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

Paper Towns by John Green

Date Published: September 22, 2009
Publisher: Bloomsbury India
Pages: 305
Source: Review copy provided by Bloomsbury India
Format: Paperback

Goodreads Synopsis:

Who is the real Margo?

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew…

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

My View: I have a wonderful relationship with John Green. In short, I love him. My first audiobook that I finished listening to was Looking for Alaska. And not only that, I loved it. 5 stars loved it. Then I bought a paperback and then I announced my love to the world until a couple thousand more people bought the book on my recommendation (or so I hope). And then I read The fault in our stars which didn’t do a similar magic for me but was good nevertheless. Up next on my list were Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines, so I was thrilled when I got a chance to review this one.

For the record, I finished it in a weekend, a weekend which was really busy else it would have been less than 24 hours. So does that mean it’s good? Umm, not so sure about that. This one’s unlike John Green. In fact, so unlike him that I almost felt as if someone else had written it. I guess when you read the best work written by an author and then read his/her other books, it hits you bad. Because you storm in expecting a masterpiece but of course, no author can hit the mark with every single one of his/her book(s) and certainly can’t please every reader. So I kept an open mind and read on. The reason I finished this book quickly was because I wanted to get to the good part soon. Did it arrive? We will see.

There are three things Paper Towns makes me want to do – One is to read Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and Song of Myself, and the other is to pick up The Bell Jar (a minuscule mention but I don’t know I just want to read it). And the third is to run away, escape and go on a solitary road trip. Hmm, how does that all fit in? I have no clue.

The book didn’t really grasp me either from the beginning or at the middle or even towards the end. It just went on and on and I kept on reading looking out for the silver lining. I wonder sometimes why are John Green’s central female characters eccentric? Is this how he sees women? Is this how women around him have been? Or is this is the way he likes his women? Ahem, well enough about John Green and his preference in women. Alaska, I loved. Margo? Nope. In fact, I might even hate her. Quentin, he’s cute but stupid too. I want to hit him hard on his head and drive him to his senses. I admire his perseverance and hard work but he really needs to face the truth. For the other characters, my perception changes with situations. Radar, I do like though. So John Green again  presents us likable characters for the most part. And that’s some relief.

What I liked the most about the book was the road trip and that lasted very few pages. 😦 I wish it could have been longer. I also liked the unraveling of the mystery bit. And I liked some of his prose.

What I didn’t like was the abstractness. John green, you do not do abstract. I have not come to expect this from you. It boggled my mind and made me wrack my brains. Your books are a no-brainer, light-hearted comedy. And that’s what I was looking forward to.

But if I try and think how I would have felt had I gone in without the John Green tag, not so bad, I guess. I mean there was a story, some mystery, a few laughs, an adventure and well-developed characters. Not so bad, right?

I also did like the poetry bits in there and feel like solving Whitman’s unending poem like one does with a puzzle.

Overall, this book makes for a good one-time read in a leisurely setting. Don’t go expecting a John Green book and don’t expect it to hurry up and you will do just fine.

3/5 stars – I liked it. 3 stars

(All opinions expressed are my own and in no way influenced.)

Huge thanks to Bloomsbury India for providing the review copy.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Goodreads Summary: Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

My views: Here’s my first February read. I started and finished this yesterday in a 4:30 hours reading marathon that kept me awake till wee hours of the morning.

And what do I have to say? A deep, deep *sigh*. Nothing else? No. Not yet.

This book reminded me so much of Looking for Alaska. Isn’t it just like that? No, it isn’t.

Although I did fell in love with Hazel like I did with Alaska. John Green sure has strong female characters in his book and speaks through them (in the first person, I mean).

The book is kind of sad, it made me cry in the end (no, I don’t usually end up crying while reading a book. A movie makes me cry but a book, not often).

But like his other book (pardon me, for I have only read Looking for Alaska till now), this one’s cute too. However, I always wonder why every hero/female hero in the book is always so gorgeous, good looking and hot. I mean not all people are good looking. Do only good looking people get place in stories and books? What about real, normal looking people? Anyway, I am digressing from the topic.

The book was good but not the Looking for Alaska kind of good. I didn’t not want it to end, or got addicted or couldn’t stop reading. None of those. It was OK.

The plot was new, John Green style. The characters were marvelous and you fall in love with them. Gus, too. (another character).

The theme is a bit sad but it’s part of the book, the good part.

The John Green philosophy is all there.

I didn’t relish so much some part of the letter writing because it simply exceeded my meager understanding capacity.

A good read but don’t read when you are sad. The book itself is sad but not the writing, just the theme. 😉

In all, the book is a 3.5/5 – somewhere between ‘I liked it’ and ‘I really liked it’.

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or at Amazon The Fault in Our Stars