Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Book Review: Let it Snow

Title: Let it Snow
Authors: Maureen Johnson, John Green, Lauren Myracle
Genre: YA short stories
Published: 2008

I figured this was fitting for the season; three Young Adult authors write about a snowstorm on Christmas Eve. The movie rights have been optioned, so there's a chance we'll see this on the big screen. I thought that was weird at first, why make a film out of three short stories, but read on!

I could tell by the first few pages the first story was written by Maureen Johnson; being a follower of her on twitter, the writng had her spastic, observational humor all over it (if you're on twitter and don't follower her, you should: @maureenjohnson). The story starts with a girl named Jubilee, who goes by a variety of nicknames to sidestep her awful namesake which derives from a building in a collectible miniature Christmas village her parents are obsessed with. Her plans to spend Christmas Eve at her boyfriend's family's smorgasbord are thwarted when 1.) her parents are jailed after a scuffle at the Flobie Christmas village convention, where a riot broke out over a limited edition piece 2.) her parents are sending her by train to Florida to be with her grandparents 3.) the train gets snowbanked in a town two hours south and she's stranded, boyfriendless and alone.

What follows is a quirky although not entirely unbelievable tale about a Waffle House, a heartbroken teen boy named Stuart who finds her, and his mother's insistence on taking care of a wayward girl alone on Christmas Eve. Jubilee isn't too happy her boyfriend isn't responding to her calls and texts, and she's not sure what to think of this new guy and his creepily obsessive, although genuinely kind, mother. It's filled with a hundred details that make the story enjoyable - specifically how her parent's have attained widespread notoriety as part of "The Flobie Five," who got arrested over the collectible village.

The next story is John Green's, and it again features a Waffle House and a snowstorm. And hey, these guys know Stuart from the first story. It's connected! I love stuff like this. Out of boredom, three friends venture into the storm to the Waffle House where they've heard a team of cheerleaders are stranded. This is the same Waffle House Jubilee eagerly vacated with Stuart to get away from the cheerleaders from her train after it got stuck. It's a typical John Green set-up: awkward gu, whip-smart and somehow unattainable girl, hilarious sidekick involved in a caper. It's solid, and ties together aspects of the first story.

Lauren Myracle's piece is about Addie, a girl who broke up with Jeb who was on Jubilee's train. I thought it was kind of interesting in the first story how Jeb is featured at first but then he completely drops off. The heartbreak and wallowing feels a little cliche, and I have to admit, I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first two. Characters from the other stories show up at the end to the Starbucks where Addie works, and connect the story further. It's satisfying to see how everyone knows each other.
I don't usually go for holiday books but this one is a lot of fun and doesn't feel one-note. It manages to convey the holiday theme without being sappy.


  1. I totally loved this book. I read it... whoa... maybe Christmas 2008. I can't believe it's been that long! I feel old... and totally want to reread it! I hope this actually gets made, because I think it will be a great and hilarious movie!

  2. When I was confirming the movie thing before I posted this, the article said it was pitched as a teen Love Actually. Hope it acheives this!

  3. You have a really great review =) Herle's mine if you don't mind: http://lorxiebookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/08/let-it-snow-by-john-green-maureen.html

    Have a nice day!!! =) advance Merry Christmas ;D

    p.s. I did not know they were turning this into a movie! =)


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