My True Love Gave to Me: A Book Review

Hi!

It’s been far too long since I posted a book review, and so, in honor of the holiday season, I’ve decided to offer a weekend review of My True Love Gave to Me! Have you read this short story collection?

My True Love Gave to MeTitle: My True Love Gave to Me

Author: Edited by Stephanie Perkins

Published: October 14th, 2014 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 320

Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary and Magical Realism

Source: Library / Hardcover

Series: N/A

Summary: 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 {Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de La Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Tayler and Kiersten White}, edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins.  Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, 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. {Goodreads}

My Thoughts: My reading list lacks YA short story collections simply because there’s not many to choose from in the first place! Fortunately, Stephanie Perkin’s newly released anthology, My True Love Gave to Me, fills that void – and it’s centered around the most wonderful time of year, no less. Imbuing readers with the holiday spirit, True Love captures what’s best about the season: the magic and love that only comes once a year. I’ve broken down my review into thoughts of each story; read on for more!

MidnightsRainbow Rowell has taken the YA market by storm, so it comes as little surprise that her short story is one of the best of the collection. Broken up into New Year’s Eves of past and present, Rowell’s story is unmatched in its sweet, nostalgic manner. I can’t think of a better way to start the anthology.

The Lady and the FoxI tried my hardest to enjoy Kelly Link’s The Lady and the Fox, but the strange use of magical realism didn’t capture my interest. While the story does use beautiful settings to its advantage, the disjointed plot and characters have the opposite effect: I finished it more confused and frustrated than ever. This one is certainly the weak “link” of the collection {excuse my bad pun :)}.

Angels in the SnowOne thing I love about short story collections is how they introduce me to authors I wouldn’t normally seek out. Although I hadn’t heard of Matt de la Peña’s novels – much less read them – his contribution, Angels in the Snow, has me excited to try his books in the new year. It was refreshing to have a male point-of-view, and with his simple narration, readers are immersed in a story of Christmas Eve gone wrong.

Polaris is Where You'll Find MeI wish I enjoyed Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me more, as Jenny Han has impressed me with her other novels on more than one occasion. However, her short story fell, quite literally, short, compared to the other works in the book. It has an adorable premise {human girl as an elf?!}, but it needs more development before I could declare this one a winner.

It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie BrownHaving read Stephanie Perkin’s outstanding short story, I feel even worse for not reading Anna and the French Kiss yet! I will definitely make an effort to do so in the new year – Perkin’s superb character development and terrific flow in writing shown here have given me high expectations for her other works.

Your Temporary SantaMy True Love Gave to Me succeeds in providing a diverse cast of characters, as displayed with David Levithan’s gay, Jewish protagonist. Although I can’t name Your Temporary Santa a favorite of mine, I love Levithan’s easy and simple style of writing; it matches well with the subject of his story and engrosses readers from page one.

KrampuslaufI haven’t read anything by Holly Black outside of this, but her reputation for the strange and quirky is well-known. This holds true for Krampuslauf, her contribution to the collection. It won’t be every reader’s cup of tea, but I admire her for expanding upon the recurring girl-meets-boy trend.

What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?I feel as if Gayle Forman could write anything, and I’d enjoy it! In typical Forman fashion, her story, What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?, is all types of cute, and, despite its short page count, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the main character. While it wasn’t perfect {I personally found the ending too abrupt}, the characterization makes this a winning contribution.

Beer Buckets and Baby JesusA holiday-themed short story collection couldn’t be without one mention of a Christmas pageant! :) Myra McEntire writes from a male point of view and delivers with her humorous short story. I haven’t read anything else by McEntire, but if they’re anything like Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus, I will certainly need to fix that soon.

Welcome to Christmas, CAI have only tried one other book by Kiersten White {catch my review of Mind Games here!}, so upon finishing her short story, I had to double check I was thinking of the same author! It wasn’t what I was expecting from White, but, fortunately, I absolutely adored it. She develops the characters and their relationships with such ease.

Star of BethlehemAlly Carter’s Star of Bethlehem was another surprise, both in what I was expecting from the author and what I was expecting while reading it! Even so, I enjoyed it quite a bit; Carter has such a talent with adorable romances and family relationships.

The Girl Who Woke the DreamerFinally, Laini Taylor’s The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer ends the anthology on a magical note. I believe my short supply of fantasy reading limited my enjoyment of the story, but nevertheless, I am eager to try her other novels come the new year.

Overall: I give the collection 4 stars {****}, and I recommend it for ages 13 and up.

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

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