Saturday, October 30, 2010

John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle, Let it Snow, 2008.

This collection of three interlinked “holiday romances” is a slight but enjoyable YA piece. All three pieces are fairly conventional in plotting and characterization. I’m not sure if they simply didn’t find enough space, or if the teenage romance genre in which they’re writing precluded surprises. The reader won’t find anything new in the pieces, but they’re an enjoyable enough diversion.

Johnson’s piece, “The Jubilee Express”, traces a holiday journey taken by a young woman following her parents’ arrest: hijinks, train delays, Waffle Houses, and irritatingly absent and just plain irritating boyfriends all serve to advance the plot as she finds unexpected romance. Green’s tale, "A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle", follows three friends trying to get to that same Waffle House, to meet a coworker and the sudden arrival of a cheerleading squad. Love is found in unexpected places. Myracle’s story, "The Patron Saint of Pigs", is the most adventurous of the three stories, following a rather self-absorbed young woman who seeks to make amends after having cheated on her boyfriend.

I picked it up solely because I enjoy Green, and am coming to appreciate Johnson: it’s a divertissement, rather than anything substantial—and I’m clearly not in the target audience for this piece.

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