now she's trying to find her way, make her own traditions, celebrate Christmas the way Christ would have her celebrate it. That's all well and good, but I know many unsaved people who know how to love their families and celebrate Christmas. Being a Christian does not necessarily make one nice, just as not being a Christian doesn't make one underhanded and mean. The typecasting in Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball did bother me, as did the excessive amount of preaching. I don't like too much preaching in my Christian novels anymore because you're literally preaching to the choir, and so this was too much.
Overall, I'm combining my rating, which would be a 3, with my mother's rating, which would be a 5. Mom read this book and absolutely loved it. She'd never read anything like it before, found it unique and utterly enchanting, and I think wants to own it. Really, it comes down to a matter of taste. I think Ms. Paul could have done slightly more with the magical element of the story and less with the Christian preaching, and my mom thought it perfect the way it was written. Two different opinions, neither of them wrong. What I will say is that you won't find a more unique Christmas book out there. It is enthralling and engaging, and if you enjoy fantasy and magic and don't mind being overdosed on Christian preaching, then you're pretty much guaranteed to love it!
Click the above button for a link to the official page of links for this Christmas Fiction Extravaganza!