Thursday, December 9, 2010

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances

The Facts
Authors: Maureen Johnson, John Green and  Lauren Myracle
Publisher: Penguin Group
Date of Publication: October, 2008
Length: 400 pages

The Fiction
From the Publisher: 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.

Ok, so I am going to freak the pants off all of you with the following statement: John Green’s story A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle was not my favourite part of Let It Snow (I’ll now give you a moment to recover). Don’t get me wrong, I certainly enjoyed JG’s story a lot, but for me, Maureen Johnson was the stand-out with The Jubilee Express. Here’s my thoughts on each of the stories:

The Jubilee Express: My favourite! On a train to spend Christmas in Florida with her grandparents, Jubilee ends up stranded in North Carolina, and ends up staying with a (Christmas-obsessed) Jewish family. I really liked the character of Jubilee (stripper’s name and all) and her Flobie-obsessed parents. Stuart reminded me of an early series one Seth Cohen (before he got all hip – back when he was geeky and awesome). I felt like this story had the right mix of heart and snark - Maureen Johnson’s writing is so smart and funny and chain-of-thought-y, and yet also has been lovely, touching moments too).

A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle: Three friends venture across town during a blizzard to reunite with a friend who is stranded at a waffle house with a cheerleading troupe. Like Paper Towns, it’s a really good ‘journey’ story, and as always, JG writes fantastic friendships and smart, funny dialogue and banter. I think I may have liked this a teensy bit more if I’d read it prior to reading JG’s other work. To me, there were a lot of similarities between characters – Tobin is a total Q/Will Grayson, The Duke is a Lindsay crossed with Jane and JP is a Korean version of Ben. Still, this is probably the funniest story in the triology, and is still quite sweet.

The Patron Saint of Pigs: It’s hard because I already knew Maureen Johnson and John Green’s work prior to reading this book, so I kind of knew what to expect, but have never read anything by Lauren Myracle before, so maybe I don’t have the best taste of her writing style. I found this story the hardest to get through – the pace was a bit odd (I felt like I was going in circles a little bit) and I just couldn’t warm to the character of Addie. However, it did come together nicely and had a good ending.

I really enjoyed the way that the stories interconnected (without going overboard and turning into a Love Actually-esque six degrees of separation kind of thing) and were each set over a single day (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day respectively). Let It Snow is an easy and enjoyable read for the holiday season – festive and fun.


Mrs. DeRaps said...

I concur! I love John Green and thought that his story was the best of the three. I kept wondering how they wrote--whether they got together in person, did they write it via the internet...How did they do it? I'm a dork, so I think about things like this.

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