Author: Melody Carlson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Home is the place to heal . . . right?
At least, that's what Dillon Michaels is hoping as she leaves her disappointing career and nonstarter love life behind to help her grieving and aging grandfather on his small Oregon farm. The only problem? Her eccentric mother beat her there and has taken over Dillon's old room. After a few nights of sleeping on a sagging sofa, Dillon is ready to give up, until she receives an unlikely gift--her grandfather's run-down vintage camp trailer, which she quickly resolves to restore with the help of Jordan Atwood, the handsome owner of the local hardware store.
But just when things are finally beginning to run smoothly, Dillon's noncommittal ex-boyfriend shows up with roses . . . and a ring.
Reviewer: Abigail Thomas
“Sometimes a life needs to get shaken up…in order to put the pieces together right.”
The words Jordan Atwood spoke to Dillon Michaels sum up The Happy Camper by Melody Carlson. The life that Dillon lead in Colorado comes to a standstill, and she heads to her grandfather’s farm in Oregon, a place where Dillon had once been given a second chance at life. But even with her return home, Dillon’s life isn’t exactly how she might have pictured it would be, though slowly, she begins to take it in stride and learns a thing or two in the process.
Honestly, this was not an easy read for me. I had a hard time with the sentence structure, the pacing, and I had to convince myself to continue reading. Though I had hoped I could push past my initial reactions and come to the end of the story happily convinced that the read was well worth it, I couldn’t. There were some shining moments in this story, and the friendships that were forged were sweet. However, there were too many frustrating parts for me.
I understand the reason why the author had Dillon call her estranged mother, Margot, by her first name, but it grated on me after a while, as did the constant use of Dillon’s nickname. I couldn’t connect with the characters as I would have liked, and at times I wanted to just plain smack them upside the head.
God came into this story briefly, and it felt almost thrown in. However, I did appreciate how the conversation between Dillon and Margot came back around later in the story.
Admittedly, this is a light-hearted story, and if you’re not looking for something with a lot of depth, then this would be a good read for you.
This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group (Revell) through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Nora St. Laurent
Dillion heads home after a few unexpected events that derail her life. She didn’t expect to be excited about this new beginning and about going home to a small Oregon farm where her grandparents raised her. The last time she came home, it wasn’t happy.
She finds Margo, her mother, at the farm. Could the two of them get along? Margo was afraid of commitment. Dillion just ditched a boyfriend with the same issues. Nothing could have prepared her for the feelings that hit her heart. She remembers things she once loved and discovers talents she never knew she had.
Melody Carlson creates another fun, heart-warming story with endearing characters I delight in getting to know. I had enjoyed the part about restoring campers and the adventures one can have staying in one. This authors’ passion for camping and everything RV shines through this story of heartache, family relationships, and love. I enjoyed the spiritual thread that wasn’t preachy. I liked hanging out with these happy campers. I learned so much. I’ll be circling back around to read this again. This was a fun getaway.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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