I'm not generally a fan of short stories, but I am a big fan of the holiday season. I'm also a fan of Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle, the three authors behind Let It Snow, a collection of festive-themed romances. And while the three stories in Let It Snow are shorter than full-length novels, they're not short short. They're also linked by the fact that the majority of the action takes place in the same small town in the middle of a snowstorm, and by recurring characters, in-jokes and references, making Let It Snow a little more satisfying as a whole than other short story collections I've read.
First up is Maureen Johnson's story, The Jubilee Express, which comes to us courtesy of narrator Jubilee Dougal. Forced to miss her boyfriend's Christmas smorgasboard and catch a train to visit her grandparents for the holidays when her parents are arrested at a shopping riot, Jubilee finds herself stranded in snowy Gracetown in a carriage full of squealy cheerleaders. As you'd imagine from that last sentence, this is a quirky and sometimes over-the-top tale that borders on insanity. It's also hilarious, heartwarming, and über-Christmassy. I loved it, and could quite happily have read an entire novel narrated by wry and witty Jubilee.
The second story is John Green's A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle, which sees narrator Tobin and his friends braving the blizzard in a race against time to reach Gracetown's Waffle House, where the squealy cheerleaders from the previous story are taking shelter for the night. It's a little bit zany and a lot funny, with a super romantic twist that more than redeems Tobin from his early cheerleader-chasing shallowness. If you like your humour with a side-order of slapstick, you'll probably like this one.
Lauren Myracle's story, The Patron Saint of Pigs, focuses on newly pink-haired Addie, a barista at Starbucks who is having some major relationship woes. She's recently broken up with her boyfriend of one year, who just so happens to have made walk on appearances in the previous two stories in the collection, and she's about to learn a major life lesson - with a little help from an old lady and a teacup piglet, that is. While this story feels a little more tame than the others, it's an adorable and heartwarming read which also references my all-time favourite Christmas movie, It's A Wonderful Life.
Let It Snow is the book equivalent of a gingerbread latte with whipped cream and sprinkles. It's delicious and Christmassy and probably best consumed when it's cold outside. Each story is pleasingly unique, and yet as a whole the collection stays true to the spirit of this holiday. If you're looking for something to get you in the Christmas spirit, this could well be it.