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 only see 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 with 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.
Thanks to three of today’s best-seller teen authors – John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle – the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.
I normally don’t go out of my way to read holiday-themed reads during that particular time of year, but this year, I decided to go for it. The other collection I wanted to read (My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins) had too long of a waitlist at the library, so I went for this one, and I’m glad I did. It introduced me to two new authors I hadn’t read before.
The first story was “The Jubilee Express” by Maureen Johnson. I LOVED this story. It’s definitely not the usual kind of thing I read, but it still managed to keep me engaged and invested in the characters. It had a lot of great humor and definitely made me laugh and smile. There were a couple of things that felt out of place or that weren’t tied up, but they tied into the latter two stories in the book. I really liked Jubilee as a character and I liked the romance elements. This story was the exact kind of thing I was expecting from this book, which was great. I own another book by Johnson and I’m definitely looking forward to reading it now.
The second story was John Green’s, titled “A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle.” I enjoyed some of the humor in this one, but the characters’ attitudes toward girls/other girls made me pretty uncomfortable, even though I know a lot of teens do feel that way. I was glad that some of it was discussed by the end, but it didn’t entirely redeem the story for me.
The third story was “The Patron Saint of Pigs” by Lauren Myracle. I liked the way this story brought everything together, but it was definitely the most over-the-top of the three. I found myself boggling a bit at the ridiculousness of it all, but not necessarily in a bad way. I liked that Addie’s friends called her out on her actions, but I could understand how she was feeling from her point of view, too. So definitely not the most realistic of stories, but I found it enjoyable enough.
I thought it was a little weird that one of the characters in John Green’s story was essentially credited with getting the other characters to use the word “asshat” and that that word in particular was WAAAAAAY overused (basically, any time someone was being a jerk, that’s what they were referred to as being, and it got really distracting after a while), but other than that, I didn’t have too many issues with the writing itself.
Overall, I generally enjoyed the humor in this book, and I liked the different romances. It was also cool to be introduced to two new-to-me authors. I would have loved to read a longer version of Maureen Johnson’s story, for sure. This was a really nice holiday/blizzard read, and I’m glad I checked it out, especially considering the time of year!