I am on a mission! I am going to read one Christmas themed book for each week leading up to the holiday. I have been avoiding this particular genre forever, but last year I watched one of those cheesy movies on Netflix and now I can’t stop! I will likely be that person that Netflix calls out for watching Christmas Prince three times a day for the entire month of December (but not really).
Anyway, I wanted to start this adventure with Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle because the movie just came out and I have never read the book. A friend of mine said she reads it every year before Christmas, so it seemed like a good beginning. Of course, with all movies based on books, I expected some changes, but this movie was so incredibly different that I wouldn’t have made the connection if I didn’t have all the latest book covers telling me this is supposed to be the same story.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
The Jubilee Express
The only similarity between these two stories is that there is a train, a snow storm, and a guy named Stuart. I liked both versions, but there’s no way that they should ever be considered to be the same story. The plot line and motivations for the main characters are completely different. Jubilee just wants to get in touch with her boyfriend throughout the book, while her film counterpart, Julie, is trying to hide her college acceptance from her sick mother. Stuart is a dorky older brother in the book, where his movie counterpart is a lonely celebrity musician. Sure, the stories end similarly, but they take completely different routes to get there.
A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle
This movie adaptation follows the book version a little better, in that there are three teens trying to get to a party at Waffle Town in the middle of a storm. Tobin, The Duke (Angie), and JP are on a mission to get there with Twister (book) or beer (movie), as there is a large group of cheerleaders waiting out the storm in the company of their friend Keun. The big difference is that JP is either just a friend of the two (book) or he’s a possible love interest for Angie (movie), which causes issues for the trio. The outcome of Tobin confessing his love for Angie and highjinks from some local thugs keep this story from completely diverging from the original.
The Patron Saint of Pigs
Now this story had me completely confused because the book is totally focused on Addie, but I would have said that the main character in the movie was her friend Dorrie. Addie is still a spoiled and self-absorbed person who treats her friends poorly, but in the movie her story is secondary to Dorrie’s love story with one of the cheerleaders. In the book Addie’s boyfriend is a nice guy who is trying to get to her for the holidays, while in the book he is portrayed as a guy who is tired of his overbearing girlfriend. Personally, I like the movie version better in this case because Addie learns to be a better friend to Dorrie.
Like I said, I was rather surprised at how much the movie diverged from the source material. Did the authors have any say in how their stories were told? Am I the only one that thinks it is weird that John Green’s story was the only one that remained mostly intact? I really hope that just because he is the more famous of the authors, that he didn’t get preferential treatment in this situation.
Have you read the book? Did you see the movie? What do you think of either one, or both?