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Saturday, December 12, 2015

REVIEW: Let It Snow anthology

Let It Snow is a YA anthology featuring three interconnected holiday romances.  When an ill-timed winter storm buries the residents of Gracetown on Christmas Eve, chaos erupts with some unlikely outcomes.

"The Jubilee Express" by Maureen Johnson

Jubilee is not having a stellar Christmas Eve.  Instead of heading to her boyfriend's family Smorgasbord, she's whisked to an ill-fated train ride to spend the holiday with her grandparents in Florida when her parent are arrested in a holiday, Santa village brawl.  When the cheerleader-laden train breaks down, Jubilee dares an escape to Waffle House and continually tries to contact Noah all while meeting a host of interesting characters including Stuart.  Spending the holiday with Stuart's family, she begins to realize that Noah's unavailability is a sign and based on Stuart's own insights, she can do better--and better just might be right in front of her.

I really enjoyed this story. Jubilee is a fun character with noticeable flaws. What is endearing about her is her humor--Johnson writes her with a hilariously, authentic voice--,vulnerability and her emotional journey throughout. She's funny and smart but I hated the way she let Noah put her off. As a reader, I was glad when she listened to Stuart's experiences and realized that it wasn't going to work with Noah. I was angry when she bolted but the story had a nice ending.

One alarming factor might be that she willingly left the restaurant with a virtual stranger.  This probably isn't the best choice and makes her a sketchy role model.

Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars

"A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle" by John Green

Tobin, JP and the Duke are spending a blissfully parent free Christmas Eve watching a James Bond marathon when a phone call changes their plans.  Keun, acting assistant  manager, calls in a panic, trying to get friends to bring him Twister and make his night when a train-full of stranded cheerleaders wander into his Waffle House. The trio set out on a snow filled adventure full of dangerous crashes, adrenaline laden chases and some unexpected frolicking in the snow. As it turns out, Tobin and the Duke aka Angie are more into each other than either cheerleaders or greasy Billy Talos.

This story has Green's characteristic wit and sense of adventure. I had to cringe at all the bad decision making. I liked the story well enough as it fits within the whole anthology; however, I wasn't as invested in the story.  There are too many stereotypes and while the Duke tries to illustrate this to her male friends, it just seems to fall short. I did like the connect to Jeb, whom we met within Jubilee's story, and was interested to read how the third story would pan out.

Final rating 2.5 out of 5 stars

"The Patron Saint of Pigs" by Lauren Myracle

Addie is having a terrible Christmas. She cheated on her boyfriend, Jeb, then broke up with him following a tear-filled confession before he could dump her.  After a heartfelt email, Jeb promised to consider meeting her at their spot; however, when he doesn't show up, Addie, pines, chops her hair and dyes it pink.  The day after Christmas, she's still mopey but her friends tell her to rally, quit thinking of just herself and carry on with life.  Addie has a job to do--take a break from her job at Starbucks and head to the pet store to pick up her friend Teagan's new teacup pig pet, Gabriel.  Of course, Addie forgets and has to work a miracle to find the little oinker. Later, as these three stories come together with a little help from Jubilee, Stuart, JP, Tobin and the Duke, she learns that Jeb was just delayed--it's pretty swoon worthy when he does show up.

This was my second favorite of the three and Myracle did a nice job of wrapping up all the loose ends. Addie is a bit annoying but I do think she learns from her mistakes but I'm a skeptic and don't think she and Jeb will be in it for the long haul--just saying.

Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars

#letitsnow #bookreview #romance #YAlit #teen #holiday