BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, December 14, 2015

Bea Reviews Lighting the Flames: A Hanukkah Story by Sarah Wendell

Publisher: Smart Bitches Trashy Books LLC
Source: owned by the reviewer
Release Date: December 13, 2014
Challenges: Ho Ho Ho Read-A-Thon
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | ARe* | Smashwords*  | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:

Genevieve and Jeremy have known each other since they were seven, and have been summertime best friends at Camp Meira, a Jewish overnight camp in the mountains. As campers, and then as staff, their friendship was a constant, something neither wanted to change, no matter how tempting those changes might be.

Then, last year, with little warning, Jeremy left camp early. After that summer, Gen left the country on a graduate fellowship.

Now, a little over a year since they were last at Meira, Gen and Jeremy are back together to help run a special Winter Camp during Hanukkah. Any water under the bridge is frozen this time of year, and with so much left unspoken and unexplained, this week may be their chance to rekindle their friendship, or turn it into something new.

Bea's Thoughts:

A Hanukkah romance! A non-Christian holiday romance! There don't seem to be many of those so it made for a nice change. Oh, it was similar to Christmas romances - snow, sweetness, presents, love and light but from a different angle and with a different perspective. I had good intentions of actually posting this during but, well, good intentions and all, we know how those go. Still, I'm only a little bit late. :)

Now, after all that, I didn't love the story. I had trouble relating Gen and Jeremy and their love of  summer/winter camp. But then I didn't enjoy camp one bit the summers I attended. Still, their attachment to camp was sometimes difficult to relate to and that's an integral part of the story. There were a few references that didn't make sense, maybe because I had only a little experience with camps and more explanation would have been good. The camp, Meira, is a home away from home, particularly for Gen, but it's also a special island outside of real life where both Gen and Jeremy can let go and let loose. Jeremy at times was oddly immature and ridiculous; but his life away from camp is serious with little opportunity to cut loose. Still, it was hard at times to take him seriously. Both Gen and Jeremy are attracted to each other but except for a kiss over a year ago, neither has acted upon it. Gen obsessed over it and I wanted to slap her at times to put up or shut up. They slowly act on their feelings, revealing different sides of themselves.

To be honest, I didn't always get the appeal that G & J had for each other but then I never really connected with either of them. They were nice enough, except for Jeremy's immaturity, but neither one ever clicked with me. As a result, I wasn't particularly invested in their romance. Oddly, I did find myself invested in the future of the camp, which was in question for part of the story. It's a holiday romance so happy endings all around though it never gets sticky sweet, thankfully, and there's funny banter with a bit of steam between Gen and Jeremy. "Lighting the Flames" didn't light my flame but it was sweet, if a little boring at times, and it was a nice change from Christmas romances.


  1. I feel you about "secular" books. I just once read a book that was mostly about birds, the romance was secondary and there were bird
    Trivia everywhere, bird mating habits for metaphors, etc. I failed to connect because the info dump thickened the book for me.

    1. I read a mystery like that not long ago. :( Sometimes the theme or topic overtakes the story.

  2. I'm glad you're mixing up your holiday books, but truthfully this doesn't appeal to me much based only on the actual plot, not the "religious" theme. It is good to see something a bit different from the same ol' holiday themed stories out there.

    1. It was a bit different, which was nice, but the story didn't wow me.

  3. I was all excited when I saw this was a Hanukkah story so I was disappointed to see your reasons for not enjoying the story. The plot in itself didn't grab me and I don't think I would get any of the summer camp references or the attachment to the camp. I think I'll pass but great review!

    1. It just wasn't exciting or attention grabbing and it relied heavily on famiiarity with summer camps.


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