What’s a single gal to do when she feels like crap and has so much to do that she can’t see straight? If you guessed “watch a Snapped marathon, feel sorry for herself, and read a YA holiday romance anthology,” you’re right (and you probably have my house bugged and are now bored to death). Yep, that’s my Sunday in a nutshell. I had a short break when my mom brought me some ginger ale and sang “Soft Kitty,” but that’s it. At least I can add another finished book to my list. (For those who are wondering, this latest book brings my yearly total to 346. Only 20 to go before I reach my goal for 2012!)
Let It Snow, a holiday romance anthology by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle, has been in my to-read pile for quite some time. (I don’t know why I didn’t get to it before now. You’d think that I would have devoured it immediately with this selection of authors. Alas, you would be wrong.) I guess I was in the mood for something kind of light this weekend because it suddenly seemed like I absolutely had to read this book. It could have had something to do with the holiday theme of the book. (I doubt it, though. I’m kind of a Scrooge this year.) At any rate, I finished reading Let It Snow earlier today, and I must say that it is a delightful, romantic holiday read. Each of the three stories in this book are interwoven, and each author brings their trademark humor to the tales. I found myself laughing out loud on several occasions (which only made my tummy hurt more, but that’s okay). I love Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle, and, if it’s even possible, this light-hearted book made me love them even more. They may have even succeeded where my family and friends have failed thus far. I may now–gasp–have a little Christmas spirit.
The first story in this anthology is The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson, and it involves a girl who is being forced to take a train to Florida because her parents have been arrested. (Not for murder, robbery, or anything like that. It’s actually pretty funny.) Unfortunately, a freak snowstorm stops the train in its tracks somewhere in the mountains of North Carolina. Jubilee–who is not an aspiring stripper despite her name–just has to get off this train, or she will likely strangle the fourteen cheerleaders stranded with her. She sets off on her own and ends up at a Waffle House, of all places. It is here that she meets Stuart, another kind of lost soul who convinces Jubilee to take a close look at her relationship with her seemingly perfect boyfriend back home. She does, and she doesn’t really like what she discovers. But will she discover something else–perhaps the guy of her dreams–in this massive storm?
In John Green’s A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle, Tobin, JP, and the Duke (who is actually a girl named Angie) are on a quest to get to the Waffle House. It seems that fourteen cheerleaders have made their way to the establishment, and the first group of people who make it to the restaurant will be invited to play Twister with the girls. As you might imagine, the Duke (again, a girl) is not enthused by this idea (even though her love for hash browns is well-known), but Tobin and JP seem to be all for it, so off they go to the Waffle House. The snowstorm that has hit town threatens to put a damper on their adventures, but the trio is determined to party with cheerleaders. Actually, JP is determined. Tobin and the Duke are getting kind of resigned to the idea…until they begin to realize that they don’t need a bunch of cheerleaders to make them happy this Christmas. Maybe what they’ve needed all along is…each other.
Finally, The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle, follows Addie, who may or may not be a bit self-absorbed. She did something horrible, and it led to the breakup of the most important relationship she’s ever–or will ever–have. Her beloved boyfriend, Jeb, seems to have given up on her, and Addie’s supposed friends have let it be known that they think Addie is a drama queen who only cares about herself. Now Addie has to prove everyone wrong. Surely she’s not as bad as everyone’s making her out to be, right? If only she could prove that she’s at least trying to change…Well, she may get her chance, and it may involve angels, Starbucks, and teacup piglets (which are just about the cutest things I’ve ever seen). Will Addie get her own Christmas miracle, or is she doomed to be wrapped up in her own problems forever?
I’ve probably told you too much about the stories in this anthology (which might explain why I don’t review many anthologies). These stories just made me sort of happy, and I wanted to share that. With authors like the ones featured in this book, you know you’re getting loads of humor and excellent writing, but even I wasn’t prepared for how mushy-gushy I felt after reading these stories. They also helped me forget about feeling like crap for a while. When a book has the ability to make a reader forget about a truly horrible stomach bug, you know it’s a good one!
If you love YA fiction and are looking for an excellent holiday read, you should definitely give Let It Snow a try. (And yes, it’s totally appropriate for middle grade readers.)