My True Love Gave to Me
edited by Stephanie Perkins

December 21, 2014 Book Reviews, Books 0

Happy Winter Solstice, everyone! Today is the shortest day of the year. Also: Merry Christmas, Io Saturnalia, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus, Happy Kwanzaa… did I miss any big ones?

★ ★ ★ ★
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Romances edited by Stephanie Perkins | October 2014 | Macmillan Children’s Books  (UK edition) | Hardcover £10.99

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays.

This is truly a sweet little collection of stories.

I was ecstatic to receive this book as part of a “Season’s Readings” giveaway package from Lisa Schroeder. The rest of the books are ARCs (yes, I’ll be reading them or passing them along to the kids in the near future) but this title was published this autumn… just in time for the holidays, natch.

Now, I’m not normally one for Christmas fiction or holiday romances. Thinking about the usual sticky-sugary stuff makes my teeth ache a little. But this was different (mostly).

I mean, it’s a collection of short stories by a group of YA authors — but Perkins and friends all have quite distinct styles and typical content, and really the only underlying connection is the age group their books are marketed too. Curious about who all contributed to this book? Here’s the full list: Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White, and Stephanie Perkins (editor).

I’ve read a little from almost all of these authors, and nothing included in My True Love Gave to Me was particularly surprising or “out of character” for them. And that is 100% OK! Consistency can be a good thing.

The reason I bring that up is that even though the “theme” of the book is holiday romance, every author approaches that idea a little differently. Looking for fantasy that’s maybe a bit dark? Try “The Lady and the Fox” by Kelly Link or “The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor. Like a little meet-cute and butterflies in your stomach? “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown” by Stephanie Perkins and “Angels in the Snow” by Matt de la Peña might be fun for you. Prefer a snarky or goofy POV? “What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?” by Gayle Forman or “Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus” by Myra McEntire will do you good.

And even though some of these stories aren’t really my “thing” (crazy parties and heavy drinking in teen-focused stories really throw me off because I never had that kind of experience as a kid), they’re all quick and paced well enough that it didn’t really matter.

Plus, the page edges of this particular edition are Hot Pink for heaven’s sake. I mean, the US edition has a lovely little Christmas scene on the cover, which is just fine. But. Hot Pink is nothing to sneeze at. Kindergarten me would be thrilled who am I kidding, grown up me is thrilled.


Publication information: Perkins, Stephanie, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White. My True Love Gave to Me. London: Pan Macmillan, 2014. Print.
Source: Part of a “Season’s Readings” giveaway hosted by author Lisa Schroeder.
Disclaimer: I am not compensated, monetarily or otherwise, for reviews of books or other products.

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