Verdict: THINGS ON A TREE is a heartwarming Christmas story that takes the protagonist and the reader along for a wild ride all the way to the North Pole.
THINGS ON A TREE is the tale of a young girl’s magical Christmas journey to try to save her father and discover who she really is.
When the story begins, thirteen-year-old Aimee is feeling sick and missing her father, who died the previous Christmas in a car accident. At first, she thinks she’s imagining the ornaments coming alive! But this is only a small sign of what Christmas has in store for her. Next thing she knows, she’s on the run, and holiday magic is sweeping her up in an adventure that will test her strength and help her discover astounding family secrets. Along the way, she meets a host of Christmas-y characters, including elves and reindeer, and travels from her small town to New York and even the North Pole.
From the first page, the characters elicit our sympathies and make us root for them, whether they’re humans, elves, or talking animals. The language is solid, grounding a whimsical story in straightforward narration. At times, the exposition can be awkward, especially when it involves magic, but the descriptions of the setting and characters are detailed and help to draw the reader into the story’s world. Similarly, the morality of the tale can feel a little simplistic, yet the characters’ motivations are clearly explained, and through her young narrator, the author shows compassion for even the worst of them. The world and the people in it with are clear and multi-dimensional. Though there are a few bumps along the way, Finn manages to carry the reader along and create a journey for Aimee that is exciting as well as meaningful.
THINGS ON A TREE is a heartwarming Christmas story that takes the protagonist and the reader along for a wild ride all the way to the North Pole.