My True Love Gave to Me || Edited by Stephanie Perkins || Romance || 321 pages || St. Martin’s Press || 3.79 on Goodreads
Summary 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.
I know, I know! It’s March already and I’ve only just finished reading this book. Although the festive season is very much over, for me, that didn’t spoil the gorgeous atmosphere of the anthology. I really believe you can read this any time of the year (although the winter months are probably best.)
Going into this collection of winter romances, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that the book was absolutely stunning with the mint green (one of my favourite colours) cover, pretty pink pages and golden lettering and when I saw it in the library, I couldn’t resist.
There isn’t much I can say about the anthology as a whole except from this: the diversity blew me away. There are black people. There are Mexican people. There are gay people. There’s people that don’t even celebrate Christmas. With every story, I kept being more and more (pleasantly) surprised at how well this collection of stories did at representing so many backgrounds and ethnicities. In addition to that we also got to see different types of love, not just romantic. And that is why this anthology is so, so special and brilliant.
Now I’m going to talk a little bit about each story individually but I honestly recommend you don’t read this bit until you’ve actually read the book. There won’t be any spoilers but it may be better for you to do it that way.
Midnights by Rainbow Rowell
Honestly, when I read this story I thought it was the cutest, most adorable thing I have ever read. I can’t believe I haven’t read any of Rainbow Rowell’s books yet! For just 25 pages, this story has definitely got a lot of different things in there that could make up a whole book and because of that I felt like I knew the characters really well before the story was over.
The Lady and The Fox by Kelly Link
The difference between this romantic story and the previous one was so big I didn’t know what to think. I was expecting all of them to be cutesy and contemporary like the first one but this one had more of a fantasy/paranormal element to it and I liked that this story took my expectations and flipped them. However, the story itself wasn’t too interesting and I was really close to just skipping over it.
Angels In The Snow by Matt de la Peña
I was three chapters into this story before I realised that Shy was a guy and not a girl. I guess it’s because the two stories before were from the girl’s POV and I wasn’t thinking that it could be the boy speaking this time. This story, in parts, wasn’t cute at all and it dealt with some serious issues and did like how the story wasn’t just pure romance but also had a character arc in there too which is what I found with many of the stories in this collection.
Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han
I don’t really know what to think of this one. I liked the idea but, as it was one of the shorter stories, I just wanted more. I would have liked a chapter at the beginning and a chapter at the end. The idea was original and I never expected anything like it but it could have been executed better.
It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins
Stephanie Perkins, like with anything else she’s ever written, had this story’s cuteness off the scales. I absolutely adored both the characters and, since this was one of the longer stories, we really got a lot of background story for the characters which was wonderful. It was one of those stories in which I loved the characters both separately and together.
Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan
Ahh, I knew we had to have a LBGT story here somewhere and, honestly, that made me really happy. Another 10 points for diversity, even though the story was also about the sisters and relationships between all those people all around. This one gave me more of food for thought than the others, something that left me thinking about it even days after. I would have liked it to be longer at both ends of the story because I felt like we just got the middle and it frustrated me a little but apart from that is was amazing.
Krampuslauf by Holly Black
I’ve actually only read about ten pages of this one before I decided to skip it. I wasn’t sure on the idea and I’ve found that Holly Black is an author that I need at least 50 pages of before I can get used to her writing style. I didn’t want it to slow me down since I was already in a reading slump so I moved onto the next one.
What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman
This one has to be one of my favourite ones in the entire collection. I can’t really put a finger on what made me love this one so much. Perhaps just that it felt like a Gayle Forman story and, of course, the diversity was stunning and wonderful to see.
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire
Welcome To Christmas, CA by Kiersten White
I absolutely devoured this story and it is definitely one of my favourites. Kiersten White took the idea of a typical love story and made it into a love story from more than one front. I loved the family relationships in this story as much as I loved the romantic relationship and that really made it stand out to me.
Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter
This is another little tale that I flew through. I loved the idea and I loved the main character’s background and the setting and the atmosphere and the tragedy that was behind all of it too. Ally Carter did an amazing job at making the story so complex in just 30-ish pages.
The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor
This one I found a little strange as this is the first time I’m reading Laini Taylor (I know, I know. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone is on my TBR.) But I really liked the setting and the tradition that this story revolves around. Though, the mystery of it must have definitely been the highlight of the story for me.
Overall, I really enjoyed the collection as a whole. I’m giving it a rating of 4 stars because although there were some that I adored with all my heart, some I did not enjoy as much and a couple I had to skip. I’m super excited that another anthology by Stephanie Perkins has been confirmed which will involve more summery romances and will be coming out summer 2016. Can’t wait!