Hi everyone and welcome to the second of three posts for the next two days! Counting down to Christmas, Pete and I are posting our reviews for the three short stories that make up Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson.
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Today’s review is for the second story of Let It Snow, A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle by John Green. Would you rather be snowed in with your best friends watching movies? Or in a Waffle House with 14 cheerleaders practicing lifts? Tobin and JP prefer the cheerleaders right away, but the Duke (Angie, in other words) is all for watching James Bond. After an adventure in the snow, Tobin and JP get their wishes…but Tobin also gets the surprise of his life. A sweet story of love and hash browns, what will Tobin receive this Christmas?
I have to admit something before we start. I kind of hold grudges against John Green. It all started with The Fault in Our Stars, which I can’t help thinking was horribly overrated. My thoughts kind of picked up with Paper Towns, where I happened to be one of the only people who loved it. Looking For Alaska was similar – I couldn’t help being captivated. But it all went to rock-bottom when I got around to An Abundance of Katherine’s.
Since then, I have to admit I haven’t looked at this author in a great light. And unfortunately after this story, I’m now just thinking even worse. To put it pessimistically, this book could have been written by anyone else who has read (and studied the trends in) John Green books. It had a guy who would do absolutely anything for the girl he’s suddenly in love with (for no apparent reason). It had a girl who didn’t really do anything but suddenly has a guy after her (sorry, Angie). It even had the random Asian friend who always seems to be thrown in simply to be Politically Correct. The love is instant, with hardly any hesitation or excitement. Overall, to put it simply, it’s started pi**ing me off big time. With all that aside let’s get it over with, and discuss the things I really didn’t like about this story.
♥ Normal, relatable characters being glorified by exotic names and an adventure
♥ A cliche, easy-to-predict plot♥ A very simple love story with no guessing or surprise
So as you can see, I was pretty disappointed with this story overall. Did I like anything? It may not sound like it, but I did! I promise! So let’s go back to listing and discuss what I enjoyed.
♥ The setting! As with the first story, the setting suited the plot and made it kind of exciting. But at the same time, is this Christmas? Kinda, I guess. But it’s more winter than Christmas…I could have easily forgotten it was Christmas Eve as it was hardly mentioned at all!
♥ A lot of little quirks and creative tweaks I would never be able to think up. There was a lot of cool (no pun intended) moments in the snow…including sliding down a bank to race to a Waffle Jouse
With all John Green annoyances aside, I have to say I can’t help but admit this one is a cutesy, easy read. I still sped through it, even with the anger. I wouldn’t recommend it as much as the first story in Let It Snow, but I still enjoyed it in a very cheesy way.
A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle is John Green’s answer to the question: How can we make a group of normal teen’s lives interesting at Christmas and turn it into a book. Vague sexism and fast food of course!
So, the thing is me and Green have this weird dysfunctional relationship that he doesn’t actually know we’re in. I have read nearly all of his books and all of them have left me with a feeling of wait what was that? They aren’t shocking, they are just kind of incredibly ridiculous.
I did not hate A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle, I liked it in some ways much more than the Jubilee Express but it was just so randomly directionless that I will not be able to ever say that I loved it. The character’s mission is based upon a weirdly sexist idea that generally made me feel very uncomfortable. On top of that I couldn’t help thinking through the whole story: Why are they even doing this? Like seriously? What is the point? Green wove together multiple strands of seemingly random pieces of fiction and decided that it could maybe be a book. There was little explainable motive but the story was definitely fast paced.
Aside from the jumbled and very partially misogynistic plot the characters were definitely the stars of this story. Every single one them was unique and genuinely interesting. There is always a quite frankly terrifying danger with John Green’s books that I’ll hate the main character (I try to forget the dark days of An Abundance Of Katherine’s) but Tobin was actually quite brilliant. He did not moan, he felt like a real person and he wasn’t a massive dickhead. We can brush aside the constant misunderstandings between him and The Duke (again with these ridiculous names, The Duke, seriously?) and cast them off as a simple device used to prolong YA romances. If everyone understood exactly how everyone else was feeling in YA novels there would be no awkward teen affection or justifiable insta-love just like in this story. JP provided that refreshing American comical relief to the direness of their situation and the friends as a unit felt very life like in their incessant banter.
Despite the contemporary genre this book is placed in, there was a commendable amount of action in the story, which was more than welcomed and kept me on the edge of a hypothetical seat (I always read lying down). As I previously mentioned the romance did have under tones of insta love but it was definitely justifiable insta-love that wasn’t really that instant. A little let down was the lack of Christmas in this story. We were told at the start that Tobin’s parents wouldn’t be home for the holidays and we were reminded sporadically throughout that it was Christmas Eve going into Christmas day but there was little in the way of festive spirit. We all already know that John Green is a good writer so it was already a given that things like pacing and prose would be squeaky clean and the linking of settings to The Jubilee Express was well appreciated.
The book felt like I was sitting at the back of the cinema watching a film with only three other people one of whom was munching and slapping his lips together like a crazy person. It was quite enjoyable but also quite uncomfortable. I gave it a 3.6 out of 5 stars but you can decide yourself how much you like it when you read it because who can resist the lovable and beautiful pixie teens of John Green’s stories?
Keep on reading
And thanks again Beth
What did you think of this story?
P.S. Merry Christmas Eve Eve from us both!
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽