“The worst blizzard for fifty years, three wintry love stories, one magical night.” this line was enough to get me on the hook for this book by three masterclass authors – Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle. Like the above line mentioned, the “one magical night” is none other than that of Christmas Eve in Gracetown.
The first story by Maureen Johnson, The Jubilee Express, introduces us to this fascinating world where everything is happening such that it looks magical. So there’s a girl named Jubilee (and there is literal explanation given behind this name in the story), whose parents end up in jail on Christmas Eve and she is forced to pay a visit to her grandparents in Florida, but the train gets stuck in the blizzard, she gets off the train and ends up with a local resident, Stuart, and rediscovers the meaning of love.
I’ve tried not giving away everything while writing this short synopsis but still I’m sure I’ve given away almost all of it, this literally explains the predictability of the story. Johnson starts her story on a very exciting note but stumbles in between and loses its pace as if she had lost interest in her own story midway.
The only thing that kept my motivation up were the primary characters, Jubilee and Stuart, who put life into a generally frail story.
What I was really looking forward to when I picked up the book was the story by John Green, A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle. It is set on the same night but this time we follow Tobin and his friends, Angie (better known as the Duke) and JP, as they try to weave their way through the blizzard to the Waffle House where they are expecting to find fourteen pumped-up cheerleaders who were on the same train as Jubilee’s.
The whole story revolves around them trying to reach their desired destination and who all they run into through this journey, although it sounds really fascinating, but it seems like an overly stretched trip which didn’t ripe any fruits for me, I never thought that I’d say something like this about a story by Green but that is the reality.
It doesn’t hurt that much when something like this comes from a new writer but for someone who has written books like Looking For Alaska and Turtles All The Way Down it’s a little hard to digest.
But the best part about Green’s story must be the rant that the Duke gives Tobin over his obsession with cheerleaders and the way they are.
Lauren Myracle’s story, The Patron Saint of Pigs, acts as a saviour at this moment. Myracle makes sure that she covers up for all that her co-authors weren’t able to do in their respective stories.
Hers is a story of a barista, Addie, desperately in need of love from Jeb, whom she broke up with after accidentally cheating on him!
I was hooked to this story from the very first chapter which was relatively longer than the others in her story, where the whole context is set as Addie converses with her best friends, Dorrie and Tegan. Myracle makes her story humorous, goal driven and real.
A lot of action takes place throughout the story which keeps you engaged with the characters, especially the protagonist, Addie, who has some real problems and is not running behind something like cheerleaders on a Christmas night! (You hearing me John Green)?
The feature that particularly stands out for me in Myracle’s story and the book as a whole is the last sequence where all the characters are together and all the mysteries unfold.
All the stories are connected to each other so, make sure that while reading you read in the order that the writers intended it to be read not the way you want to read it.
But all said and done, I must confess, no matter how undirected some instances might be, when you close the book you have a wide smile on your face and perhaps that’s all that matters…
I’m going with 2 stars out of 5.