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REVIEW: Let It Snow (2019)

Updated: May 30, 2020


I have a strange relationship with film adaptations of books. I really struggle to enjoy them, normally being preoccupied with comparing it to the book; famous lines, favourite scenes, descriptions of characters. I have been known to get annoyed over the smallest things, like when an actor’s hair colour doesn't match with the character’s (I know it’s all about acting at the end of the day, but still…). Yet, when I heard that the book Let It Snow was being made into a film by Netflix, I absolutely squealed with happiness. The day that it was released, I sat down eagerly ready to press that play button. But was it everything that I had hoped for?


Let It Snow is one of my favourite seasonal reads. I’ve probably re-read it every year since it was published. I love it for its warmth, ease, and love. You can most definitely devour it in one sitting. I’ll give you a little background on the plot(s) of the book, so we can have some comparison with the film. PSA: There will probably be some spoilers in here, I apologise!


The book contains three short stories written by Lauren Myracle, John Green, and Maureen Johnson. All three plots are set in the same small town on Christmas Eve during a snow-storm, featuring intermingling characters and settings. The first story is centred around Jubilee, whose train breaks down in the storm, causing her to enter a waffle house for warmth. Along the way, she meets a boy named Stuart and their story unfolds. The next story follows a friendship group whose tale revolves around a party, the waffle house, some cheerleaders, and a brewing romance (can you tell this was written by John Green?). The final short story is that of heartbroken Addie, who tries to prove herself as a good friend through collecting a micro-pig (yep, you heard right) and aims to fix her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Jeb, who appeared earlier in the book. As you can imagine, all of the characters end up meeting or knowing one another.



I understand, for production reasons, why some plots/scenes may have need to be changed - sometimes fictional scenes, not made for the screen, just aren’t do-able. However, I felt that this film changed too many unnecessary things. Firstly, in the Jubilee storyline (my favourite from the book) the film switched the roles of Jubilee and Stuart – making him the outsider who meets someone from the town, rather than Jubilee. This may not seem significant, but I don’t understand the need for this. Why did this need to be changed? Also, Stuart was transformed from an ordinary, soft boy to a famous singer. Can I just say, what on Earth? This made the entire storyline feel like a fanfic. Believe it or not, a YA book is already targeted to young adults, so the plot doesn’t need to be changed even more to fit a certain fangirl demographic. Netflix took an achievable, cute romance and turned it into something off Wattpad. However, Isabel Merced who played Jubilee (Transformers: The Last Light) and Shameik Moore who played Stuart (Dope and The Get Down) had great chemistry and really sold the romance, despite the story departing from the book.


Secondly, there is the story written by John Green. This section seemed to keep fairly close to the book’s plot. Go figure. Keirnan Shipka (from Netflix’s Sabrina) played The Duke, being involved in the romance plot. Shipka was the perfect choice, playing the character to the book, being the cute yet edgy tomboy who wants to break out of her stereotype. The romance between her and Tobin, played by Mitchell Hope (Descendants), was just as heart-warming to watch unfold as it was to read. One aspect that I wasn't so keen on, for all of the plots, was the shift in locations. The book feels very close-knit, being set in a handful of locations. However, the film seemed to jump around unnecessarily, losing that 'small-town' vibe.


Lastly, we have Johnson’s story about friendship and a micropig. To be honest, the book's plot was lost in this film. One of the main characters in the book, Jeb, was the least significant part in the film which seemed a strange move to make. The pig was also irrelevant, making its appearance in the film rather jarring, especially if you hadn’t read the book. However, these downfalls were made up with the adaptation of a same-sex couple, played by Liv Hewson (Santa Clara Diet) and Youtube star Anna Akana. Hurrah! This fit perfectly into the story and felt needed to complete the love stories in the film. Just a shame about Jeb, but you win some, you lose some.


Overall, I am really happy about the attention that YA has started to receive from other platforms over the past for yeas, mainly thanks to The Fault in Our Stars film (2014), and can’t wait to see more effort be put into them. But for now, we will have to take the fanfic-like adaptions and departures from the plots that we all know and love.


3/5 stars


Love, Kate x

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