Monday, October 13, 2014

My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

Title: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
Authors: Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt De La Pena, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor and Kiersten White
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Classification: Young Adult, Short Stories, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic, Christmas
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Source: e-galley via NetGalley (Thanks St. Martin's Press!)
Read: October 2014
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. 
***I received an e-galley of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

I really have not read that many books that are short story collections, so I wasn't sure how much I was going to enjoy this book. But there were several authors that I either like or have heard of (out of the twelve authors, I have only read books by four of them, but I had heard of five of the other authors) and I enjoy the holidays, so I thought it would be a good book to read. 

And I am really glad that I decided to give it a read. This book is full of cute, heartwarming, lovely holiday stories. I really like that these twelve stories have diversity. There are different ethnicities, holiday traditions/beliefs/celebrations, and different kinds of relationships. 

One thing I did notice while reading these stories, is that it felt (at least to me) that most of the stories have broken family homes. Single parents, stepparents, adoptive parents, dead parents. It felt like there were very few families where the parents were still together. It doesn't really bother me, I don't feel like it took away from me enjoying the stories, it is just something that I did take note of while reading.

Overall, I really enjoyed the stories in this collection. There are some stories that I enjoyed A LOT more than others. But I think that on some level, I was able to entertainment in each of the stories. 

1. Midnights by Rainbow Rowell
I LOVE this story. Very much. It was just so cute and adorable. I love the flashbacks to the other New Year's Eves. I love that it takes place during New Year's Eve. And even though it is a short story, I was able to connect to these characters instantly. I love them. And I really wished that their story did not have to end. I was left wanting more, but also satisfied with the story. I adore Rainbow Rowell's writing and this holiday story did not disappoint me at all. 

2. The Lady And The Fox by Kelly Link
This story I did not like as much as the others. I found it to be a little weird. But there were parts of it that kept me wanting to know more. I was intrigued by the guy that Miranda sees and wondered why he was so mysterious. But the ending left me confused. 

3. Angels In The Snow by Matt De La Pena
Overall, I found this story to be cute. A young man is cat and apartment sitting when he encounters the girl upstairs. I like the dialogue between the two characters and was very interested in the conversations and encounters that they would have. I also like that it is told from the male point of view. 

4. Polaris Is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han
I enjoyed this story. I love Jenny Han's writing and enjoyed the fantasy element of the story. The main character is a human girl that lives in the North Pole with Santa and the elves. I liked the characters and was interested in Natty and her story. But I feel like the ending was open-ended. I wanted more and wanted to know what was going to happen next.

5. It's A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins
I LOVE this story too! Stephanie Perkins does an amazing job creating characters that I care about instantly. This story is full of cuteness and heart. I loved getting to know the characters and watching them get to know each other. And I absolutely loved the chemistry and banter between them. So adorable. Definitely one of my favorites of all the stories!

6. Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan
This story felt really short to me. I really found what the main character does for his boyfriend's family to be really sweet. This story is full of love and is thoughtful. It brought a smile to my face.

7. Krampuslauf  by Holly Black
This story was different. I enjoyed reading the story, but I didn't fall in love with it. I didn't really feel a connection with the characters or what they were doing. I was more interested in the fantasy aspect of the story and the traditions. The story did grab my attention more at the end.

8. What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman
I liked this story. I enjoyed the characters and their interactions. Overall, I think that it is a sweet story. And I really like that it felt realistic. Especially when it comes to Sophie and her "What the hell have you done" moments. I felt like I was able to relate with this.

9. Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire
This story was alright. I was entertained by what was happening and the decisions that the main character made. I like that it is also told from a male point of view. And I liked that this story showed some hope and redemption. It was entertaining and I like the characters.

10. Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White
I love this story. I really enjoyed these characters. Maria is just living her life waiting for the day that she can leave where she is living. She works in a diner that her mother manages after school. And she seems pretty unhappy. Then things change close to Christmas time. The diner gets a new young cook named Ben. I really love the banter between Maria and Ben. And watching their relationship develop was a lot of fun. I also really like that we get to see relationship development between Maria and her mother. I found this story to be really cute and sweet. With characters that I came to love.

11. Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter
This was a fun story to read. I feel like the story kept me on my toes. I kept trying to guess about what the main character was running away from and her secret. I really love the family element of this story. And the small glimpses of a different holiday culture.

12. The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor
I found this story to be really interesting. It is set in a different place and time. I found the storyline to be fascinating and different (in a good way). I was not expecting the ending. But I was left happy and with a smile on my face at the end of this story.

My Recommendation:
If you enjoy reading short stories and love books to get you in the holiday spirit, then I definitely recommend reading this book of holiday short stories. There were a few stories that I absolutely love and several others that I really enjoyed reading. These short stories are diverse and full of love and cuteness. I do not regret reading them and will probably re-read some of them during the holidays.

My Rating:

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