Book review: Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

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Let It Snow is one of the first books I ever added to my Goodreads TBR way back in the summer of 2012.  I don’t know why it took me so long to read it, but I was browsing currently available ebooks at my library and decided to finally jump in and go for it.  This book contains three interconnected love stories that take place during one very large blizzard.

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The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson: ★★★★★

Jubilee Dougal’s parents are obsessed with the Flobie Santa Village, a set of limited-edition collectible buildings and figurines.  When the Flobie manufacturer announces that they’re only releasing ten of that year’s collector’s item, Jubilee’s parents race off to the sale and end up involved in a riot of sorts.  Carted off to jail for Christmas, they make arrangements for Jubilee to spend the holiday in Florida with her grandparents.  Things don’t always go as expected, though, and a blizzard derails Jubilee’s train in the sleepy town of Graceland.

This story was adorable. Just the cutest.  It was quirky and crazy and still somehow relatable, which is the best combination of adjectives for a Christmas romance.  I haven’t read any of Maureen Johnson’s books since I was in high school (though I am highly anticipating Truly Devious) but clearly, I need to remedy that.

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A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle by John Green: ★★☆☆☆

Tobin’s parents are snowed into their out-of-town conference, but he’s fine at home with his two best friends.  They’ll have a James Bond marathon before he heads over to the Duke’s house for Christmas festivities.  Everything’s set until his friend Keun calls, saying that a train full of cheerleaders just descended upon the Waffle House, and Tobin and company had best get there asap. Chaos ensues as the teenagers attempt to drive, run, and sled their way through the blizzard. Amid the adventure, Tobin begins questioning his feelings for the Duke, who he’s always seen as just one of the guys but is now clearly and definitely a girl.

This short story is very vintage YA, and I don’t necessarily mean that in a good way. There’s a lot of sexism and awkward jokes that didn’t age well.  This is probably my least favorite John Green story of all time, which is so disappointing because I really have loved almost everything of his that I’ve ever read. Sure, it had some cute parts and some moments that made me smile, but by and large, it just wasn’t that great.

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The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle: ★★☆☆☆

Addie’s spent Christmas absolutely miserable after things ended with her boyfriend, Jeb.  You see, Addie got drunk at a Christmas party, she was feeling lonely and neglected, and she happened to make out with a boy who was most certainly not Jeb.  She feels guilty, Jeb is angry, and now she can’t seem to get in touch with him to let him know that it was the biggest mistake ever and she’ll do whatever she can to re-earn his trust. Her best friends tell her that she needs to stop focusing on her own emotions and start focusing on other people, but Addie’s never really thought of herself as self-centered.  A quest to find a teacup pig for her best friend brings everything to a head and might just lead to a turning point in Addie’s life.

So, first off, I don’t think I hated this story quite as much as most readers.  I think Myracle definitely had the hardest job of the three writers – redeeming Addie, a horribly self-centered teenager who’s just broken her boyfriend’s heart by cheating on him, is a bit more difficult than writing about someone stranded on a train or venturing to a Waffle House mid-blizzard.  Still, it was definitely the weakest story of the bunch.  Addie is just such an annoying character, always turning everything into her own personal drama (”The Addie Show”) and completely disregarding everybody else’s feelings in the matter. The pig thing was kind of weird and, let’s be honest, I felt zero chemistry between her and Jeb. Jeb deserved better and Addie honestly just needs to take some time to work on herself.  The resolution felt forced and this was the only one of the three stories where I was actively rooting for the love interests to stay apart.

Overall final rating: ★★★☆☆

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