By Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle
Honestly, although the title is Let it Snow, and there’s a picture of a present on the front, this book is not really a Christmas book. Think of it this way: it’s several romances that happen to be set at Christmastime. So, it really doesn’t have to be a Christmas book, technically.
The book’s form is one of the cleverest things about the book: three stories written by three leading YA authors, all interconnected. A character from the first would make an appearance in the second, and again, in a different way, in the third. It was not only quite clever, it was very fun to read.
Maureen Johnson gets the book started with the first of the three novellas, “The Jubilee Express.” In it, our main character, Jubilee, is thrust upon a train bound for Florida because her parents, Christmas-village collecting nuts, are arrested on Christmas Eve, throwing a wrench into Jubilee’s best-laid plans to go to her boyfriend’s family’s Christmas Smorgasbord. (Point of fact: you have to love Maureen for including a smorgasbord in this story. You just have to.) The train only gets as far as a small town in North Carolina, where it gets stuck because of a blizzard. Off the train Jubliee goes (who wants to be stuck on a derailed train with a bunch of cheerleaders? Not Jubilee.), and into the path of Stuart. Let’s just say that not only does Maureen have a gift for comedic writing, she writes the most swoon-worthy kisses. Period.
John Green takes over in the next story, “A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle,” writing from the point of view of Tobin, who’s just hanging on Christmas Eve with two of his best friends, JP and the Duke (who’s a girl). They get a call from Keun, who’s working at the Waffle House in town, after the cheerleaders from Maureen’s story invade the store. Tobin, JP, and the Duke head out — yes, in the blizzard — to make it to the Waffle House so the guys can drool over the cheerleaders. Of course, it isn’t easy (it’s a blizzard, for goodness sake!), and of course, there’s romance along the way. John’s romance isn’t swoon-worthy, but it’s very John Green: sweet, yes, but with just the right touch of cynicism. The best part was his exploration of “happy middles”.
Lauren Myracle has the unenviable job of following John’s and Maureen’s stories: how on earth do you top those two? She does admirably: she not only had the story with the best title — “The Patron Saint of Pigs”, she told a very sweet story of a girl — Addie — dealing with the after effects of a mistake she made — cheating on her boyfriend — and she managed to tie in all three stories in a very touching, very, alright, Christmassy way.
A great collection of stories, great for both fans of the authors and of YA romances alike.
Rated: Moderate (for young readers) for some teenage drinking, some mild swearing and lots of kissing.