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on October 13, 2008
I picked up Let it Snow, expecting to read it leisurely as the holidays approached. I imagined reading a few pages here and there throughout the month of November, perhaps finishing it over Christmas break, just in time to break out those reindeer socks with the holes I've been wearing since I was ten and refuse to throw away. Instead, I found myself sucked into a charming, engaging web of a story, only to emerge 14 hours later wanting more.

As a fan of all of the author's independent works, I was pleased to find that each author's voice remained just as unique and bold as in their other works, yet all three worked together seamlessly to tell a larger story. The vividness of the characters is such that they stick with you long after you put the book down. (Okay, I say "long after" but seeing as I finished it about 4 hours ago, I really just mean "stick with you for at least four hours and probably longer" after finishing the book. The point is that you'll find no one-dimensional characters here.) I feel sort of scarily like I grew up alongside Tobin, Addie and Stuart, or have been best friends with Jubilee ever since we both missed the bus on the first day of middle school.

The story is simple, but also marvelously complex, tackling such important existential questions as "What course of action should one take when fourteen cheerleaders are locked in a Waffle House in a small town in Virginia during the worst snow storm in fifty years?" Yes, people fall in love- there is romance and heartbreak and lots of dumping and break ups (or at least a couple); but I promise Let it Snow is not one of those Made-for-TV movies that air way too many times on the Hallmark channel during the month of December in which someone learns to believe in the Christmas spirit and Santa Claus brings everyone presents at the end.

No, Let it Snow doesn't tie a nice little red bow on its romance. The character's relationships feel raw, real and honest. They warm your heart and sort of make you want to be in love. (So much so that I had to actually remind myself that, oh yeah, I was already in love.) Don't worry. If you don't have your own love story to tell this Christmas, after finishing this book, you'll probably want to start taking it out for coffee and to your mother's Christmas Eve smorgasbord. Maybe the two of you will even frolic in the snow? Okay, so I don't actually recommend that, since it's a paperback and ice is usually wet and "wet" and "paperback" is usually a bad combination.

My point is, that you should read this book. You should read this no matter how old you are, or where you live, or what time of year it is or whether or not you like Christmas. You should read this if you want to be entertained, moved, made to think.

Do something nice for yourself this Christmas (Or Halloween, even) and read Let it Snow.
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It's Christmas Eve, and one of the biggest storms in memory has hit, isolating tiny Gracetown, Virginia. For Jubilee, Tobin, and Addie the storm will bring them together in the most unconventional of ways. Jubilee, on her way to Florida, is stranded outside of Gracetown when her train gets stuck in the snow. Rather than endure Christmas Eve night on the train with a mass of perky cheerleaders, she ventures out and heads to the nearby Waffle House, where she encounters Stuart, who is still nursing a broken heart.

Tobin and his friends JP and the Duke are enjoying their Christmas Eve holed up at Tobin's house and watching a James Bond movie marathon when they are enticed out into the night to the local Waffle House. What should be a twenty minute drive on a clear night turns into a crazy race to get there before the intimidating Reston twins...but when they get there things don't go quite how they planned.

For Addie, the holidays have been filled with misery since she and her boyfriend Jeb broke up. But this year she'll gain some perspective (and possibly more) during one very long and very snowy shift at Starbucks the day after Christmas.

All three stories are cleverly woven together, along with each author's inimitable style and brand of humor. The wholly unique, ironic, witty, intelligent, and heartfelt plots that Myracle, Johnson, and Green have become well known for is strongly present in Let It Snow. The varying and colorful characters are authentic and highly realistic, allowing for the book to appeal to a wide range of reader interests. The dialogue, the jokes, the slang, and actions are all pitch perfect to this generation, and wildly appealing, even as they push the limits of reality. But even so, most readers will be more than willing to hold on tight and enjoy the ride as this sweet and sarcastically funny holiday read unravels.
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on March 31, 2009
One afternoon when I was sick and it was stormy outside, I rummaged through my To Be Read pile and grabbed this book. I'd read (and liked) John Green before, so I expected at least a third of LET IT SNOW to be good. Curled up on my bed, I read the first half in one sitting, then read the rest that evening. This is very good, for me, since I read fast but also have a short attention span when tempted by many books.

Curiously, my initial expectation of Green's third being my favorite part of the book didn't turn out right. Green's "A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle" came in second to Maureen Johnson's "Jubilee Express," while Lauren's Myracle's "The Patron Saint of Pigs" came in a distant third. In more detail, here's my lineup:

#1 Johnson wrote my favorite third of the book, carried off by the delightful narrator, Jubilee, named after one of the buildings in a fictional line of Christmas collectibles. These same collectibles, by the way, lead to a shopping riot that lands Jubilee's parents in jail and sends Jubilee on a train-ride into a blizzard... but I won't spoil what happens next in this quirky, charming story. Lots of little details make this story seem feel both real and amusingly ridiculous. The romance, especially, was sweet and fun.

#2 Green's strengths seem to consistently be dialogue and character, though his characters do seem rather familiar at times. His story felt a lot like his other books that I've read--LOOKING FOR ALASKA and AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES--with a group of clever (sometimes a little too clever, if you ask me), crazy friends examined through the eyes of a more normal guy who has a crush on a smart, eclectic, mysterious girl. That's fine with me, I guess, since I liked his other books, though I would like to see him try writing from the viewpoint of a girl for a change. Though I suppose he balances out the other authors, who write through the eyes of female characters.

#3 Myracle's third would have to be my least favorite. It felt like the book lost some of its spark when she took over, and the ending dragged a little while the beginning and middle flew past. I'm not sure why, though I have my theories: perhaps Johnson and Green wrote their thirds first, and then Myracle had to work with the characters and material they came up with rather than introducing too many of her own ideas. Granted, Johnson and Green are tough acts to follow. Or maybe this is just Myracle's style, which I happen not to like as much as those of the other authors. Disclaimer: I won't go as far as to say Myracle's writing ruined the book, because at this point I was already intrigued by the interlocking stories and how the characters rubbed shoulders.

Overall, LET IT SNOW wasn't an epic or deep book, by any means. Rather, it was a banana-bread kind of book: tasty, not too complicated, and when you've finished enjoying it, you don't feel too guilty. (As opposed to fluffier, junkier books.) I would recommend it to anyone who likes sweet romances and quirky teen characters.
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Let it Snow contains three short stories that take place in the same town during a blizzard that starts Christmas Eve.

Maureen Johnson: Jubilee Express
Jubliee's parents are arrested on Christmas Eve, forcing her to take the train to her grandparents' house in Florida. However, the snowstorm forces the train to stop for the night. Jubliee gets off the train when she spots a Waffle House, hoping to find some refuge. She meets a boy instead who insists on bringing her home for the holiday. Could she find love during the holidays that started out so badly?

John Green: Cheertastic Christmas Miracle
Three best friends sit watching a James Bond movie marathon when they receive a phone call. There are 14 cheerleaders at the Waffle House, having been stranded from the train. Their friend calls them to entice them to the Waffle House. They set out on the journey through the storm. The streets are in no condition to drive, but the three attempt to cross town. The two boys have different thoughts about cheerleaders, but Duke (the girl) is only going for the hash browns. They race to the restaurant, but on the way, things change. Do cheerleaders make the best girlfriends? Or do friends?

Lauren Myracle: Patron Saint of Pigs
One night at a party, Addie hooks up with another guy in wake of a fight with her boyfriend. Now she's super depressed and isn't sure what to do. She writes her ex-boyfriend an email and hopes that he'll meet her at Starbucks. When he doesn't show, she goes across the street and chops off and dyes her hair. Then she wallows in grief and finally calls her best friends. They come over to console her, but they end up sharing the truth about Addie. She's self-absorbed and doesn't see the world around her. She vows to change, even though she has no idea what they are talking about. As the new day dawns, she comes to understand their concern. Can she become a better person and win back her boyfriend?

My Thoughts: I liked this book, which didn't really surprise me but, but generally I do not like short story collections. Mostly because I find that they would make great books instead and I'm always wanting to know more. However, these stories were long enough for me to enjoy the characters, the changes, and the outcomes. I really liked how the stories were all set in the same town and characters from each story appeared in other stories, intermingling in the best of ways. The perfect winter romance tales to enjoy on a cold day.
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(Originally posted at That Artsy Reader Girl. I bought my copy from a seller other than Amazon.)

I love Christmas romances that aren't sad. The back of this book sounded happy to me, so I decided it was worth a shot, even though I don't like the idea of short stories. I like to read a book that is one big story. Not three little ones. Needless to say, this book was a gamble. JACKPOT!! Halleluiah! I LOVED IT! Gush, gush, gush. Ok, on to the review. (Clearly I don't read enough books that cause happiness to gush out of me. I'm not crazy, I promise.) Oh, and wanna know what else is fun? These three stories are all intermingled. I didn't realize this until I started in on story #2. They all take place on and around Christmas Eve in Gracetown, NC during the biggest blizzard in the last 50 years. Each story discusses different characters, who end up all being connected. I loved all of them, and want to go find everyone at The Waffle House in Gracetown now.

The first story is called The Jubilee Express, by Maureen Johnson. I'd never read anything by her, and pretty much adore her now. Not many authors make me love them in roughly 100 pages, but I'm about to go buy more of her books! Anyway, there's a girl named Jubilee (she was named after a building in a very expensive Santa village! Hahah!) who finds herself on a train to Florida because her parents decided to be crazy this year. A big snowstorm causes the train to stop in a small town, where she finds some interesting people (and some sweet ones) in the Waffle House. Her Christmas plans end up needing a slight alteration, but I doubt anyone would feel that she suffered as a result! I loved this story. Jubilee is hilarious. The thoughts running through her head had me laughing out loud. I loved the main guy in this story too. He is so sweet and sensitive. I'm not giving away more of the plot, because you just need to read it. That is all.

The second story is called A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle, by John Green. Oh my. It's hilarious. The main guy, Tobin, has two friends named JP (my favorite character, because he is amazing) and the Duke (Angie). While watching Bond movies, they get a call on Christmas Eve to hightail it to the Waffle House to see 14 stranded cheerleaders from the same train Jubliee was on, hanging out and being cheerleadery. Their journey to this Waffle House (in the middle of a blizzard) is priceless. It includes a lost wheel, some scary twins, a Twister mat sled, and a dangerous beer keg. I died of laughter. And of course, it turns out to be an adorable story. I want to meet JP. The things he says are hilarious, plus he was wearing Tobin's dad's baby blue ski suit for the entire story because he thought it would make him look like a hardcore skier, just back from the slopes. Gotta impress those cheerleaders! Oh, good stuff, Mr. John Green.

The last story is called The Patron Saint of Pigs, by Lauren Myracle. This was a very "meh" read for me. Luckily it was the last story, because I don't think I would have continued with the book if it had been the first. It's all about this girl named Addie, who I didn't care for much, who cheated on her boyfriend a week before Christmas, dumped him, and now wants him back. She spends a lot of time whining about her situation, even though it's her fault. And she spends a lot of time being mad at him for not responding to her latest apology e-mail with open arms. She CHEATED on him. Why does she expect a happy ending to this? The story also involves a little old lady who thinks she's an angel, and a quest to acquire a little teacup pig that is to be her friend's Christmas present. It was just weird, and a pretty weak way to end the book. The first two stories were brilliant, and long-lasting loves for me. This story really fell flat, and pales in comparison. The ending was also pretty cliche and unrealistic. I can look past this story, though, and rate this book 5 stars for the other two. If we factor in my rating for this one, the book would probably get a 3.5.

I definitely see myself re-reading the first two stories a lot. They are so sweet and Christmasy, not to mention a quick dose of the Holiday spirit. I was delighted to find them.
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on December 29, 2014
This book was great for the holidays! Oddly enough, I just watched Love Actually and these mini books remind me of that. I give it 4.5 stars. My favorite was the first one(by Maureen Johnson) and the other two tied. Warning: There may be TINY SPOILERS ahead
The first book by Maureen Johnson:
I loved it! My only problem was that I felt it should have been longer and the timing was a little confusing. I think it should have been lengthened to show what happened with Jubilee's transport(the train was stuck) and her parents (did they get out of jail?) I wondered if the train just left, bc days later she's at a Starbucks in the same town(little unrealistic). I did love how she ended up with Stuart and the whole story up to that point. I found that Jubilee was kind of like me, and I liked her personality.

A cheertastic Christmas Miracle by John Green:
Honestly, the first part of this book was extremely boring-there was no real action. Also, I never got attached to any of the characters. Normally I do, but with this... idk they just weren't that great. It kind of annoyed me how they dropped everything to go see cheerleaders. Basically summed up what I find wrong with many guys. On the plus side, in the end it worked out. Also, the small humor,(and the Duke) pulled it through.

The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle
Ok, so this one is kind of a mixed bag. First, the 3 girl characters seemed half bipolar( and slightly mean). The two supposed friends of Addie(who recently parted with her boyfriend and had a breakdown) are taking constructive criticism to a new level. I do think Addie was self absorbed and inconsiderate(for reasons I'll let you discover), but her friends put her down way too much and basically yelled at her when she did nothing extreme. In addition, the ending was not as climatic as the other books and frankly kind of underdone. Lastly, since when do 2 customers take up 2 hours? The book just seemed illogical- I say 3 stars. However, I did like the backstory and how in the end all the other stories got tied into this one Starbucks
I liked this set of 3 mini books, especially how everything was connected in the end. I think it would be a great movie!
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on January 22, 2016
This was a cute, lighthearted fast paced read! The first and third were my favorites... Surprisingly I bought this based on John Green and his part was the weakest link! Actually his story could have been left out of the set and wouldn't have mattered. His was the least integrated story and kind of dragged out. The three stories were written by different authors and all had their own individual story lines and endings but we're all nicely connected, during the same storm. Overall the book was a quick read, cute story great for tweens and early teens.
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on September 14, 2014
Enjoyable, quirky read for a chilly weekend.

This book went a little something like this for me:

Maureen Johnson's story was a stunner for me, a real gem! Strong, likable characters, or at least relatable even when you didn't like them. Her beginning plot is an odd one for sure, yet it works. She somehow ties this eccentric obsession with collectable villages into a deeper story of teenage love and loss.

Then it was John Green's turn. While he still used his infamous sharp wit and quick debate type conversational style, it wasn't his best. Of course, "not his best" is still better than a lot of people's bests. Here's what I think - I think his stories take time to build up. You need to live with his characters, marinate in his words. It takes time. So in this particular case, his voice got kind of loss. I was just starting to really dig into his characters when it was over too suddenly, in my opinion.

Finally, there's Lauren Myracle's contribution. Oy. I wish this book had finished stronger. Her story wasn't bad per say, but it didn't have the "oomph" to tie them all together. Instead it ended with the feeling of an ABC family movie.
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on January 1, 2016
I found this book to be an easy read. In the end only one story appealed to me, and even then it wasn't great. The characters are forgettable. The plots are forgettable. The writing is forgettable.

I was highly disappointed by this book, and found it extremely boring. Had higher hopes for this. The only reason you should get this book is if you are a extreme fan of one of the authors, or you find it at the bottom of a bargain dollar book bin.
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on July 27, 2015
***** more book reviews can be found at www.goodreads.com/xorubituesdays *****

This book was a great winter read & gave me the feeling of being snowed in even though I live in Texas! The book started off being a 5 star book with The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson, but progressively moved down to 3 stars by the last story The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle. I absolutely loved how all 3 were stories written by different authors with each one tying in the different characters by the end of the book!

***** more book reviews can be found at www.goodreads.com/xorubituesdays *****
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