Published by Puffin
Date Published: September 11, 2008
A trusted book friend pointed to this on the shelf at some book store and said “this is really cute”. I read this now two Christmases ago and all I can say is that it put me IN THE BEST MOOD EVER and I was SO READY for Christmas. Seriously, I was all happy and stupid and smiling and for that I truly thank Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle.
Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today's bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.Okay, I admit it, I RARELY read anthologies. Why? Because the story changes with each author and I want to be invested for hours, not minutes. How is this different? BECAUSE THEY ALL BLEND TOGETHER INTO MAGIC. Or... something along those lines.
Let’s start with the first section, The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson. Prior to this I had never read any Maureen Johnson, but if you follow her on Twitter you know that she is filled with ridiculousness and hilarity and her section is no exception. I was snickering half a page in. I was laughing a page in. I was bursting out in loud, obnoxious laughter two pages in. And it just got better from there. Three words: The Flobie Five.
But there is more than just The Funny. There is The Cute, dominated by Stuart. Not like ‘oh, he’s kinda cute and sweet’ this more along the lines of Cricket Bell-Lochan Whitely-Sam Roth-Alex Fuentes-Adam Kent-W.W. Hale-Jacian Obregon-Jake Tolan* brand of amazing. (And if you don’t know who one of those boys are, you are MISSING OUT!) But I digress, in the end, this is 117 pages of pure magic.
John Green. If I say this was classic John Green, would that make sense? I’ve read all but one of his works (An Abundance of Katherines) and I can certainly say that his work has a very specific tone and feel to it and I can identify it no better than “that John Green-esque quality”. Two average boys drag their girl who-acts-like-one-of-the-boys friend off in the middle of the worst blizzard in the history of the world to get to a Waffle House where there are a bunch of stranded cheerleaders. Classic John Green. Every piece of dialog is so hilarious in that dry and witty way where jokes are basically amusing and obvious statements of the world. Classic John Green. And to top it all off, John Green mentions my FAVORITE book ever, The Book Thief. As if there couldn’t be more WIN.
Lastly, Lauren Myracle. I also admit that prior to this I had never read any Lauren Myracle and since then have still not read any Lauren Myracle, though I have met her! She’s very nice and lovely! Anyway, it is hard to follow up The Maureen Johnson and The John Green and I will note that her section takes on a serious, but light tonal quality. It has more of a YA-novel quality about it, but it is also home to the OBNOXIOUSLY perfect ending. Little to no exaggeration there.
I’ll admit that in paging through this book, I ended up re-reading long and large sections of it cause it is JUST that good and even though it is now after Christmas, I still recommend this as a fantastic read. Read it anytime and keep the warm, fuzzy and happy holiday spirit alive all year long.
*Key: (so you DON’T miss out!) Cricket - Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, Lochlan - Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma, Sam Roth - Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, Alex Fuentes - Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, Adam - Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, W.W. Hale - Heist Society by Ally Carter, Jacian - Cryer’s Cross, Jake - Saving June by Hannah Harrington.