Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Just What I Needed

I am happy to report my reading brain found happiness on my TBR shelf! And, for me, it was a special kind of happiness. Please allow me to backtrack, first, as I often do (This is also known as "rambling" to some people. If you'd prefer to get right to the review, skip down a couple of paragraphs. You're welcome.)...

I picked up Let It Snow at Sam's Club one day...just because the snowflakes on it reminded me of Christmas shows from my childhood. I would like to tell you that isn't why I bought it, but...I'd be lying. Sort of. I admit that John Green's name on one of the snowflakes also convinced me the book wouldn't be total drivel. I like Green, love his sense of humor, and often watch him on YouTube. I've read a couple of his novels, too, and I enjoyed both.

I also found it an interesting concept to weave three stories together by three different authors: Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle. The book is clearly labeled "three holiday romances" on the front cover, so I considered myself warned. It isn't my typical kind of read, but I bought it and put it on my TBR shelf, thinking it'd be a fun read over Christmas break. 

When I found myself needing some cheer after reading Flowers in the Attic, by V.C. Andrews, I decided to take a chance on Let It Snow. I'm so glad I did! I'm actually smiling like a silly teenage girl, even as I sit here looking at the computer screen to write this. The book lifted my spirits and put me in the holiday mood.

Here are some reasons why I liked it:

First, Let It Snow is set in North Carolina, which is where I am originally from. So, I guess you could say, there was a bit of "home" in it for me.

Second, it has snow and trains and a Waffle House and snow and a Starbucks and snow and a teacup pig named Gabriel and...other ingredients that just make it a good time.

Third, while each story has its own tale to tell, the three stories - and the main characters from each one - are interconnected in some way. 

And, most importantly, it played like a 1980s John Hughes movie in my head. Completely and totally. There was fun banter between characters (well, the smart characters, anyway), lots of wit and sarcasm, and a satisfying ending. And I reacted to it in exactly the same way I do whenever I see an old John Cusack, or Molly Ringwald, movie: Big. Goofy. Smile. 

Now, either you know exactly what I mean, or you don't. (And if you don't, I feel sad for you.) 

I've heard authors complain that writing a present day story in this age of technology isn't nearly as fun as writing in the past...because, often, technology gets in the way of the story. So, how do you write a good, ol' fashioned teenage story - where things get mixed up and miscommunicated, where the teenagers have to figure things out for themselves and allow Fate to take its course - in a present day setting? You make it snow. A lot. A snowstorm, in fact, and you strand people here and there. Perfect. Now, you've got something to work with. 

Is the book a little schmaltzy sometimes? Yes, but it works. It's supposed to be a little schmaltzy. Will this book ever win a Pulitzer? No, but it certainly won my heart. And, for me, that's all that really matters.

Happy reading!

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