‘Twas the night before Christmas and the storm had begun, three holiday romances unwrap one by one. When the train is delayed and the Waffle House all aglow, sometimes it’s better to say just “Let It Snow.”
Published in 2008, “Let It Snow”is composed of three separate books all tied into one grand adventure. “The Jubilee Express” by Maureen Johnson, “A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle” by John Green and “The Patron Saint of Pigs” by Lauren Myracle follow three teenagers in a little place called Gracetown.
'The Jubilee Express'
After a major snowstorm on Christmas Eve, the train taking Jubilee Dougal to her grandparent’s house comes to a halt. When Jubilee decides she’d rather be surrounded by warmth and food at the nearby Waffle House than stuck on a train with 14 cheerleaders, three of which are named Maddison, she ventures out into the cold with Jeb, a friend she met on the train who is desperately trying to reach his girlfriend. At the Waffle House, she meets an unexpected stranger who is kind, straight forward with the truth and everything she never had in her last relationship.
'A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle'
Once the cheerleaders invade the Waffle House, each of the workers call up their friends, so they too can enjoy the company of the cheer squad, but only a few more people can fit inside the tiny establishment. In a race against time, Tobin, JP and the Duke (Angie) book it to the Waffle House and run into some trouble along the way. As they bear the cold after crashing their car into a snow drift, tensions rise between Tobin and Angie. She was always “one of the guys” growing up, but wants to be treated as more than just that and Tobin starts to realize his love for her, but is too stubborn to admit it.
'The Patron Saint of Pigs'
Addie seems to be having the worst luck lately and all she can think about is her ex-boyfriend, Jeb. He is head over heels for her, but doesn’t express his love in the way that Addie wants him to. She thinks they’re over, because he hadn’t been responding to her. Dorrie and Tegan try to support her the best they can, but Addie has to realize the universe doesn’t revolve around her. To prove she has changed, she offers to pick up Tegan’s Christmas present at Pet World, a teacup pig named Gabriel. She has to jump through a few hoops to get him, but eventually pulls through.
Eleven years after the book was published, Netflix released the movie adaption with the same title in early November. Set in Laurel, Illinois the movie follows the original three love stories from the book: Jubilee and Stuart, Angie and Tobin, and Jeb and Addie. Additionally, a new love story is introduced between Dorrie, Addie’s best friend, and Kerry, one of the cheerleaders. The two hung out before and seemed to take a liking to one another, but Kerry gives her the cold shoulder when they meet up again and Dorrie can’t seem to understand why.
Another notable difference is the character arc given to Julie – her name is Jubilee in the book, and often gets mistaken for Julie. She is accepted into Columbia University in New York with a generous scholarship, which excites her since she’s ready to leave her small town. However, she feels conflicted because her mom is constantly sick and feels it’s her responsibility to stay and take care of her. Her love interest, Stuart, is also a rising celebrity and music artist, instead of a townie.
The nice thing about reading a book is getting the chance to know and understand the characters on a deeper level, as their thoughts and actions are described in a way images can’t quite explain. A movie can help visualize the setting and appearances of the characters. With the way this narrative is set up, the movie hops around from each couple and can be challenging to give everyone the screen time they deserve.