Thursday, October 9, 2014

Early Thoughts: My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
Read: September 24 - October 4, 2014
Published: October 14, 2014 by St. Martin’s Press
Source: NetGalley (Thank you, St. Martin's)
Category: YA, holiday, seasonal, short stories, 

Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository 

Authors: Rainbow Rowell, Kelly Link, Matt De La Peña, Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, David Levitham, Gayle Forman, Holly Black, Myrna McEntire, Kiersten White, Ally Carter, Laini Taylor

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.


I have been in an incredible book slump recently. It got to the point where I started to panic: WOULD I EVER FINISH A BOOK AGAIN?!??? Yes, I'm prone to the dramatics some times. Before I started My True Love Gave To Me, I would have told you that I'm not a fan of books made up of story collections. Despite my misguided beliefs, I picked this up anyway, hoping that reading each of the short tales would give me a sense of accomplishment. After reading - and savoring - each one of these, I honestly have no idea why short stories weren't always one of my favorite things. 

These twelve holiday tales, by twelve YA authors, were perfect for dragging me out of my book slump. Each one I read was another delicious flavor, and I could not wait to taste them all. Speaking of tasting, I'm pretty sure you could eat your way through this book. Lots of falling in love happened over shared food. Adding to the yumminess, this collection contains a lovely and broad mix of stories and characters. Male and female narrators, a diversity of religion and race, and everything from magic and menorahs to Santa costumes and Christmas towns. And kissing! Lots of sweet kisses and a few bittersweet ones too. But mostly, the happy sigh kind of kissing. 

You really get to know a person when you spend a holiday with them. It is such a personal, family, emotional time and has the magical ability to bind you to someone just a little bit more than other times of the year. Or at least that's how I felt while reading these stories. After spending time with these characters, it was hard to let many of them go, even though I'd known them for such a short time. 

I definitely have a few favorites out of the twelve, including Rainbow Rowell's, Matt De La Peña's, Stephanie Perkins and Kiersten White's contributions. There were stories I would have liked a little more out of. Some I just didn't want to leave. Some were better contained in the short story format than others, and some felt like they could have used something extra, or didn't stand out as well to me. But I found something to enjoy about every one of them, and together they combined into a perfect holiday feast. For that, I wouldn't change a thing. 

Love Triangle Factor: Overall none. 
Cliffhanger Scale: Short Story Collection


  1. I can't wait to read this book! It sounds like just what I need right now.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  2. I love short story collections and this one seems beyond adorable and just what I need! Lovely review :)

  3. Aw, amazing review Lauren. <3 I'm so so glad you ended up loving this book. I'm curious about the stories :D just got my UK hardcover edition of it. <3 which is GOOORGEOUS. Ack. Anyway. Aw. I'm sorry you have been in a slump :( that happens often to me, hih, and is no fun :p but good too. Hope you are now reading an awesome book :) Anyway. Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

  4. God, slumps suck. I'm in a bit of one right now, too. Though I've been powering through books, they haven't really engaged me like I hope (well, I started one last night that might change that. *fingers crossed*). This one sounds really sweet!

  5. Lovely review, L! This will be the perfect pre-holiday read, right before all the craziness. :) Looking forward to reading cute short stories for a change of pace.

  6. I don't think I read White or Matt's so I'll need to check out those two for sure but Rowell and Perkins totally steal the show in this installment. It's such a cute, fun idea--I hope they decide to make more of these anthologies for every season! So glad you finally were able to get over your slump, Lauren--I haven't been reading enough to be in a concrete slump since beginning college!--and I hope your next reads are just as rewarding. :)

  7. Hmmm…I'm not a big short story fan and I also don't generally like novellas either, so I wasn't sure if I was going to read this one. I may try it though and glad you enjoyed them! It may be nice to read them when it gets closer to the holidays. ~Pam

  8. I'm so happy to hear that you loved this one! I am dying because SO MANY OF MY FAVORITE AUTHORS. I always have a hard time with collections like this because some are SO SO SO SO great and then others are MEH but I'm glad that, even though some were better than others, there don't seem to be any crazy duds.

    Can't wait to read this soon! I was going to wait until Christmas time but idk if I can!!

  9. I'm not a big short story reader so I am surprised at how much I enjoyed this. I do like scary short stories -- I think those work well in a short format...
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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  11. I really do want to read this!! I'm not usually a big short story person either, but I've more recently begun to enjoy them. I'm glad to hear that all of the stories had something to enjoy.


  12. I ADORED this. I loved RRowell's story because Mike has the same food allergies as her character, so I thought it was really fun. I liked the de la Pena story too! It was neat to read one by this author because I've never read fiction by him in real life - only articles and blog posts. BUT this short story was just like his articles, which I loved. Even the stories that weren't my favorites were pretty fun. Plus the cover is spectacular!

  13. YAY! This sounds FANTASTIC! Even though I'm not big on short stories, this collection sounds like something I'd really enjoy -- which surprises me, because I'm not a straight-up romance reader either. But you're right, something about the holidays brings out the warm fuzzies in most of us, and I'd love nothing more than to curl up with this collection on Christmas day. I'll definitely be adding it to my Christmas wishlist. Here's to hoping I receive it! :)

    Marlene @ The Flyleaf Review

  14. I LOVE short story collections, and I feel like I haven't read any for ages!! I have purchased two as of late, and am hoping to get back into shorts too--and I'd like to read this one. I love that every story brings something different, and that you can skip around, and YES, feel accomplished. There are authors in here I love and authors I don't know, and authors I don't like, but I'm hoping to borrow it closer to Christmas and give it a try. So glad it helped you out of your slump!


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