Posts tagged ‘thepatronsaintofpigs’

January 7th, 2011

Let it Snow by John Green; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: Let it Snow

Author(s): John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

Published: October 2nd, 2008

Number of Pages: 400

Rating: 4/5

Quote:

Instead of a quote here, I’ll include a quote for every story below.

Synopsis:

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. [From Goodreads]

Review(s):

The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson; Review

Quote:

“Maybe you’ve never fallen into a frozen stream. Here’s what happens.

1. It is cold. So cold that the Department of Temperature Acknowledgment and Regulation in your brain gets the reading and says, “I can’t deal with this. I’m out of here.” It puts up the OUT TO LUNCH sign and passes all responsibility to the…

2. Department of Pain and the Processing Thereof, which gets all this gobbledygook from the temperature department that it can’t understand. “This is so not our job,” it says. So it just starts hitting random buttons, filling you with strange and unpleasant sensations, and calls the…

3. Office of Confusion and Panic, where there is always someone ready to hop on the phone the moment it rings. This office is at least willing to take some action. The Office of Confusion and Panic loves hitting buttons.

I’d never read anything by Maureen Johnson before cracking open Let it Snow on Christmas day, but I’ll definitely do so now!

Though the story was a bit cliche and predictable, I found myself totally invested in it and just as anxious and full of anticipation as the main character. Actually, due to the predictability, I was probably filled with more anticipation than Jubilee (who, as she would want me to tell you, is not a stripper).

The story reminded me quite a lot of Sarah Dessen’s The Truth About Forever, primarily because the boys are very similar. Jubilee begins her journey totally in love with the focused, popular, and busy boyfriend, Noah, only to meet a stranger who later proves to be a very nice fellow. She also meets a handful of people along the way who are intriguing and likable, namely the heartsick and polite Jeb. (Heartsick and polite? Goodness – what a bad description. Just, um, read the story.)

In the end, “The Jubilee Express” is enticing, cute, and though cliche, very very likable. I was so excited for things to wrap up at the end just the way I wanted them to.

A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle by John Green; Review

Quote:

When I caught up to them, all of out hoods where scrunched shut against the oncoming wind as we walked up the street parallel to Sunrise. We had to shout to be heard, and the Duke said, “I’m glad you’re here,” and I shouted back, “Thanks,” and she shouted, “Honestly, hash browns mean nothing without you.”

I laughed and pointed out that “Hash Browns Mean Nothing Without You” was a pretty good name for a band.

“Or a song,” the Duke said, and then she started singing all glam rock, a glove up to her face holding and imaginary mic as she rocked out an a cappella power ballad. “Oh, I deep fried for you / But now I weep ‘n’ cry for you / Oh, babe, this meal was made for two / And these hash browns mean nothing, oh these hash browns mean nothing, yeah these HASH BROWNS MEAN NOTHING’ without you.”

First of all, JOHN GREEN!

Ahem.

Anyway… this was by far my favorite of the three stories in the book! While the others were just as cute and enjoyable, there’s this certain feel to John Green’s writing and a sort of irresistible cleverness to his characters that is definitely present in this short story.

An interesting thing about this one, however, is that I didn’t realize how much I loved it until I finished. I was so engrossed while reading that there was no possible way I’d be able to determine what my own feelings were – I was too preoccupied with feeling exactly what the characters felt.

Another remarkable aspect of the story was the fully developed arc. I’m always impressed when people manage this in short stories, as I can’t write anything short and decent to save my life! Tobin learns to open up and take a chance if only to enjoy a “happy middle.”

“A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle” is a hilarious, topsy-turvy adventure in which, as a reader, I literally got to cheer. The characters and the relationship between friends that develops into something more is precisely what every reader wants. I wish I could have spent more time with JP, Tobin, and especially the Duke!

The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle; Review

Quote:

“Tell us your good news,” I said.

“My news is about Gabriel,” Tegan said. She smiled. “He’s coming home tomorrow! …

“I have his bed all set up,” Tegan said. “I have a special Piglet stuffed animal to make him feel comfortable, and I have a ten-pack of grape Dubble Bubble.”

“Ah, yes, because Gabriel loves grape Dubble Bubble,” Dorrie said.

“Do pigs eat gum?” I said.

“They don’t eat it, they chew it,” Tegan said.

I wasn’t surprised when this story came along, as it was developing behind the scenes in the others as well. I knew from the moment we learned what Jeb was after in “The Jubilee Express” that I wanted to see him to the end of his journey, and in a way, that’s what this story is all about.

Though we’re introduced to this through Jeb, the POV character is Addie, Jeb’s ex-girlfriend. Reluctantly-ex-girlfriend, I suppose.

My main issue with this story was Addie – she certainly comes off as selfish and undeserving of Jeb (who is clearly awesome from the moment we meet him) – but that’s the whole point. “The Patron Saint of Pigs” might be a bit ridiculous and light-hearted, but it deals with an important problem – What do you do when you know you’re wrong and need to change? Change isn’t easy. It’s not fun. Some people believe it’s as impossible as purple cheeseburgers (although I haven’t heard that exact comparison before). This book is about Addie’s epiphany (Epiphany = Whoa. I’m a jerk.) and her struggle to evolve into a better version of herself.

This story was a little over-the-top for me, but I absolutely loved that it was one of growth and confronting yourself, and it was also super fun to run into characters from the other stories. This is the one that wraps the collection up and gave me a feeling of closure.

Throw all of that together, and Let it Snow is a funny, dramatic, enjoyable collection of stories about people confronting various bits and pieces of themselves and taking worthwhile chances. I’d definitely recommend it!

P.S. Don’t forget to join Google Friend Connect! (Sorry, but I’m only human, and I have my obsessions.)