From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up–What do a Christmas Eve snowstorm, 14 perky cheerleaders, a Waffle House, and a guy covered in tin foil have in common? Answer: these romantic holiday stories. Through an interconnected cast of characters set in one small Southern town, each author reveals a serendipitous night in the life of a particular teen. In Johnson's Jubilee Express, level-headed Jubilee experiences a traumatic day during which her parents get arrested, her train gets stuck in the snow, and she breaks up with her boyfriend, but in the end finds a new love. Green deftly portrays the teen male perspective with humor and wit in his Cheertastic Christmas Miracle, which starts with an urgent quest for cheerleaders and ends with an eye-opening experience of finding true love right before one's eyes. In Myracle's Patron Saint of Pigs, while agonizing over the pain of a recent breakup, Addie learns about herself and gains respect for relationships at the same time. Tender without being mushy, these carefully crafted stories of believable teen love will leave readers warm inside for the holidays.–Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library
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In this charming trio of interconnected novellas, a massive snowstorm on Christmas Eve acts as a catalyst for romance in the lives of three teens. In Maureen Johnson’s tale, Jubilee Express, after Jubilee’s train becomes snowbound, she seeks shelter at a nearby Waffle House, along with a squad of hyper cheerleaders. In John Green’s story, A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle, a guy summons three friends to the Waffle House, where the combination of cheerleaders and cheesy waffles prompts big realizations. Finally, in Lauren Myracle’s entry, Patron Saint of Pigs, self-absorbed Addie atones for cheating on her boyfriend (who was stuck on Jubilee’s train) by proving she can be an angel for someone else, even if that someone is only a pet pig. Johnson’s playfulness, Green’s banter, and Myracle’s sincerity mesh well here, resulting in a collection that is imbued with optimism and warmth. The plotting is tight, and each end loosed by one author is tied up by another like a bright Christmas bow. A delightful read any time of the year. Grades 8-12. --Jennifer Hubert