I hope you have all enjoyed this week of Twilight alternatives. And now, in the immortal words of Monty Python, for something completely different:
Summer is nearly upon us and it is starting to get hot. While I cannot help with the heat, I can recommend a great set of wintery short stories. Set at Christmas, during the worst snowstorm in fifty years, these stories are as light and fluffy as the snow itself. John Green, author of Paper Towns (another great book), Maureen Johnson, author of 13 Little Blue Envelopes, and Lauren Myracle, author of Bliss and Rhymes with Witches (which I also enjoyed) offer three short stories with overlapping settings, characters, and events.
In “Jubilee Express”, a Christmas Eve train derailment leads Jubliee (“Julie” when she doesn’t feel like explaining her name) to take a harrowing trek through the snow to find shelter at a nearby Waffle House. The presence of fourteen over-enthusiastic, over-caffeinated cheerleaders in the Waffle House prompts her to trudge through even more snow and across a frozen river to find shelter at the home of her new friend, Stuart. She may well not make it through the holiday alive, and all because her parents were arrested while waiting in line to buy the latest limited edition house for their Flobie Santa Village collection.
In “A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle,” the presence of the aforementioned cheerleaders at the Waffle House results in a race through the ice and snow to deliver a game of Twister. Friends Tobin, JP, and the Duke (real name – Angie) were enjoying an evening of James Bond movies, when their plans for Christmas Eve changed. Waffle House employee Don-Keun makes a late night call to Tobin’s house and makes the following announcement:
“The greatest night of my life has just begun. And I am inviting you to join me, because I am the best friend ever. But here’s the catch: after I get off the phone with you, Mitchell and Billy will be calling their friends. And we’ve agreed in advance that there’s only room here for one more carful of guys. I cannot further dilute the cheerleader-to-guy ratio. Now, I am making the first call, because I’m acting assistant manager. So you have a head start. I know you will not fail. I know I can count on you to deliver the Twister. Gentlemen, may you travel safely and swiftly. But if you die tonight, die in the comfort that you have sacrificed your lives for that noblest of human causes. The pursuit of cheerleaders.”
Tobin and JP manage to persuade the Duke to accompany them with the promise of hash browns, as the Duke is a girl, and therefore not particularly interested in seeing cheerleaders. But the night doesn’t quite go as expected.
In “The Patron Saint of Pigs,” it’s the day after Christmas, and Addie reports to work at Starbucks at 4:30 am. She’s been miserable since Christmas Eve, when her boyfriend Jeb failed to meet her at the coffee shop. His absence sends a clear message; he doesn’t forgive her for the “Charlie Thing.” To make matters worse, the sink breaks and causes a flood, she forgets a very important errand she was supposed to run for a friend, and another friend accuses her of being completely self-involved. Not a very Merry Christmas. Luckily, Addie has a Christmas angel who changes her perspective on the universe, and the day begins to look up.
Check the WRL catalog for Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances.