I’ve read everything John Green and Maureen Johnson have ever written. I own their catalogues and evangelize their books. Yet, somehow, this one always slipped through the cracks. I meant to get around to it, really, but never managed to. One day last week, I needed some Christmas cheer and decided this was the way to go; I was ever so glad I did!
I’m not too surprised I enjoyed the first two stories in this linked trilogy, and the third was also really well done. I actually had no idea the stories all linked together! I just assumed it was three Christmas-themed shorts. It can be tricky, having three authors writing overlapping stories, but they really pulled it off. It felt really cohesive to me, with just enough difference in the narrators voices to show each authors style. Unlike My True Love Gave To Me, these stories were long enough to really get to know each of the characters and flesh out their journeys. I found myself satisfied with each conclusion.
Also, John Green writes really good hash brown porn.
My favorite of the three was the first, written by Maureen Johnson. If you follow her on twitter (and you should), the story was very…her. It’s the tale that sets the rest in motion, when Jubilee is sent by train to stay with her grandparents after her parents are arrested in a fight over a Christmas Village collectable house. The train gets stuck in the snow, and she gets stuck with a brooding teenage boy and 14 cheerleaders, both of which play important parts in later stories. Johnson’s Jubilee is sweet, smart, and just wacky enough to be a Johnson creation. All three of the stories are romances, but there are more elements to them. Myracle, whom I wasn’t familiar with, told a tale of three friends and how sometimes one has to learn to be less self-centered and actually focus on our friends. I liked that the story was more about these three girls than the romantic aspect. Green’s was about how far we go to hang out with some cheerleaders, but often what we’re really looking for is much closer. (And also the power of Waffle House hash browns.)
It was a a really cute read, and perfect for a little holiday cheer.