Saturday, December 19, 2015

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances (by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle)

This is a set of three interlocking young adult romances -- and I think maybe the only John Green I hadn't read before. They're all set on or around a blizzardy Christmas somewhere in the South, and all lightweight, but fun.

The first story is Maureen Johnson's, and it has an originality that made me want to read more by her. (Spoiler alert: I just finished 13 Little Blue Envelopes.)  I love the entire conceit of the Flobie Elf village, and the romance is cute. My favorite of the stories.

The second is John Green's, which is good too, with a couple of caveats. First, the three main characters are awfully close to Miles, Takumi, and Alaska from Looking for Alaska (smartass friend, Asian sidekick, non-girly smart girl) and thus felt a bit formulaic. Plus they throw around the r-word a few times, which hopefully we as a society have decided is a terrible idea. But the central romance is well-done.

Lauren Myracle's story was probably my least favorite of the three, but I still enjoyed it. I did like that she tried to do something different with it -- having it hinge on a personal epiphany rather than the more cliche setup of the first two stories. However, the epiphany didn't quite work for me as written. It's a very tell, don't show type of epiphany, and I didn't quite buy it. But I liked the concept, and the teacup pig subplot is adorable.

It's no The Fault in Our Stars (which is flawed, but I have now probably reread 10 times) but it is cute Christmasy fluffy YA.

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