Friday, 31 October 2014

My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins

Title: My True Love Gave to Me
Author: Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White
Published by: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication date: 9th October 2014
Pages: 355
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance/Festive
Format: Hardback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

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.

First thing's first I'm the realist that cover image does not accurately represent what the book looks like in real life at all. I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but let me show you how beautifully shiny it really is. Plus, the edges of the pages are pink, the book has a gold ribbon bookmark, and the chapters have cute little illustrations... *sighs happily*

My True Love Gave to Me is a collection of twelve short stories from some of YA's biggest authors, including some of my favourites, Stephanie Perkins and Rainbow Rowell. If that's not enough, I should mention that this book is Christmas. As soon as I began reading, I instantly felt excited for the festive season for the first time this year. Reading this was like lighting a cinnamon-scented candle or inhaling the smell of fresh gingerbread. Mmm.

It would take forever to thoroughly review each short story, so instead I'm just going to give you a list of the titles and my rating out of five. Luckily, there was only one story which I really, really disliked, and only a couple which were 'meh', but you'll see what they were in a second.

The wonderful:

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell - 5/5
Favourite quote: "You're a kaleidoscope. You change every time I look away."

Polaris Is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han - 5/5
Favourite quote: "Elves in motion are otherworldly. They are long and lovely and lean; when they dance they are whirling dervishes that sparkle and gleam like sun shining on snow."

It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins - 5/5
Favourite quote: "Fires crackled inside metal drums. Strings of bare bulbs crisscrossed overhead. She loved the husky green scent of the Fraser firs and the crinkle crunch of their shavings underfoot."

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White - 5/5
Favourite quote: "Every surface not reserved for eating is covered in holiday kitsch. As if that weren't freak show enough, from the ledge above the kitchen door, a sinister elf gazes malevolently down, its head cocked at a horror-movie angle. A year ago, I stuck a tiny knife in its hand. No one has noticed."

What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman - 4/5
Favourite quote: "Sophie had had to say I'm kidding at least half dozen times, a trend that continued well into the term until Sophie finally realised that sarcasm was like a separate dialect, not one universally understood."

The Lady and The Fox by Kelly Link - 4/5
Favourite quote: "Inside is a scrap of rose damask, the embroidered fox, snarling; the mangled leg, the bloodied trap."

Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Peña - 4/5
Favourite quote: "When we woke up on the morning on the fourth day, it happened. Thick beautiful snowflakes were falling from the sky."

The meh:

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan - 3/5

Krampuslauf by Holly Black - 2/5

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter - 2/5

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire - 1/5

*takes deep breath* *waits for army of fangirls to kill me*

The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor - 0/5

Yes, I gave 0/5 to the story by Laini Taylor; I was surprised too. I've only ever seen positive reviews of her books and everyone always seems to be praising her writing, so I was really sad when I had to drag myself through her drag of a story. The only other bad thing about this book: it caused me to keep singing "On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me..." I wouldn't stop. It was awful for everyone involved. It was the beginning of October. 

Anyway, it was a shame the book had to end on that note, but the rest of the book, apart from the few stories which I wasn't overly keen on, was beautiful. Not many books can make me happy. They can make me sad, they can make me laugh, and they can make me think, but this book actually put me in a really good mood for the rest of the day. I don't know if it's the same with anyone else, but I hardly ever experience that solely from reading a book. Thanks to this one, and much to the dismay of my parents, I am now fully ready for Christmas. I almost wish I hadn't read this yet so I could have the experience of receiving this and reading it for the first time on Christmas day. I think I'll stop there, because now I'm just making myself sound weird... good books do that to me.

Despite the few stories I wasn't too keen on, I absolutely loved this book as a whole, and it introduced me to some new YA authors. It includes such a good and varied collection of writers, and there really is something for everyone. It's truly gorgeous.


  1. Great review, it looks like a book with ups and downs.

  2. I'm currently reading this as I was also sent it for review. I've been reading the short stories in a random order and like you didn't enjoy Beer buckets and Baby Jesus. I LOVE Rainbow Rowell's story though - she's pulled it off once again.

  3. Can't WAIT to read this one... so many great authors all together in one book :) Bummer to hear that you didn't like Laini Taylor's story... I love her Daughter of Smoke and Bones trilogy, so I always just assume she can do no wrong.

  4. Not gonna lie, one of the main reasons I want this book is because ITS FREAKING BEAUTIFUL! I'm glad some of the stories are as good as the exterior though :) I definitely want to pick this up, great review as always Amber!
    Helena xox

  5. Ive only read The Lady & The fox so far but hated it because of the inclusion of having the children smoke dope. Dreadful example to set for a YA story i thought but then I am older and maybe more cynical these days.
    Gill x

  6. I picked up this book today but didn't buy it because I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not. I might check it out now since you liked it! I need something to get me in the Christmas cheer.

    Katie Petty

  7. I just picked up this book last week when I was at Barnes & Noble, and I didn't know there was a different cover. The cover I have is a darker blue with ice skaters on the front. Now I want this one, too, love both covers, lol. I'm excited by this group of authors although I've only read David Levithan before. That's too bad Laini's story was a drag for you. I haven't read anything by her yet, but I've heard good things about her writing. Maybe she just isn't meant to write a holiday themed story?

  8. Fantastic review, Amber! This book is definitely on my Christmas wishlist despite not being a big fan of anthologies. I'm sorry there were some let downs, but overall it sounds as though it's a very satisfying, holiday-themed book. :)