I’m here with another Christmas book recommendation: Let It Snow!
This is a collection of short stories written by YA authors Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle that are set in a small town in Virginia during a massive snowstorm.
I first discovered this in 2009. I was at Borders (back when Borders was still a thing) with my mom and I was browsing in the Teen/YA section. This looked really cute and fluffy, which some might not like, but I actually enjoy that.
I had not read anything by any of these authors before. Heck, I didn’t even know who John Green was back then! But I enjoyed each of the stories immensely.
I think my favorite is the first story by Maureen Johnson. “The Jubilee Express” is about a girl named Jubilee who is on a train to Florida to see her grandparents after her parents are arrested during a riot at a store that sells collectible toy villages. She’s annoyed because she is supposed to be at her boyfriend’s house with his family where they would be celebrating their one year anniversary. She gets caught in a snowstorm and winds up hanging out with a guy named Stuart and his family for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This can’t get any fluffier, but it is easily the best book in the story (my opinion of course). I didn’t really like Jubilee’s boyfriend. He reminds me a lot of Amanda Seyfried’s boyfriend in Letters to Juliet (which is an adorable movie that you should watch if you haven’t). This was the perfect story to start off the collection, and I felt it established the town in the stories as well as the tone of the book vey nicely.
My second favorite was John Green’s story “A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle.” This story is about a group of friends trying to get to the local Waffle House where there is a cheerleading team who they think they’ll have a shot with. I think it’s a great introductory piece of his that can show his humor where some of his novels might not (since we all know he has the ability to wrench our hearts out and toss them across the room). Is it a little cheesy and ridiculous at times? Yes. But it’s definitely worth reading.
I like some parts of Lauren Myracle’s story “The Patron Saint of Pigs,” but the main character, Addie, could be a little irritating at times. She made everything about her and that’s supposed to be something she fixes by the end of her story. I thought she made a bit of a headway, but the TV in her head was still tuned to The Addie Show. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the strongest closer to the book.
Like I said before, it’s a light and fluffy read, which some people might not like, but if you think it’s up your alley, then definitely check it!
Thanks for reading!
Merry almost Christmas everyone!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and one of my favorite times of the year, but if I’m honest, I’m not one hundred percent in a festive mood. I suppose it’s because I spent the first two weeks of the month worrying about finals and presentations for my second to last semester of college, which doesn’t leave much room for festivities. Then I can home and started watching Christmas movies, listening to music, staring at our family’s Christmas tree…and I still didn’t feel the way Christmas used to feel. I felt like Cindy Lou Who in the live action Grinch movie, wondering where the feeling of Christmas had gone.
That is until I picked up Skipping Christmas by John Grisham.
I’ve read Skipping Christmas every year since the fifth grade, so about eleven years now. It’s only 177 pages long, but the story is so captivating and told so well that it doesn’t really seem that short. I also adore the movie, Christmas with Kranks, which was based off of the book.
If you don’t already know, the story is about a married couple who decide to go on a cruise instead of dealing with the stress that Christmas tends to bring while their daughter is off in Peu with the Peace Corps. The book centers around them avoiding all the hullabaloo that comes with the commercialized expectations of Christmas.
The story itself is hilarious and that’s a big part of why I read it, but I think what I love most about this book is how many memories I have of the past Christmases where I read this, and through the pages of this I was able to relive all those moments.
If you have never read this novel, I highly recommend it. It’s just the thing to get you in the holiday spirit if you, like me, have been feeling less than festive.
As I mentioned in my blog post, Revisiting Old Ideas, I have been working on the novel that I first started writing when I was sixteen. I am so glad to finally have the story the way I want it. The only trouble is getting it all on the page.
The story revolves around a marching band season, which can span from the end of July until the end of October, or in some cases, mid-November.
And that’s my problem.
My first novel that I wrote last year took place in the span of four days or a long weekend. There is obviously only so much you can do in one place for four days, and it wasn’t hard to figure out what was going on, probably because my main character felt very real and dragged me along with her to the various places she visited in that one city.
I’m having a bit more trouble now.
Four months is a long time. A lot more can happen, and I want to make sure it’s all clear without it seeming to be rushed or dragged out.
The big problem I’m facing is second-guessing myself. This story isn’t a memoir by any means, but it’s probably the closest I will ever get. Marching band was a big part of my high school years, so obviously I’m borrowing a lot of my experiences to put in this particular novel.
I find that making an outline has started to help me sort it all out. I only really do that when I have the whole book in my head and need a way to sort out where each new chapter begins.
It’s a lot of organizing, a lot of rewriting, but eventually it will get there. All there’s left to do is just keep writing.
A question to any fellow writers: Do you have similar problems with creating a realistic flow for stories that span a few months? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!