My True Love Gave to Me – Review

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

As soon as the first snow (November 8th, here in Ottawa), I grabbed My True Love Gave to Me, an anthology of short stories edited by Stephanie Perkins, switched on the Michael Bublé holiday CD, and slipped into bed. Since then, there hasn’t been anymore snow, but the temperature has been steadily dropping. Though I didn’t love all twelve, I really enjoyed the anthology as a whole.

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell

A series of New Year’s midnights between Mags and her friends.

I thought this story was a great start to the anthology. The story had a great arc and I felt like I got a whole story in (more or less) twenty pages. Midnights was really cute and it had a funny twist at the end so it just won me over. My very favorite.

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link 

Miranda spends every Christmas with her godmother’s family and every Christmas she sees a mysterious boy standing outside – but only when it’s snowing.

I wasn’t blown away by this story. There was an interesting mystical element to it, but the end felt too rushed to be satisfying.

Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Peña 

Cat-sitting in his boss’ apartment over the Christmas break, Shy tells a small lie to the beautiful girl who lives upstairs

I thought this was a really sweet story. I was cringing out of vicarious embarrassment, but it had a well-crafted ending.

Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han

The only non-elf living in the North Pole, Natty feels left out during the holidays.

This was another story I wasn’t crazy about. The ending felt a little incomplete and I wasn’t sure what had happened in the end.

It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins

Asking a favor from the boy selling Christmas tree goes awry for Marigold Moon.

This story was very cute and the ending was more like a fresh beginning. The romance was a little rushed but sweet.

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan 

Dressing up as Santa for his boyfriend’s sister doesn’t go perfectly.

This story was almost great, but I finished still having some questions about what exactly the relationship dynamic was like between two of the main characters. I think I have an idea but I’m not a hundred percent sure and it’s niggling in the back of my mind.

Krampuslauf by Holly Black

Exposing a friend’s fake-boyfriend to his real girlfriend adds some complications and a little magic to a New Year’s Eve party.

I thought this story had an awesome concept. The Krampuslauf celebration was very cool, and I always love magic! The ending was funny and optimistic.

What the Hell have you Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman

Stuck at school for an extra week before going home for the holidays, Sophie makes (possibly) her first friend on campus and gets some holiday enlightenment.

I actually liked the story itself better than the romance here. The romance seemed a bit rushed but the story itself developed very nicely and had me both grinning and grinning at what the hell Sophie Roth did.

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire 

Working on the town’s Christmas production brings new cheer to Vaughn’s holidays.

This story was light and humorous and I really liked the relationship between the two characters. One of my favourites.

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White

A new cook in the diner adds some perspective and romance to Christmas and Christmas.

This was also one of my favorite stories. This one actually had some sub-stories going on and I felt like I was watch-reading a Christmas special. Great characters (though she made me mad at first) and a lovely ending.

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter

Switching plane tickets with an Icelandic girl at the airport sends Lydia on a new journey during the holidays.

I thought that this story was nice, but most of the action happened right at the beginning and end, so the middle sagged a little bit.

The Girl who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Faced with the prospective of a struggling life alone in a swamp and marrying the preacher who’s lost three wives already, Neve makes a desperate plea to whatever deity will listen.

This was the last story in the anthology and I thought that it was the least Christmas-y of the twelve. On the other hand, it was a very unique setting and concept, so I enjoyed that!

Overall, this was a great anthology. Can’t wait to start counting down the days till Christmas!




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