My True Love Gave To Me edited by Stephanie Perkins
Published On: October 9, 2014
Published By: Macmillan
Amazon | 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.
This anthology of twelve holiday love stories features very interesting and unique stories from twelve bestselling YA authors. The stories contained in this book are so different that it is impossible to give a brief synopsis overview. The stories range from cute contemporary to intriguing fantasy, so there is a story for everyone in this book.
Midnights by Rainbow Rowell – This is the first story in the anthology, despite it being set during New Year. This story follows two best friends who have been attending the same New Years’ party for four years but have yet to share a midnight kiss. This was one of my favourites stories. I thought the story was adorable and I really loved the characters. It’s amazing how Rainbow Rowell can give me so many feelings towards a couple in only a few pages. I would rate this story 5/5.
The Lady And The Fox by Kelly Link – The second story was very confusing for me. As far as I could understand, it is about a girl who sees a man outside of the house she is staying at for the holidays, but only when it snows. I found it very difficult to keep up with the magical realism element of this story and I felt as though there was not enough time for the author to properly explain what was going on. I would rate this story 2/5.
Angel’s In The Snow by Matt De La Pena – This story was just average for me, though I have seen a lot of people who love it. It follows a guy who is apartment sitting when he meets the girl upstairs. I didn’t feel much for the characters and I found the story to be a little boring for a lot of the time. I would rate this story 3/5.
Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han – This follows a girl who was adopted by Santa Claus and lives amongst the elves in the North Pole. However, the elves have yet to accept her. Initially this story felt a bit too much like the movie Elf but I was curious about where it would go. However, this is another story that was just average for me, which is a shame, as I usually love things set in the North Pole. I would rate this story 3/5.
It’s A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins – Of course, with this being written by Stephanie Perkins it was bound to be one of my favourites. This follows a girl who is attempting to enlist the help of the boy from the Christmas tree lot so befriends him first. I really loved these characters and the very cute story was an enjoyable read. I would rate this story 5/5.
You’re Temporary Santa by David Levithan – This story follows a boy who is asked by his boyfriend to dress up as Santa Claus in order to keep the magic of Christmas alive for his younger sister. I liked this story, especially the LGBT aspect of it, however I didn’t feel any connection to the characters. This was one of the stories that I think needed more than a few pages to be properly developed. I would rate this story 3/5.
Krampuslauf by Holly Black – I don’t really know what to say about this story, or really what it was about. I had to speed read this story as I really did not enjoy it, but I didn’t want to miss any of the stories out. I would rate this story 1/5.
What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman – This story is about a girl from a big city who feels like an outsider in her small town university. However, when she meets a fellow outsider, things don’t seem so bad. As silly as it sounds, I initially loved this story because the main characters name is Sophie (which is my name, if you didn’t know). As well as that, I did actually really enjoy this story. I thought the characters were pretty great and their story was just really cute. I would rate this story 4/5
Beer Buckets And Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire – This follows a boy who, following an incident in which he almost sets the local church on fire, is punished with community service which includes helping out with the church nativity play. It is through this that he meets the pastor’s daughter. This story reminded me a little of A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks, which I loved, so it had a lot to live up to. Obviously it was not going to reach those standards in a few pages but I did kind of enjoy it. It was another average read but not anything terrible. The characters were enjoyable and the story was reasonable cute but there was nothing that particularly stood out to me. I would rate this story 3.5/5.
Welcome To Christmas, CA by Kiersten White – This is another one of my favourite stories. It is about a girl who is desperate to escape the small town she lives in. However, when she meets the new chef at her mother’s Christmas themed restaurant where she works, her views on life start to change. I loved this story for so many reasons. There was so much more to it than just a love story as it covered some more serious issues, and to have done so that well in such a short story was admirable. While there was an adorable love story, there was also a further family aspect that I really enjoyed. To me, this was the most Christmassy of all the stories, which I loved. I would rate this story 5/5.
Star Of Bethlehem by Ally Carter – If this story hadn’t followed one of my favourites in the book I may have liked it more, but I did really enjoy it. This is about a girl who switches her plane ticket with a stranger and ends up spending the holidays pretending to be an Icelandic exchange student in a small town in Oklahoma named Bethlehem. This story was not only really sweet but it was very funny. I loved the witty banter between the main character and the love interest, but again this story had an added family aspect which played just as much of a role as the love story. I would rate this story 4/5.
The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor – I did not understand this story one bit. From what I could gather, it is about a girl who lives in a society where marriage is really the only option when they reach a certain age. This society has a tradition in which gift are given to the girls during the 25 days of Advent. I really struggled with this story. I think the fantasy elements needed much more than the few pages in order to be explained enough to be understood. I found this to be very confusing and felt no attachment to any of the characters or the story overall. I would rate this story 1/5.
Overall, I liked this anthology as a whole although there are definitely some stories I enjoyed more than others. My favourite stories were those by Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins and Keirsten White and I found the contemporary storied much more enjoyable. Those with fantasy elements, I felt, needed more space to be developed and while it was good to include a vast range of stories within the anthology, some just didn’t work for me with only a limited number of pages. I would definitely pick this up in future to reread some of my favourites.