Book Review: My True Love Gave to Me

 

Have you ever wanted to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s in the middle of March?! Never fear, here’s the closest thing you’ll get to do just that!

Note: Faith is the only person who posts a holiday book review in springtime. Feel free to take plenty of screenshots because this is probably an exclusive absurdity that you’ll never see anywhere else.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Seriously, winter is now non-existent and THIS is the kind of book review you’re bringing us? You betcha. (Unless you live in the southern hemisphere in which winter is actually ARRIVING – geography is so weird it makes my brain spin every time I try to think about it… but it’s simultaneously awesome. I just can’t imagine having Christmas while becoming fried into a crisp under the sun!) Welcome to a slightly shameless couple-month-old book review. Let’s go! 😀


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For each of the stories’ “chapter heading” so to speak, there’s a super cool drawing/doodle along with some nice typography as the title which just made the book so much more fantastical

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

Anthology By Stephanie Perkins (Editor), Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White

Published: October 14th 2014 by St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Contemporary romance, holidays, YA fiction

Pages: 321

Goodreads link/summary here

This book breathes holiday vibes. In other words, I felt immersed in the festive spirit. It’s wonderful. This is what all holiday themed books should feel like. I’m not always all about contemporary romance but hey, when’s a better time to read this book than I did over Christmas and New Year? Honestly, you could read this book in the middle of a desert and feel like holidays are right around the corner… maybe.


  1. Midnights by Rainbow Rowell (5/5)

Midnights describes the gradual progression of friendships and love through each passing New Year’s… and it’s written the way only Rainbow Rowell can. She is such a genius when it comes to cutesy love stories. They’re all just written so well. I bet you could give her the words “popcorn” and “mammoth fetish” to concoct a story with and lo and behold she would still unmistakably produce a wonder of a creation. I think the magic comes in the tiny details that makes all her stories come alive so realistically. Her characters have personality, a bit of cute awkwardness, and wit to spice it all up. So with Midnights, my New Year’s might just have become a tad bit sweeter… if I’m feeling cheesy enough to actually say it.

A thought that crossed my mind while reading this book: Midnights, is the first story in the book and undoubtedly one of my favourite stories in the collection which made all the following stories just seem… less awesome. They were just as magical but the bar was raised; and after seeing other reviews, I think this had resonated with other readers too. Maybe it should’ve been placed more towards the end?

  1. The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link (2/5)

Admittedly, I wasn’t too intrigued while reading this. The magical holiday element was there, but half of the time, I found myself confused… and bored. My unsophisticated summary: This story is about a guy that randomly appears during the holidays. Sorry?

  1. Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Peña (3.5/5)

Angels in the Snow explores the holiday season under a new light: being all alone in a large city. I really enjoyed the paradox of it all. This story gave off slightly melancholy vibes because with the holidays usually spent with family and friends, two individuals find themselves all alone trapped in the cold.

  1. Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han (3/5)

Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me unearths the normal in magic. Coming from Jenny Han, this story was pleasantly surprising. The ideas were enchanting and it was definitely a Christmas spin on a contemporary romance story… because what if you were adopted by Santa?

  1. It’s A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins (4/5)

This story was cute and sweet… and it’s about tree-buying. Although the story spans over a few hours, it didn’t really feel like insta-love. Technically if you think about it, it is. But it worked out well. I’ve never read anything by Stephanie Perkins but if I were to make an assumption based on the cover, title, and summaries, I would be lead to believe that the books would be cheesily typical. But since I enjoyed reading this one, maybe I’ll pick up some of her other books one day!

  1. Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan (1/5)

Feeling: meh. Your Temporary Santa is about a guy who promises his boyfriend to dress up as Santa for his (the boyfriend’s) younger sister, to basically appease her belief in the magic of Christmas. I felt that the story lacked character and plot development. There was a climax but there wasn’t really a resolution to the problem… the characters’ positions stayed the same and there wasn’t really an epiphany. That being said, I unfortunately had to give this quite a low rating, so maybe this one is better left off at Your Temporary Read?

  1. Krampuslauf by Holly Black (1/5)

Krampuslauf tries to bring out the darker, unfamiliar side to Christmas and it did have a bit more of a story development than the last short story but I still wasn’t too into it. I just didn’t feel the connection. But if I ever read anything else by Holly Black, hopefully I’ll enjoy it more!

  1. What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman (3/5)

Sophie Roth has gone to college and while everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit, she has brought a bit of Hanukkah with her from home. I liked that this story tried to shine a light on a different culture and it was realistic and relatable to young adults who may have been spending the holidays far from home. So I decided to give this short story a three!

  1. Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire (4/5)

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus… this gets you thinking: “What kind of oxymoron is this?” (And you secretly hope it’s not a combination that will come flying past your way any time soon. Or you secretly do, because who isn’t craving some sort of action/drama?) Albeit it’s an unlikely title, it perfectly describes the main characters who are an equally unlikely pair. Or as with YA, they are perhaps the most likely pair in town. (More likely than me finding a matching pair of socks after they’ve been through the washing and drying machines. I’m telling you, they are vicious sock monsters!!)

One, is your typical bad boy, who is constantly searching for the perfect opportunity to strike up some trouble around the neighbourhood. The other, is your classic goody-two-shoes who never forgets her please and thank yous. The odds: the anticipated chances of their lives colliding is highly probable.

The characters were likable and funny; it just expressed an adolescent innocence. It’s a holiday themed story of a bad boy and a good girl – about a wrong that eventually becomes a right.

  1. Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White (4/5)

This is another cutesy romance. This town, allegedly called Christmas, immediately emits a miserable ambiance once you’re dropped into the story and it’s not only tacked in the middle of nowhere. It’s also nowhere near your ideal vacation. The premise was intriguing and fresh, but I would say that the story’s downfall would come down to the main heroine.

Most days after school, she wearily works away the hours at her parents’ restaurant but luckily, a new and young chef has been hired in the kitchen. Yet, she continues her whining and complaining… Though the guy is nothing but sweet and likes to cook comfort foods to those he feels needs it, just to put a smile on their face. So whether you’re dating, married, engaged, single as a Pringle or “it’s complicated”, who wouldn’t love the guy?

(I kind of wanted to pour a bucket of ice water on her head to get her to wake up and realise her own luck. You have a chance to befriend someone who COOKS YUMMY FOOD. Or maybe this is due to the fact that stoves absolutely despise my soul.)

  1. Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter (3/5)

Star of Bethlehem was not the festive action packed short I was expecting from Ally Carter. It’s about a girl (like it always is) who, in the midst of running away from home, finds a family. She also pretends that she’s Icelandic, which she has absolutely no prior knowledge of. (So yeah, that happens.) Random thought: I feel like this story would make for a good holiday TV show special.

  1. The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (Did not finish)

As you can see, this is the first and only short from My True Love Gave to Me that I didn’t finish. I picked it up 5 different times but I still couldn’t get past the beginning: I just wasn’t too captivated by the plot. There was an element of fantasy, I just thought it was a bit too dull for my taste. (Which was disappointing as this story concluded the anthology.) My apologies, but here’s another meh.

Overall Rating: ⅘


Truthfully, this book is best read in a toasty warm cottage with snow blanketing the pines outside your frosted window. But if you’re still longing for some holiday vibes that you can’t seem to let go from this past winter season, you might just want to pick this one up. It’s never too late for some festive cheer!

How to get into the holiday spirit even in spring:

1) Grab a cup of hot cocoa (They’re always delicious whenever)

2) Find a fuzzy blanket (You know you’ve got/want one!)

3) Get into your comfy clothes (Gotta find those sweats – oh wait, I’m already in them #homeuniforms)

4) Curl up onto your couch/bed/beanbag chair/pet cat with this winter read in hand.

5) (Optional) Put up ten million Christmas lights in your room and then just leave it up until December! Less work & more year-round holiday vibes.

Who knows, you might find this book just as enticing in spring – or else, save it on your Goodreads for next year! Meanwhile, look forward to reading Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories (also edited by Stephanie Perkins) which will be released on May 17th, 2016! 🙂 So tell me what some of your favourite holiday songs are! (Mine is Feliz Navidad… it’s just so catchy. :3 )

~ Faith

Happy reading and really belated holidays!

mytruelovegavetome2

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16 thoughts on “Book Review: My True Love Gave to Me

    • sublimereads says:

      OH YEA I would totally do that too. You should make it!! (Heh, I’m too lazy to. 😛 I would buuuut maybe later.) Like “How do you be Christmas when you can’t?” There should be a question like “Belt out a Christmas song next to the nearest person you can find and document their reaction.” Idk someone out there- MAKE IT!

      Imagine if book covers were like that in real life… :O

      Like

  1. hiraethforthepages says:

    OMG some of the titles for these stories are hilarious 😄 I found this book a while ago and I wanted to pick it up, but I decided to just wait until Christmas EVEN though down here it’s blazing hot.

    Even so, I congratulate you for making me feel all Christmasy, 9 months before. Now I anxiously await for December to come round again 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • sublimereads says:

      Wait until Christmas? THAT’S AGES AWAY. But it’s okay, it’s the best time to read it anyways!! 🙂 But HOW DO U HAVE CHRISTMAS while frying? Even when there’s no snow outside I’m like depressed because white Christmases are the best haha. The idea of Christmas at the beach is blowing my mind. Also, not to sound… what’s the word… shallow or anything but does it snow in July or something where you live?? I’ve never been to the opposite side of the universe. 😮

      Awww thank youuuu. At least, there’s going to be a summer anthology version so we could look forward to that!

      Liked by 1 person

      • hiraethforthepages says:

        I know! Christmas is AGES away but if I read anything Christmasy, then my excitement will overwhelm me and my neighbours will have to watch as I hang up the Christmas lights and tree go up 9 months before 😄

        Movies ALWAYS have snowy Christmas and here we are in Australia with the sun BLAZING on our sunburnt bodies 🙂 I would LOVE to experience a white Christmas but I’ve never experienced it!

        Here in Australia, it does snow in some areas but most of it is snowless, I’ve never touched snow in my life 😦 But oh, a girl can dream.

        Liked by 1 person

        • sublimereads says:

          Exactly! I sing Christmas songs in the middle of summer heh. (I said summer after realizing July is your winter haha but then again, your Christmas is summer. THIS IS INSANE. Before say, 3 years ago, I didn’t even KNOW that there were parts of the world with a summer at a different time!!! So I guess being Christmassy in summer isn’t that strange to you ahaha.) There’s something about decorating with Christmas lights that makes everything magical-er.

          I KNOW. I always wondered about that. HOW do you have Christmas WITHOUT SNOW?!! Tbh we get really disappointed when it isn’t a white Christmas either. Because in our city, it isn’t necessarily always nice and snowy during the holidays. Sometimes it’s just FREEZING and you just see dead frozen grass outside. So it’s depressing.

          Awwww, when you go to the northern hemisphere, you DEFINITELY have to touch snow. Well, I guess you could try shredding up ice cubes and feeling that but it’s not the same. 😄 Instead, I’ll tell you about it’s glorious magesticness so you’ll kind of know. There’s different types of snow.
          An extensive analysis of snow by Faith:
          There’s packing snow, which is really sticky and good for building snowmen, snow forts, and anything, really. So when you make a snowball, they’re really solid since all of the snow sticks together. Then there’s this fluffy snow… so if you grab a handful, you can just blow it right out of your hand and all the individual particles go everywhere and it’s like dust confetti. Then there’s slush which is really just snow on the roads when all the cars have driven through it and it’s really wet and mushy and gross. And when you step into snow, you just sink into it – but when it’s frozen, it’s just like hard icy ground. The best is when there is a fresh covering of fluffy snow so when you walk, it makes this crunching sound and feeling under your shoes and white strips line the tree branches.
          Also, when there’s snow, you always have to bring “indoor shoes” to school in elementary because you don’t want to bring all the snow in with your boots. So in the hallways, the snow and the boots would always make this distinctive smells. It’s strange.

          SO THAT WAS MY ESSAY ON SNOW HAHAHAHA. Don’t worry, you’ll get to see it one day and you might be disappointed in how boring it is. But I think it’s cool. 😛

          Liked by 1 person

          • hiraethforthepages says:

            Aha I’m used to it now 😄 I used to imagine that it would snow after watching all the movies but now older, I realise that the snow won’t fall when the weather is SWELTERING. And yes, lights definitely bring on a whole new game 😄

            Weirdly, I have grated ice and then imagined that it was snowing, but yeah, I’m hoping that that experience will be a little more interesting in real-life 😄

            AND NOW I’M EXTREMELY JEALOUS. I never knew there was so much snow 😛 I NEED packing snow and fluffy snow so badly, I mean that description about the best type of snow makes me just want to fly over to where you are and force the weather-gods to make it snow. The elementary thing sounds SO ADORABLE, all those little kids with their CUTE shoes inwardly dies

            The closest I’ve ever gotten to a snowball fight is throwing blocks of ice at my sister (which went as horrible as you’re probably thinking. ICE HURTS) Either that or sand fights at the beach which gets all up in the hair and the clothes and hurts like a giant big slap (SAND HURTS)

            AHA you have brought on me some PRETTY BIG expectations, I expect some really cool stuff 🙂 Now I will go to wishing hard that snow arrives in the middle of a very hot Christmas.

            Liked by 1 person

            • sublimereads says:

              OKAY IT’S BEEN ANOTHER 2 DAYS. This is not okay. I’ve been busy, to say the least. Busy procrastinating!! Also, when you’ve got company over, it is what it is.

              YES SNOW REALLY IS JEALOUS-WORTHY. Not when traffic becomes 10 times worse because no one has plowed the streets after a storm. We actually AREN’T allowed to have snowball fights at school because apparently it can get in your eyes but throwing ICE at each other?? Wow. And SAND? I can imagine how much fun that sounds like. After going to the beach, I get home and a week later, I STILL find sand in my head (or scalp if that’s what you want to call it… but it makes me uncomfortable saying that for some reason) when I’m washing my hair. WHERE IS IT COMING FROM?! It’s not like I’ve been drilling into the earth with my head either so it always confuses me.

              It’s really NOT THAT MUCH TO EXPECT. It does look awesome though. Just Google some images. When I look up and it’s snowing, I just automatically think of Narnia and it’s epic. If you’re expecting some awesome stuff, you’d probably have to stay for more than just a day to experience how it’s like to live with snow. But then it starts to become a nuisance.

              Liked by 1 person

              • hiraethforthepages says:

                AHHHH, its only been two days but I feel like I took a year long hiatus! Hi-five to late relies 😄

                Wow, traffic sounds like it would be a pain in the butt – I’m not a patient person so having to wait? NOPE. (STILL I WANT SNOW) Yea, completely agree with your sand comment. Its like fairy (massive as heck) dust or something, I mean, HOW?! It just gets everywhere and its like a real life haunting (TERRIFYING)

                WHOOO, I remember when I watched Narnia and I used to get SO JEALOUS of that lovely snow (and those Turkish delights because those looked DELICIOUS). OH gosh, searching up snow just piles in me in even more jealousy, I have to stick my hand in the freezer just to feel that little sense of completeness. I would gladly stay bunched up in snow for a while (but I don’t know, maybe I will regret it 😛 )

                Like

                • sublimereads says:

                  HELLOO THERE haven’t seen you in awhile!
                  I feel like an idiot because I just read the beginning of my comment thinking it was your response and I thought- WOW this sounds familiar???

                  I loved Turkish delights BECAUSE of Narnia. I actually have some at home right now. 😀 But they’re sitting there lonely and untouched. But it doesn’t make sense. HOW IS THERE SOMETHING FROM TURKEY IN NARNIA???!!! I’m totally gonna write a conspiracy post because of that for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. HOW DID THAT QUEEN GET HER HANDS ON THEM?? Sorry, I just had a mini freak out.

                  You probably will regret it once you get frost bites and your fingers and toes get so frozen you can’t feel them and it’s like your limbs are actual ice cubes… FUN STUFF! But aesthetically it is jealous-worthy. So one day soon you’ll be able to discover the secrets of the snow.

                  Like

                  • hiraethforthepages says:

                    YOU’RE BACK. AHA, I think we all have those moments when our brain decides to walk out on us 😄 (I read your second paragraph and I was confused because I thought you spotted a TURKEY in NARNIA?)

                    Unfortuantely, I can only have bits of turkish delight at a time because after my brain thinks I’m trying to poison myself with sweet BUT YES THEY ARE DELICIOUS. OMG thats so weird though, does that however make her a good queen? For introducing the world with turkish delights? OR WHAT POOR LITTLE CHILD DID SHE STEAL THOSE SWEETIES FROM?

                    Oh, that reminds of when I was small and watching some sort of show about a persons fingers turning black from the cold and falling off and then getting scared to EVER go to the snow, (YES FUN STUFF). One day, one day.

                    Liked by 1 person

    • sublimereads says:

      It is! It just gets you right into the Christmas spirit! But yeah, some were… pretty strange. I weren’t expecting those. I was expecting them to all be cute and fluffy. But I guess a variety is good.

      Like

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