Books · Christmas

Book Review: I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Various

Hey Guys!

It’s day 24! We’ve done it!!! I can’t believe it!!!!! I am honestly so happy. I was sure that I would miss a least one day, but I haven’t! I really hope that you have enjoyed Blogmas as much as I have. Anyway, before I waffle on too much, lets actually get down to today’s post. We are ending Blogmas in true Escape From Reality style, with a book review. This week it is the turn of ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ by Various.

This is a beautiful little Christmas themed anthology with a very important message. This book is by only UK, YA authors, and each story/poem in it is themed around the idea of Home. The reason why I say that this book has an important message is because the book was written with the charity, CRISIS. Most of the stories/poems explore the idea of what Christmas and home is like/means for a person/family in crisis. A portion of the cost of this book goes to the charity and I personally think that this is such an important book, especially because of its age group. It is a topic that everyone needs to remember and know more about. But before I talk for a century, lets get down to the actual review. I will be doing this review in my usual anthology style, a general review then a baby review for each story/poem.

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This truly a beautiful anthology. I am so glad that this popped up on my Amazon Recommendations. There are some truly heartbreaking stories in here, but also some real hope inducing ones. Everything is so beautifully written, but it is also done tactfully and with respect to people that are actually going through these hard times. I am so pleased that this is something that exists. I am also so pleased that such big authors got involved in it. This book is really going to help raise awareness of something that honestly, seems to slip under the radar a bit. This book needs a lot more recognition and I personally think everyone should read it. It is beautiful, festive and makes you think. The perfect anthology.

star 55 out of 5

Home And Away by Benjamin Zephaniah

What a brilliant piece to open on. This poem is so honest and real. Generally speaking I am not a massive fan of poetry, but I loved this one. It really took you on a journey and gave you such an important screenshot of the life of a person in crisis. A person in need. This poem showed things as they really are for people in this situation. A beautiful poem with a deep story. The perfect way to open this anthology.

star 55 out of 5

Ghost Of Christmas Past by Non Pratt

I am a little torn over this one. This is the first actual story in this book. I like it because it explores a different sort of situation/crisis then you would usually expect. You follow a teenage boy as he deals with the fall out of his parents separation and financial issues. The reason why I am a little torn is because I wasn’t sold on it. Things didn’t really feel finished. Sam just kind of gets over everything in a split second, I guess, I didn’t find it realistic. Although I will admit that I thought that Sam and Amy where really sweet. A nice story, I just kind f wished that it ended better.

star 3.53.5 out of 5

If Only In My Dreams by Marcus Sedgwick

this one was unexpected and honestly, pretty weird. The story followed a group of astronauts on the international space-station at Christmas as one of them struggles with the, I don’t know, isolation and darkness of space, only to discover that his fellow astronauts are feeling the same and all of them had the same extremely disturbing dream about the earth rotting. This is literally never explained. You just have to sort of accept that this is apparently just something that happens. But apart from that, it was good. It was a very different and explored a very different idea of home. It was also written in an unusual style, there where no speech marks, which did make it a little strange to read, but still, enjoyable enough, if weird.

star 33 out of 5

Family You Choose by Cat Clarke

I really like this one, although it was odd. Although set just a few days before Christmas, it really doesn’t feel all that festive, it is still nice though. I really liked the concept of this one and I would quiet like to see more of it. You can tell that there is a hell of a lot of background in this story, and a long way that it could go, but it also somehow worked as a short story. I really liked the characters, I think that they all held the perfect balance of nice and quirky. A good little story, if not that festive

star 44 out of 5

The Associates by Kevin Bourne

this one was definitely the sort of story that I was expecting to find in this book, although it was not done in the way I thought it would be. In this one you follow two homeless men on the day before the Christmas dinner at the community centre That’s it. It is a really simple story but very poignant. Bourne created a very realistic snapshot into these men’s lives. The saddening truth of how many people just automatically assume that they are up to no good or just ignore them completely is heartbreaking. This was so well written and conveyed such an honest truth of the world. I really want to know more about these men’s

star 4.54.5 out of 5

The Afterschool Club by Holly Bourne

This was my favourite so far. Again, it wasn’t massively festive, aside from the snow, but it was a brilliant little story. It showed how two very different people, from very different lives can both experience a crisis and can even be united by it. I really liked the way that this one was written, it had a lot of unanswered questions, but that worked for it. I would love to see a full story of this one. It was just such a good read and I now want to read more by Bourne, even more then I did before.

star 55 out of 5

Homo For Christmas by Juno Dawson

I really really like this. It really made me smile. In this one you follow Duncan as he travels home for Christmas, with the aim of coming out to his mum. The reason why I loved this one so much is because not only does it have a really nice out come, but the couple in it are adorable. I am officially in love with Duncan and Abe. I want a full book on them, they are so damn cute. Plus, Duncan is a Geordie, which is an accent I love, so that was just the icing on the cake. Although, I will admit, my inner monologue is now stuck in Geordie mood lol.

star 55 out of 5

Amir And George by Sita Brahmachari

Well I’m sobbing. So much emotion and heartache in such a short story. This one follows Amir, a young refugee boy as he tells George Orwell (sounds weird, it kinda is, but it works) his story. As you can imagine, this story is heartbreaking and harrowing. This is a story about a boy who has fled Iraq amid death and destruction. I will never be able to understand the evil that exists in this world. What makes this one even more incredible is the way that it is written. It is written in the way that someone who is learning English would speak. It’s hard to explain, so just trust me on this, you need to read this. You need to buy this book, even if only to read this story. It will instantly put how lucky you are into perspective

star 55 out of 5

The Letter by Tracy Darnton

I really cant make up my mind about this one. Generally speaking I liked it. I liked the style, the writing, the characters, the story. What I didn’t like was the ending. It was very anticlimactic It left a lot of questions unanswered, which is a shame because generally speaking, the story was very good. The story was very different then anything that I have reading this book so far. It had a few elements of different stories in it, but it was very different. I enjoyed this quiet a lot, I just wish that it had ended differently

star 44 out of 5

Claws by Tom Becker

What the ever loving fuck did I just read? I officially never want to leave my house again. That was so fucking creepy. And you what made it creepier? There was no fucking resolve. That would have been more fitting in Slasher Girls and Monster Boys. It was so creepy and unnerving. Thanks Becker, I will definitely not be sleeping tonight lol.

star 44 out of 5 (Begrudgingly lol)

Christmas, Take Two by Katy Cannon

I actually quiet liked this one. Not so much because of the general storyline, although that was enjoyable, but what I really loved about this one was the hint of romance in it. Heather and Owen seem really cute and could be very sweet together I really liked them, and I really liked that element to this story. There hasn’t been much in the way of romance so far in this book, so this was nice change. It lightened an otherwise quick depressing story about, well, essentially, loneliness I am intrigued by Cannon though and I will definitely be looking her up.

star 55 out of 5

When Daddy Comes Home by Melvin Burgess

I have literally no idea what I just read. That was very strange. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was a very interesting concept for a story, but it didn’t quiet work. I think that for this story to work, it needed to be longer. It didn’t work as a short story, because there was too much going one and too much background to it. It just didn’t work very well. It also wasn’t at all Christmasy at all. This one was just pretty strange lol.

star 2.52.5 out of 5

The Bluebird by Julie Myhew

I wasn’t sure about this one at first, but it definitely grew on me. It was quiet strange. It was written in a very different way to anything else in this book. It was in a detached, third person perspective, but it was also written in a strange fairytale esc way. It was good. I liked it. But it was pretty weird. The style that it was written gave the whole story a strange feel to it. But I really liked the storyline and, from the little we saw the characters, I liked them too.

star 33 out of 5

Routes And Wings by Lisa Williamson

What a good story to end on. It really showed what life for someone without a home can be like and how just a simple act of human kindness, can change it all. In this one you followed 17 year old Lauren as she essentially gives us a snapshot of her life being homeless in London. This one was so beautifully written and with some much care. You can tell that Williamson really did speak to people in crisis. It really shows. This was the perfect story to end on.

star 55 out of 5

And there we have it. My final Blogmas post, and what a post to end it on. I honestly loved this book so much. It was so beautiful and holds such an important message. I am so glad that I read it. I really hope that you guys have all enjoyed today’s post, and that you have enjoyed Blogmas. I have loved every second of it, even if it is a bit stressful lol. I am going to take a few days off now. Spend some time with my family. So, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year, and I will see you all in a few days.

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