Monday, December 29, 2014

Review: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

Holiday anthologies are my favorites to read over winter break. The holiday season just doesn't feel complete without reaching for a themed book at least once. And with such a great compilation of authors, it turned out to be an awesome read. I fell head over heels in love with most of the stories and discovered some new authors to read as well. (I also enjoyed figuring out which story each of the couples ice-skating on the front were from, haha)

My Thoughts on Each Story:

1. Midnights by Rainbow Rowell

This one was about New Year's eve, and the countdown to midnight for two friends throughout a few years of their lives. This story was definitely one of my favorites. It was told creatively with the snippets of "countdown to midnights." A great start to the book. 

2. The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link

I didn't love this story as much as the others. It's about a girl who sees a mysterious man each Christmas only when it snows, and how she attempts to free him from his curse. While, the idea of the story was interesting, the magic curse portion could have been better articulated to give the story more depth. 

3. Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Peña 

Another one of my favorites. This one was about a Mexican-American kid who has to spend the holidays alone cat-sitting for his boss. He meets the love-interest when she knocks on his door asking for help with her plumbing (Yes, I know: classic story-line), but it turns out to be an in-depth and interesting read when you learn more about the main character's past. And the last lines are beautiful. I'm definitely going to read another book by this author.

4. Polaris is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han

I felt neutral about this story. There wasn't really anything defining about this story; pretty standard cute Christmas short. It was about a human who was left in Santa's sleigh and adopted by him to be raised at the North Pole (similar to the movie Elf). When she's older, it's a tale of unrequited love between her and another elf at the North Pole. Nothing quite special, but it did make me want to read other books by Jenny Han to see what she writes about in the YA world.

5. It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins

This story was classic Stephanie Perkins with quirky, lovable characters and back-stories, I couldn't help but love. It's an adorable romance short between a girl who goes Christmas tree shopping and the guy at the Christmas tree farm she's been in love with from afar. 

6. Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan

This one was funny and adorable. I've been meaning to read a book by David Levithan (once I finish the stack of books I have right now, but I'll get there!), so this was a nice sneak peak into his writing. It's about a boy whose boyfriend convinces him to dress up as Santa Claus in order to keep his little sister believing in Santa Claus. Overall, it was an endearing holiday story.

7. Krampuslauf by Holly Black

This one was creepily interesting. It's about a girl from the other side of the tracks who throws a New Year's party in order to expose her best friend's rich, two-timing boyfriend's lies. Without giving two much away, holiday justice is served magically. Before this, the only thing I had read by Holly Black was The Spiderwick Chronicles, so it was interesting to see her YA side in this story. I definitely will be checking out her books. 

8. What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman

I discovered Gayle Forman this year with Just One Day, and this story has the same feel to it as the book. It's about a girl who has to spend Hanukkah away from her family at college in "prairie land." She meets a guy who helps her celebrate the last day and get over her homesickness... and the rest is history. Overall, it was an enjoyable story.  

9. Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire

This one was funny and I ended up liking it. It's about the town trouble-maker and must help out with the town Christmas pageant because he accidentally burns down the church storage building. Interesting to see how he manages to save the day, and get back into everyone's good graces.

10. Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White

This one is about a girl who lives in a town called Christmas, and how much she hates it. Not much in the romance department for this one, but it was interesting to see how the main character changes in the end.

11. Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter

This one is about a girl who switches her ticket with an Icelandic exchange student, pretending to be her while living with the host family. There was also an interesting twist at the end with the main character; I truly enjoyed this one because the main character's lack of family touched me. 

12. The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

This story was my all time favorite because of its fairy tale-esque nature and writing. Laini Taylor never fails to disappoint in that department. It's about a girl whose future is decided by who makes an offer of marriage to her... and the person who does isn't someone anyone would want to be married to. But then, "the dreamer" steps into the picture and story is perfect from there. The writing was beautiful, and I loved the last lines of this story. Overall, a perfect way to end the anthology. .

Overall Rating: 5 stars

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