Let It Snow
By Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle
Release Date: October 2nd, 2008
Genre: Young Adult
I was grateful to receive a copy of Let It Snow for Christmas from one of my best friends – she knew exactly what I needed, because I’m one of those people who live for Christmas. It’s my favorite time of the year; I live for the Christmas lights, the carols, decorating the tree, and for that eager anticipation of Christmas magic. So, when December 26th rolls around, I fall into a great “Post-Christmas” depression. This year, in order to combat it, I picked up a Christmasy read to help keep those blue feelings at bay.
Overall, this was good holiday read. There was a nice Christmas feel to the book, complete with plenty of snow, a night of wonder, and careless, teenage abandon. For romance lovers like me, this was a perfect read, gift wrapped and ready to be devoured. Let It Snow is a compilation of three interconnected winter stories, revolving around a small town that is (for the most part) snowed in. The different characters in the stories are all connected by the town and deal with the unprecedented blizzard in different ways, ultimately finding love on Christmas. When the book hit its mark, it was right on it, but – unfortunately – when the book failed to hit that mark, it failed miserably. I liked the book for the most part, but there were certain areas that I was eager to be done with. More often than not, I would read a little bit, flip forward to see how much of a particular story I had left, sigh, and trot on like a trooper.
But I’ll review each story in turn.The first story is by Maureen Johnson and is called, Jubilee Express. It follows a girl called Jubilee (naturally), whose parents have been arrested on Christmas Eve, after being involved with a skirmish at the local store that sells holiday collectibles that her family has a penchant for collecting. As a result, she’s shipped off to spend the holidays with her grandparents but the snowstorm blows through, causing her train to be caught in the snowdrifts and inoperable for several hours. Instead of being trapped in the cars with a bunch of obnoxious cheerleaders, she leaves the train and manages to make her way to a nearby Waffle House where she meets a guy named Stuart. Before she knows it, the cheerleaders follow her and, in an effort to escape them again and from being trapped on a freezing train, she decides to stay at Stuart’s house for the night and Christmas morning.
First of all – how many times do I have to say this? – STRANGER DANGER! If it were me, I wouldn’t have braved the blizzard in the first place. I would’ve gone back to my car on the train, wrapped myself up in blankets, and waited it out. But that would be the sensible option. Instead, Jubilee follows a stranger home, where he lives with his mother and sister. Okay, it didn’t end in disaster for Jubilee, but if it had been me and my luck, Stuart would have ended up being a creeper and raping her. (I guess that’s why I don’t ever find love in unexpected places.) At any rate, they form a connection and friendship evolves into something more over Christmas. She had been dating a rather crappy boyfriend before and Stuart gets her to understand that she’s worth more than just being second place to a guy who hardly spends time with her. Despite the obvious danger she could’ve gotten in, I liked sweet little Stuart and I liked the premise of the story, where her parents were involved in the mishap and getting arrested. It made for a interested story and was a strong beginning for the novel.The second story entitled A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle by John Green, paled in comparison. I never thought I’d say this about John Green, but I couldn’t wait to get his portion of the story over with.
I think Yzma summed up my thoughts easily:
This story revolves around Tobin, JP, and “the Duke,” – aka: so forgettable I can even remember her real name – who, after getting word that the Waffle House is full of sexy cheerleaders, romp a round in the blizzard, trying to find their way there. First of all, gag. The premise of this story was horrifyingly boring and terribly predictable. I grew tired of the guys’ sexual innuendos from page two and the Duke’s willingness to follow them around blindly because they are friends and because she was motivated by hash browns was laughable. (I get it, Waffle House hash browns are awesome, but not worth risking hypothermia.) No kidding, the story was 90 pages long and consisted of them trudging through snow and talking about how they wanted nothing more than to ogle cheerleaders. Every chapter was a pain to get through and there was absolutely no character development until the last few pages when – gasp! – Tobin and the Duke finally saw the light and ended up getting together.
So, yeah, this one sucked and was something I wish I had never read, especially since it had John Green’s name attached. I want to remember him as writing TFiOS and other best-sellers, not for this monstrosity.
Lastly, we have Lauren Myracle’s story, called The Patron Saint of Pigs. The beginning of this story didn’t sound very promising, either, but I was pleasantly surprised. It deals with a girl named Addie who, after getting drunk at a party kissed a boy who wasn’t her boyfriend, which led to a rocky relationship. She’s trying to mend bridges between herself and her boyfriend, Jeb, as well as her friends, who think she’s too self-absorbed. In an effort to prove her friends wrong, she agrees to pick up one of her friend’s Christmas presents, which is a teacup pig from the pet store. Of course, all sorts of things go wrong and Addie has to dig herself out of the metaphorical hole she put herself in. What I found so refreshing about this story is that it was, firstly, a story of personal grown and a love story secondly. I was nice to see a girl on the wrong end of relationship drama for a change and I really loved seeing her grow and better herself. The story was just over 100 pages, but it managed to convey feeling that the others didn’t quite reach.
Overall, this book was a decent holiday read. It kept the post-Christmas blues at bay, but there were – atmittedly – a few aspect that I didn’t appreciate or like very much.