Thursday, January 26, 2012

First Chapter Review: My Christmas Angels by Jason W. Chan

There are so many seasonal titles I wanted to read this year, but I couldn't get to them. After reading the blurb about this book I picked it up for free on Kindle.

AUTHOR:  Jason W. Chan

BLURB:  My Christmas Angels is a tragic yet heartwarming Christmas story about Greg, a single father in his twenties, and Angie, his lively six-year old daughter, living in poverty in Vancouver. When they are evicted from their home, they move in with Greg's ex-girlfriend, Jessica, for whom he still has feelings. Just as their romance blossoms, Angie suffers a concussion and slips into a coma.

Riddled with grief and guilt, Greg stays at his daughter's side night and day. As the Christmas season approaches, he comes to terms with the possibility that his daughter may never wake up. He is advised to keep busy so he buries his grief in doing good deeds. Uplifted, Greg takes solace in the realization that great tragedy can give birth to great blessings.

COVER:  Simple, yet nice. Appropriate for the story, but it screams self-published.

FIRST CHAPTER:  The book opens on a cold November day with an unknown person on a street corner waving a sign asking for help. The reader soon discovers Greg, a twenty-something father, is jobless and on the verge of being evicted. He is the narrator of this story, and the reader soon learns how he got to be where he is right now. Luckily he has his daughter, Angie, to make his life better. A proud man, he refuses to take money from Angie's teacher, but ends up bringing his child to the local soup kitchen for a good meal. There he meets up with his ex-girlfriend Jessica. In the back of his mind, he wishes he could find a way to get Angie a Christmas tree with an angel on top, just like she wants.

KEEP READING:  Probably not. Between the awkward sentence structure and the lack of character depth, I don't think I could make it through the whole book. While Greg is a first person narrator, he doesn't draw me in. As desperate as his situation is, I can't sympathize with his plight. His actions don't really make sense. He's willing to stand out on a street corner and suffer that humiliation hoping for a few bucks, but when his daughter's teacher offers him a hundred dollars he turns her down, knowing his child will suffer for it. When he enters the soup kitchen and sees Jessica, he almost leaves without letting his daughter eat so that he's not embarrassed by Jessica finding out what has happened to him after all these years.

My understanding from reading other reviews of this novella is this is a true story. I would be curious what the real details are. This seems like a story of great promise, but it needs an editor to shape it into one that captivates readers.

Publisher: Jason W. Chan Entertainment Group (December 7, 2010)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
ASIN: B004FN21J6

I downloaded a free copy of this book to my Kindle. I received no monetary compensation for this review.


Darlene said...

I don't think I'd keep reading this one only because nothing in that paragraph grabs me at all. Usually stories like this would but you're right maybe with no kind of connection to this father you really don't want to go on. On another note I do like the cover.

thewriterslife said...

I have to agree the cover does scream self-published. I wonder why though? The picture is great, I think it's the font of the letters on the front?

Cheryl said...

Thanks for your comments, Darlene. Part of it could be that the blurb rambles a bit. It gives away too much. I cut some from it, but maybe cutting out parts like "for whom he still has feelings" and "Greg stays by his daugther's side night and day" would help. Cut it down to the bare minimum to get the reader interested.

Dot, I think it's a combination of the font and that the angel takes up the whole cover. How about a simple Christmas tree with an angel on top, maybe a snowy street with a man and his daughter standing there. I don't know. I'm not a cover artist, but even something that tells you where the story is set on the cover would be nice.