Danika

Book Review — My True Love Gave To Me

Hello everyone! It’s been awhile. I hope everyone has been enjoying their holidays and getting a chance to read many good books 🙂 Today I have a series of mini reviews on each of the stories from the YA holiday romance collection My True Love Gave To Me. Enjoy!

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Title: My True Love Gave To Me
Editor: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: YA Romance
Page Number: 321 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Reading Span: December 3, 2016 – December 25, 2016
Rating: *** (three stars)

1) Midnights by Rainbow Rowell – ** (two stars)
I’ve loved both of Rowell’s books that I’ve read thus far, and everyone seemed to adore this story, but unfortunately I did not. I just felt that the story was way too short for me to have any real connection to the characters or the story. While I liked the focus on the fear of change and not belonging, the ending was ultimately very predictable.

2) The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link – * (one star)
I really didn’t enjoy this story. It was based entirely upon insta-love in which the two romantic partners had no connection. There was a fantasy element which went completely unexplained and felt random and unnecessary. The ending was rushed and I was left unsatisfied.

3) Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Peña – *** (three stars)
This is definitely my favourite story thus far, as it had more depth than the other two. I really liked the male protagonist (a rarity in YA!), and enjoyed the exploration of race and financial status in the story. My main complaint that docked stars is that I really didn’t like the love interest, and felt that their romantic connection was forced and clichĂ©.

4) Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han – ** (two stars)
I must admit I’m disappointed by this story. I like Jenny Han, as she writes great characters and cute romance. However, this one really missed the mark for me. It was so short that I felt nothing could really be explored, and overall I didn’t grow any attachment to the characters or sorry.

img_20161227_0146595) It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins – **** (four stars)
Perkins always delivers as far as cute romance is concerned. I enjoyed both characters in the story and their interaction was sweet and nicely paced. The slow backstory reveal was done well too. This story wasn’t anything groundbreaking, but I wanted a cute holiday romance and that’s what I got.

6) Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan – ** (two and a half stars)
I enjoyed this story more than some of the others in the anthology this far, but I didn’t find it to be anything special. While I appreciated the incorporation of an lgbtq romance, I felt no connection to the characters whatsoever. We got to know the narrator, but not a single aspect of the boyfriend was developed.

7) Krampuslauf by Holly Black –  * (one and a half stars)
This story was definitely one of my least favourites. I found I felt very similarly about this story as compared to “The Lady and the Fox”. Both featured underdeveloped instantaneous romances and an unnecessary and unexplained fantastical element.

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8) What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman – **** (four stars)
I’m so thrilled to find a story I actually liked! What set this one apart was how I was actually able to connect with and genuinely care about the characters in the story. The writing style was concise and effective, and I was left with a feeling of warmth at the end which most of  the stories have lacked. This is the first work of Forman’s I’ve read, and I’m quite impressed.

9) Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire – *** (three stars)
I liked this story okay, and there was no major aspect that detracted from it, but overall I just found it to be very forgettable. The romance between the characters was sweet and well-paced, which was a refreshing surprise compared to some of the other stories. In the end though, it was nothing special.

10) Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White – **** (four stars)
I really enjoyed this story! I think it’s likely my favourite of the collection at this point. I really enjoyed the setting and various characters included in the story. The romance was nicely developed in the amount of time, and the love interest was so cute. My main complaint is how unsupportive the protagonist was towards her friend who was in a harmful relationship.

11) Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter – ** (two and a half stars)
This story was just so far-fetched that I had difficultly accepting it as plausible, which definitely hindered my enjoyment. That being said, there were some funny parts and I enjoyed the emphasis on family. While it was certainly not very memorable (as with most of the stories in this anthology), it was still a cute read.

12) The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor – ** (two stars)
It pains me so much to give a Laini Taylor story two stars. She has the most stunning writing style and fluid prose, img_20161227_015013which was prevalent in this story, but I couldn’t ignore how much it dragged. I couldn’t keep my mind focused while reading, and had to force myself to keep going many times. The story had potential but it just didn’t grip me.

When I averaged the rating, it turned out to be 2.63 stars, but I decided to round it up to 3 stars, as I felt that best described my reading experience. I must say that I found many of the stories disappointing, but there were some very cute hidden gems as well. This book is good if you want a light holiday read, but if it’s not Christmastime, in my opinion there’s not much to be gained from it. I hope you all have a lovely day!

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