Prior to the holidays, I was in search of a book that would enliven me with the festive spirit of Christmas and brighten the holiday cheer. That’s when I stumbled upon Let it Snow, a book that promised three wintry holiday romances set in a small town in the United States, which is facing its worst blizzard in fifty years. As promised, Let it Snow does deliver three wintry holiday romances and lots of snow, but sadly, it fails to be an enjoyable read.
Title: Let it Snow
Authors: John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle
Publisher: Penguin Group
Publishing Date: 5th September, 2013
Genres: Young Adult
From Goodreads: 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 see only 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 from 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 bestselling 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.
The first story, The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson, starts off well. The first three chapters are quite interesting to read and I was intrigued when Jubilee, our heroine, stresses the significance of her name and of Flobie Santa Village, and lets readers know for what a ridiculous reason her parents got arrested on Christmas Eve. My interest was further heightened when Jubilee stepped onto a dark, crammed up train on Christmas Eve on her way to see her grandparents. I was actually totally gripped by the story by the time the train gets stranded due to the blizzard and our heroine unexpectedly steps off the train. At this point, I was really excited and was hoping for exciting events to follow. But, alas! Right when my interest was at its peak (that is at the end of chapter three), the story dwindles into a highly predictable tale. What a disappointment!
To be honest, I couldn’t help but think that The Jubilee Express has to be one of the most predictable stories I have read in a long time. It was even more disappointing when I realized that all those long passages in the first three chapters about Jubilee’s name being Jubilee and Flobie Santa Village aren’t really important to this story or to the other two stories. To make matters even more confusing, I can’t help but wonder why this story is named The Jubilee Express as Jubilee spends majority of her time in Gracetown and not on the train. Despite of these disappointments, I liked reading this story and felt it is the best of the three romances. This is because, of the three stories, I felt only The Jubilee Express has the Christmas feel to it and readers get to read about beautifully decorated Christmas trees, puddings, cakes, and presents. This story indeed felt romantic, though completely predictable and I really liked the main characters- Jubilee & Stuart.
John Green’s story, A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle, is my least favorite. I disliked the entire premise of this story- three people, two boys & one girl, risking the cold, harsh blizzard so as to get to a Waffle House where something extremely important waits- guess what! A group of 14 cheerleaders (for the boys) and hash browns smothered in cheese (for the girl). How lame is that! The story narrates the hurdles these three people tolerate & overcome to reach their destination. The idea of reading about three people with such a lame objective was a real turn-off and dampened my spirit. This story is also the least Christmassy of the three, I disliked the main characters (all three of them) and I found it hardly romantic. It is also quite predictable, but, I liked the ending.
To describe Lauren Myracle’s The Patron Saint of Pigs in a sentence- ‘better than A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle, but not as good as The Jubilee Express, thus, below average. This story is very girly and though the context is romantic, I wouldn’t really term this a romance. I felt this story is more about how our protagonist- Addie- transforms from being a self-absorbed girl to not being self absorbed, than being a romantic tale. Following the tradition of the other two stories, this one is also very predictable. Readers would know right from the first page about what’s going to happen in the last page. Though, the author might have intended this to be an inspiring story by showing how Addie transforms, it didn’t inspire me in the least. On the contrary, I felt the author poorly developed the characters and I disliked the idea of only Addie being described as so self-centered, when the bunch of other characters, who I am sure must have a good number of flaws, are represented as perfect beings. Furthermore, some of the examples that the author uses to show Addie’s self-absorbedness are completely misleading as anyone in Addie’s place would have reacted in the same way in those situations. This story is slightly Christmassy. The only thing I liked was when all main characters from all three stories meet in the end.
If you are planning on reading Let it Snow wrapped in a cozy blanket on a sunny winter’s morning with a hot cup of coffee, then go ahead. But, be aware, that instead of making you feel all snug and warm, it can make you roll your eyes and yawn in boredom.