Book - 2008
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A heartwarming and inspirational Christmas novel in the tradition of The Christmas Box, The Gift , and The Christmas List . The New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Box and The Walk series returns with a holiday novel of hope, love, and redemption.

She was my first kiss. My first love. She was a little match girl who could see the future in the flame of a candle. She was a runaway who taught me more about life than anyone has before or since. And when she was gone my innocence left with her.

As I begin to write, a part of me feels as if I am awakening something best left dead and buried, or at least buried. We can bury the past, but it never really dies. The experience of that winter has grown on my soul like ivy climbing the outside of a home, growing until it begins to tear and tug at the brick and mortar.

I pray I can still get the story right. My memory, like my eyesight, has waned with age. Still, there are things that become clearer to me as I grow older. This much I know: too many things were kept secret in those days. Things that never should have been hidden. And things that should have.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2008.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781416550037
Branch Call Number: EVANS R
Characteristics: xii, 316 pages ; 19 cm.


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Jun 20, 2017

Unfortunately, this book could easily be telling a true story.

Jun 09, 2016

I was already in love with this "Young Adult" book when I read the entry in Grace's Diary which said, "I don't know why we're celebrating my birthday when it would have been better that I'd never been born." For a 16 year old to write this is really sad. This is the poignancy we read about in the book. Eric's presence is the one bright light in Grace's life. If only they could be together always...

May 13, 2016

So apparently this is supposed to be a Christmas book and I kind of get that. Christmas took place during this book. But I think when people think of Christmas books they think of happy, fun, romantic books. This book was super depressing. The book deals with a sad topic and both of the characters are going through hard things.
I think I could have liked this book a lot more however I had a few problems that were constantly bothering me. First of all is the way that Eric and Grace fell in love. Basically their love story was completely unrealistic and it felt very flat to me. Eric is fourteen and Grace is sixteen. Basically they "fell in love" aka had a first love. When they kissed each other it was like "we kiss and then I go back inside" for pretty much the whole book. They would talk about life and Grace would say to Eric that "you are the only think that matters to me" and the cheesiest things like that. And it only made it worse because they were super young. I was like, you are only fourteen and you probably don't even know what love is. I think all of my problems with their relationship was just because of the authors writing style.
Also, I am pretty sure that the one thing that was supposed to be a plot twist was something that I had guessed from like, page 50. Basically, Eric learns something, which is supposed to make the rest of the book more emotional, but I didn't really care because I had guessed it so early on.
Lastly, I didn't like the way that the epilogue was written. The book was told in the past tense, as if Eric was remembering the things that had happened to him. But the epilogue was sort of like a biography. It was like "when I turned 23..." and "I went to this school and studied this" and it was kind of weird. I think the book could have ended without the epilogue.

Oct 04, 2015

Really enjoyed this story. To read about someone helping another who really needed a friend will make you feel happy but also very sad that anyone has to go through bad things. Angels walk among us.

RarePurpleJaguar Jul 05, 2012

This book made me cry. However, the author does a great job of making you become attached to the characters.

Jun 21, 2011

Too sad for my liking. Not as uplifting as his other novels. My least favourite.

Jan 21, 2010

The characters are so real, the story so poignant that I did mind the moralistic tone.This book is very hard to put down. Have a box of Kleenex ready for the inspiring ending.


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Jun 28, 2018

Other: Audio version please


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