My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins (and others)

my true love gave to me

From Goodreads: 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.

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell (rating: 5/5 stars)

Cute story with that classic Rowell writing style. I was surprised by the level of character development that she was able to accomplish in so few words. This story perfectly captures the fear and uncertainty of change in relationships.

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link (rating: 2/5 stars)

This one was strange to read after Midnights. It was really interesting at first, but the magical element fell flat and wasn’t explained well enough for me. Also, I couldn’t connect with any of the characters, so it was kind of boring.

Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Pena (rating: 4.5/5 stars)

I enjoyed the male perspective, which is a little different for YA lit…we typically see a female narrator. This story was funny and sad all at the same time. I really enjoyed the writing and the fact that this story is wholly unique.

Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han (rating: 4.5/5 stars)

I was iffy about reading this one because I thought The Summer I Turned Pretty books were overrated and mega-boring. However, I was pleasantly surprised. This was placed well in this anthology because by the time I got to this story, I wanted something super Christmasy. What screams Christmas more than elves at the North Pole? Nothing, I tell you! This story was cute and sweet, a simple read that was easy to follow.

It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins (rating: 5/5 stars)

I love Stephanie Perkins. The character North from this story reminded me of Levi from Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl – kind, funny, intelligent…the perfect male lead character, in my opinion. I don’t typically enjoy the insta-love dynamic, and this wasn’t exactly that, but it was close. North and Marigold’s connection had actual depth and understanding, as opposed to that vapid omg I love you and must have you kind of thing. I wanted more!

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan (rating: 2/5 stars)

This story was sad…and kind of like…meh. There were two clear main characters, but they were apart for nearly the whole story, so it all just felt disconnected. I can’t describe the feeling I got from the ending…it’s like I get it, but I don’t get it at the same time. It just didn’t wow me.

Krampuslauf  by Holly Black (rating: 3/5 stars)

Interesting premise, but I was just skimming it by the time I got to the end. I didn’t care anything about the narrator’s friends…I wasn’t rooting for anyone…I could somewhat connect to the narrator’s need for some kind of magic in the universe, but this story was just missing something for me. I kind of liked the writing. I’ve never read anything by Holly Black before, so it was a little new for me.

What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman (rating: 4/5 stars)

I was a little bored in the beginning, then it got interesting, then it became cheesy. I liked the religious and racial elements; I liked to discussion on being outsiders and sticking out in a crowd. I thought the two characters’ dynamic was interesting, but then it became just another YA love story, making out on a couch and chirping cheesy lines at each other.

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire (rating: 4.5/5 stars)

I liked this story. It was cute and funny…and Gracie’s dad seems like the best dad ever. I also really enjoyed reading about that pastor’s daughter and the bad boy trope with a twist. He wasn’t trying to ruin her because of who her dad is and she wasn’t seeking out something rebellious so that she could stick it to the man. I thought their relationship dynamic was unique.

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White (rating: 5/5 stars)

I was pleasantly surprised by this story. Ben is such a great character: fun, easy to read about, and unsuspecting. As someone who’s experienced the step-dad dynamic, I especially liked how Maria’s relationship with Rick grew and developed in such a short amount of line-space. This would be a great full-length novel.

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter (rating: 5/5 stars)

I need this story to be a Hallmark movie like…yesterday. Or at least a full length novel. I could read about Lydia and Ethan all day. I loved it. I can’t think of anything else to say, but that I loved it.

The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (rating: 4/5 stars)

I loved Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and I can honestly tell you that she’s a masterful storyteller. However, I can see a lot of people being bored by it. It reads like it doesn’t belong in this anthology. I thought it was incredibly unique and special. I really enjoyed reading it.

Goodreads rating: 3.78/5 stars

Amazon.com rating: 4.2/5 stars

My overall rating: 4/5 stars

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

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