Book Review Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle
Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances
"Let it Snow" is a YA romance anthology written by three very talented authors: John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. Each novella follows one young teenager's experience during the festive Christmas season, filled with humor, strange circumstances and above all else, romance. All three tales converge in the small town of Gracetown after an ill-timed snowstorm stranded a train that was heading towards Florida. In one story, a brave soul decided to abandon the train as all her Christmas plans collapsed on Christmas eve, only to set off a crazy set of events that changed her life. In another, three friends abandoned their plans of a James Bond movie marathon in the comforts of a warm house to battle a snowstorm and a difficult car, all in the pursuit of cheerleaders and hash browns. And in the third story, a self-absorbed love-sick teenager finds the true Christmas spirit, rescues her friend's tea-cup piglet and rekindles what she initially thought was a doomed relationship. What makes it all the more interesting is that all the characters appear in each other's stories as secondary characters.
More novels by Maureen Johnson
The Jubilee Express
In the first story, all of Jubilee Dougal's (yes, you heard her name correctly, it's Jubilee) Christmas plans collapsed on the afternoon of Christmas eve when her parents got hauled into jail for being a bit too enthusiastic while waiting in line for the sale of Flobie Santa Village collectibles. Instead of spending Christmas eve at her boyfriend's family's annual Christmas party, she was instead put in a train heading towards her grandparents in Florida. Of course, not even that went exactly according to plan. Just as the train was about to roll into Gracetown, a heavy snowstorm set in, blocking the railway track and effectively stranding the train and all of its passengers. Jubilee decided to brave the cold, abandon the train (full of cheerleaders, as it were) and head to the Waffle House she saw open nearby. That decision ended up setting off a chain of events that led to her heading off with a strange but cute Target guy, fall into a frozen creek, get metaphorically adopted by said Target guy's hyper mother plus more. Follow Jubilee as she celebrates Christmas not in the way she had originally planned but perhaps in the way that worked out for the better.
This novella is quite an enjoyable read. Jubilee is an easy character to relate to and although the plot at times is a bit too ridiculous to be believable, Johnson's style of humor and cheer more than makes up for it. This tale will have you giggling along right till the romantic end.
More novels from John Green
A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle
Tobin and his two best friends, JP and the Duke (her real name is Angie) were in the middle of a James Bond movie marathon, safe, comfortable and warm at his house when they received a call from their friend working at the Waffle House with an amazing piece of news. A whole squad of cheerleaders have arrived to the Waffle House and if the trio were to bring Twister, they were allowed to come. But hurry, the other two workers at the Waffle House have also invited some of their male colleagues. First come, first served.
And thus began a crazy adventure for the trio through a heavy snowstorm in a small unsuitable car followed by a dash through the snow chased by two very angry guys and ended up with a couple of heart-to-heart sessions that showed love was perhaps closer to home that one previously thought.
While this is perhaps not the best example of John Green's works, it is still a fun and easy read. The comradeship between the trio is very evident and the banter between them quick and sharp. The link to the previous story is also quite well done and the hint of what is to come very deftly inserted.
More novels from Lauren Myracle
The Patron Saint of Pigs
It was difficult for Addie to get into the Christmas spirit. She and her boyfriend, Jeb, have been going through a rough patch lately. Despite their romantic get-together last Christmas eve, the spark had, in her opinion, disappeared from their relationship. She didn't feel he was displaying any outward affections towards her and he's clueless as to why she was so unhappy. In the lead up to Christmas, the two of them went to a party where Addie got drunk and accidentally kissed another boy. It was now Christmas and Addie still hasn't heard from Jeb. In the middle of pitying herself, Addie is forced to gain some perspective, get in the holiday mood and perhaps, receive a Christmas miracle of her all.
Out of the three stories, this is by far my least favorite. Addie is too self-absorbed to be a likeable central character. The first line of this novella is "Being me sucked." Her best friends, Dorrie and Tegan are quick to point out her tendency to always worry about herself. In fact, almost everyone who knows Addie points it out in the novella. In addition, the plot feels overly simplistic with too many flashbacks and the ending feels a bit messy with all the characters in all three stories meet up.
In summary, "Let it Snow" is an enjoyable YA anthology that is perfect in the lead-up to Christmas to get you into the warm and fuzzy festive atmosphere. While the writing may not be the best example of what the authors are capable of, and the plot at times can be a bit too fantastical, it is still a worthwhile read and a good way to introduce yourself to these authors' writings.
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