Saturday, January 2, 2016

Megan Rambles About My True Love Gave to Me

My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins & Friends
From GoodreadsIf 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.

My True Love Gave to Me was my holiday read this year and it's also become one of my favorites of  2015! If you're wondering why the cover looks different from the one you're used to seeing, it's from a special UK Valentine's Day edition. Rachel gave it to me as a birthday present and I couldn't resist letting you all see how beautiful it is!

Okay, so on to the actual stories. I'm going to talk about each of them in the order that they were printed, giving a short summary of my thoughts for all twelve of them. 

1. Midnights by Rainbow Rowell:  4.5/5 stars 
This was one of my favorite stories in the collection. It was a cute story that revolved around New Year's Eve parties across several years. I thought that Mags was a character that people could relate to and overall the story was just very cute and fun! 

2. The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link:  3/5 stars 
This story was definitely one of the more strange ones in the collection. I also hadn't read anything by Kelly Link before so I wasn't sure what to expect. There is a bit of a strange magical element involved in this story and it took me a bit to realize that it wasn't realistic fiction. Once I figured that out I was less confused and thought that the story was interesting. While it wasn't my favorite, it was still a cool read.

3. Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Peña: 5/5 stars
This story is in a three-way tie for my favorite of the collection. I had never read anything by Matt de la Peña before and I'm definitely going to have to look up the rest of his work now! This story was so cute and is one of the only times that I haven't felt slightly out of place reading from the perspective of a male character. Both Shy and Haley were characters that I felt comfortable with and by the end of the story I felt like I knew them.

4. Polaris is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han: 2.5/3 stars 
This story was cute, but I felt like maturity level wise it was a bit lower than the others. While I don't necessarily have a problem reading a cute story about the North Pole, Santa, and elves, I thought that this story was too short. I was just starting to enjoy the characters and become interested in where the plot was going when it abruptly cut off. If this story was longer I probably would have liked it much more, as it is it was just okay.

5. It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: 5/5 stars
It should come as no surprise that another story in the three-way tie for my favorite was written by Stephanie Perkins. I'm convinced that I will always love everything that she writes and this story was no exception! Marigold and North are both just as lovable as any of Stephanie Perkins other characters. I could have kept reading this story and if she decided to expand it into...I don't know...a full length novel? I definitely wouldn't argue! *cough* pleasedoitStephanie *cough*

6. Your Temporary Santa by David Leviathan: 3.5/5 stars
This story was just as cute as I expected a David Leviathan story to be. The characters were well written and the relationship between Connor and the narrator was sweet. It takes some dedication to agree to dress-up as Santa Claus to convince your boyfriend's little sister that Santa is real. Overall the story was cute and a good read, but didn't leave as much of an impression as some of the others.

7. Krampuslauf by Holly Black: 3.5/5 stars 
Only Holly Black would write a story about a Krampus for a cute collection of holiday related romances. Like Kelly Link's this story was on the weird side. I love Holly Black's writing style and I had heard some of the Krampus myths before so I was able to get into this story after the first few pages. This story was interesting and any fan of Holly Black's work will enjoy it!

8. What the hell have you done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman: 5/5 stars
Gayle Forman is not only one of my favorite authors, she's also one of my writing idols so it shouldn't come as a surprise that I loved this story! This is the third story in the three-way tie for my favorite in the collection. I really felt like I could relate to Sophie since she's a freshman in college and trying to find her place on campus. While I might be going to college in a city and not in the middle of nowhere, I could relate to what Sophie was going through and I thought her entire interaction with Russell was super cute! This story is definitely worth the read!

9.  Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire: 3/5 stars
I hadn't ever read anything by Myra McEntire before this story and after this short story I'm not totally sure that her writing style is my thing. The main character was nice enough and he was pretty funny at times. I liked the idea of a prankster boy and the preacher's daughter, but the actual execution of the story was just okay.

10. Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White: 4/5 stars
For a short story, I thought that Kiersten White was able to create a great cast of characters! Since this really was a character driven story it was so important that the characters be engaging. I cared about them from the beginning and I thought that the romance was really cute.

11. Star of Betthlehem by Ally Carter: 4/5 stars
I loved the concept of this short story! From the second that it started I was really interested to see where it was going. It was super cute and I loved Lydia as a main character. The only thing that kept this story from getting 5 stars was that I felt like it needed to be a bit longer in order to fill in a few more details. Besides that, it was a well-written story that sounded like Ally Carter's writing while still being unique from other things that she's written.

12. The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: 3.5/5 stars
Just like Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone, this short story was set in a unique world all its own. While it wasn't entirely my cup of tea, there were definitely some really good elements to the story. The world that Laini Taylor was able to create in such a short story was really interesting and had a lot of depth. I could picture everything throughout the story and if you are into high fantasy stories this would definitely be the one in the collection for you!

Overall, this collection was really enjoyable and I can see myself re-reading this around Christmas every year! Have you read My True Love Gave to Me? If so, what did you think? And are you as excited for the summer collection coming out that's also edited by Stephanie Perkins as I am?? Because June 2016 can't come fast enough!

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