Book Review – My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
Christmas tree is up and the music is playing. Wrapped up in a sweater two sizes too big, with a large cup of hot chocolate and a Christmas book in hand. And what’s better is a collection of twelve Christmas stories in one.
Midnights by Rainbow Rowell: 4/5 stars.
This is the first Rainbow Rowell story I have read and it didn’t disappoint. Adorable! I love the way this one is told, through flashbacks of the last three New Year's Eves, and that it's a best-friends-to-more romance. I could easily imagine the type of relationship the characters had over the years. Noel is clearly a charmer, and Mags is that shy girl I can't help but to root for. It's amazing how much personality Rainbow is able to give her characters in so few pages. The perfect start to this anthology and I will defiantly be picking up some more of Rainbows work.
The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link: 2/5 stars.
When I first started reading this one I got a strong time traveller vibe. But as I continued reading I got really confused. I think this story would have worked better if it was longer and explained itself a bit more. I loved the setting of the story and the characters, but I felt it needed to be longer. I wanted to learn more about the characters and their individual stories, it just got caught up and rushed.
Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Peña: 3/5 stars.
I really like that this one is written from a male perspective, and he is honest and raw in a way that had me liking him immediately. He's also quite funny. And hot (I had Luke Pasqualino in mind when I read it) I loved the character of Shy, he was so sweet and just wanted to help people. I wasn’t a big fan of Hayley. To me she was a bit pointless and their romance didn’t really lead anywhere. But all in all, it was a good read.
Polaris is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Hann: 2/5 stars.
Despite the creativity, this story was not for me. It was sad and not at all romantic, it also finished quite abruptly. I found the main character very immature and not very relatable, in all honesty I found her annoying.
It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: 5/5 stars.
I loved it! So, so lovely and cute and romantic and cuddly warm. This is the first Stephanie Perkins story I have read and was a bit nervous going in to it, but it was amazing. It may only take place over only a few short hours, yet I have no doubt these are characters on their way to falling in love. And I know I fell in love with them.
Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan: 2/5 stars.
Very underwhelming. The story starts out cute enough - a boy dresses up as Santa for his boyfriend's little sister - but it's too short and I couldn't connect with the main character. Towards the end the writing turns more philosophical, and it had me rolling my eyes more than anything. It didn’t really fit with the story and kind of annoyed me a bit.
Krampuslauf by Holly Black: 4/5 stars.
I love anything Holly Black, and this story didn’t disappoint. It was a completely different take on the holiday season, with magical characters, cheating boyfriends, rebellious teens and a masked festival. I would defiantly like to see these characters again.
What the Hell Have You Done, Sophia Roth? by Gayle Forman: 5/5 stars.
I want my own diner from Oz. The writing is gorgeous, and like Stephanie Perkins, she makes me believe in a relationship that started mere hours ago. The dialogue and the communication between the two characters is fantastic; I really liked the way their expectations were constantly being rearranged. There's some lovely swoon at the end. Also, the feeling of being misplaced, as well as cultural stereotypes, are handled in both witty and humorous ways.
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire: 4/5 stars. Funny! Sweet! Cheesy! Very happy we got one of these in the collection. This is another one told from the boy's point-of-view; he's the town prankster, who has had a longstanding crush on the pastor's daughter. Their shy flirtations are adorable. And again the author has made me believe that this relationship started just mere hours ago.
Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White: 5/5 stars. Everything about this story is warm and sweet! Set around a diner in a small town called Christmas. With a wonderful Christmas theme all the way through, hints of magic, amazing sounding food and the idea of what really make a home, this is a wonderful story and I was really upset to see it end.
Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter: 2/5 stars. Really didn’t work as a short story. I needed more information about these characters, and the whole situation was rather confusing. I was left with more questions than answers, everything about it annoyed me actually.
The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: 5/5 stars I love Laini Taylors writing, love every sentence, every word, every comma. It is beautiful, magical, evocative, daring and all together exquisite. This final story of the collection is wild, free, and deeply romantic, it paints the most vivid, startling pictures and stirs a cauldron of emotions. Laini's imagination clearly knows no bounds.
This anthology was a great read, it let me sample new authors writing and defiantly made me want to read some new stuff. Although some of the stories didn’t work as short stories, for the most part they worked well and were very enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this book for a cuddle winter read.
Rating: 4/5 stars