Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Date Published: October 14th 2014
Genres: Holidays & Celebrations, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Audiobook Length: 12 hours 55 minutes
Audiobook Narrator: Abby Craden, Ann Marie Lee, Dustin Rubin, Fiona Hardingham, Henry Leyva, Julia Whelan, Kim Mai Guest, Lincoln Hoppe, Michelle Jubilee Gonzalez, Rebecca Lowman, Samantha Quan, Shannon McManus
Description: 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 (Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de La Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Tayler and Kiersten White), edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, 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.
Let me just preface this review by stating that I’m a Christmas grouch. It’s not so much that I’m against Christmas as a religious holiday. It’s the over-commercialization that drives me crazy. But given that, I become an emotional puddle of goo around sappy, Hallmark-y, Christmas love stories. My True Love Gave to Me (edited by Stephanie Perkins) hits all the right buttons.
I’m also a huge fan of short-story compilations. Readers have the opportunity to read stories by authors that they love already, and hopefully find whole new authors to love. Some of the stories in compilations are great. And some are probably duds. You can read one story, put the book down, and then go back later. Or you can read all the way through. If I see a compilation with at least one author that I already enjoy, I’m in!
One of my favorite stories in the collection is Krampulslauf by Holly Black. After reading this, I’m moving her books to the top of my TBR list! Who would have thought that a love story between Krampus and a girl would be so tempting. I suppose once you describe Krampus as wearing fur leggings, a black Utilikilt, big beautiful horns, and a bare chest, even a half-goat, half-man, Christmas Devil is sexy. Our narrator, as a child, thought that Christmas wishes should be for magical gifts like cloaks or potions. She meets Krampus at a masquerade. At the masquerade, She and her friends decide to have an epic New Year’s Eve party to impress some students from the local private school. No spoilers, but Krampus and his friends arrive at the party. And naughty children has better watch out! For me, what was most enchanting aspect of this story is that magic can, and still does, exist.
Some of the other stories that I enjoyed:
Midnights by Rainbow Rowell. I love how the story evolves. The meeting, the getting to know you. The falling in love. Plus, Rainbow Rowell is one of my favorite authors.
Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han. An adoptive daughter (who’s not an elf) tries to fit in with all the other elves.
The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. A beautiful story of wishes and dreams. Laini Taylor is another favorite author. Her descriptive style makes every story come alive.
Some of the other stories that did not work for me:
Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan. Dressing as Santa to impress your boyfriend’s little sister is creepy.
What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? By Gayle Forman. This was just meh for me.
In the acknowledgements, Stephanie Perkins states that the idea for this book was developed with her fellow secret Hallmark Christmas movie enthusiast, Myra McEntire. I would recommend reading this book to any Hallmark Christmas movie enthusiast, secret, or no.