Genre: Young Adult Fiction
This novel contains three short stories by some pretty iconic young adult writers: John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle. Each story is more of a novella, about 100 pages per story, more or less. Another interesting thing about these stories is that they are all somewhat intertwined. All the stories take place in Gracetown during Christmas and we see some characters from each story make appearances in all the other stories.
“The Jubilee Express” by Maureen Johnson
This story features Jubilee, a girl whose parents are obsessed with Flobi Santa Village collectibles. They are so obsessed with their collectibles that they were involved in a riot and had to spend Christmas in jail. So that Jubilee did not have to spend Christmas alone, she is sent on a train to Florida to be with her grandparents, leaving her boyfriend behind. When her train gets stuck in a major blizzard, she and fellow passenger Jeb make their way to a Waffle House, along with a whole troupe of cheerleaders. When a guy named Stuart walks in to the Waffle House, he invites Jubilee to wait out the blizzard at his place, away from the abundance of cheerleaders. When Jubilee begins to talk about her boyfriend, Stuart gets mad at the kind of guy she is dating. It doesn’t help that Stuart’s mom is rooting for the two to hook up. Will they end up spending Christmas together as newfound lovers, or will they both end up with their previous significant others?
“A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle” by John Green
JP, Tobin, and Angie are called by their friend, Keun, who works at the Waffle House. His message: a bunch of cheerleaders showed up and his friends need to be there before his co-workers friends get there. Oh, and they need to bring Twister. When the three set out on the snow-covered streets, they are still three miles from the Waffle House when their car lands in a snow bank. This story becomes a humorous race between Tobin and friends, two hot twins from school, and a group of college guys. Whoever gets to the Waffle House first gets to go inside with the cheerleaders. Angie shows some irritation when Tobin talks about the cheerleaders, and when they finally make it to the Waffle House, his flirting is just too much, and Angie storms out into the blizzard. What do her actions mean and what will become of the two friends?
“The Patron Saint of Pigs” by Lauren Myracle
Addie is a pretty self-centered girl who works at Starbucks and had things going smoothly until she cheated on her boyfriend, Jeb. With the holidays, Addie is concerned about her relationship with Jeb; drastic times call for drastic measures as she rushes in to get her hair chopped off and dyed pink! With everyone else around her telling her she can’t think of anyone but herself, she aims to change that aspect about herself. She is responsible for picking up Gabriel from the pet store, a teacup pig that her and a friend bought for another friend. Her self-centeredness causes her to forget about the pig, and when she goes in, it’s too late. Someone bought Gabriel, even though there was a note saying he was already paid for. When Addie finds out who bought him, she finds a Christmas angel was watching over her the whole time, and she begins to change her outlook on how other people feel through her actions, not just herself. When some characters from the previous stories show up at her Starbucks, word of Jeb makes its way to Addie. Will he forgive her or will he hold a grudge?
I actually really enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. Each story started off a bit dull, but they progressively got more and more interesting as the stakes continued to rise. These three holiday romances are an enjoyable read and will fill the reader with the warm spirit of the holidays.