Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle
Published: 2008, Speak
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
“Do you think couples all over the world get together on Christmas Eve?” I said, wondering this for the first time. “Because it’s all...Christmasy and magical, only then it’s not, and everything sucks?”
Let It Snow is collection of three interrelated novellas that take place during a major snowstorm over the Christmas holiday in the fictional, East-Coast town of Gracetown. In “The Jubilee Express,” written by Maureen Johnson, Julie (Jubilee) is stranded on a Christmas Eve train traveling down to Florida to spend the holiday with her grandparents, as her parents were arrested for participating in a toy riot. In “A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle” by John Green, friends Tobin, JP, and the Duke fight their way through a massive snowstorm to hang out with stranded cheerleaders at the local Waffle House. And in “The Patron Saint of Pigs,” written by Lauren Myracle, Addie tries to purchase her friend’s teacup pig while struggling with a major heartbreak.
I’m actually not sure I can say that I enjoyed any one story more than the others. All are very much romance-driven, which is to be expected from the subtitle “Three Holiday Romances.” Each story also deals with the challenges and complications inherent in learning to forgive oneself and seeking redemption through one another.
Individually, each story is a quick, entertaining read, but together they become much more interesting. Jeb, one of Julie’s fellow train-strandees, is the source of Addie’s broken heart. Keun, the Waffle House employee who serves Julie, is the friend urging Tobin, JP, and the Duke to race over to the same establishment in order to hang out with the cheerleaders also stranded by the train. The characters run into each other over the course of a few days, and all three couples simultaneously spend time at the town’s Starbucks. Also running through all three stories is Tinfoil Guy, a man who inexplicably forgoes normal clothing for a tinfoil suit.
The interconnection between the stories is fascinating to witness. It raises questions for me of the creation process of each story. They’re placed in an order that makes sense, both chronologically and developmentally. As the first story, Julie’s can be read by itself, but the other two will be best appreciated by readers who have a familiarity with their predecessors. Clearly all three authors worked closely together to ensure that their narratives flowed together well, which I appreciated as a reader.
All that being said, none of these are shining exemplars of the best short stories by any means; I don’t think they’re supposed to be. They’re wonderful for getting in the Christmas spirit and seeing three sweet, very different relationships form. Quick and entertaining reads, but not necessarily lasting ones by any measure.
Rating: 3 stars