Friday, January 9, 2015

Novel Review: My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins and Eleven Others

Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance, Holiday Anthology
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

The Cover:

I love the cover for this book. It's simple and classic and pretty. It looks very holiday themed, and I love that the couples on the cover actually represent the couples in the book. That's impressive. It's just pretty to look at, too.


  • ·         “…then maybe I was wrong about the things I thought I couldn’t have, that weren’t for me. Maybe it was okay to imagine greater things. Maybe it was all for me, if I wanted it.” (Hardback, Kramuslauf, pg. 175)

  • ·         “‘I’m of the opinion,’ she said, tucking her arm around mine, ‘that if you let a single life event define you, then all you need to change things—if you want them to change—is another.’” (Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus, pg. 221)

  • ·         “‘Are you trying to fix me?’
    'Why? Are you broken?’”
    (Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus, pg. 221)

  • ·         “‘I’m hopping on a bus and going until I can’t go any farther. Until I find a place that feels like home.’
    He’s quite for a long time. ‘How will you know what home feels like?’”
    (Welcome to Christmas, CA, pg. 249)

  • ·         “There were no glimmering moments where their looks hooked on to each other and grew hot, and no catching sight of one of the boys in a ray of sun and thinking, I wonder what his skin tastes like.” (The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer, pg. 297)


I’m not too sure how to even review this, since I want to give attention to all of the stories. I had pretty different experiences from each of them.
I’m going to start with the bad first, then work my way up to my favorites.
Laini Taylor’s The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer just did not work for me. I think other people would really like it, though. The writing, and the world of it, though, was very high fantasy. I’m not a fan of high fantasy, so this story was hard for me to even get through.
Ally Carter’s The Star of Bethlehem fell a little flat for me. I liked the overall plot of it, but it felt rushed and a little cheesy to me, and the attraction between the couple wasn’t given enough time to actually develop for me. I know other people really enjoyed this one, though.
Honestly, I think those were the only two that I really didn’t enjoy. Now it’s just average to love-it-completely.
David Levithan’s Your Temporary Santa, I think I expected more from. It was definitely a good story, and I really enjoyed the believe-in-santa aspect, but it also seemed a little sad, though understandably. Wasn’t a bad story, though.
Jenny Han’s Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me didn’t quite resonate with me, either. I really liked the idea behind it, and thought that I would like it a lot more, but I think I wanted more from it. It was kind of sad, and I think more development from it would have been nice.
Holly Black’s Kramuslauf was very interesting. I was not expecting this, and I’ve never read one of her books before, but I might now. There was more fantasy then I expected, and I felt like there was more story to it, like it should have been longer and explored more, but I enjoyed it. I especially like the narrator and the idea behind it.
Matt de la Pena’s Angel in the Snow was good, if a little average. I really enjoyed the main character and his thoughts, but the overall story and romance didn’t hit me as well as it could have. The humor was good, though. It’s made me interested to try one of his full-length novels.
Kelly Link’s The Lady and The Fox could have used more time, maybe, but I rather enjoyed it. The magical element to it was nice, and I really enjoyed the relationship between the two main characters. The ending seemed a little… too good to be true, but I’m okay with letting that slide.
Now it’s into the really-love ones.
Myra McEntire’s Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus was very good. The main character was a sweet heart, and I loved the way he and the girl got to know each other, and how she surprised him and he grew. This was a good story, and now I really want to pick up one of her novels.
Gayle Forman’s What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? I’ll admit I expected to love more, but I still really enjoyed it. It was more new adult than young adult, which I liked, and it seemed like it could have easily been a full-length novel—not that it needed more development, but that it could have been explored more. This was a very cute story.
These next three are fighting for number one, and I seriously can’t decide which one I loved most. (Probably Perkins, but the other two are just as good, really.)
Kiersten White’s Welcome to Christmas, CA was adorable. I’ll admit up front to knowing I’d love it, because I love all White’s stories, but it was still adorable. Starring a love interest who is kind of magic with food, a girl who wants to leave home only to actually work things out with her family… I loved it, and am so impressed.
Raindow Rowell’s Midnights was a surprise. I’ve only read Eleanor and Park of hers, so I expected this to be not-quite so happy, but it was adorable. The timeline of the attraction between these two, and then the final make-up moment was perfect. It was adorable and sweet, and I loved it.
Stephanie Perkins' It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown was even better than I expected. I knew it would be cute, but I didn’t know it would be this cute and sweet. I loved the main character, and the love interest was so sweet and adorable. This story was perfect, and I’ve already re-read key scenes in it.
This collection of short stories was more than lovely, and I’m so glad I picked it up. I would highly recommend this to fans of the authors, to holiday-story fans; really, if you like happy, sweet stories, especially holiday ones, I would suggest picking it up. The stories are fantastic, and it’s a pretty book.

A review copy was provided by the publisher, St. Martin’s Press. Thank you!

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