Netflix has recently released another book-to-movie film, both titled “Let It Snow.” The book was released in 2008 and was written by some of the biggest names in YA literature: Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle. They had all collaborated on a Christmas themed romance anthology.
The book immediately puts readers in a Christmas-ready mood, it really is the perfect book to curl up with during a snowstorm, Christmastime, or winter in general. It contains three different stories, each written by a different author. Though each story follows a different couple, all the characters are connected to one another, so the reader is kept in the same setting, with the same characters being mentioned.
What makes the book great is that the characters are all realistic. They all have fears and problems that a high schooler has, and the endings are all pretty open-ended too. In the movie though, Netflix wanted to make for more dramatic entertainment.
The first story, “The Jubilee Express,” was written by Johnson. It follows Jubilee and Stuart. In the book, Stuart is a classic boy-next-door, whose caring family helps a stranded Jubilee during the snowstorm. In the movie, Stuart is a famous pop star and Jubilee has a dying mother, which creates bigger problems. Both of them have much more common high school problems in the book and help each other grow in small ways.
The second story was written by Green and called “A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle.” This one follows three best friends: Tobin, the Duke, and JP. The Duke, aka Angie, wants Tobin to see her as a girl instead of “one of the guys.” The movie probably did the best job with this one, but still made it more dramatic than necessary by creating a love triangle.
In the third story, Netflix had the potential to take it in a positive direction and then did the opposite. This story, written by Myracle, is titled “The Patron Saint of Pigs” and the Netflix version didn’t even include the “Saint” character.
In the book Addie is a self-absorbed drama queen who recently broke up with her boyfriend. Her friends support her through her latest crisis and give her some real-talk that helps her on her path to becoming a better person. In the book, her ex-boyfriend, Jeb, is the only character featured in all three stories. Because of this, his character is essentially the glue that connects all the characters and storylines.
Jeb however, is villainized in the movie. I would understand the movie sacrificing a happy ending to their relationship so that Addie could grow on her own. However, it is implied that Addie ends up with another guy at the end, so the audience is left to wonder whether or not she was really able to change because of this.
The movie does create a bonus fourth story which follows Dorrie, Addie’s best friend who is interested in a cheerleader. The central problem is that the cheerleader is not out of the closet yet and it raises some issues in their budding relationship.
I really enjoyed this addition because it provided more representation for young audiences. It also illustrated some of the obstacles that same sex couples can face in relationships. In this case one of the girls is outed and the other still fears that she won’t be accepted by her friends if she does come out.
Overall, I found that the book and the movie are too different to be enjoyable when compared to one another. The movie adaptation does not follow the original storyline enough to truly do the book justice. On its own as a movie though, “Let It Snow” was sweet and entertaining and I would recommend it as a feel good holiday movie.