Title: My True Love Gave to Me
Edited: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Young Adult Romance
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. 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.
So overall, this was OK. I only really liked 4 stories, the rest were OK and some were pretty bad and underdeveloped. However, reading this made me realize that I want to read more short story collections.
- Midnights by Rainbow Rowell 4.5/5
The story of New Year’s Even and a friends who had always wanted to kiss but puberty did not permit them. In the fashion of Rowell, it was cute. It was a solid start to the collection and it was one of the best stories.
- The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link 2.5/5
This was… confused and weird. This is the first of the fantasy stories of the collection and it felt a bit too ‘wrote this while high’ for me. It’s a literal retelling of the Lady and the Fox legend.
- Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Peña 5/5
My favorite of the stories. This was sort of New Adult Contemporary but without the sex, features a Mexican-American main character and a nice slow development of feelings between our main character and the girl who lives upstairs of the flat he is house sitting.
- Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han 2/5
What I liked: Korean main character. What I didn’t like: mostly everything else. It was bizarre. Basically a human girl is adopted by Santa and raised in the North Pole among elves and she falls for one of the elf boys who avoids being with her so he kinda hooks up with other elf girls because he’s afraid she will break his heart.
- It’s a Yuletide Miracle Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins 4/5
I really liked this one and I felt it was one of the most festive ones. It had an MTV Holiday special feel to it. This one also featured a POC, our main character was half Chinese-American and an atheist. The pacing was good and the couple was cute.
- Your Temporary Santa by David Leviathan 1.5/5
This is one of the worst ones because I felt as if I was tripping while reading it and I was kinda upset because this is the only story that features a gay couple but it was so… underdeveloped that I couldn’t wait to finish it.
- Krampuslauf by Holly Black 2.5/5
Ms. Black was definitely tripping when she wrote this one, it was just very fantasy-esque… Basically centers around a small white trash party where Krampus, with the body of a hot boy, crashes and hooks up with our protagonist.
- What the Hell Have You Done Sophie Roth by Gayle Forman 3.5/5
I liked this one well enough. We have a poor Jewish female protagonist who is shown a great time by a rich African American, so I appreciate all of the stereotypes flipped on their head and I enjoyed it well enough. I love that it more centered around Hanukkah than Christmas.
- Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra Mcentire 2/5
This was straight out of the CBN network, heavy on the religious message. I’ll leave it at that.
- Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White 3.5/5
I liked this one, it was well developed and we had a Mexican-American family featured in a small mining town in California. It had slight fantasy moments but more contemporary than anything and it addressed family, misunderstandings and deciding to be the best version of yourself.
- Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter 2/5
If Mcentire was from the CBN channel then Star of Bethlehem was a Hallmark Christmas special. Actually, I’m sure a TV movie exists about this. Famous teen singer escapes her oppressive manager and exchanges tickets with an exchange student on her way to Oklahoma where she stays with the girl’s boyfriend and pretends to be her as she discovers and appreciates the beauty of the American ranch and the simplicity of a good ol’ American Christmas. And everyone loves her and there’s no conflict. I skimmed parts.
- The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor 4/5
I will start out by saying that this was pure fantasy and not at all a Christmas story so I felt this did not belong in this book despite how much I enjoyed it. Set in a strange world where gods slumber under the earth, a girl who is being forced into a marriage with the local religious lunatic awakens the spirit of the land with her plea for help and he falls in love with her. That’s the gist.