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Review: My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories (anthology)

My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories anthology
Young Adult, Romance, Anthology, Holiday
Ebook, Hardcover, Audio (334 pages, ST. MARTIN'S GRIFFIN)
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.

Holiday Romances for fans of Popular YA (4 stars)

I so love a good anthology where I get to sample new authors while enjoying something a little different from an old favorite. But there's something extra special about holiday themed ones that help get a reader in the spirit. Most of the time I really enjoy them and I was very eager to sample the stylings of several authors here whom are quite popular but whom I have not yet read yet. But it took me days to force myself through the first few stories and I began to lose hope.

Fortunately, I made myself get over the ones that were holding me back because most of these were really good. With any themed anthology I knock off "points" for any time a story does not fit the theme as it's presented, in this case the stories had to feature one of the winter holidays, true love, and a gift given. Here are my quick thoughts presented with an individual star rating in order of their appearance in the book.

MIDNIGHTS by Rainbow Rowell, opens up the anthology and manages to feel utterly plot-less as it relays events from different NYE events over the course of a few years out of sequence. (2 stars)

THE LADY AND THE FOX by Kelly Link, attempts to be mysterious and fantastical but doesn't seem to fit the theme of the anthology at all. The pacing and overall lackluster development made this one hard for me to finish. (1 star)

ANGELS IN THE SNOW by Matt de la Pena, is a perfect fit for the anthology and features two sort of stranded characters and is quite sweet if less than extraordinary. (3 stars)

POLARIS IS WHERE YOU'LL FIND ME by Jenny Han, is very short and kind of bitter-sweet as a human girl raised at the North Pole deals with her crush. It was one of my favorites of the group. (5 stars)

IT'S A YULETIDE MIRACLE CHARLIE BROWN by Stephanie Perkins, involves a Christmas tree lot and an evening where two characters make some holiday magic. I liked it enough to decide I'll be checking out more of Perkins' work soon. (5 stars)

YOUR TEMPORARY SANTA by David Levithan, is a little awkwardly executed in the kind of way that makes you question how any of the characters could do any of the things they do if they were real people. Yet it manages to be heartfelt and warm. (3 stars)

KRAMPUSLAUF by Holly Black, is exactly what you would expect from Black, a bit obscure, a little outlandish, and very, very good. (5 stars)

WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE SOPHIE ROTH by Gayle Forman, features a Jewish freshman feeling rather alone in her middle-of-nowhere university when a chance encounter with another student brings new adventure. (4 stars)

BEER BUCKETS AND BABY JESUS by Myra McEntire, has a prankster protagonist who may have to try being the hero for a change to save the local Christmas pageant. (4 stars)

WELCOME TO CHRISTMAS, CA by Kiersten White, quickly earned its place as my favorite of the anthology with a somewhat embittered heroine and the new chef at the restaurant she works for. (5 stars)

STAR OF BETHLEHEM by Ally Carter, when an impulsive decision to help another girl leads to a case of mistaken identity she's got to fess up and face what she was running from and while winning hearts. (5 stars)

THE GIRL WHO WOKE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor, the final story in the anthology feels the least fitting with the theme of the entire anthology and while I think I will check out Taylor's other work it just didn't suit the anthology enough for me to like it. (2 stars)

Overall, an enjoyable collection that I would very much recommend to readers of popular young adult fiction. These are some of the biggest names in the genre right now and I think this is a great way to get in the mood for the holidays while enjoying a diversity of loves and places.

Notes: ARC received via Amazon Vine.

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