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The Happy Camper

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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 sleeping on a sagging sofa, Dillon is read 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 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.


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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 sleeping on a sagging sofa, Dillon is read 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 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.

30 review for The Happy Camper

  1. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    2.5 stars Melody Carlson’s books can be hit or miss for me, and though there were some things I liked about this book, unfortunately it was more of a miss than a hit. What I liked was the camper aspect, the hero, the hero’s family, and the heroines grandpa. What I disliked… the heroine got on my nerves more than I liked her and I feel like it took forever for anything to happen. Plus the ex-drama was annoying for me. And the heroine’s mom was obnoxious as well. I love the cover and this book 2.5 stars Melody Carlson’s books can be hit or miss for me, and though there were some things I liked about this book, unfortunately it was more of a miss than a hit. What I liked was the camper aspect, the hero, the hero’s family, and the heroines grandpa. What I disliked… the heroine got on my nerves more than I liked her and I feel like it took forever for anything to happen. Plus the ex-drama was annoying for me. And the heroine’s mom was obnoxious as well. I love the cover and this book actually made me want to camp in one of this mini-campers because they really are charming and I loved the way they were described. I think this had a lot of potential and could have been a great read, but it just didn’t work for me personally.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader

    Light hearted, fun, fast, read to get your mind off of everything that is going on in the world right now. A fun escape from reality. Carlson has the best reads, with family, love, a little bit of romance and some blessings all mixed in one story. I did find that it ended to fast, it felt a little bit rushed. But I enjoyed the story. I gave it 4 stars and it's the perfect book to read right now. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required a Light hearted, fun, fast, read to get your mind off of everything that is going on in the world right now. A fun escape from reality. Carlson has the best reads, with family, love, a little bit of romance and some blessings all mixed in one story. I did find that it ended to fast, it felt a little bit rushed. But I enjoyed the story. I gave it 4 stars and it's the perfect book to read right now. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Asheley

    4.5/5 I just flew through this book! The Happy Camper by Melody Carlson features Dillon Michaels, who comes back home to her grandfather's farm after losing both her boyfriend and her job in the same day. When she gets back to the farm, she finds that her mother has unexpectedly arrived first and has taken over her bedroom. Forced to sleep on the uncomfortable couch, Dillon re-evaluates whether or not coming home was the best of ideas. But then her grandfather gifts her an old vintage camper that 4.5/5 I just flew through this book! The Happy Camper by Melody Carlson features Dillon Michaels, who comes back home to her grandfather's farm after losing both her boyfriend and her job in the same day. When she gets back to the farm, she finds that her mother has unexpectedly arrived first and has taken over her bedroom. Forced to sleep on the uncomfortable couch, Dillon re-evaluates whether or not coming home was the best of ideas. But then her grandfather gifts her an old vintage camper that he has out in one of the barns. It needs some work and some fixing up, but if Dillon wants it, it's hers. She decides to give the camper a makeover and perhaps even move into it. There are several things in this story that I always LOVE reading in books: renovation, camping, gardening, and sweet grandparents. Dillon's relationship with her grandfather is so precious-it reminds me of how close I was to my grandpa when he was living. The two work well together on the farm, and I love how Dillon tries to keep her grandmother's memory alive by honoring her with her work and by doing the things that her grandmother loved. I love, love, love the way Dillon honors her grandmother and the way that love and respect really came through in the story. The romantic relationship is really nice too. Jordan Atwood owns the local hardware story and ends up crossing paths with Dillon lots of times as she re-establishes herself in town and then renovates her camper. It isn't surprising that the two grow to really like one another, but the budding relationship is threatened a bit when Dillon's ex-boyfriends comes to town with big plans to win her back. Watching Dillon and Jordan navigate their growing feelings for one another was sweet, and I appreciate that it was uncomfortable and awkward for them a couple of times when one or the other felt insecure because of hurts from their past. I felt like I was living on the farm and renovating the camper myself. It was easy to visualize what was going on in every scene. It makes me wish I had a vintage camper hanging out on my very own farm (but sadly I do not). Dillon's relationship with her mother is really strained to begin with because her mother is so cringey and unlikable, but it is super great to see that even while these two gritted teeth and butted heads a lot, but were able to forgive and get along much better by the end of the book. The only thing that I wish about this story was that it continued a little more after that ending. I'd love to get a little bit more from just about all of these characters. At any rate, I loved this one and found that it was a perfect read for this time of social distancing and staying in for weeks on end. I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Thank you, Revell Books! Find this review and more like it on my blog, Into the Hall of Books!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    I can always count on a book by prolific author Melody Carlson to make me happy and feel uplifted. A fun,fast,nostalgic read it easily took my mind off the troubles going on in today's world. A fun escape from reality, I think you'll really enjoy the characters in this one. A little bit of romance,friends,family,a charming story line are what you'll find in this book. I was swept up in the telling of this whimsical story and even though I don't have a camper it makes me long for one now as a fun esc I can always count on a book by prolific author Melody Carlson to make me happy and feel uplifted. A fun,fast,nostalgic read it easily took my mind off the troubles going on in today's world. A fun escape from reality, I think you'll really enjoy the characters in this one. A little bit of romance,friends,family,a charming story line are what you'll find in this book. I was swept up in the telling of this whimsical story and even though I don't have a camper it makes me long for one now as a fun escape for a short time. Published March 3rd 2020 by Fleming H. Revell Company I was given a complimentary copy. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Chapel

    This was one of those books that you don't want to see the end coming. I was swept up from the beginning and it only got better as I read along in the book. The writer, Melody Carlson is hoping for a movie to come from this book. I agree that it would make a great movie. But many times, or at least to this reader, movie versions seem different from the book and I'm quite often left disappointed because I preferred the book to the movie. Have you ever had one of those days when everything goes a This was one of those books that you don't want to see the end coming. I was swept up from the beginning and it only got better as I read along in the book. The writer, Melody Carlson is hoping for a movie to come from this book. I agree that it would make a great movie. But many times, or at least to this reader, movie versions seem different from the book and I'm quite often left disappointed because I preferred the book to the movie. Have you ever had one of those days when everything goes against you and you wished you'd stayed in bed. Well Dillon Michaels, main character in The Happy Camper, had a very bad Friday. Now Friday's are supposed to be a favorite day of the week but not this one. First of all on Friday evening her boyfriend shows up an hour and a half late for their dinner date. Giving up on him ever showing up she leaves the restaurant and here comes the late boyfriend, Brandon Kranze, wondering where she's off to in such a hurry. The conversation doesn't go well and she ends the two year relationship. Things definitely go from bad to worse when Dillon goes home to find her friend is entertaining a boyfriend in their apartment and all her food she just bought is gone. Next morning it gets worse when she loses her job, so she packs up and heads out of state to be with her elderly grandpa who is grief stricken by the loss of his wife just five months ago. Well when she gets there she finds her mother, Margot, is also there with grandpa and has claimed the spare bedroom. So it's the couch for Dillon and sleepless nights. Has she made a terrible mistake in ditching Brandon? What kind of employment will Dillon find and where will she start over again? Fans of Melody Carlson and readers of contemporary Christian Fiction will love this book. I highly recommend it and I'm sure you'll be as delighted with it as I am . I downloaded a Kindle ebook version of The Happy Camper to my Hoopla App. A review was not requested. All opinions expressed here in this review are my own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christa

    The Happy Camper is a fun and refreshing book. It features Dillon Michaels, who is fired from her job the same day she and her boyfriend break up. She heads back to the Oregon farm where she was raised to stay with her grandfather, only to find that her undependable mother is there and has taken over Dillon's room. After a few days of an uncomfortable stay, Dillon's grandfather gives her a vintage camper that he inherited from a friend. As Dillon fixes up the camper, she meets some very interesti The Happy Camper is a fun and refreshing book. It features Dillon Michaels, who is fired from her job the same day she and her boyfriend break up. She heads back to the Oregon farm where she was raised to stay with her grandfather, only to find that her undependable mother is there and has taken over Dillon's room. After a few days of an uncomfortable stay, Dillon's grandfather gives her a vintage camper that he inherited from a friend. As Dillon fixes up the camper, she meets some very interesting people. She becomes friends with the local hardware store owner, Jordan Atwood. As things start to look promising with him, Dillon's ex-boyfriend suddenly shows up. This was a sweet romance, and I really liked the two main characters. The descriptions of the vintage campers were outstanding, and made me feel like I could really see what they were like. I enjoyed seeing Dillon fix up her camper, as well as the interior of another. This was a delightful book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)

    About this book: “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 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 s About this book: “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 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.” Series: As of now, no. Spiritual Content- A couple Scriptures are quoted & remembered; Prayers; Talks about God; ‘H’s are not capitalized when referring to God; Mentions of God; Mentions of prayers, praying, blessings over food, & thanking God; Mentions of churches, church going, youth groups, & pastors; A mention of Heaven; A mention of a godsend; *Note: Dillon’s mom says she doesn’t believe in God & that weak people need to rely on religion (Dillon talks with her about how that’s not true); A mention of someone idea not being a spiritual calling; A mention of speaking of the devil. Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘dumb’, an ‘idiot’, a ‘rats’, and four forms of ‘stupid’s; Eye rolling & Sarcasm; Mentions of divorces; Mentions of a child saying they hate their swim teacher (Dillon); Mentions of hunting; A few mentions of a husband leaving his family; A few mentions of jealousy; A few mentions of gossip & rumors; A couple mentions of hatred; A mention of cocaine; A mention of a coyote getting a cat (assumed, no details); *Note: Dillon & her mother do not have the most loving/traditional relationship; A few mentions of car brands; A few mentions of fictional characters; A couple mentions of celebrities/actresses; A couple mentions of Boy Scouts; A couple mentions of zombies; A mention of GQ magazine. Sexual Content- a barely-above-not-detailed kiss and two (one is unwanted) semi-detailed kisses; Hand Holding; Noticing; A couple guys remove their shirts & Dillon tries not to stare; Dillon does not know her biological father; Dillon’s mother has lived with her boyfriend for a while (she’s not interested in marriage); Many, many mentions of dates, dating, boyfriends, girlfriends, feelings, breakups, & exes; Mentions of jealousy; A couple mentions of wondering about a kiss/kissing; A mention of human trafficking; A mention of a birthday kiss; A mention of a fling; Love, falling in love, & the emotions; *Note: Dillon mentions that her biological clock is ticking; Brandon swipes paint at Dillon’s bustline and her bottom when painting; Mentions of swimsuits; A couple mentions of a swimsuit diet; A mention of a short dress being called bachelor bait. -Dillon Michaels P.O.V. of Dillon 333 pages ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Pre Teens- One Star New Teens- Two Stars Early High School Teens- Three Stars Older High School Teens- Four Stars My personal Rating- Three Stars While Dillon wasn’t my favorite character many times during this story, I did like that it was overall very clean and had a fun DIY theme to the plot. Dillon was a little too interested in Jordan right off the bat and a bit obsessed with him. I was a little disappointed that a possible friend to Dillon turned catty when she realized Dillon liked Jordan as well. It was an easy read that I think campers would enjoy. I’m not the biggest fan of camping, but I did enjoy different aspects of this book. Link to review: https://booksforchristiangirls.blogsp... *BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author. *I received this book for free from the Author for this honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pamela(AllHoney)

    Dillon Michaels breaks up with her boyfriend and then gets fired from her job. She packs up her car and heads to her grandfather's farm in Oregon. Once there she finds her mother moved in and has her room so after too many nights on the lumpy sofa her grandfather gives her an old camper to fix and stay in. Jordan Atwood of the local hardware store helps out. Meanwhile, the ex-boyfriend has decided he wants Dillon back. This is a clean romance with some Christian elements. But the Christian elemen Dillon Michaels breaks up with her boyfriend and then gets fired from her job. She packs up her car and heads to her grandfather's farm in Oregon. Once there she finds her mother moved in and has her room so after too many nights on the lumpy sofa her grandfather gives her an old camper to fix and stay in. Jordan Atwood of the local hardware store helps out. Meanwhile, the ex-boyfriend has decided he wants Dillon back. This is a clean romance with some Christian elements. But the Christian elements are minor and not in your face at all. I think people who don't read Christian fiction might find this acceptable. I don't read a lot of Christian fiction and I did not know that this was until well into the book. There was a lot of page time on the renovating and repairing of the camper that made it lag just a little in my opinion. But truly, overall I found it to be a delightful and entertaining read. I would have no problems recommending this book to contemporary romance fans. And I would read more by this author. I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    The Happy Camper by Melody Carlson is an entertaining story. Dillon Michaels dumps her commitment phobic boyfriend and then loses her job within twenty-four hours. She has been unhappy with her life for a while and decides it is time to make a change. Dillon packs all her belonging into her car and heads for her grandfather’s farm in Silverdale, Oregon. She arrives to find her mother ensconced in her bedroom and finds her grandfather depressed (understandably) as well as lonely after the loss of The Happy Camper by Melody Carlson is an entertaining story. Dillon Michaels dumps her commitment phobic boyfriend and then loses her job within twenty-four hours. She has been unhappy with her life for a while and decides it is time to make a change. Dillon packs all her belonging into her car and heads for her grandfather’s farm in Silverdale, Oregon. She arrives to find her mother ensconced in her bedroom and finds her grandfather depressed (understandably) as well as lonely after the loss of his wife. Dillon cleans the house and then begins working on her grandmother’s garden. Sleeping on the couch, though, is taking a toll on her back. Her grandfather then gifts her a 1964 Aloha Oasis which Dillon is excited to fix up. She gets assistance from hardware store owner, Jordan. Their friendship has the potential to blossom into a romantic relationship until her ex-boyfriend, Brandon arrives in town intent on wooing her back. The Happy Camper is a fun story with some aggravating moments. Melody Carlson has an engaging writing style that draws the reader right into the story. Dillon Michaels is a likeable and realistic character. Alex, the grandfather, was a sweet man. He was kind and generous. Dillon and Jordan have a bumpy journey, but that is normal. All relationships have issues mostly from miscommunication and wrong perceptions. My favorite part of The Happy Camper is Dillon restoring the vintage trailer. It makes me want to go out and get one. I like how this tale shows realistic situations. Our journey in life can change at any moment as we see in The Happy Camper. As we grow older, we develop and grow as individuals. The Happy Camper is a feel-good Christian story with humor, family drama, and romance.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jen. (JenGalaxy4 Christian Book Reviews)

    . . Can we just pause for a moment and take in this adorable cover?!?! I’m a big fan of tiny houses, skoolies and vintage RVs, so naturally The Happy Camper was on my Highly Anticipated Christian Fiction February – June 2020 list. It absolutely met my expectations! Melody Carlson is quickly becoming a go-to author for me! With relatable characters, great theming and a lovely faith thread, this story will make you smile from beginning to end! The Happy Camper is a super clean and fun contemporary rea . . Can we just pause for a moment and take in this adorable cover?!?! I’m a big fan of tiny houses, skoolies and vintage RVs, so naturally The Happy Camper was on my Highly Anticipated Christian Fiction February – June 2020 list. It absolutely met my expectations! Melody Carlson is quickly becoming a go-to author for me! With relatable characters, great theming and a lovely faith thread, this story will make you smile from beginning to end! The Happy Camper is a super clean and fun contemporary read, suitable for teens and adults alike! If you’re looking for an inspirational, feel-good story, this is definitely it! I happily (see what I did there?!?) recommend The Happy Camper! It’s available now – visit www.christianbook.com to order! I received a copy of this book from Revell as part of the Revell Reads Blogger Program. A positive review was not required. All opinions expressed are completely my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jeri

    This was a sweet story of a woman finding her way in the world after being fired from her job the same day she breaks up with her boyfriend that has a commitment problem. Dillon moves back home to her grandparents farm in Oregon intending to stay a while and decide what to do with her life next. When she arrives she discovers her mother is already there and staying in her old room so Dillon has to sleep on the couch. That is until her grandpa lets her have an old vintage camper that was left to This was a sweet story of a woman finding her way in the world after being fired from her job the same day she breaks up with her boyfriend that has a commitment problem. Dillon moves back home to her grandparents farm in Oregon intending to stay a while and decide what to do with her life next. When she arrives she discovers her mother is already there and staying in her old room so Dillon has to sleep on the couch. That is until her grandpa lets her have an old vintage camper that was left to him by one of his hunting buddies. I won't go into details because that is part of the fun of the story but Dillon discovers new interests as the story evolves and also a bit of aggravation. Being that my husband travels for work we spend a good bit of the year in a camper. Granted it is what some might consider luxury since we have a washer/dryer and full bath and a house size refrigerator in it I could relate to the excitement Dillon had of fixing up the old trailer and staying in it. I was given an eARC by the publisher through NetGalley.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Necee

    “Trust the Lord with your whole heart, don’t depend on your own knowledge and experience, include God in all you do, and He will direct you through life.” Have you ever prayed for God to give you direction? What if that direction came in the form of losing your job and two year relationship in the span of 24 hours? That’s just what happened to Dillion Michaels. She decides to pack up and move back home with her grandpa, whom she really has been missing since her grandma died. This is a beautiful “Trust the Lord with your whole heart, don’t depend on your own knowledge and experience, include God in all you do, and He will direct you through life.” Have you ever prayed for God to give you direction? What if that direction came in the form of losing your job and two year relationship in the span of 24 hours? That’s just what happened to Dillion Michaels. She decides to pack up and move back home with her grandpa, whom she really has been missing since her grandma died. This is a beautiful story of love lost and new beginnings. I loved how Dillion listens to God’s direction for her and starts over, not looking back at her job, relationships or past. I loved that this is a story where her life didn’t go as planned and she chooses to start fresh. She is ready to let go and let God do a fresh work in her after realizing how much she has put God to the side. Of course, moving back home, also comes with it’s own issues and she soon finds herself wanting space from her mom. When her grandpa gives her his vintage camper, she gains a new passion for life in renovating it. As she gets to know the hardware store owner, Jordan Atwood, another curve is thrown at her. Though the ex-boyfriend showing up added a nice twist to the story, I did find him to be annoying. Of course, I guess that’s why he is her ex. I find the camper renovations fun and engaging. It made me want my own. The love story was sweet. The family dynamics realistic and I loved how she dealt with the religious issues that aren’t always easy in families. Her grandpa made the story. I loved the whit and banter between the characters. If you love a warm, witty and engaging storyline with faith and family, you’d love “The Happy Camper.” I was provided an advanced reader copy of this book through NetGalley by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my honest opinion.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Steph's Romance Book Talk

    2 Stars / 0 Steam Fans The Happy Camper wasn't a complete dumpster fire, but most of it just didn't flow for me. Then the religious throw-ins came out of nowhere and gave me whip last. There may be an audience for this story; it just didn't work for me. Video review available in Week 14: Mar 29 – Feb 4 weekly book reviews. For other video book reviews, check out my YouTube Channel: Steph's Romance Book Talk.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Storme Reads A Lot

    DNFing because I’m not a Christian romance fan

  15. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Walters

    Solid 3.5--This is a fun story that had me wanting to restore a vintage trailer ASAP! This story is my first Melody Carlson and I enjoyed it. From the very first page I was quickly captured by Dillon Michaels (it took me a hot minute to get used to her name) plight as she makes a quick decision so start over and move home. I loved Dillon's grandpa as he reminded me very much of my own. I had a hard time with the other secondary characters, like Vivian who at first I thought was much older given h Solid 3.5--This is a fun story that had me wanting to restore a vintage trailer ASAP! This story is my first Melody Carlson and I enjoyed it. From the very first page I was quickly captured by Dillon Michaels (it took me a hot minute to get used to her name) plight as she makes a quick decision so start over and move home. I loved Dillon's grandpa as he reminded me very much of my own. I had a hard time with the other secondary characters, like Vivian who at first I thought was much older given her job and interests but then find out she's younger and interested in Jordan, the handsome hardware store owner who's sparked Dillon's interest too. This story was an easy read and I really enjoyed the renovation of the camper and had hoped to see more of that in Dillon's story arc but it got a bit muddled with the wishy-washy issues between her, her ex-boyfriend, and new romance interest. In regards to the romance, there wasn't much of it, which makes me think this story is mostly about Dillon's personal growth but there's still a lot of emotional back and forth by the final chapter and then a sudden declaration of love and I wish I could've seen more or experience more of that "love" between the two characters. Overall, Melody Carlson has a great writing style and I would definitely look into more of her stories. I just felt like this story ended before it really began, leaving me wanting more of Dillon and Jordan. ***I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.***

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    I have been reading some heavy in-depth books lately and this one hit the spot, light hearted and kept me smiling most of the time. I loved the twins, they seemed so real, and could actually picture them, first hating to learn to swim, and loving when they were with Dillion at the camp ground. The author gives us family dynamics at all levels, and you wonder if they will all survive to the end, will there be healing and forgiving? There is some sweet romance here, and some that don't get the mess I have been reading some heavy in-depth books lately and this one hit the spot, light hearted and kept me smiling most of the time. I loved the twins, they seemed so real, and could actually picture them, first hating to learn to swim, and loving when they were with Dillion at the camp ground. The author gives us family dynamics at all levels, and you wonder if they will all survive to the end, will there be healing and forgiving? There is some sweet romance here, and some that don't get the message, or at least need it hammered in. Sometimes we take for granted what we have, until it is gone, but will be able to retrieve it? Add in a sweet old camper, and then the truck to pull it, and we are on a restoration, we also have gardening, and mega amounts of lavender! You will be quickly caught up here in this small town, and I would love to go camping with this loving group! I received this book through the Publisher Revell, and was not required to give a positive review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Susan F

    This is another sweet story by Melody Carson. I enjoyed how Dillon, the main character, changes as she works on the little vintage camper. She stretches herself to do things she's never done before. As the camper brightens and changes, so does she. To me this is a story about transition, family relationships and the challenges of every day. It's not easy to take a new direction but it's possible to travel a different path to a new kind of life. There is a conflicted romance which in a way is the This is another sweet story by Melody Carson. I enjoyed how Dillon, the main character, changes as she works on the little vintage camper. She stretches herself to do things she's never done before. As the camper brightens and changes, so does she. To me this is a story about transition, family relationships and the challenges of every day. It's not easy to take a new direction but it's possible to travel a different path to a new kind of life. There is a conflicted romance which in a way is the suspense of the story. This is a book that Hallmark movie lovers should enjoy. It is a clean, sweet read with very interesting things going on. To me it could even move into a new book. I love Melody Carlson stories and they usually do leave me thinking about what could happen next, kind of like life itself. My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my advanced copy of the book. This is my own personal opinion about the Happy Camper. It would be perfect to take on a camping trip or for a beach read!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Oh, how I love Melody Carlson! She writes some adorable and clean romances that warm the heart. And "Happy Camper" was so fulfilling! Poor Dillon Michaels seems to be having a rough time of it. She gets fired and breaks up with her boyfriend around the same time. So, as expected, this leads her down the road of needing change. So, Dillon decides to head to Oregon to her grandfather's. Unfortunately for Dillon, however, this don't go as planned once she gets there. There's romance, humor, and all of Oh, how I love Melody Carlson! She writes some adorable and clean romances that warm the heart. And "Happy Camper" was so fulfilling! Poor Dillon Michaels seems to be having a rough time of it. She gets fired and breaks up with her boyfriend around the same time. So, as expected, this leads her down the road of needing change. So, Dillon decides to head to Oregon to her grandfather's. Unfortunately for Dillon, however, this don't go as planned once she gets there. There's romance, humor, and all of it takes place in one of my favorite states of Oregon. Unfortunately, this book was a bit on the predictable side, but, I find that that didn't deter me at all from enjoying it. Melody Carlson is a longtime favorite of mine, and I'm reminded of why, when she so flawlessly ties faith, romance, and familial relationships in an adorable story.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Dillon Michaels moves back home to Oregon in hopes of deciding what direction she should take following the loss of her job and breaking up with her boyfriend. Little does she know what life has in store for her when she arrives at her grandfather’s home. I loved the characters and the way they each met or helped others meet challenges. They all became very real and people I would like to know. The small camper that Dillon is given even takes on a personality based on her personal style. It also Dillon Michaels moves back home to Oregon in hopes of deciding what direction she should take following the loss of her job and breaking up with her boyfriend. Little does she know what life has in store for her when she arrives at her grandfather’s home. I loved the characters and the way they each met or helped others meet challenges. They all became very real and people I would like to know. The small camper that Dillon is given even takes on a personality based on her personal style. It also serves as a catalyst in bringing people together. This faith-based book is laced with humor and romance. It is fun to read, and if I had not had out of town guests I probably would have finished even sooner. My one concern is that the romance issue is resolved a little too quickly. Although there are signs that the relationship will work out throughout the story, we go from holding hands to a declaration of love within only a few pages. However, that was not enough to prove a real distraction and keep me from being enchanted by The Happy Camper. I received an advance copy of this book from Revell Publishing Group through a giveaway at LibraryThing.com. No promise of a positive review was made or required. Any opinions given here are my own.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Permanently_Booked

    This was a cute novel about finding your place in the world and what makes you happy. It didn't seem too much like a romance novel until close to the end where things between Dillon and Jordan finally connect. I felt this was more about going home and starting fresh in life. I was not overly thrilled with Margot as a motherly figure and felt Dillon was more of the adult in this dynamic. Margot seems to mess things up more than help her daughter and seemed blatantly clueless on any part of Dillon This was a cute novel about finding your place in the world and what makes you happy. It didn't seem too much like a romance novel until close to the end where things between Dillon and Jordan finally connect. I felt this was more about going home and starting fresh in life. I was not overly thrilled with Margot as a motherly figure and felt Dillon was more of the adult in this dynamic. Margot seems to mess things up more than help her daughter and seemed blatantly clueless on any part of Dillon's life, feelings and desires. Dillon's Grandfather was my favorite character throughout the entire novel. Unlike her mother, he was there when Dillon really needed someone. This was an easy read. Had high points and low points and captured the nuances of life and moving forward.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    THE HAPPY CAMPER is a whimsical tale by prolific author Melody Carlson and almost enough to make this non-camper want a camper. But unlike Dillion in the story, I don't have a small fortune to spend on restoring and decorating a vintage camper. I'm not sure how I feel about the story. Dillion and her mother hardly try to get along. Margo (Mom) is lazy while Dillion is superwoman able to deep clean an entire farmhouse in a single morning and spend the afternoon cleaning a green house and planting THE HAPPY CAMPER is a whimsical tale by prolific author Melody Carlson and almost enough to make this non-camper want a camper. But unlike Dillion in the story, I don't have a small fortune to spend on restoring and decorating a vintage camper. I'm not sure how I feel about the story. Dillion and her mother hardly try to get along. Margo (Mom) is lazy while Dillion is superwoman able to deep clean an entire farmhouse in a single morning and spend the afternoon cleaning a green house and planting a garden. And then both Dillion and Jordan are immature, pitting other people into the relationship triangle and then sulking... and then resolving it way too fast. Not to mention, the story is told, not shown. Still, Ms. Carlson is a fan-favorite with avid collectors of her books. And with camping season approaching, this would be just the book to put you in the mood--or to enjoy it from the safety of home. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This is such a charming and sweet little book. I have always wanted to redo a trailer so the fact that she picked up her life and started fresh like she did as well as renovating a camper was just perfect for me. The book was well written, and the characters were likeable (and dislikeable as they were supposed to be.). My only issues were the wishy-washy behavior out of Vivian and the way that Dillon was so quick to assume people were judging her character. It was a bit distracting and annoying. This is such a charming and sweet little book. I have always wanted to redo a trailer so the fact that she picked up her life and started fresh like she did as well as renovating a camper was just perfect for me. The book was well written, and the characters were likeable (and dislikeable as they were supposed to be.). My only issues were the wishy-washy behavior out of Vivian and the way that Dillon was so quick to assume people were judging her character. It was a bit distracting and annoying. Otherwise this sweet small town romance was the perfect escape!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Debby (Alwaysbooking)

    2.5 The cutest little camper stars!! I thought this was going to be a true Hallmark kind of book with romance and young woman finding herself and maybe I set my expectations to high. While I found all the trailer rebuilding and multitasking a great add on to the book, the romance connection was not there at all. The romantic couple has barely a handful of meetings throughout the book and we are to find something deep and meaningful from this and I just couldn’t do it. Most of their meet ups are s 2.5 The cutest little camper stars!! I thought this was going to be a true Hallmark kind of book with romance and young woman finding herself and maybe I set my expectations to high. While I found all the trailer rebuilding and multitasking a great add on to the book, the romance connection was not there at all. The romantic couple has barely a handful of meetings throughout the book and we are to find something deep and meaningful from this and I just couldn’t do it. Most of their meet ups are spent with miscommunication as key, I realize this book is very heavy on the “clean” aspect, so hand holding is as far as it goes which is fine by me. However deep conversations and meaningful looks could go a long way. Dillon does start to come into her own in this book even though I feel she may still be quite naïve for a 35-year-old woman. Again, the restoration of the camper was quite adorable, I loved that she found her passion besides the farmhouse and garden. The interactions with her grandfather were quite amusing and thoughtful, I felt more of a connection with him than with Jordan. Understanding her history with her mother was another layer to Dillon that was nice to see get settled down. I think the overall lack of connection between characters was my biggest fault with this book, if you wanted it just to be a women’s fiction book of Dillion coming into her own that would’ve been fine for me but it’s listed as romance when there is basically none. You need to have a connection between the romance characters for there to be a romance, you can’t proclaim love on two characters who have barely spoken. As always, I give authors more than one chance so I would gladly give this author another read. Thank you NetGalley, Fleming H. Revell Company, and Melody Carlson for a copy in lieu of my honest review. find more reviews at alwaysbooking.wordpress.com

  24. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte Sterling

    As a first time reader of this author, I didn’t know what to expect. Had it been classified as Christian fiction, I would have no problem with it. Since it is not, and there is no indication that it will be shoving its God down the reader’s throat until you’re halfway through it, the book was completely ruined for me. The main character turned into a snotty, holier-than-thou bible pusher. What a way to turn off a huge number of readers! Disappointed and mad by the way this was done. If you want As a first time reader of this author, I didn’t know what to expect. Had it been classified as Christian fiction, I would have no problem with it. Since it is not, and there is no indication that it will be shoving its God down the reader’s throat until you’re halfway through it, the book was completely ruined for me. The main character turned into a snotty, holier-than-thou bible pusher. What a way to turn off a huge number of readers! Disappointed and mad by the way this was done. If you want to write religious fiction, more power to you. But make sure you’re clear on the not accepting of other people’s faiths PRIOR to wasting your reader’s time.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    This book was okay I guess.. The plot was easy to read, but nothing special. In the beginning I was really confused about who Margot was, as that was never explained or mentioned. After having a whole conversation in which I sat there clueless if she's her sister or mother or granddads new girlfriend, some other character finally solved the mystery and called her Dillon's mother. She was a really annoying character, and I could not believe how Dillon always put up with her. But at the same time t This book was okay I guess.. The plot was easy to read, but nothing special. In the beginning I was really confused about who Margot was, as that was never explained or mentioned. After having a whole conversation in which I sat there clueless if she's her sister or mother or granddads new girlfriend, some other character finally solved the mystery and called her Dillon's mother. She was a really annoying character, and I could not believe how Dillon always put up with her. But at the same time that still demonstrates her unconditional love for her mother. Adding to that, I disliked Dillon's constant overthinking and changing her mind about Jordan, but them finding out that she was completely wrong and then changing everything up again. And the jealousy!! So. Much. Jealousy. And most of the times it was just misinterpreted and annoying, but I mean it was just all part of the plot. What really annoyed me were the religious parts about God. I do not think that religion should be displayed as something that a person needs in books and that simply praying to God makes everything better again. It just makes me dislike the book on a whole a lot more. The trailer aspect was cute, the remodeling and the redecoratingg and all of those parts of the book. I kind of want to have a cute vintage trailer now as well hahaha. All in all the book was nothing special, it was one of those 'Person leaves behing her partner and job and starts over somewhere new and finds love there' books which are okay once in a while, but that don't really have anything to them. Pretty bland and kind of boring storyline. I recieved a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    This is the second book I have read by Melody Carlson and I have now decided that her writing style is just not for me. As such, this review - as always - is an honest breakdown of my response to the book, but I realise that many people who do enjoy Carlson’s writing won’t find fault with the same issues I did. If this sort of thing is your style, then I am sure will enjoy what is a simple story of coming home, and falling in love. Dillon leaves her boyfriend and her job on the same day. She is t This is the second book I have read by Melody Carlson and I have now decided that her writing style is just not for me. As such, this review - as always - is an honest breakdown of my response to the book, but I realise that many people who do enjoy Carlson’s writing won’t find fault with the same issues I did. If this sort of thing is your style, then I am sure will enjoy what is a simple story of coming home, and falling in love. Dillon leaves her boyfriend and her job on the same day. She is tired of hanging around waiting for Brandon to make her his number one priority and tired of catering to the whims of her boss. A phone call from her mother inspires her to return home to her grandfather’s farm. She doesn’t expect her eccentric mother to be there, and is a little upset when she is relegated to the lumpy couch. When her grandfather gives Dillon a run-down vintage camper trailer, Dillon puts her efforts into restoring it, and quite enjoys visiting the local hardware store to see the handsome, maybe-available owner, Jordan. When her boyfriend arrives in town begging for her to give him another chance, Dillon will have to choose between her old life and her new one. The Happy Campers is a sweet and simple story. I enjoyed the parts where Dillon throws herself into renovating her camper van. She enjoys discovering new techniques, quite a bit of retail therapy and putting the finishing touches on her new home. Everything comes easy to her and for her (except maybe backing the van itself), so this part of the story doesn’t present any complications for the story. I also really liked Dillon’s grandfather. He is a hard worker, very kind and understanding to both Dillon and her mother and has plenty of wisdom and all the right answers to share. Dillon is lucky to have his support. Dillon’s relationship with her mother is shaky. Dillon moved in with her grandparents while she was growing up and found great support and stability away from her mother’s more transient lifestyle. Dillon doesn’t agree with her mother’s living arrangements, eating habits (if you enjoy kale smoothies and healthy food, prepare to have that made fun of quite a bit in this book) and tendency to start a project only to quickly drop it. Dillon judges that and yet she herself seems quite unreliable, leaving a job when her boss asks her to work, flipping from liking people to not liking them at all, and jumping between Brandon and Jordan really quickly. The romance between Dillon and Brandon ends before we readers even get a chance to see why she would have spent 2 years with him and she moves on even faster. Dillon is quickly attracted to Jordan, but questions her feelings due to a response during a swimming lesson she is giving to his nieces and what appears to be an ongoing flirtation between him and another women (who Dillon starts of liking and quickly moves to dislike). As a result, Dillon says she is done with Brandon but continues to dance, dine and converse with Brandon. It’s juvenile and a little silly really, and aside from a few renovation projects, Dillon and Jordan don’t get much time to spend with each other, leaving the romance feeling surface-level at best. The book finished much more quickly than I anticipated, and there wasn’t time for a few plot threads to be concluded, like Dillon’s unknown work future. Dillon does find some common ground with her mother, but the depths of their relationship (or anything else in this book) are never explored. If you like quick, light-hearted and fun books, then The Happy Camper might be just what you are looking for. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  27. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Happiness & How You Make It! PLEASE READ THIS REVIEW ON MY BLOG: http://bookreadingtic.com/2020/03/21/... THANK YOU! In 24 hours, Dillon has broken up with Brandon--her boyfriend--quit her job, given up her apartment and hit the road to surprise her grandfather at his farm hundreds of miles away. Dillon is shocked to find her irresponsible, counter-culture mother has taken up residency at the farm. Her mom is well on her way to starting another crazy scheme—which Dillon often gets pulled in to do Happiness & How You Make It! PLEASE READ THIS REVIEW ON MY BLOG: http://bookreadingtic.com/2020/03/21/... THANK YOU! In 24 hours, Dillon has broken up with Brandon--her boyfriend--quit her job, given up her apartment and hit the road to surprise her grandfather at his farm hundreds of miles away. Dillon is shocked to find her irresponsible, counter-culture mother has taken up residency at the farm. Her mom is well on her way to starting another crazy scheme—which Dillon often gets pulled in to do all the work, while her mother conveniently disappears. In the midst of all of this, Dillon’s grandfather gives her a decrepit, run-down trailer. Even though she has no experience with camping, she instantly falls in love with the vintage trailer, and becomes obsessed with restoring it. Just when a man from town, Jordan, begins to show interest in Dillon, commitment-phobe Brandon reappears. Even though Brandon ignored Dillon while they dated, now he is obsessed with her, and doggedly pursues her no matter where she goes or how often she tells him it is over between them. Will Brandon succeed in winning Dillon back? Will the past problems between Dillon and her mother torpedo any chance of future happiness for them? Can Dillon hang onto her trailer, or will her mother find a way to take it despite all of Dillon’s work? This book had lots of fun situations but the story is realistic—especially the mother-daughter angst. I loved the trailer situation, the inclusion of Dillon’s faith, and the sprinkle of humor throughout the tale. I recommend this 5-star book to anyone who enjoys well-written fiction and romances. Revell Publishing has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of, The Happy Camper,for the purpose of review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Faye

    Dillon Michaels has fond memories of a stable home with her grandparents, after a rough upbringing with her single mother. She is burned out juggling her finances, job, and non-committal boyfriend. After her grandmother's death she decides to go stay with her grandfather, only to find that her mother has beat her there. Blessings come in surprising packages with the gift of a vintage trailer that Dillon can make her own. She sets to work restoring the camper, with the help of the local hardware Dillon Michaels has fond memories of a stable home with her grandparents, after a rough upbringing with her single mother. She is burned out juggling her finances, job, and non-committal boyfriend. After her grandmother's death she decides to go stay with her grandfather, only to find that her mother has beat her there. Blessings come in surprising packages with the gift of a vintage trailer that Dillon can make her own. She sets to work restoring the camper, with the help of the local hardware store owner, while supporting her grandfather while navigating her tricky relationship with her mother. A heartwarming read about family, forgiveness, and new beginnings. I loved the welcoming small town setting, with great characters. I loved the surprises and twists along the way, as Dillon struggles to find stability, hope, and forgiveness. I loved her relationship with her grandparents and how they gave her roots and wings, as well as how she was challenged by her mother to grow, and give grace. Jordan is a kind community member, fun-uncle, and overall a somewhat baffling man. He is genuine, and well-loved in the community. I liked how he offers to help Dillon, and how he takes the time to be present in the life of his family. Overall, a heartwarming, enjoyable, small town read, filled with family, love, humor, and forgiveness. A great feel-good read, with a great premise, and steady pacing. Highly enjoyable. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mayda

    It wasn’t Dillon’s best weekend. First she breaks up with her boyfriend, then she gets fired. But the boyfriend wasn’t ideal, being too self-centered to care about Dillon, and her boss expected Dillon to drop everything and report to work whenever she called, even on Dillon’s days off. So Dillon says good-bye to ex-boyfriend, ex-job, and ex-roommates, and moves back home to Grandpa and his farm. But her mother, having left her own boyfriend, has beaten her to it, and has taken over Dillon’s old It wasn’t Dillon’s best weekend. First she breaks up with her boyfriend, then she gets fired. But the boyfriend wasn’t ideal, being too self-centered to care about Dillon, and her boss expected Dillon to drop everything and report to work whenever she called, even on Dillon’s days off. So Dillon says good-bye to ex-boyfriend, ex-job, and ex-roommates, and moves back home to Grandpa and his farm. But her mother, having left her own boyfriend, has beaten her to it, and has taken over Dillon’s old bedroom. Dillon is relegated to the saggy sofa, but not for long. An unexpected gift from her grandpa sparks new life into Dillon. And meeting the handsome hardware store owner also dispels any lingering sadness. Unfortunately, her ex has decided he wants what he no longer has and sets out to reclaim Dillon, upsetting her and her new life. These charming characters are entertaining and delightful in this lighthearted romance. Ms. Carlson tells a sweet tale without using profane language, and, while not preachy, still exhibits Christian tenets in her writing. Dillon may not inspire you to acquire a trailer and head off for the campgrounds, but she sure makes it sound wonderful!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chattynatty

    Thank you to Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for sending me this book to review. @authormelodycarlson your book was lovely! This book was devoured in 2 days. I think it was read quickly because I wanted to escape into this, as my daughter commented, “a Hallmark movie but more realistic story”. Side note- when this book arrived in the mail she picked it up and started reading the first chapter. She was sucked into the story and enjoyed the story before I could get my hands on it. This Thank you to Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for sending me this book to review. @authormelodycarlson your book was lovely! This book was devoured in 2 days. I think it was read quickly because I wanted to escape into this, as my daughter commented, “a Hallmark movie but more realistic story”. Side note- when this book arrived in the mail she picked it up and started reading the first chapter. She was sucked into the story and enjoyed the story before I could get my hands on it. This tells you that if a 40 something and a 6th grader can enjoy a book than the story must be age defying. Dillon Michaels is almost 30 and working long hours and is unappreciated at her job in Colorado. Her boyfriend of 2 years is also not respectful of her time or what her dreams are. She receives word from her mom, Margot, saying her grandfather is struggling at home- Oregon- from depression following the death of his wife, her grandma. Dillon always being close with her grandparents knows she has to return home. This is her out from her hated job and disrespectful boyfriend. The story really begins with Dillon’s return home. A story with the reality of what it is like to return home being single, unemployed, and striving to find where she wants to be and who she wants to be in life.

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