I meant to post this review a few weeks ago when it was a little more relevant, but the time got away from me. My True Love Gave to Me is a collection of twelve holiday themed short stories curated by author Stephanie Perkins. This is the “cup of hot cocoa and a warm blanket” of books. Each story is a tale of romance, written by some of the most delightful writers out there, including Perkins herself, Rainbow Rowell, Kelly Link, Holly Black, and more!
It’s no secret I am a fan of the holiday love story. (Love Actually, get at me.) And I am a huge Stephanie Perkins fan, so it was with great excitement and anticipation that I sat down to read this anthology. Neil gave it to me for Christmas (<3) and I started reading it a few days before Christmas. It felt very appropriate. The stories were well written and also just nice to read. It’s the kind of book that just makes you feel good, something one might need during the holiday season or any season for that matter. I enjoyed it immensely.
As with most anthologies, the stories are kind of all over the place. There were definitely some I enjoyed more than others and there were many that surprised me. Some of the stories get very real and others are borderline fantasy (literally with magical or unexplainable elements). The voices were many and varied. At the heart of each piece, shocker, was love. And I was thrilled to be a part of it.
My favorite stories were as follows:
“Midnights” by Rainbow Rowell followed a series of New Year’s Eves and how they affect one girl’s life and love life. But it’s Rainbow Rowell so it’s delightful and perfect.
“The Lady and the Fox” by Kelly Link was strange and wonderful in all the ways I expect out of a Link story. The magical element filled my heart with joy and made me think of all those times as a teenager I’d hoped some mysterious gentleman would appear in my life.
“It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown” by Stephanie Perkins was everything. Equal parts touching and realistic, Stephanie Perkins is so good at capturing the beautiful and surprising improbability of love and how it sneaks up on you. Also kudos for having a character named North.
“The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor started lukewarm for me because it was so very different from everything that came before, but I really grew to love the style and fell for the tale as it unfolded. It had a lovely pace and a rather folksy fable-esque feel.
I also really liked “Welcome to Christmas, CA” by Kiersten White. That was another one that had to grow on me.
One of the best parts of this anthology was that I discovered some authors I’d never heard of or I’d never read before. It was nice to get a taste of their work.
If you enjoy reading stories about love by some of the best YA authors out there, this collection is for you. And if you like the idea of this, get excited because Perkins is releasing a companion collection called Summer Days and Summer Nights this June! It has an absolute rock star list of contributing authors so I am beside myself with glee. Can’t wait to have some summer romance!
Until next time.