The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

the-christmas-joy-ride-by-melody-carlsonThe Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson
Series: None
Genre: Christmas Fiction (Inspirational)
Setting: On the road between Chicago and Arizona
Published by Revell
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: Sep 1, 2015)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
176 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: 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.

No one captures the heartwarming fun of the Christmas season quite like Melody Carlson. Fasten your seat belt, because it’s going to be an exciting ride!

Initial impressions

  • Lots of Christmas cheer! A feel-good book.


  • I chose the book totally based on the cover. I thought it looked like a fun Christmas book and it was. I love the cover!
  • I didn’t realize it was an inspirational (Christian fiction), but though God and Jesus are talked about I didn’t think it was too much. After all, the book is about Christmas!
  • This is a road trip book which is always fun. And Joy has planned her trip stops to spread her Christmas joy to people who need help.
  • The author is good at creating unique situations and characters. I like that Joy who is 85 years old has a blog! And that Miranda who is Joy’s neighbor helps her with the blog. Joy has a motor home she plans to drive from Chicago to Arizona! Not many 85 year olds would plan a trip like that. Miranda steps in and insists on going with her to help.
  • I like that Joy doesn’t spend time feeling sorry for herself–her husband died, she had to sell the home she shared with her husband, she’s going to Arizona where her sons live to live in an assisted living facility. Instead she thinks about others and spreads Christmas joy wherever she goes.
  • Miranda is in worse trouble than Joy since she’s losing her home after her husband left her. She has little money and no job. But she’s willing to put her problems behind her to help Joy with her trip. (And it helps Miranda think about something besides her problems.)
  • There’s a bit of romance in the book.


  • All the people Joy picks to visit based on a contest on her blog are truly in need of help. There are no scams. I don’t think that’s realistic. However, the book is set at Christmas so it’s nice for that to happen.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • This was a quick read and a nice book for Christmas. A good reminder to think about others and not so much about ourselves.
  • I’m reviewing the book during the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-Thon for people looking for a Christmas book to read.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

–about Melody Carlson
  • “My husband Chris and I live in a cabin-style home next to the National Forest in the beautiful Cascade Mountain area of the Pacific Northwest. Our two grown sons and granddaughter live nearby and we try to see them as often as we can. We also have two “re-homed” pets to make life more interesting–our yellow Labrador retriever Audrey and a Maine coon cat named Harry.”

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • New Author Challenge–hosted by the Literary Escapism blog
  • Ultimate Reading Challenge–hosted by the Popsugar blog (a book set during Christmas)
  • Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-Thon–hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Jennifer @ The Book Shelfery–a Christmas book review for people to enjoy during the Read-a-Thon.

Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

4 thoughts on “The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson”

  1. Interesting! I would have picked-up the book just based on the cover as well. Who can resist a Christmas story that obviously has some sort of festive RV involved? Glad that you enjoyed this one.


  2. The title and cover are appealing and it does sound sweet. I’m curious about the hidden problem. I’m glad you enjoyed the story.


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