Published: October 14th 2014
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If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite 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 cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.
Rating an anthology is hard. That was my first thought when I finished reading all the stories. I mean I really loved some, hated a couple and thought a few were just okay. All together it was a great gathering of different holiday stories, but some hit the mark more than others. So in the long run I thought it would be best for me to rate each individually and then average those stars together at the end. Each review is brief as to not give anything away, but more my initial thoughts on the story.
Midnights by Rainbow Rowell – 5 stars
Loved this one! It had such a great Rainbow Rowell vibe to it. It was truthful and had heart and made me feel like I felt reading Fangirl. It had the perfect amount of holiday Magic and was the perfect start to the anthology.
The Lady & the Fox by Kelly Link – 2 stars
I’m still not sure exactly what this story was about. When I was done I thought I was stupid for not understanding what I just read. I was really confused. Basically this story wasn’t for me.
Angels in the Snow by Matt de La Peña – 4.5 stars
This story was one that I wanted a whole book of. I loved first that it was from a guy’s point of view and second that the characters were so different yet similar in some ways. They had amazing chemistry and formed a fast bond. Seriously would not have been opposed to a longer story.
Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han – 4 stars
This story had the magical whimsy you expect from holiday stories and the awesome real ness of a Jenny Han book. I loved the fantasy aspect that is so often attached to Christmas but done in a way that you don’t really think of it as not being real. It was simply an adorable addiction to this book.
It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins – 5 stars
I was scared reading a Perkins story that did not involve an Anna, Lola or Isla in it. I mean really scared. But guys…this was pure Stephanie Perkins! The writing, the characters, the setting. It was EVERYTHING that is perfect about Stephanie and everything I love about her. I’m now convinced girl would write the phone book and I would read it 9000 times! One of my faves in the book.
Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan – 3 stars
I wasn’t crazy about this one. I thought it was okay and I really liked the characters, but I felt like it was too short to get anything done it in. It felt really muddled where it tried to get all the things in to a few short pages. I wasn’t really sure what it was trying to say. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either.
Krampusluaf by Holly Black – 3 stars
This story was plain weird. It was a mix of contemporary and fantasy and I don’t think I liked the blending of the two. I mean I really enjoyed the contemporary part (why it got 3 stars). That part really worked for me. But then it just got strange and I was really confused on what to think. I think stiking to one or the other would have been a better choice for me. It just wasn’t my kind of story.
What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman – 5 stars
Gayle Forman at her finest. I just loved this. I loved how it dealt with stereotypes and assumptions. I loved how two people that were different found a random connection and went with it. I love that it all happened in one night. Like I said, Gayle Forman at her finest.
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire – 4 stars
I liked this one. I had a little more religion in it than some of the others which was fine because it wasn’t preachy. I liked that it was from the town “bad boy” POV. And I loved what he learned just by someone taking a chance on him. It was a cute story that was silly at times, but all in all really enjoyable and well written.
Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White – 5 stars
My fave in the whole anthology. I loved EVERYTHING about this story. The characters, the plot, the setting. It is seriously everything it is so true about Christmas that we all sometimes forget. Sometimes you just need to make people smile. Sometimes you just need to give up on something to see something better. Sometimes you just need to believe in that holiday magic. Another one I wished was longer.
Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter – 3.5 stars
This was cute. Not 100% memorable as I had to read other reviews to jog my memory as to what it was about, but it was definitely cute. I’m not sure it was long enough for it to make the best of an impact, but I know I didn’t hate it and I felt bad for the main character and thought the boy in it was adorable.
The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – 2 stars
I struggled with this one. Like really, really struggled. It was so not my kind of story at all and I was sad it was the last one. The only reason I finished it was because it was the last one. I was just not interested and it was plain weird for my taste. Not the best ender in my opinion, but some may like it if they are into more fantasy than I am.
In totally I enjoyed this anthology and never struggled reading it until the end. It was fun and a great way to ease into the holiday season which is quickly approaching. I would definitely recommend picking it up just for some of the stories I loved. And even for the ones I didn’t. Just because those ones weren’t for me doesn’t mean they may not be for you.
I love the way you organized these by switching red and green – so festive! I agree with pretty much all of these ratings, though I liked Laini Taylor’s more than you and Jenny Han’s less. I agree that Kiersten White’s is FANTASTIC and I loved Matt De la Pena’s. Plus Rainbos Rowell and Stephanie Perkins, you can’t go wrong there!! What I love about this anthology is the fact that I LOVED some stories. liked others and found a few to be a little weird, but none were so long that they dragged and brought the book down for me. If I wasn’t feeling the story, or even if I was, t could move on and discover the next one. Maybe it would be my new favorite, maybe not, but the discovery experience was so fun. Anyway, glad you enjoyed this as a whole! I hope Perkins does another one of these.
We have very similar thoughts! Stephanie Perkins’ was my favorite, but I also loved Gayle Forman’s, Rainbow Rowell’s, and Kiersten White’s! I can understand Laini Taylor’s not being your thing, but I thought the writing was just so gorgeous.
I hope we get more anthologies like this in the future from YA authors!
Great review, hon!
I’m glad you enjoyed the My True Love Gave To Me anthology overall! Like you, I enjoyed some stories more than others, which I think is something that always happens with anthologies. The only difference of opinion we have is about Laini Taylor’s tale, because I just thought the writing was beautiful and the story incredibly dreamlike. Woohoo to a festive holiday read!
I’ve only read Rainbow Rowell’s story so far. Have yet to read the rest. 😛 But RR’s story was so good. I feel like I should have read it last. LOL
[…] read this book last year and it just made me smile. It brought a lot of my favorite authors together with 12 short […]