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Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances

by John Green (Contributor)

Other authors: Maureen Johnson (Contributor), Lauren Myracle (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,5891104,174 (3.82)54
In three intertwining short stories, several high school couples experience the trials and tribulations along with the joys of romance during a Christmas Eve snowstorm in a small town.
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    Monsoon Summer by Mitali Perkins (missmaddie)
    missmaddie: Sweet, lighthearted, intelligent romance stories in intriguing settings. Fun reading for your free time in summer or winter.

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English (106)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (110)
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1. The Jubilee Express: Maureen Johnson – ★★★★

So the first story begins with Jubilee. And no, I don’t mean a party. I mean a girl. Named Jubilee. I don’t understand why her parents would do that to her but ok. So it starts with Jubilee’s parents going to jail for being part of a riot. A riot involving the Flobie Santa Village which is essentially a Christmas themed Miniature Wonderland but creepier ’cause it has elves in it with gifts stuck to their hands ALL THE TIME. And of course, the name ‘Jubilee’ came from one of the village pieces namely ‘Jubilee Hall’ (now that I think about it, they kinda deserved to be arrested). So naturally, Jubilee’s parents want her to go to her grandparent’s place in Florida in the middle of a snowstorm and her boyfriend does not care what she does as long as he gets to throw a Christmas party with his family. On this train ride, she meets Jeb and 14 cheerleaders who are way too enthusiastic about their train stopping halfway through Gracetown. Naturally, Jubilee exits the train and makes her way to a local Waffle House where she meets Stuart. Now Stuart, being the nice guy that he is offers JUbilee a place to stay till the storm blows over with his Jewish mom who insists on celebrating Christmas and his little sister. Throughout the course of two days, Jubilee realises that this guy that she barely knows cares more about her than her stupid and perfect, little boyfriend. SO she calls him, breaks up with him and then kisses Stuart and lives happily ever after. Well, as happy as a person can be, stuck in a storm, in Gracetown, with arrested parents over a Santa Village during Christmas.

2. A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle: John Green – ★★★

In a not-so-far-away part of Gracetown, three best friends, Tobin, J.P and the Duke (aka Angie) are binge-watching James Bond movies in the middle of a storm when they get a call from their friend Keun ( who works at the Waffle House), telling them about 14 hot cheerleaders who want to play Twister ASAP. Tobin and J.P agree immediately and drag the Duke along with them. So apparently, Angie got her name ‘Duke’ from this supermarket called the ‘Duke & Duchess’ where instead of calling you sir or ma’am, they call you Duke and Duchess (which is super dumb in my opinion). So obviously, one of the cashiers just had to go and call her Duke because of the way she dressed and the baseball cap. So basically, it stuck. I know you think this is totally unimportant but trust me it is VERY important ’cause it took me a while to figure who the Duke is. Anyway, they take Carla ( Tobin’s parents’ car) out of the garage and into the snow while they’re trying to beat the twins who ruin everything. They crash Carla (sorta) which dislodges her front wheel so they just decide to trek to the Waffle House so the Duke can have her hashbrowns and Tobin along with J.P, the cheerleaders. But after trying to miserably flirt with one of the cheerleaders named Amber (or was it, Katherine or Madeleine, I wouldn’t know), Tobin finally realises that the girl he actually loves is the DUKE. So he kisses her and the end!

3. The Patron Saint of Pigs: Lauren Myracle – ★★

In another closer part of Gracetown, young Addie has cut and dyed her hair and its not-so-wonderful. She hates it, her friends Dorrie and Teagan hate it and her boyfriend who’s Jeb by the way hates her(ish). These three friends are trying to solve Addie’s boy problems while she hides out under a blanket. So Addie’s done a very bad thing. She kissed a guy while she was drunk ’cause she and her boyfriends were having problems which is really bitchy. And then she sends him this really cringe-worthy email bout how ‘if he wants her, she’s his.’ And her friend Teagan is going to get a teacup-pig for Christmas. For those of you who don’t know, a teacup pig is a really tiny pig that only grows up to about 5 pounds. To put it simply, they’re super cute but totally unnecessary in the story. And of course, Addie works at Starbucks (I can’t–).

Throughout the whole story, people just keep telling her that she’s this self-absorbed bitch (which she really is) and get this, after she told Jeb that she cheated on him, SHE BROKE UP WITH HIM!! How does that even make sense?! And then she forgets to pick up Teagan’s pig from the store because she creates a crisis of her own which is her speciality. And then when she does get the pig after a lot of finding, she goes back to Starbucks and gets her man too.
Throughout the whole book, the plot seems to weaken as the stories progress. The first story by Maureen Johnson was honestly the best and can be read as a stand-alone (which I recommend). Because of the next two stories, the whole book seemed boring and just toxic in the end. I mean its a Christmas themed book. Why the hell is it so horrible? ‘Cause honestly, Addie was self-absorbed and totally underserving of Jeb. She got a happy ending without any character development whatsoever which was probably the worst. So whoever thought that this book is ok to read during the holidays, I say it’s really not. ( )
  rhiti.dsouza | Mar 15, 2021 |
Let it Snow is a book comprised of three short stories about different romances that develop (or are rekindled) during the Christmas holiday. I gave the first story 4/5 stars, the second story 2/5 stars, and the third and final story 5/5 stars. However, instead of averaging these, I went for the full five stars just because I loved the ending and how it tied every story together. The third story was exactly the kind of holiday romance story I was looking for when I picked this up, predictable as it was.

I wouldn’t read this again and it’s not one of my favorite books, but I really appreciated it and I’m glad I picked it up this Christmas season! ( )
  Akacya | Feb 28, 2021 |
This is really more like 3 stories in one book but the three stories are definitely connected by the setting/situation and the characters often know each other. All of the stories were funny and sweet with realistic sounding teenagers. A fast read that would be ideal on a snowy/ rainy weekend. ( )
  Sarah220 | Jan 23, 2021 |
The Jubliee Express by Maureen Johnson - “The Jubliee Express” kicks off this anthology of interconnected YA romance novellas with the story of Jubilee, a sixteen-year-old girl whose parents are obsessive collectors of Flobie Santa Village figurines. When they go to buy the latest release on Christmas Eve, a fight breaks out and they land in jail, leaving Jubilee alone for the holiday. They insist that she take the train to visit her grandparents in Florida, but due to a blizzard, the train gets stuck in snow on the tracks only halfway there. Through the window, she sees a Waffle House just across the highway. With no heat or food left on the train and annoyed with a noisy group of cheerleaders who’ve invaded her solitude, the restaurant looks inviting, so she disembarks and makes her way there. As she’s warming up, Stuart, a guy about her age, also comes in to get warm after his car breaks down nearby and makes Jubilee’s acquaintance. When the cheerleaders once again show up, Stuart invites Jubilee to his house to spend the holiday with his family, and in doing so, she finally realizes how much is missing in her relationship with her boyfriend back home.

“The Jubliee Express” was a really cute story that is told entirely from Jubilee’s first-person POV. I related well to this intelligent, independent girl who has a vibrant voice. While she does have a few emotional moments, rather than wallowing in the typical angst of YA romance, she has a rather pragmatic attitude and a good sense of humor that occasionally made me laugh. Her parents seem good-hearted but a little on the wacky side, while her boyfriend, Noah, is perfect in every way except one: he never seems to have time for her. Getting stuck in a little town in the middle of nowhere and spending the holiday with strangers brings her a new perspective, especially after meeting Stuart, who shows her what it might be like to have a guy really look out for her and pay attention to her. I thought the story expressed the true spirit of Christmas in the willingness of Stuart and his family to welcome a stranger into their midst. I also enjoyed the diversity that’s represented in the characters. There are a few interesting characters introduced early on that we don’t see again after Jubilee leaves the restaurant with Stuart. I was happy to discover in leafing through the remainder of the book that it looks like they’ll show up again in the other two stories, so I’ll hopefully get to find out more about them. Overall, this was a really fun, engaging story that I enjoyed. Jubilee and Stuart seem like they’d be a well-matched couple, so my only small complaint is that we presumably won’t get to see what happens for them in the future given that they live a fair distance from each other. Star Rating: ****1/2

*A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle by John Green - “A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle” is the second novella in this series of connected holiday stories. In this one, we have three best friends, Tobin, the first-person narrator, Angie, who goes by the nickname the Duke, and JP. The trio are spending Christmas Eve together at Tobin’s house watching a James Bond movie marathon. His parents are out of town at a conference and call to say that they’re stranded by a snowstorm and won’t make it home for Christmas. Tobin isn’t terribly upset about this, knowing that he’s welcome to spend the holiday with the Duke and her family. Then their fourth friend, Keun, who works at the local Waffle House calls, excited that the restaurant has been overrun by a group of cheerleaders whose train is stuck in the snow. He insists that they come immediately and bring a game of Twister, but his two other co-workers have also invited their friends. However, they’ve all agreed that whoever’s friends arrive first will be the only ones allowed to stay so as to not overcrowd the restaurant. Thus sets off a mad-cap dash to the Waffle House in the midst of a blizzard that turns into a huge comedy of errors, but also leads to Tobin discovering feelings for the Duke he didn’t realize were there.

“A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle” was a delightfully humorous romantic comedy. It was lighter on the romance than I was hoping, but I still enjoyed it. The chemistry between these three (well, four if we include Keun) friends was excellent. It’s obvious why, because they fit together so well and have shared interests and a good sense of humor, as well as a thirst for adventure. This is something they definitely make use of as they race to the Waffle House, because things certainly don’t go their way. I loved the way the story played out in my mind like a good movie, which is perhaps why this anthology was indeed made into a film. I also enjoyed how it tied in well with the first novella with several supporting characters showing up again. Keun was introduced in “The Jubliee Express” as were the cheerleaders and a man everyone simply calls “Tinfoil Guy,” a conspiracy theorist who wraps his entire body in tinfoil. Then there was Jeb, an intriguing young man who was on the train, but who lives in the little town of Gracetown where the train got stuck. We see him again at the very end of “A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle” and it looks like he’ll headline in the final novella. Hopefully I’ll finally get to see what the deal is with him, which I’m looking forward to. The only reason I dropped a half-star on this one is because the romance took a back seat to other events and with it occurring so close to the end of the story, it didn’t leave me with a good sense of whether Tobin and the Duke would be able to successfully navigate from friends to something more. Overall, this was a really fun read, and with a second winner, John Green has now earned a spot on my favorite authors list. Star Rating: ****1/2

*The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle - “The Patron Saint of Pigs” is the final story in this interconnected series of novellas. It’s about Addie, who was briefly mentioned in “The Jubliee Express” as being a friend of Stuart and a Starbucks barista. Her boyfriend – or perhaps I should say temporarily ex-boyfriend – is Jeb who was seen in both of the previous novellas as a supporting character. Addie and Jeb broke up a week before Christmas. After an argument that was mostly about Addie wanting more demonstrations of romance and affection from Jeb, she got drunk at a party and kissed another guy. Ultimately she realized it was a stupid move and she didn’t even like the other guy, but she felt so bad about it, she broke things off with Jeb. After being miserable for the entire week, she emailed him to ask him to meet her at Starbucks on Christmas Eve, hoping to relive their first date that happened one year earlier, but he doesn’t show. Her friends, Dorrie and Tegan, try to cheer her up, but end up being straight-up honest with her, telling her how self-centered she’s been. This doesn’t go over well with Addie, but when the sentiment is repeated several times on the day after Christmas by other people she knows, she starts to wonder if it really is true. Then a mission to deliver a teacup pig to Tegan that gets derailed by a local elderly woman who’s a would-be angel finally gives Addie the kick in the pants she needs to make a change.

“The Patron Saint of Pigs” was my least-favorite story in this anthology for several different reasons. First, I’m OK with most angst in YA stories. Having had teenagers of my own, I know that it’s pretty much par for the course, but Addie takes it to a whole new level and I couldn’t help feeling that she was responsible for most of her own misery. She was the one who was unhappy in her relationship with Jeb, she made the choice to kiss the other guy, and she further made the choice to break up with Jeb, even though he seemed ready to forgive (though I’m not entirely sure why). Her friends had the right of it when they told her she was self-absorbed. She definitely is, as well as lacking in depth as a character, which made it difficult to truly like her, and it’s literally all Addie, all the time, since she’s the first-person narrator of the story, while Jeb is barely seen. I also felt that her eleventh hour turnaround was a little too magical and convenient, and not something that I was left convinced would last. Another reason this novella wasn’t a favorite is because IMHO, it’s the least romantic of the three stories even though the cover bills this anthology as “three holiday romances.” Addie and Jeb are broken up for the entire story (like I said, it’s all about Addie), which was incredibly disappointing as Jeb was a character who intrigued me from his first appearance. I can only call this a romance in the most rudimentary sense, because it does have a relationship as part of the story and it does have an HEA, but all that was definitely overshadowed by Addie’s issues. Lastly, while I’m normally a sucker for animal characters, as an animal lover, I was rather bothered by the inclusion of a so-called “teacup” pig. It seemed like the author was just going for the extreme cuteness factor, while not really doing any real research on this type of pig. “Teacup” pigs may be small and cute for a while, but they can grow very large just like all pigs. Not to mention, many breeders use questionable methods, including starvation, to keep these animals at their “cute” size, which to my way of thinking is nothing short of animal abuse. So in this case, I wasn’t really impressed with the pet subplot.

As for what I did like, I enjoyed visiting with the couples from the first two novellas who appear to be getting on quite well. I still like Jeb, even though he wasn’t a major part of what I felt should have equally been his story and I’m not quite sure what he sees in Addie. This was an easy read that didn’t feel bogged down by pacing or other issues, although if it had been longer, I might have had a different take on that, given how angsty and crisis-prone Addie is. There were a couple of mildly amusing parts, but despite having a few small upsides, this was just an OK read for me in the end, not a slog, but not something that really impressed me either. After a couple of so-so reads by Lauren Myracle this year, I’m beginning to think that her storytelling may not be for me. Star Rating: *** ( )
  mom2lnb | Dec 27, 2020 |
The first story was the strongest by far, and gave me high hopes for the other two. It was cute, and a quick read, and exactly what I wanted for my birthday getaway. Moral: Placing value in yourself.

The other two fell flat: John Green's especially. It has been a while since I last read something by him but I had to wonder if he was always this annoying? The plot of his story is basically three teens going on a suicidal drive during a giant blizzard because there's the promise of a cheerleading squad at the Waffle House. How eye-rolling. And the guys were gross and misogynistic and stupid as all get out. And the one girl (the obligatory love interest, I guess?) was only a little better. Moral: The cliched look at what you already have "falling for your tomboy best friend" trope.

The third was somewhere in-between. I found Addie incredibly annoying and yes, I get that the whole point of her story was becoming a less self-absorbed person. But still, annoying. With a hint of a potential guardian angel. Upside! There's a pig.

Also, what's up with tinfoil guy? ( )
  wisemetis | Dec 6, 2020 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Green, JohnContributorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, MaureenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Myracle, LaurenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abedi, BarbaraÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Lauren Myracle- For Dad, Sarah Lee, and the lovely mountain town of Brevard, NC... all chock-full of grace.
John Green - To Ilene Cooper, who has guided me through so many blizzards
Maureen Johnson - For Hamish, who embodied the "go down the hill really fast and if something gets in your way, turn" school of teaching me how to deal with a snowy slope. And for all who toil behind the facade of a corporate monolith, fo revery person who has to say grande latte three thousand times a day, for every soul who's ever had to deal with a broken credit card reader in the holiday rush... this one is for you.
First words
It was the night before Christmas. (The Jubilee Express)
JP and the Duke and I were four movies in to our James Bond marathon when my mother called home for the sixth time in five hours. (A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle)
Being me sucked. (The Patron Saint of Pigs)
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Please do not combine individual stories with the complete anthology. This is important because many of the stories are available in multiple anthologies, and also as single titles.

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In three intertwining short stories, several high school couples experience the trials and tribulations along with the joys of romance during a Christmas Eve snowstorm in a small town.

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The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson;
A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle by John Green;
The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle
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