Title: My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
Author: Stephanie Perkins (Editor)
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release Date: October 9th 2014
If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favourite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cosy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
So as Christmas is approaching I thought I’d get in the mood for the season and read a book that’s been on my shelves since July. Yes I brought a Christmas themed book in July, but at least I didn’t read it in the summer. While I’ve never read anything by most of the authors in this collection My True Love Gave To Me had stories from some of my all-time favourite contemporary authors, and even one from my favourite fantasy author.
Midnights by Rainbow Rowell
The first book in this novella was actually one of my favourites, then again I suspected no less from Rainbow Rowell. Set on New Year’s Eve over the course of a few years it tells a sweet though slightly unrequited love story. We only get to see these two characters over the course of the few New Year’s Eves they have together but their relationship was well developed in that time.
The Lady and The Fox by Kelly Link
I feel like this story had a slight magical realism feel to it. Like Midnight by Rainbow Rowell it’s set over the course of a few years but I feel this one could have done with a little more development. I didn’t really connect with either of the characters and the ending still confused me a little; I wasn’t sure what happened or who the antagonist was.
Angels In The Snow by Matt de la Peña
This book was told from a male’s POV which I felt was quite refreshing to see in YA contemporary books. I loved Shy’s character but didn’t really connect to Haley’s. Overall it was still a good read, different from the first two in that it felt more real than fluffy but still an amazing contemporary story.
Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han
I loved this story, after Midnights and The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer it’s probably one of my favourites. It’s a quirky tale, if you’ve read anything by Jenny Han before you can probably get a good feel for how she wrote the main character. All in all this story made me want to believe in Santa Claus again.
It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins
This is a love story that took place over a few hours, but it didn’t feel much like insta-love to me. It’s more the beginning of a love story that you know will develop with time. More than anything else this story was about bringing hope back to someone who had lost it, creating a Christmas miracle with a tree and some Christmas cheer.
Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan
It was really refreshing seeing a LGBT relationship in a collection of novellas like this, then again I haven’t read many novella collections like this. I liked the main character and his take on being a temporary Santa, as well as how he interacted with the two young girls while dressed in the red suit. I just wish we’d seen more of the relationship in person rather than through memories.
Krampuslauf by Holly Black
This was one I wasn’t a massive fan of. I’ve read some of Holly Black’s books before and really enjoyed them, and I think if this story had had more room to develop it would have been a lot better. When it comes down to it I just didn’t really connect with any of the characters, their situation, or what happened in the story.
What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman
This was a story about hardships, about loss, and about making new memories and traditions. Sophie is stuck in her small-town university, where everyone is Christian and she is away from home for the first time over Hanukkah. I loved Sophie’s take on her small-town life, her inner voice, and the other student she has met but above all I loved the relationship between her and Russell.
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire
I wasn’t really a massive fan of this one either. It was an interesting premise but I couldn’t connect with any of the characters and unfortunately they were a major part of this story.
Welcome To Christmas, CA by Kiersten White
When I started this one I wasn’t sure about it, but the more I read and the more I discovered about the people of Christmas, CA the more I loved it. There was a lot the main character assumed, about her home and the people she surrounded herself with, but she soon learns that many of her assumptions aren’t correct. It’s a beautiful story with a beautiful ending.
Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter
This was a good story, but I felt it could have used some additional development in order to have made me really enjoy it. It was a sweet story, and a sweet romance with a sweet message, but it felt like too much in a short space of time and the development kind of fell in the wayside.
The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Laini Taylor’s story was the one I was the most excited to read, and it seems like they saved the best for last in this collection of novellas.
When it comes to telling a story Laini Taylor has a beautiful way of writing that seems almost magical, and even though this was a relatively short story it was just as amazing as her full length novellas. This story was the only fantasy one of the lot but it still had a heart-warming romance full of wonder and enchantment.
This book was one that was recommended to me while I was at YALC and I’m glad I picked it up and started reading. It was a perfect Christmas read, full of light-hearted and fluffy romances to warm the heart.
What did you think of My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.