PUBLSIHER: St. Martins Press
DATE PUBLISHED: 14th October 2014
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 will provide small individual reviews for each of the short stories and then an overall review of the anthology.
Midnights by Rainbow Rowell
This cute contemporary romance spans many years of New Years Eve parties where Mags and Noel from their first encounter to their first kiss. The ups and downs of these characters are captured on this one night each year within this short story. This friends to more romance built slowly within a relatively limited page count. The investment in these characters and their lives became prominent through their investment in each other. A quick, fun and festive read.
The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link
Over the span of many Christmases Miranda has seen a strange figure at the window. Miranda and her many family of theatre enthusiasts and performers gather in one place over Christmas, which makes for a very crowded Christmas. The figure keeps appearing over the years along with a fox. A lyrical tale with magic and family over the holiday season.
Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Pena
In this holiday tale Shy is trapped cat sitting for his boss over Christmas as he is bum out of luck and money. The upstairs neighbour, Haley, comes down for assistance with her plumbing. Over the holiday season the two get close and share things about themselves. This is a heart-warming festive tale which was a pure pleasure to read.
Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han
Natalie (Natty) is the adopted daughter of Santa and lives in the North Pole. There are no other humans around, but plenty of elves. Natty feels like she doesn’t belong and as a teen, she really wants to. One Christmas Eve Natty goes with Santa on his trip around the world and kisses a boy. A cute little story that could have continued.
It’s A Yuletide Miracle,Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins
Marigold and her mother find themselves in an apartment during Christmas as her father was a cheater. Marigold has been in a cramped apartment with stacked boxes for ages. Marigold goes down to the Christmas tree lot and finds a tree for the house. North, who works at the lot helps Marigold with the apartment and the tree. Sparks fly as the Christmas tree goes up.
Your Temporary Santa by David Leviathan
Connors boyfriend does him a favour on Christmas Eve, dressing up like Santa so that Connors sister still believes in Santa. Reluctantly he goes ahead with the favour and finds out more about Connors other sister and family.
Krampuslauf by Holly Black
Krampuslauf is an annual fun run where everyone dresses up like Krampus. With cheaters and different social classes. Maybe the real Krampus comes to visit and doll out some justice. An interesting take on a holiday tale.
What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? By Gayle Forman
Sophie is a freshman at a college in the middle of nowhere. She keeps on doing silly little things. At Christmas carols she runs into Russell who she gets along with famously. Over the one night they find out more about each other. This was a lovely little Christmas story about a Jewish girl who is spending the holidays on campus.
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire
Vaughn has always gotten into trouble, he has a knack for it. When a fireworks stunt catches a local Church on fire he is in a whole lot of trouble. The Pastor agrees to drop all charges if Vaughn helps out for the Christmas Pageant. This means he will have to spend a lot of time with Gracie, the Pastors daughter. He really likes Gracie. Over the period of community service, Vaughn realises that he doesn’t know as much about Gracie and assumptions can be wrong.
Welcome To Christmas, CA by Kiersten White
Maria lives in Christmas, CA. She works at the Christmas themed diner owned by her mother. Maria’s family scrimps and saves and nothing ever seems to be enough. One day there is a new cook at the diner, Ben. Ben knows exactly what everyone wants before they even order. Maria, who once was eager to get out of Christmas, ASAP… now might have a reason to stay a little longer. A great Christmas story that took the reader to the little Christmas diner.
Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter
Who changes plane tickets with a complete stranger and ends up in rural Oklahoma pretending to be an Icelandic girl visiting her boyfriend? Lydia, thats who. Why is she on the run and from who? Has she found a place where she can settle? An absolutely amazing short story with a beautiful ending.
The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Neve lives on the Isle of Feathers where over the twenty four days of Advent young men leave gifts for their intended. When Neve finds a Bible on her doorstep on the first day of Advent the local Priest wants her for his bride. However, she would be his fourth bride after the first three have died and he is a hateful man who would use his wife as a slave. Neve calls on the Dreamer to save her from a fate she could not endure. Christmas tradition and fantasy elements over Advent.
Overall, this was a really enjoyable anthology of holiday stories with much diversity thrown in. A beautiful collection of holiday cheer.
Keep Calm and Read On,