It is a clever idea. Three individual stories by three different authors but all connected to a larger story. In execution, it wasn't so impressive. I didn't connect with any of the stories and all in all it was pretty forgettable.
I feel like there had to be a cheerleader who personally hurt all three of these authors at some point. Why do they hate them so much? They are kind of easy targets, and I thought less of book and the authors because they targeted them.
The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson
By far the most satisfying romance. The story wasn't as funny as it should have been but it had the strongest characterization by far of the three stories. Of the three couples in this book, Stuart and Jubilee were the ones that I was pulling for the most. Stuart and Jubilee had the kind of wacky courtship that just screams for a 1940's screwball comedy style and witty dialogue. Think about it: Jubilee's boyfriend was constantly trying to duck her calls, Stuart's mother's unsubtle matchmaking, and parents jailed over Christmas models. How many is that? To really make it memorable the story needed just that little bit more.
A Cheertastic Miracle by John Green
This was my favorite of the three stories. John Green has a way of making small moments see momentous and finding hilarity in the everyday. I loved the idea of sacrificing the happy middle so that you don't risk an unhappy ending and how maybe sometimes the risk is worth it. The story also showed a large amount of affection for the Waffle House, hashbrowns, and cheese which is something that you just don't see enough in literature. Unfortunately, I was far more interested in the dialogue and interactions between characters than the actual plot or really the romance. I can't even remember how it ends. I would however like a followup on Tobin's friend JP because he is awesome.
The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle
This was supposed to be a fluffy farcical romp. It kind of fizzled and was easily my least favorite of the three stories. Jeb deserved better. Maybe it was the fact that Jeb appears in the other two stories and so I was inclined to be on his side, but I found Addie nearly unbearable. Maybe it is the fact that I am almost unable to forgive vapidity in my characters. I know that she is deliberately shallow and self-absorbed so that her transformation is more dramatic but, frankly, she never earns it. She never earned Jeb. I don't understand him having been with her for a year. I don't know why he wants her back. He should have found a girl who isn't horrible and runs off into the sunset with her leaving Addie alone in her selfishness. SHE IS THE WORST. Seriously, why does she have friends?
Fluffy, cute enough, but utterly forgettable. There are better holiday collections.
Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.