Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Review: My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

Title: My True Love Gave to Me
Author: Stephanie Perkins & more
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Anthology
Release date: October 14th, 2014
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon Author

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.

I love anthologies, Christmastime, and many of the authors who took part in creating My True Love Gave to Me.  It was obvious that I needed to read it this season!  In this book of 12 short stories, readers will be pulled into the magic of Winter.  Each tale is filled with hope and budding romance, which completely warmed my heart.  The only thing that could have made this reading experience better is if it actually felt like December outside.  What's up with the 50 degree weather and lack of snow, Wisconsin?

My favorite contributions of the bunch included Rainbow Rowell's Midnights, Stephanie Perkin's It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown, Holly Black's Krampuslauf, and Kiersten White's Welcome to Christmas, CA.  Here's my individual rating of each holiday story:

-Midnights by Rainbow Rowell: This book starts off with a bang (literally--it's a story about New Year's Eve!).  Like any of Rainbow's work, I was destined to fall in love with this story about New Year's kisses.  While it was a great way to pull readers into this book quickly, it may disappoint readers who hope for the same amount of spark.  (5/5)

-The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link: This one had a few interesting characters and dove more into magical realism, but it didn't grip me the way I wished it would.  I think some people are going to have a difficult time getting into it because it's too short to give any explanation. (2/5)

-Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Pena: Okay, so the guy's name is Shy...and that happens to be how you pronounce my name, which I never see in books.  While I thought that was pretty cool, I enjoyed this story as well.  Based in a New York apartment, a boy and girl who didn't get a chance to escape the city to spend Christmas with their families due to a blizzard end up coming together.  Nicely written, very cute. (4/5)

-Polaris Is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han: I wanted to like this a lot.  Jenny Han's story takes place in the North Pole, where a human girl is adopted by Santa and grows up realizing she doesn't quite fit in (which reminded me of Elf, one of my favorite Christmas movies!).  It was cute, but maybe more suited for younger readers, as it felt a little immature. (3/5)

-It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: I loved everything about this story!  A girl who doesn't have much to spend ends up meeting a handsome stranger at the tree lot who helps her in more ways than she could have possibly imagined.  Stephanie Perkins romances are always sweet.  (5/5)

-Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan: I'm happy that an LGBT story was included, but this one didn't captivate me as much.  It felt much shorter than the rest, and I wish I felt more of a connection to the characters. (3/5)

-Krampuslauf by Holly Black: This one was so different in all the best ways.  It just screams Holly Black, and I can't imagine anyone else writing this.  When most people think of holiday celebrations, you think of all things warm, comforting and beautiful...not Krampus, the terrifying horned demon who punishes bad children.  The story starts off contemporary and takes a twist, throwing characters into fantasy.  (5/5)

-What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman: Sophie, a New York City girl, is stuck at her college in the Midwest for Hanukkah, which she didn't plan on celebrating until she met a boy named Russell.  I loved the diversity and the way each character understood each other.  (4/5)

-Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire: A prank-pulling, mischief-making boy gets suckered into helping the church out with the yearly Nativity scene.  There, he falls for the pastor's daughter.  I also enjoyed this story a lot.  The characters were cute and went together perfectly. (4/5)

-Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White: When I started this, I wasn't sure whether I would like this story or not.  As I continued, I ended up loving it...especially Ben, the adorably quirky, seemingly-magical love interest.  It was a lot heavier than I expected it to be, based on the previous stories I read, but that's what really made it stand out. (5/5)

-Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter: A teenage girl chooses to exchange plane tickets with a stranger.  She doesn't care where she's headed, as long as it's not where she's supposed to be.  This intrigued me, and the story started off strong, but the romance didn't have me convinced.  (3/5)

-The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: I love Laini Taylor (her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series is one of my favorites) but I couldn't even make it halfway through this story.  I just wasn't feeling the fantasy after reading so much contemporary romance.  (1/5)

Overall, I think that My True Love Gave to Me would make the perfect gift to give this holiday season.  There's something for everyone between these pages.

1 comment:

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