Catching Christmas

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

I have been in quite a reading slump lately and this book was the perfect book to pull me out of it. The story is a lot of fun and definitely gives the reader "all the feels". It focuses on a slightly grumpy cab driver who is called to drive an elderly woman to an appointment. This assignment pulls him into her world and he ends up becoming her personal driver. 

The story is full of humor...some moments had me laughing out loud, but it also has touching moments and some heartbreaking ones. The characters are written extremely well. I felt like I knew each of them personally and was sad to say goodbye to them when the book was over. 

This book is also full of Christmas...sometimes I read "Christmas" books and find that there's only a page or two that mentions the holiday. This one discusses the season throughout the entire story, which really put me in the Christmas spirit. 

I highly, highly recommend this story. I would rate this as the best Christmas book I've read, I loved it and think that you will too!

I received this book from the publisher/author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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I truly loved this book! Catching Christmas is a sweet story that reminds us of the importance of family, the necessity for faith and the comfort that comes from believing in God. The characters are also very believable. There is Callie, an adorable, elderly woman who grabbed my heart from the beginning with her desire to find someone that her granddaughter can lean on once she is gone. Her granddaughter Sydney Batson is challenged by being a first-year law associate in danger of losing her job and trying to find time to care for her very ill Grammy. And, of course, there is Finn Patrick. Finn is a once-successful chef who is now a cab driver and he reluctantly gets caught up in Callie's efforts to find that perfect man for Sydney. Finn could almost be labeled a Scrooge until you realize that he has a heart of gold. As hard as he tries to keep from getting involved, as much as he wants to move away from the situation, he can't because Callie is such a special person!

There is humor in Catching Christmas and Callie is like many older people who have no filters on their speech and reactions. As I was reading it, I made some notes 
about some of the funny sayings that Callie utters and some of her insightful thoughts on religion and I named them "Callieisms". I was right on track because eventually, near the end of the book, the word "Callieisms" is actually mentioned in the plot. Callie is very ill and she struggles with dementia but readers are very aware of Callie's deep faith. In one episode Finn mentions that Callie seems to be talking to Jesus and Sydney replies "She loves Jesus and she talks to him a lot, right out loud. She did this even before she had this...confusion." Callie herself shares that "I can just imagine Heaven being a mountaintop experience every day...every hour, just as much as you can stand, till your heart just can't hold anymore." Oh, to be as wise and as devout as Callie!

Callie wants to give Sydney the perfect Christmas and it is heartwarming to watch Finn as he finally decides that Christmas is worth having. I believe that Terri Blackstock has perfectly captured his reluctance and ultimately, his acceptance of the true meaning of Christmas. 

Catching Christmas is the perfect book for the Christmas season. If you read it before Christmas it will help you get in the Christmas spirit; if you read it after 
Christmas it will help you prolong your Christmas holiday! I recommend it to all who enjoy a faith-filled story filled with romance and the spirit of Christmas.

I received  a complementary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit but a favorable review was not required.
#CatchingChristmas #NetGalley
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This is Terri Blackstock's first Christmas novel.

Sydney is a busy lawyer with an elderly grandmother who needs more care than she can give her. She hires taxi driver Finn to take her grandma to the doctor and this leads to Finn taking Grandma to many other appointments and meetings. Finn gets frustrated that family isn't looking after this elderly woman and tries repeatedly to get a hold of Sydney to let her know that there are issues. Grandma's biggest wish is that Sydney would find a nice man and be able to celebrate Christmas with him. 

I enjoyed the book - good writing and it kept me wanting to find out how it was going to end. The book is predictable in that you know who is going to end up together but the journey to the end is fun.
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“Catching Christmas” by Terri Blackstock was such a refreshing sweet holiday read. It is a romance, but more than the romantic component of the novel, it’s a story about unlikely friendships and family.  I will continue to recommend we bring this gem of a holiday story in each year to provide some levity and good cheer leading up to and through the holiday season.
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Looking for a typical Terri Blackstock novel? Well, you’ve found one. Just replace the suspense with Christmas, and read away. Although, this isn’t your typical romantic-comedy Christmas; this one is about real life situations.

The story is told from two different points-of-view. Finn and Sydney are quite lovable characters, as is Miss Callie. I can picture several grandmas that would try to set their granddaughter up at Christmas. I do not know of any granddaughters that would hire a cab to take their grandma to the doctor though. And, I certainly have never heard of a cab driver staying to wait on the grandma without being asked to. It either shows that there are really good people out there that we just don’t stop to recognize, or we wish there were. In my opinion, there are great people out there and we just fail to see the good they do.

I don’t know about you, but I am not a big fan of long chapters. I find myself counting the pages until the next chapter, and I don’t tell myself just one more chapter. But, Terri (I hope she doesn’t mind me just calling her by her first name) keeps these chapters short. You can “just one more chapter” yourself through the whole book rather quickly. That’s good and that’s bad. Good because you found out how it ends, and bad because it ends.

I’ve been trying to figure out who should play Miss Callie in a Hallmark Movie version of this book. Any ideas? I really think they should make a movie out of it.

Spoiler Alert, if you can call it that: There is a happy ending. The only thing sad about this book is that you have to leave the characters behind.
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Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock was a simple, sweet, fun read.  I have many patrons who will enjoy this book.  Overall, I like Blackstock's books.
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I have NEVER been disappointed with a book by Terri Blackstock and this one was no exception! Admittedly, it is very different from her usual style, however, it drew me into the story immediately and appealed to the ultimate reason for Christmas, Christ's birth , love and forgiveness. This rather light hearted romance touches on some aspects of life that are difficult to deal with any time, let alone during the Christmas season. Ageing is a process that none of can escape. The effects, often very sad,  which were so eloquently described in this tale, touched me deeply. It reminded me to approach every day as a gift to be enjoyed. 

The characters are vividly and realistically described , so well in fact, that the reader is immediately drawn into their lives. Being able to identify with them so easily makes a perfect story. Family relationships are rarely simple with which to deal , as the lives of two young people  and one elderly lady clearly shows us. Both Sydney and Finn are overcome with guilt  over the neglect of loved ones. I think each one of us can identify with that. Can we ever do enough for those we care for the most?? 

The plot moves at a steady pace with just enough twists and turns to keep a reader glued to the page! Some unexpected events caused me to panic, other times, I had to giggle. 

A great easy to read book for the Christmas season!! Makes one think of what our real priorities in life should be!!

This book was received from the author and Celebrate Lit. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.
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Loved this Christmas story...A feel good kind of book...One to savor the Christmas season for the upcoming cold months of winter. Enjoy it.
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

I often hear praise for Terri Blackstock on the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook group. So naturally, when I came upon catching Christmas on Netgalley, I immediately requested a copy of it to read and review.

Catching Christmas is a beautifully written book.  The story is written from the POV of 2 main characters, Sydney and Finn. Both of whom have equally interesting lives that keep you captivated and in want of reading more and more.

I was surprised at the mention of "mountain top" experiences as I recently read a book dedicated to exactly that - Mountaintop Experiences.

This is a truly heartwarming, sweet and funny story.

If you are a fan of Leota's Garden written by Francine Rivers, you will love this book! I was reminded often of that story as I was going through Finn's journey with Callie.

I am so excited to have gotten this chance to read one of Terri Blackstock's books and I look forward to more opportunities in the future. Thank you, Terri. And thank you, Thomas Nelson.
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Oh, my! How can I do this story justice?

I did not know what I wanted to do with Finn Parish, a cab driver fighting the Uber takeover. The beginning did not disclose this seemingly anti-hero’s character. I wanted to shake him, read him the riot act and scream at him, “Have a little compassion, man!!!” 

I sympathized and was also frustrated with Sydney Batson. Seriously, how many women, even single women, juggle with trying to do too much while riddled with guilt? Nonetheless, there are responsibilities that can’t and shouldn’t be dropped!

Then, my goodness, there was the unflappable, thoroughly loveable and genial Miss Callie! How I loved this beautiful woman, grandmother to Sydney. Her wisdom and Godliness resonated throughout the entire story.
Catching Christmas is not your typical Terri Blackstock novel. I truly wasn’t sure what to expect as Blackstock’s books are usually in the faith-filled suspense, thriller genre. However, Catching Christmas focuses on the days before, and leading up to Christmas from three very unique perspectives. 

I treasure Catching Christmas, a book I will read and relish for years to come and not only during the Christmas season.

I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit and NetGalley However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
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MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK 
When can driver Finn Parrish drove into the driveway of his next client, he sure didn’t know how much his life would change. Neither did he believe he would be doing so much extra for this client. Miss Callie was a special lady, but she needed family to take care of her. Family, Finn finds out it one granddaughter trying to work her job and take care of her grandmother too. And this time, calling a cab to take her grandmother to her Drs appointment was the only options.

I love this sweet story. Miss Callie may be old, but she knew exactly what she wanted. Her medicinal condition just keeps her from doing things on her own, so she decides the cab driver is the person to drive her to where she needs to go!

These amazing characters will capture your heart from the beginning. Miss Callie made the story fun and interesting. And I could tell Finn was a special guy from the beginning by the way he respected her. This was a different Christmas story, at least it was for me, but it is an amazing and wonderful story. A story that will warm your hearts for sure during this Christmas season.

A copy of this book was provided by Celebration Lit Tours and the author for me to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.
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Well, I just couldn't stop turning the pages on this one. Imagine, a male cab driver, a female first-year law associate and a female senior with health issues. This was quite a unique set of characters. I can honestly say that I was amused from the first couple of chapters. 

Finn Parish, the cab driver, is dealing with some guilt issues of his own when he is paired up with Carrie, who is going through health issues, but doesn't quite understand that she has any. You will just have to read the book and be prepared to be entertained. There are a lot of funny moments and surprises you won't see coming.

I can honestly say that I warmed up to all the characters fairly soon. Sydney, the granddaughter, not so much at first. I was happy to see a change in Sydney by the end of the book. 

I loved the ending which wrapped everything up nicely and gave me a feeling of satisfaction and inspiration. I can't wait to read more by this author.

If you are looking for an extraordinary and unique Christmas story that will make you feel good long after you are done reading, this one is for you. Highly recommended.
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This Christmas novel has a different plot and characters than any you’ve ever read. Finn, a cab driver, helps an elderly lady, Callie, who seems out of it more often than she’s with it. Callie’s granddaughter, Sydney, a fledgling attorney struggles to keep up with all the work piled on her as well as help her ailing grandmother. The emotion-tugging story captured my heart and made me miss my mother even more. The story helps readers see needy, older people as individuals whom we should relate to and not ignore because life with them may be uncomfortable or inconvenient. Relationships can develop in unexpected ways and among unexpected people. The touching tale may bring some tears, but the story is well worth reading. It feels real, and it’s set at Christmas—a perfect time for such a story. I received a copy from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.
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This was a lovely Christmas read in the real spirit of the holiday. We meet Finn, a grumpy cab driver unexpectedly saddled with a grandma who appears to have dementia. Initially Finn is very annoyed at the inconvenience Miss Callie brings, between needing help in and out. of the taxi with her wheelchair and being pushed to appointments. 

Meanwhile Callie's granddaughter, beleaguered first year attorney Sydney is barely getting by. She's struggling to survive at work and keep an eye on her grandma, who keeps escaping! Despite ripping in to Sydney and refusing drive Callie anymore, Finn's gruff exterior starts to dissolve as he works with Sydney to give the lady one final Christmas.

It was beautiful to see Finn's character start to heal and care again and although he seemed an unlikely match for  Sydney, the two complimented each other well by the end as she had reordered her priorities and he had thawed his heart. 

Compelling, heart-warming and well written, I wiped a tear away by the end.
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Terri Blackstock is one of my favorite authors, and I will continue to read her books, but I was disappointed in Catching Christmas.  Or maybe not disappointed, exactly, but depressed.  The story is a meaningful, timely reminder that Christmas isn’t always full of children’s laughter and extended family. Many people aren’t busy and festive this time of year. Too many people are alone.

Ms. Blackstock is a skilled writer, so it’s a well-crafted book (if you like first-person present-tense format), but it’s a sad, sad story about a man who neglected and avoided his own dying mother and a woman who is frantically focused on keeping her (lousy) job. They’re both mired in guilt, so they are doing their best to care for the elderly Callie.

Callie is an extremely well-written character, typical of many lonely and confused elderly people who find life especially hard in the holiday season.  Her fixation on finding her granddaughter a date for Christmas day and uncharacteristically rude comments (referred to as “losing her filter”) accurately represent a person in that stage of dementia.

Finn, the cab driver, is burned out after losing his restaurant. He’s spiraled down into depression and ended up driving a cab. Sydney, the granddaughter, has a precarious job at a rather shady law firm. While I could see how a new college graduate, burdened with student loans, might feel desperate to keep her job, it didn’t ring quite true for a smart young woman with moral standards.

The ending implies a more promising direction for both of the young people, which is encouraging. Overall, I think this is a meaningful and good book for reminding us of the frailty of life and our responsibility to care for our elderly family and friends.

I look forward to Terri Blackstock’s next book!
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Reading this during the Christmas holiday was a wonderful escape from the pressures of the holidays. Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock was just the right mix of love, friendship, holiday spirit, and romance.  With the holidays I am under a lot of pressure just as many are, so escaping to Sydney, a busy lawyer  and Finn, former chef, current taxi driver, world was just what I needed.  Add in a grandmother in a wheelchair with maybe dementia and believe it or not you get a wonderful story.
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Catching Christmas tells the story of Finn - a well-meaning cab driver who befriends Callie - an old lady with dementia who needs his help, and Sydney - Callie's busy first-year associate niece. Having Callie in their lives teaches both Finn and Sydney something that they need to learn. She enriches their lives in the most unexpected ways.

The novel is perfect for snuggling up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa in hand, having the twinkles of the Christmas lights in the background. It's uncomplicated in its message and plot, but this only makes it sweeter.

The great thing about this novel is the growth the characters go through. They really change throughout. Personally I didn't like much any of them at first, but that's good - this only means that there is room for development and that's what books are about. Even the holiday ones.

If you are a fan of festive reads - you'll enjoy this one! Just bear in mind that it's not like a Hallmark romance. The romantic element is there, but it's not really the main plot line, which offers way more depth than a typical romantic novel.

I have kindly received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and Thomas Nelson in exchange of a fair review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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I have never read Blackstock before but my oldest daughter highly recommended her.  A little predictable, but still a fun read over Christmas break.
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“Catching Christmas” is a very touching holiday read. With well developed and relatable characters, and scenes that really draw you in, I found it difficult to put this book down.
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Enjoyable Christmas story by Terri Blackstock. Would re-read it again during next Christmas holiday season!
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