Title: My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
Editor: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
I was so excited to see this at my school’s library when I got back after winter break! It’s never too late in the season to get into a good holiday novel, especially one with short stories from so many of my favorite YA authors.
A brief summary from Amazon:
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.
I’m going to briefly review each of the twelve stories individually, since it’s hard to comment on the book as a whole when none of the stories are related. My favorites are in bold!
1. “Midnights” by Rainbow Rowell: Cutesy, romantic, everything you’d expect from Rainbow Rowell. Set at New Year’s across the years, following one pair of friends’ journey from friendship to couple-dom.
2. “The Lady and the Fox” by Kelly Link: This one took me a few pages to get into, but once I realized it was a fantasy short story, I really enjoyed it, though it was hard to get attached to the characters in such a short amount of time.
3. “Angels in the Snow” by Matt de la Peña: In this one, the protagonist, Shy, is stuck dog-watching during a blizzard in an apartment with no food, and miracles do happen when a girl from a higher apartment floor has a plumbing issue and comes seeking help. I almost cried while reading this one, not gonna lie. I loved it.
4. “Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me” by Jenny Han: Meh. This one is about a human girl adopted by Santa Claus who’s in love with an elf from the North Pole (the girl’s in love, not Santa). Wasn’t the best in the collection, but it was cute.
5. “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown” by Stephanie Perkins: Really sweet romantic story, with just the right number of pop-culture references and a couple that I rooted for throughout.
6. “Your Temporary Santa” by David Levithan: RIP MY HEART OUT, WHY DON’T YOU.
7. “Krampuslauf” by Holly Black: Creepy and dark and everything you’d want from a Holly Black holiday story.
8. “What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?” by Gayle Forman: Sophie is a Jewish girl stuck at her university over the holidays, until she bonds with a fellow student over the ridiculousness of non-ironic Christmas sweaters at a caroling concert. ABSOLUTE PERFECTION. Adorable and sad and hilarious all at once.
9. “Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus” by Myra McEntire: Just as funny as you’d imagine from the title. I won’t say more than that.
10. “Welcome to Christmas, CA” by Kiersten White: Set in a cheesy Christmas-themed California diner, with just the right balance of magic and realism to offset the strongly emotional conflicts the characters come across.
11. “Star of Bethlehem” by Ally Carter: A girl looking to escape trades plane tickets with a foreign exchange student from Norway, and ends up spending Christmas in the middle-of-nowhere Oklahoma. Very Parent-Trap, where the look-a-likes switch places. This one was a little predictable, and not as funny or heart-wrenching as most of the others in this collection, but still sweet.
12. “The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor: I skimmed this one because I just couldn’t get into the fantasy-ish, otherwordly setting.
Overall, I really enjoyed most of the stories, and it was definitely a fun book to read while I was snowed in on a snow day yesterday. If you like any of these YA authors, or if some of these tidbits above spark your interest, definitely give this book a shot around the holiday season next year (or this year, if you’re like me and you’re down for Christmas all year long).
4 out of 5 stars for the collection.