The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson
After her parents are arrested in a shopping riot, Jubilee is put on a train to Florida. When her train is stalled outside of Gracetown, she flees a Waffle House full of cheerleaders into the storm with a stranger.
A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle by John Green
Snowed over train tracks strand 14 cheerleaders in a Waffle House. Tobin, JP and The Duke race through the storm with a Twister board to make it there first. Only at some point it stops being about the cheerleaders.
The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle
Addie loves Jeb but she cheated on him before Christmas and now she fears she’s lost him forever. After all, he didn’t show up for their meeting after returning from the res. He mustn’t love her anymore. What other reason could it be?
I may be a little crazy to chose to read Christmas stories in September but I was in the mood for the kind of fun John Green and Maureen Johnson never fail to provide. And as expected, their two stories were crazy fun. Johnson had me constantly chuckling (she even made falling into a frozen river sound funny!). Jubilee is a great narrator with a quirky perspective on her admitedly odd circumstances. Green’s story is meanwhile such an unusual adventure with the kind of snappy dialogue that he is famous for and a great, unusual romance.
Myracle’s story is the low point of the collection, not because it is bad but because it lacks the manic energy of the first two. Johnson and Green’s stories are both mad adventures that lead to touching romances. Myracle’s story is mostly about redemption. There’s nothing wrong with that but it is a much more standard kind of Christmas story. I liked the teacup pig, however.