MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME
A collection of short stories by various authors
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, October 14, 2014
My star rating: 3 stars (see each story for their own rating)
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. Find it on Goodreads
I very rarely read short stories. But seeing as how these ones were a Christmas collection, I HAD to give it a shot! I was hoping that these would be quick, cute and adorable stories that would get me in holiday spirit….. and they did! Well, for the most part anyways.
I have a few different reasons why short stories aren’t usually for me, and this collection was no exception. Some short stories you just want more. The characters and their lives are so intriguing that 30 pages is too short, and it leaves you wanting so much more! Then there are other stories that, due to their short length, don’t give enough time to allow an emotional connection. You don’t have enough time to get to know the characters and their lives, and it ends up feeling like a matter of fact story that doesn’t connect with you in any way. There was a good mix of both of these situations. Some were just fantastic and I wish that I had a few more pages with these stories, and others were just so “distant” feeling and I had ZERO emotional attachment.
The other good thing about short stories? You can DNF (did not finish) it and feel absolutely no guilt because you’re only giving up on a few pages! That I LOVE and helped me embrace giving up on something that just didn’t interest me!
If you’re interested in my thoughts on the stories themselves, here is a breakdown on my ratings per story and why I felt that way:
MIDNIGHTS by Rainbow Rowell – 4 stars
This one was super cute and adorable! A girl and guy who met at a new years eve party and it follows them and their progressive friendship over the next few new years parties. There wasn’t a whole lot of character exploration, but it was neat to see where they were on December 31st each year.
THE LADY AND THE FOX by Kelly Link – 1 star
I was NOT a fan of the writing style of this one AT ALL!!!! I didn’t care about the characters and it was so freaking repetitive I wanted to hit my head off a wall. It mentioned the word Honeywell so many times and it just wasn’t necessary! It really got under my skin. I was too annoyed to enjoy the story.
ANGELS IN THE SNOW by Matt De Le Peña – 5 stars
Now I LOVED this one! The writing style was so fluid and he found a way to pack so much character development into such a short story. We knew what was going on in their lives currently, their emotions, and things that happened in the past. It was absolutely adorable too! Not a whole lot happening action wise, but it was a great story of two people who were lonely on the holidays and who found a connection that they weren’t expecting. LOVED this!
POLARIS IS WHERE YOU’LL FIND ME by Jenny Han – 3 stars
One thing I will say is that I really enjoyed the writing style! I wasn’t expecting that at all. She had a way with words and explaining the characters and their setting. This is the only one that was actually set in the north pole, and I loved the setting and the elves! The one main issue that I had with it though was that it ended so abruptly. It felt like there was supposed to be more but they just forgot to print the pages. It wasn’t that I was enjoying it so much that I wanted more of the story, it was just so sudden and felt unfinished.
IT’S A YULETIDE MIRACLE, CHARLIE BROWN by Stephanie Perkins – 5 stars!!!
THIS ONE WAS HANDS DOWN MY FAVOURITE!!!! OMG I loved this story SOOOO MUCH! The story itself was freaking adorable, the characters were so interesting and so well developed, the setting was super cute – I WANT MORE!!! These characters though…. we learned so much about them and I loved them and their families. I wanted to know more about their future…. I mean everything! UGH why is it over! It was a story about a girl who does animations and wanted a guy who worked at a christmas tree market to voice one of her characters. So she buys a tree that she couldn’t afford because she hadn’t worked up the nerve to ask him. He delivers the tree to her apartment and it goes from there. This was SO adorable and SO amazing! Because of this story I’ll be looking for a Stephanie Perkins book in the future! LOVE IT!!!!!
YOUR TEMPORARY SANTA by David Levithan – DNF
The writing style was immediately something I couldn’t stand. I tried to push past the first few pages but I was still confused and couldn’t get into the writing style at all. What was presented in the first few pages just wasn’t enough for me to care to finish.
KRAMPUSLAUF by Holly Black – DNF
For some reason this one just confused the hell out of me. The writing style wasn’t for me and, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t keep straight who was who and what was what.
WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE, SOPHIE ROTH by Gayle Foreman – DNF
Once again, the writing style was a problem. But more than that, I didn’t enjoy the perspective of the main character. There was just something about her that rubbed me the wrong way.
BEER BUCKETS AND BABY JESUS by Myra Mcentire – 3.5 stars
This one was cute! Mainly the male main character who was a prankster and pain in the ass – basically he was amazing! Some of the pranks that were explained in this book were EPIC! If someone pulled this off at my high school, he would have been labeled as a god! LOL! But it was still nice to see that he could set the pranks aside, be a good guy, and work his ass off for positivity 🙂
WELCOME TO CHRISTMAS, CA by Kiersten White – 3 stars
I really did enjoy this one but, for some reason that I can’t put my finger on, I couldn’t connect to it completely. The characters were great, the story was great, and there were a lot of different elements of interest. It was still an enjoying read though!
STAR OF BETHLEHEM by Ally Carter – DNF
I was bored – plain and simple, bored.
THE GIRL WHO WOKE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor – DNF
This one made me sad more than anything. Laini Taylor’s writing style is one that I want to hang on to every word. Yes, her style is different, but it’s usually so beautiful and poetic. Here though, it seemed to hinder my ability to fully understand what was happening. I made it more than halfway through and I STILL didn’t get into it, so I gave up. Sadness.
Even though I didn’t fully enjoy all of these stories, there were still quite a few enjoyable reads that I was glad I got to experience. Most of all, it gave me the chance to read some of these authors for the first time! The only authors that I had read before were Rainbow Rowell and Laini Taylor, but now there’s Matt De Le Peña and Stephanie Perkins that I need to look into! Have you read this one? What one was your favourite?
Until next time, happy reading!