Title: My True Love Gave to Me
Author: Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Pena, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins (editor), Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White
Published: October 14, 2014 by St. Martin’s Press
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.
I adore holiday stories, and I usually try to read a few before the holidays are over. They’re my escapism during what is inevitably a time filled with too many things to do and never enough time to accomplish all those tasks. In keeping with being quick, I’m going to do a sentence (or two) review of each story:
1. Midnights by Rainbow Rowell – No one can write those moments of crushing-losing-getting like Rainbow. (4 stars)
2. The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link – Kelly Link writes a theatrical, magical story that is melancholy, hopeful and filled with a lovely layer of loyal friendship. (4 stars)
3. Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Pena – A boy missing his childhood Christmases meets a girl with different holiday memories, and the results are as sweet as Christmas candy. (5 stars)
4. Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han – A wonderful story about Santa’s daughter and a boy elf she can’t have. A nice reminder that elves can be tricky, but they also know exactly what we want. (5 stars)
5. It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins – I didn’t know that Stephanie could weave all her usual elements — the functional dysfunctions of families, the sweetness of crushes, and that delicious countdown of the will-they-won’t-they anticipation in a few pages. But, boy oh boy, she delivers it all. (5 stars)
6. Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan – This story contains the funniest opening paragraph I’ve read in a long time. What a wonderful reminder that an act of kindness can unravel, but the bonds of family and love hold true. (5 stars)
7. Krampuslauf by Holly Black – An elaborate party proves that both betrayal and magic can be real. (4 stars)
8. What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman – What a great story about big city girls and small town colleges and major minor holiday miracles. (5 stars)
9. Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire – A story of forgiveness between a very unlikely couple — a preacher’s daughter and the boy who set the Christmas pageant venue on fire. The sweet, Southern set story is one that will make you remember why you love complex bad boys. (5 stars)
11. Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter – Classic Ally! As usual with her stories, it left me wanting even more. (5 stars)
12. The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – I can’t explain why, but something in Laini’s writing style never resonates with me. This is a case of it’s not you, it’s me. (DNF)
My True Love Gave to Me is a perfect read for the winter holiday break. The stories are short and while a few left me wanting more (I’m looking at you, Stephanie, Myra and Ally!), it was only because I was involved with the characters and wanted to follow them around for a while more.
Have you picked up, yet? Do you enjoy holiday stories? The good news for all of us who love Stephanie’s writing and editing is that she’s announced a summer anthology (my beach bag is going to be happy!), Summer Days & Summer Nights. The release date is set for June 14, 2016, and I am so pre-ordering it (goodreads link).