Book Review – Let it Snow

Title: Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances
Author: John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle
Published: October 2008
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Short Stories 

Rating: 4 Stars
Cover: It’s okay

51tqopkt70l-_sx332_bo1204203200_Synopsis:

An ill-timed storm on Christmas Eve buries the residents of Gracetown under multiple feet of snow and causes quite a bit of chaos. One brave soul ventures out into the storm from her stranded train and sets off a chain of events that will change quite a few lives. Over the next three days one girls takes a risky shortcut with an adorable stranger, three friends set out to win a race to the Waffle House (and the hash brown spoils), and the fate of a teacup pig falls into the hands of a lovesick barista.

A trio of today’s bestselling authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—brings all the magic of the holidays to life in three hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and kisses that will steal your breath away.

“Proximity doesn’t breed familiarity.” p. 3

Let it Snow is a short story collection of romance stories that take place in the fictional town of Gracetown, North Carolina (my home state – cue warm, happy feelings). The three stories intertwine as one, connecting characters and places. It makes me wonder how people are able to co-author books in what seems like such a seamless way. Seeing as the stories included are romance AND short, it doesn’t take long to figure out whom each character will end up with. Because of that, this review will be a little spoilery, so proceed with discretion.

Before I dive into each story, I just want to put them all under the umbrella of cute. All of them were sweet and filled me with holiday cheer (I know this review isn’t around the holidays, but I promise I actually read it around Christmas). Each was special in its own way.

The Jubilee Express – Maureen Johnson

This story was probably the sweetest of them all. Jubilee is handed one misfortunate situation after another, only to end up on a train that’s stuck in the snow on Christmas Eve. After trudging out to a nearby Waffle House, she unexpectedly befriends a boy whose family takes her in for the holidays. You have to remember you’re in the south, which will subside that urge to say, “STRANGER DANGER!” This family was so genuine and kind, caring for Jubilee by smothering her and giving her space at the appropriate times. Jubilee does this self-doubt thing that I think many of us are all too familiar with. I wanted to shake her and tell her to stop feeding herself obvious lies and open her eyes, at the same time knowing I’ve been in situations where I had to consciously make myself aware of the self-doubt lies I’d feed myself. I guess in this particular aspect, this story really hit the feels for me. The boy is so sweet and real with her, calling her out when she needs it, speaking encouragement into her life by looking back on his experiences. Gosh, we all need people like that! It definitely helps when they’re cute, too.

A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle – John Green

One thing I enjoyed about the first story that I didn’t see quite as much in this second one is character development. John Green dumps us into the world of these high school friends and proceeds to plot out an epic adventure. Since the story was so focused on this adventure, there was less room for character development—not that there wasn’t any! It’s hard to make two long-term best friends realize they like each other without some development of their individual characters. Where this story lacks in development, it sure doesn’t lack in the quirky, realistic aspects of these teenagers. They’re not perfectly structured. They don’t have overly common interests. They’re dorky, crude, normal teenagers, which is something I’ve always admired about Green’s writing.

This story made me feel all warm inside in it’s own way because, as I said before, it tells of a boy and girl who are close friends and their individual and mutual confusion at their developing feelings for each other. Why is this something I’m so fond of? That’s what happened to me—I remember those beginning feelings so clearly, even through two years of dating my best friend.

The Patron Saint of Pigs – Lauren Myracle

The last story is less of a journey to a romantic climax, though don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely romance in this. Instead, it’s a journey of the main character learning to see the world and people as they are. She learns that everything isn’t about her; she needs to open her world to those around her, think about things from their perspective, and learn to listen. I probably liked this story the least because I had to deal with the main character’s “what about me?!” lamenting and it was annoying. However, there’s something satisfying in seeing a selfish character get brought to an uncomfortable place that causes them to open up their worldview. There is also this great reunion at the end, which felt like an unnecessary reward for her for thinking about other people, but it brought happy tears to my eyes.

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