Paperback, 368 pages
Published 5th September 2013 by Penguin UK
(First published October 1st 2008)
My shelves: books-i-own, contemporary, christmas-books, read-in-2011, realistic-fiction, really-good, short-stories, young-adult
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Description via Goodreads
An ill-timed storm on Christmas Eve buries the residents of Gracetown under multiple feet of snow and causes quite a bit of chaos. One brave soul ventures out into the storm from her stranded train and sets off a chain of events that will change quite a few lives. Over the next three days one girl takes a risky shortcut with an adorable stranger, three friends set out to win a race to the Waffle House (and the hash brown spoils), and the fate of a teacup pig falls into the hands of a lovesick barista.
A trio of today's bestselling authors - John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle - bring all the magic of the holidays to life in three hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and kisses that will steal your breath away.
This was just what I wanted and just what I expected from these three talented young-adult authors. I have read a few of Green's books, one of Johnson's and not yet read anything from Myracle, but with the hype surrounding all three of them, I had high expectations and it's safe to say that they were met! This book is separated into three relatively short stories, but they all entwine. It's hard to tell that the stories are written by seperate authors as the style, quality and humour is constant from beginning to end.
The Jubilee Express is the first story in this book, written by Maureen Johnson. I've read Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes and really enjoyed it, but this was something quite different. Her writing was still very fun and humourous, but it also felt like it was more mature. This was probably my favourite of the three stories in the book. Even though it wasn't exactly the most realistic story you could find, it was extremely enjoyable. Jubilee was a really individual, quirky character that I grew to really like in a short space of time and I loved what became of her and Stuart. Johnson does an incredible job of setting the scene of a very snowy Gracetown and left me wanting more.
John Green's A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle was next which introduced us to more characters as well as continuing to develop characters that were in the previous story. I thought that this was definitely the funniest of the three tales and it had the most action. The romance that was established between Tobin and the Duke was my favourite as it just felt so natural between the characters - Green really managed to connect the characters together and ensure us that they were well bonded friends. The characters aren't perfect, but this just made them even more loveable.
Lauren Myracle's The Patron Saint of Pigs was probably the least strong of these stories, but this doesn't mean that it was bad, in fact it was enjoyable, with yet more development of previously mentioned characters. I didn't manage to connect with Addie as much as I did with the protagonists of the previous stories as I didn't really like her - she didn't have the same charming quality as the others. The main issue for me was the ending of this one as it seemed as though she was trying forcibly to get all of the mentioned characters (which was quite a few!) to intermingle. However, it was nice to see everything, and everyone, come together by the end of the book.
Overall, this was a lighthearted read that really managed to put me into the festive mood. The time period of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, alongside the snow covered setting of Gracetown was perfect for this time of year. I could've easily devoured this book in one sitting. The stories were charming, the romances slightly predictable but extremely enthralling, and most of all, they were fun. This is definitely something that I'd recommend and I can't wait to read more from these authors!