Review: My True Love Gave To Me by Stephanie Perkins (editor)

My True Love Gave To Me by Stephanie Perkins (editor)

Genres: Young Adult, Anthology, Holiday

Release Date: October 14, 2014

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon


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. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year's 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.
My Thoughts

I'm not usually a fan of short stories but I am a fan of YA and Rainbow Rowell so I was willing to give this anthology a try. Plus, it's been sitting on my bookshelf since its release in 2014. I'd been meaning to read it the past two years and it just never happened. There were some hits and there were some misses... here are my thoughts.

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell: 5/5

I love that the book started with this gem from Rainbow Rowell. Loved this one and would read an entire book about Mags and Noel.

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link: 2.5/5
I'm not sure what to make of this one. I was enjoying it but then it ended with zero explanation. No explanation of who Fenny was, where he came from, who the Lady was... just nothing. *scratches head*

Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Pena: 3/5
Equal parts sweet and sad.

Polaris Is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han: 3/5
I was so loving this one. It was so whimsical and magical and I liked Natalie and Flynn. But then that ending. Nope.

It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: 5/5
Loved it. I could have read an entire book about Marigold and North. And now I need to read everything by Stephanie Perkins.

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan: 2/5
I didn't feel any connection to this one and overall it was pretty boring.

Krampuslauf by Holly Black: 4/5
Okay, this one was pretty weird but the weirdness worked for me. I found the ending a tiny bit anti-climatic but I would loved to have read more about Joachim.

What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman: 2/5
Unfortunately main character Sophie ruined this one for me. She was so judgmental of those around her. Ironically, she felt judged by everyone in the small rural college she was attending but, hello - pot meet kettle. Instead of making any effort she just stood back and internally mocked those around her for being earnest and sincere. How dare they wear Christmas sweaters and sing carols! Sophie was much too cool for that apparently. My title suggestion: Get over yourself, Sophie Roth.

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire - 3.5/5
I enjoyed this story of acceptance and wanting to be seen for more than face value. I could easily see this one developed into a full-length novel.

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White - 4/5
There was an odd kinda-sorta magical realism thing going on with the food at the diner but other than that I enjoyed Maria's story. I liked the arc of the characters that White was able to provide in such a short story. 

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter - 4/5
Despite being totally unrealistic, I really fell for Lydia's story. Ethan was perfect, his family was warm and loving, and the total optimist in me loved the happy ending.

The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor - 1/5
Uh... I don't even know what to say. This one was truly strange and didn't even seem to fit. I found myself wanting to start skimming (even though it was short) and after finishing it all I could think was: what did I just read?

Overall, My True Love Gave To Me was a mixed bag. There were a few contemporaries that I loved (thank you Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkins!), some that were mostly enjoyable, and a couple that just missed the mark.

Overall rating: 3.5/5
Do you enjoy short stories/anthologies?


  1. Great review! I didn't like the summer anthology but have been curious about this one since I love holiday stories. I am with you, however, on short stories generally. Glad this had some good ones at least even if some were not so good!

    1. Thanks Eva. I'll probably skip the summer one since this one was such a mixed bag. There were a few that I really enjoyed but it wasn't really worth reading the whole book. LOL

  2. Ah, I'm happy you finally got this one off your shelf and that, for the most part, it was pretty good reading. :) It certainly has some big name authors so it was interesting to me who worked for you and who didn't. I don't ready a lot of anthologies but I don't know why. I typically enjoy them when I do read them. They're just not something I typically pick up. I'll have to look in my library for this one. Great reviews, Tanya!

    1. I know, right? Just moving it from the TBR was accomplishment enough... who cares what I thought about it! LOL I'm going back and forth on whether to keep this one. I thought about adding it to my Freebie Friday stack for when I start that giveaway again but there are a couple stories I might want to reread now and then.

  3. Your review of "What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?" Made me LOL. Sorry you didn't enjoy this anthology too much. Great reviews! ~Aleen

    1. LOL Thanks Aleen. Guess I got a little ranty with that particular review. Ha! :)

  4. I'm happy you enjoyed this for the most part. I thought it was a pretty cute collection of short stories, though some of them were, simply put, horrid lol. Plus I feel like it was probably a terrible idea to put the best story - and a New Year one at that! - to the beginning of a Christmas anthology. Anyhow, it was still pretty sweet, I rated it 4 stars, as it's one of the better short story collections I've read. :)
    Wonderful review! :)
    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

    1. LOL I love how you just come out and say some were horrid, Veronika. Too right! And you're right about putting Rowell's story at the very beginning. It was kind of downhill from there at times.

  5. Oooh I've been meaning to pick this one up for AGES! I actually read the other short story collection Perkins curated, Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, and loved it! This one sounds great too, despite the not-so-great ones in there. Great review, Tanya! :)

    1. Thanks Ruzaika! If you liked the other one that Perkins edited you would probably really enjoy this one! There were some that I didn't care for (can't love them all!) but there were also some really good ones.

  6. I thought this was pretty good. Midnights by Rainbow Rowell was probably my favorite too. I love her writing. And Marigold and North *nods*. Another good one. You probably already know this but there is another Marigold and North story in the Summer Days and Summer Nights anthology, it takes place a few months after the events in this one. I didn't like it quite as much, but if you want to revisit them...

    Girl who Woke the dreamer didn't work for me either. Kinda weird. Welcome to Christmas, CA wasn't bad.

    1. Hey Greg - No, I didn't know that Marigold and North had another story in the summer anthology! Thanks so much for mentioning that! I might check my library for that one.