Friday, July 5, 2013

Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

Let it Snow: Three Holiday RomancesFrom "The Jubilee Express": It was the night before Christmas. Well, to be more precise, it was the afternoon before Christmas. 

"Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today's bestselling teen authors--John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle--the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses."

This is most certainly not the kind of book I normally read, but John Green's story was in it, so that was enough for me. I'd never read Maureen Johnson or Lauren Myracle before, so I wanted to see what their writing was like. I have, of course, seen Maureen Johnson on the Vlogbrothers channel. Maureen Johnson's story, "The Jubilee Express",  is the first in the collection, when Jubilee's parents are arrested for a minor crime, and she must travel by train to her grandparents in Florida. But the blizzard intervenes, and things don't go quite as planned...The writing wasn't great, but it was pretty amusing. Maureen Johnson's stories are so ridiculously absurd, much like her personality. The three writers are very similar, although John Green still remains my favorite. It's kind of funny, because John Green's books always seem to get grouped in with the ladies. Most of his audience is female, and in this collection, the other two authors are female. As Hank Green so eloquently puts it, "Lady, lady, lady, lady, lady, lady, John Green."

Anyway, Maureen Johnson's story was very entertaining, although not brilliant. It's a sweet and funny tale, and very enjoyable. The premise of it was very silly; that Jubilee's parents get arrested at a sale for a certain type of toy, basically. This changes all of her plans dramatically. It's interesting to think that getting involved in violence would set off this whole chain of events that will impact Jubilee's life enormously. I also did really like the romance, since Jubilee and Stuart have been kind of in the same boat, and they can really relate to one another. 

The middle story, "A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle", is by John Green, and is really, really good. Three friends get a call from another friend telling them that the Waffle House has been flooded by cheerleaders. They set off on a drive that normally takes twenty minutes, but in this deep snow, things (of course) don't go quite as planned. This story is connected to Maureen Johnson's in that the cheerleaders were on the same stranded train that Jubilee was on, and Jubilee herself had quite a few (negative) opinions about them. I definitely enjoyed "A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle" a lot. It was different in tone than the first story, but really funny, as John Green tends to be. It reminded me a little bit of Will Grayson, Will Grayson. There were a lot of jokes in it. It was kind of annoying how the three teenagers took so many really stupid risks for some cheerleaders. They could have gotten themselves killed. But what matters is not that but what comes of it, and it was a very good story. 

"The Patron Saint of Pigs" is the final story, written by Lauren Myracle. It's narrated by Addie, another resident of Gracetown, who had been briefly mentioned in both of the previous two stories. It certainly has a great title, and was lovely. One of Addie's friends is obsessed with pigs, which is where the title comes from. 

I really enjoyed all three of these stories, and I loved that they were interconnected. Each of the stories adds more to the overall picture of Gracetown, and different threads are picked up in different stories. I wonder how the authors wrote the book, but they certainly did it very skillfully. Each story is unique, but they're set in the same place. I loved all of the romances, and would definitely recommend Let it Snow. It's a very sweet book. 

Read Let it Snow:
  • if you like romance
  • if you like short stories
  • if you like John Green
  • if you like Maureen Johnson
  • if you like Lauren Myracle
352 pages. 

Rating: ****

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