Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle

Published: October 1, 2009
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 365
Source: Owned
Format: Kindle ebook

Goodreads SynopsisAn ill-timed storm on Christmas Eve buries the residents of Gracetown under multiple feet of snow and causes quite a bit of chaos. One brave soul ventures out into the storm from her stranded train and sets off a chain of events that will change quite a few lives. Over the next three days one girl takes a risky shortcut with an adorable stranger, three friends set out to win a race to the Waffle House (and the hash brown spoils), and the fate of a teacup pig falls into the hands of a lovesick barista.

A trio of today’s bestselling authors – John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle – bring all the magic of the holidays to life in three hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and kisses that will steal your breath away.

Buy it here – Amazon India | FlipkartAmazon US | The Book Depository | Add on Goodreads

My View: I have been wanting to read this book for ages. It’s no secret that I love John Green, especially after Looking for Alaska (Read my fan-girling review here). The Fault in Our Stars was nice too (Read my review here). So when I was looking for books to read during Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon, I immediately grabbed onto it.

I was almost tempted to skip to the John Green story first but I am glad I didn’t. The stories are to be read in sequence to make sense. I guess I went in with too many expectations. It was a John Green book after all! As far as the other authors are concerned, I have never read Lauren Myracle. I have read The Name of the Star (The Shades of London Book 1) by Maureen Johnson (My review here) which I thought was okay.

The book starts off with “The Jubilee Express” by Maureen Johnson which was the best of the three.  It had a good plot, believable characters, various twists and turns and a nice end. If it had been for this story by itself, the book would have gotten 3 stars.

The next to follow was “A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle” by John Green which was surprisingly the least liked story by me. It had none of the usual John Green magic. I felt it was stretched where it wasn’t necessary and cut short where it was. The plot lacked depth, the characters didn’t really get me to root for them and the story lacked lustre. A complete fail and a blow to my expectations.

Finally came “The Patron Saint of Pigs” by Lauren Myracle. First things first, I want myself a teacup pig. Well, I wanted until I read all about it. Nope, I can’t be cruel to animals and under-feed them so that they remain cute and little. Plan aborted. As far as the story is concerned, the plot had some depth, the characters although superficial were make-do and the story derived its own happy end.

Overall, my hopes from this book were dashed. I might be a bit overcautious in buying John Green books from here on. A favorite author does not necessarily lead to a good book, I have realized.

2/5 stars – It was okay but nothing special.

2stars

A Very Holly Christmas by Sheila Roberts

Published: November 15, 2011
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Pages: 19
Source: Owned
Format: Kindle ebook

Goodreads Synopsis: Shelia Roberts is back with the hilarious short follow up to On Strike For Christmas. This short story will bring you right back to the spirited town of Holly, one year after the big strike! For even more Christmas (this time with a touch of romance) don’t miss The Nine Lives of Christmas, coming November 2011.

Buy it here – Amazon US (FREE!) | Add on Goodreads

My View: Another one I picked up for a short, quick read for Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon but I didn’t realize it was THAT short! It ended before it even began. I think this was meant as a little quickie by the side in collaboration with another book. So reading this on its own doesn’t really make much sense.

But had it been a murder mystery instead of romance, I might have liked it better. Lol. Yeah yeah, I know expecting murder in a Christmas-y read. But well, wouldn’t that be a great thriller surprise? Just imagine!

In so short a story, you, of course, can’t go looking for a plot or in-depth characters. So that’s about it.

Pick it up at your own risk.

2/5 stars – It was okay but nothing special.

2stars

Holiday Sparks by Shannon Stacey (Audiobook Review)

Narrator: Savannah Richards
Date Published: July 23, 2013
Publisher: Carina Press
Pages: 65
Source: Purchased at Audible
Format: Audiobook

Goodreads SynopsisA short story from Naughty and Nice: A Holiday Romance Collection

House-sitting for her parents seemed like a good idea, until the microwave blew up and the lights went out.

Now Chloe Burke thinks upgrading the electrical system of her childhood home while they are away would make the perfect Christmas gift. Fortunately, there’s an electrician in town who can get the job done by the holidays.

Scott Quinn has wanted to get his hands on the Burkes’ wiring for almost as long as he’s wanted to get his hands on their daughter. Chloe didn’t notice Scott back in high school, but she’s noticing him now, and soon they’re indulging in a little festive fun: no strings, no expectations. After all, Chloe plans to get out of this goldfish bowl of a town and back to her real life in Boston by New Year’s.

But Chloe and Scott discover they enjoy each other’s company just as much out of bed. Could their holiday fling turn out to be the real thing?

Buy it here –  Amazon USAdd on Goodreads

My View:  I listened to this free little audiobook during the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon. Spanning about an hour, it’s quite short. I do love myself a good edited book instead of one that goes on and on with no end in sight.

The book makes for a cute little, Christmas-y romantic read. It has a decent plot (albeit, not very innovative) and two relatable characters. The holiday, romantic feeling is what I liked the most.

The narrator does a good job of making the book sound interesting. The emotional tones are nicely brought about.

But I may have a bit of a problem with romantic short stories. I do not like insta-love. In a short story, you can’t go on building the love. So there lies my problem.

Also, physical intimacy or sex stepping in too soon and on multiple instances just puts me off at times. What is wrong with love expressed through words and some cherished cuddle moments, I wonder. Well, perhaps I am too old-fashioned at times. *snort*

If you are looking for a short, smoky holiday read, you may want to give it a try.

2/5 stars – It was okay but didn’t do wonders for me. 2stars

The 5th Annual Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge: Goals & Updates

I am joining Christmas Tree level for this challenge (5/6 books) and might catch a couple of Christmas movies (Fa La La La Films) and I will absolutely be participating in the Read-a-Thon! Wish me luck! Are you participating? Drop a link in the comments and I will come visit.

Details and sign up:
  • challenge will run from Monday, November 24, 2014 through Tuesday, January 6, 2014 (Twelfth Night or Epiphany).
  • cross over with other challenges is totally permitted AND encouraged!
  • These must be Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore, a book of Christmas short stories or poems, books about Christmas crafts, and for the first time…a children’s Christmas books level!
  • Levels:
            –Candy Cane:  read 1 book
            –Mistletoe:  read 2-4 books
            –Christmas Tree:  read 5 or 6 books (this is the fanatic level…LOL!)
          Additional levels:
            –Fa La La La Films:  watch a bunch or a few Christmas movies…it’s up to you!
            –Visions of Sugar Plums:  read books with your children this season and share what you read
          *the additional levels are optional, you still must complete one of the main reading levels above

The Christmas Spirit Read-a-Thon is back again this year. I’ll be hosting once again over at Seasons of Reading and it’s a WEEK LONG this year! Monday, November 24 through Sunday, November 30! Details and sign-up can be found HERE.