“Would you rather be great at something you like, or just okay at something you love?” ― Stephanie Perkins,
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.
Eden: My True Love Gave To Me was a really enjoyable read right before the holidays. It got me in the Christmas spirit and was a nice breather from the stress of coming up with another book to read in the mean time (which, I still haven’t been able to commit to). I’ve never been really into short stories, but I found these really relateable and honest and it made me much more receptive to the layout. Overall I gave it 4/5 stars.
Caitlynn: This book will definitely get you into the Christmas spirit! I really enjoyed all of the different takes on the holiday stories and so glad I got such am amazing sampling of authors I’ve been dying to read something of theirs. I enjoyed all of the stories and definitely will look into reading it again this time next year! 4/5 stars.
Jenn: This collection was exactly what I needed right now. It was perfect at encapsulating all of the different facets of the holidays. It was also nice to be able to catch back up with some authors that I loved. This collection of short stories made me feel a range of emotions. Perkins did a perfect job of editing these stories together. The flow was perfect from story to story. I tore through this book in one sitting and now I can’t wait to read Summer Days and Summer Nights (the Summer installment of short stories). All in all I gave it a 4/5 stars. This is the perfect book to read in winter under a cozy blanket with a hot cup of cocoa (or coffee).
Caitlynn: Ok-ie Dokie. What was everyone’s favorite story?
Jenn: Stephanie Perkins.
Eden: The Stephanie Perkins one. What was it called? It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown. But my second favorite was The Lady and the Fox.
J: My second favorite was Holly Black’s Krampuslauf. I also really liked Gayle Formans.
C: I hated The Lady and the Fox.
C: Yeah, but I really liked Gayle Formans story.
J: I also liked Welcome to Christmas, CA.
C: Oh, me too! I just love White’s writing.
E: Soooo, you guys liked all of them?
C: Well no, I just said I didn’t like The Lady and the Fox. It was too confusing for me.
E: I didn’t really like Gayle Forman’s but I think I was so tired of reading short stories about Christmas that I was just tired of all of them. Let’s start with the Perkins story first, It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown.
J: I really liked–
C: I really liked the guy — what was his name? Daniel?
E: North. His name was North. There was no Daniel.
J: I really liked that it was a different perspective of a person. She was not the stereotypical portrayal of a girl where she’s weird and quirky or the popular pretty girl. I liked that she just seemed like a normal person. Also, nothing felt really forced throughout it. Nothing felt to quick. It wasn’t like insta-love.
C: I felt like all of the guys in almost all of the stories were very lead-guy worthy. I liked the guys just as much as I liked the girls in all of the stories. I felt like they were all equal with the main character.
E: To me, I felt like It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown was the closest to a short story of all 12 of the other stories. Like, I really like The Lady and the Fox, but even after telling a 50 page story, I wasn’t satisfied. I had questions, I wanted to know more and that’s not what you want from a short story. It needs to be a snippet that can at most be dissected. Also, I felt like It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown did a fantastic job balancing the story and holding on to a theme. It wasn’t about falling in love, it was about accepting your life and I loved that.
J: Yeah, I think The Lady and the Fox did the worst out of all the short stories at conforming to the short story layout. There was just too much. Honestly, I think the best story that followed the rules of a true short story was Black’s Krampuslauf.
E: Yes! I agree. When I was reading Krampuslauf I continued to think that I felt like I was reading a fable.
J: When a short story has to be a window into someone’s life. That’s all it can be. So when you try to encompass their entire backstory, you lose the plot point. Krampuslauf did a good job explaining who they were through their actions rather than spending 20 pages describing snow.
C: I was really surprised to like Krampuslauf because when I got there I was already so burnt out from cutesy Christmas stories. Once I got there I was just like, “Ok, I’m half way there.” It turned out to be really enjoyable.
E: I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I would have read it throughout the month.
J: I liked that I read it all at once. The order that Perkin’s put the book in was really good for that one long-haul read. By the time I got to Christmas, CA., I was like this is getting sickly sweet and then the last two just totally turned it around and it was a totally different look at the holidays through a short story.
E: If there is anything I came away with from this book it’s that I need to read Anna and the French Kiss. It also confirmed that I would love Holly Black, who I’ve been trying to get to for forever.
C: Overall thoughts?
E: I really liked it. I thought it was such a good read for Christmas. I just got a little, teeny, tiny bit tired of short stories.
J: I loved it. While I read it I felt like I should be drinking a cup of hot chocolate.
C: I liked it. Like Eden, I just got tired of short stories, but it didn’t change how good the writing was.