On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ...This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays.
Hi, there! I'm Stephanie Perkins, and I wrote Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and Isla and the Happily Ever After. I also edited (and contributed a short story to) a romantic holiday anthology called My True Love Gave to Me and its companion anthology Summer Days and Summer Nights. My most recent releases are horror novels—There's Someone Inside Your House, which was adapted into a film for Netflix, and The Woods Are Always Watching. I'm currently at work on my next novel, which has not been publicly announced yet.
Midnights by Rainbow Rowell: 4/5 The Lady and The Fox by Kelly Link: 1/5 Angels In The Snow by Matt de la Peña: 3/5 Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han: 5/5 (loved how quirky this one was!) It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: 4/5 Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan: 3/5 Krampuslauf by Holly Black: 1/5 (skimmed this one -_-) What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman: 5/5 Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire: 1/5 (didn't finish this one!) Welcome To Christmas, CA by Kiersten White: 4/5 Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter: 3/5 The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor: 3/5
Like almost all short story collections by various authors, this one is a mixed bag of hidden gems and ones I didn't even finish. If you'd asked me beforehand to name a list of YA authors that I'd like to appear in a short story collection, many of the ones here would have made that list: Stephanie Perkins, Laini Taylor, Holly Black, Gayle Forman, David Levithan and maybe Rainbow Rowell (I like but don't love her books).
Then if you'd asked me what kind of short story collection I'd like to have from these favourites of mine, you would have got all kinds of weird and wonderful suggestions from me... but a collection of holiday-themed romances would never have occurred to me as something enjoyable. I'm not much of a romantic or a Christmas person, to be honest. I'm more of a Halloween type of girl - and all the genres that could possibly go with it. But I did get some really nice surprises here. I'm not sure it's worth buying the entire collection but it would be sad for you to miss out on the better ones. And it is a pleasingly diverse set of stories, filled with people of all races, ethnicities, religions and sexualities *thumbs up*
Personally, I think this book starts and ends with the two best stories, from Rainbow Rowell and Laini Taylor respectively. Taylor's work came as no surprise but I didn't see Rowell's tale coming. She really hit me where it hurts (in a good way). The story made me sit up and take notice in a collection that I wasn't sure would be my thing. I'm not going to review every single story properly because some didn't pique my interest and some I skim-read, but here's what I thought.
"Midnights" by Rainbow Rowell - 5/5 This was my favourite story and it probably wasn't a good idea for it to appear first because so many that followed received unfair comparisons with it. It tells the story of the midnight countdown on New Year's Eve over several years, revisiting the same characters in a non-chronological order and slowly filling in the blanks on their personalities and relationship. It amazed me how much I fell in love with the two protagonists, how well-developed their characters were in so short an amount of time and pages.
“You’re a kaleidoscope. You change every time I look away.”
It was a funny, sweet, wonderful little story. With a hint of melancholy, as all the best New Year stories should be. There's something really sad about the possibility of the new and moving on and becoming someone else, not being who you once were. Rowell captures that hint of fear people have about growing up and everyone they once knew changing around them.
"The Lady and the Fox" by Kelly Link - 2/5 This was one I didn't read properly. It started well and had an intriguing premise but I grew bored.
"Angels in the Snow" by Matt De La Pena - 3/5 I really liked the idea of this one and my only real problem with it was that I didn't like the female love interest. It was refreshing to see a YA romance told from a male perspective and I liked the subtle exploration of race and racial stereotyping that existed without overtaking the main story. It's about a guy who is house-sitting for his boss over the Christmas period and is slowly starving in a house with no food (he is broke). An encounter with his pretty neighbor sparks an interesting and unlikely relationship that is built up through the telling of stories.
Indulging more and more tidbits about each others lives, the two grow closer. But how much of what they tell each other is the truth?
"Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me" by Jenny Han - 2/5 It must just be something about Jenny Han's writing style that doesn't agree with me because I've been unable to like any of her books. I started to skim read this story and I can't actually remember what it's about. Hence, no real review. Oh well...
"It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown" by Stephanie Perkins - 4/5 I'm really not surprised that Perkins delivered. It was her name that I saw first on this collection and I added it immediately before checking out who else was included. Her stories are always so cute and sweet, but without too much of the cheesy. This one is no exception.
Unlike Rowell's story - that deals with a relationship over the period of several years - Perkins tells us a love story that takes place over just a few hours. And it is surprisingly effective. She builds instantly likable characters and uses her gift for dialogue to convince you to root for the two protagonists even after such a short amount of time. It is one of the more feel-good, enjoyable stories in here, but it also deals with anxieties about the future and the expectations other people have of you.
"Your Temporary Santa" by David Levithan - no rating I didn't read far enough with this one because I felt no connection to the characters, which is why I'm not leaving a rating or review. I'm extremely pleased that an LGBT romance was included in the collection, I know some romance collection publishers in the past have been douches about it, but I wasn't grabbed by the story. As much as I have enjoyed Levithan's work in the past, most of his more recent stuff hasn't really worked for me.
"Krampuslauf by Holly Black" - no rating Sometimes I love Holly Black so much that I get pulled in and completely addicted to her stories. And sometimes her style does nothing for me. This time was the latter. Didn't finish.
"What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?" by Gayle Forman - 3/5 This story is about a Jewish girl who moves to college in a small, very Christian place where she feels like a complete outsider. There she meets a black boy who is equally treated like an outsider and these two big city small town misfits find something important in each other. I liked it okay.
The characters were interesting enough that I read to the end and enjoyed reading about their relationship. However, I think the story was built up solely around addressing racial and religious stereotypes, which I agree is important, but here it overshadowed everything else that happened. Most of the dialogue was made up of the two protagonists discussing the way other people saw them in this new town. I understand the idea about outsiders coming together, but I got the impression that these two got together simply because she was Jewish and he was black. Plus, the ending got a little too cheesy for me.
"Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus" by Myra McEntire - no rating I didn't read this one. Someone tell me if it's good and I'll go try it :)
"Welcome to Christmas, CA" by Kiersten White - 3/5 White is not one of my favourite authors. I've tried a bunch of her books and never been able to get into them or understand the hype. So I didn't have much hope for this one, but I tried it and it was better than expected. Unlike most of the authors in this collection, White goes with a quirky, funny style that was easy to digest and enjoyable. The characters weren't as memorable as some of the others, but I did get a few laughs from it.
"Star of Bethlehem" by Ally Carter - no rating I didn't try reading this one either because it just didn't appeal to me. Feel free to let me know if it's good.
"The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer" by Laini Taylor - 5/5 *sigh* And finally... Laini Taylor is so reliably, consistently good in her storytelling and her beautiful, evocative language. In a collection full of contemporaries, she manages to take us into her own fantasy world and breathe some magic and wonderful prose into the holiday season.
All evening long, real snow would fall from the ceiling to glitter on the lashes of dancing girls and ardent boys, but Neve and the Dreamer didn’t linger. They had other things to do: all of them. All the things, dreamed and undreamed, in the depth and breadth of the whole spinning world.
I'll be rating each short story separately! So far I've read...
"Midnights" by Rainbow Rowell: 5 stars So cute and adorable. Rainbow is the main reason I wanted to read this book.
"The Lady and the Fox" by Kelly Link: 4 stars I really liked this story! It was intriguing and beautiful, but it also was a little confusing...
"Angels in the Snow" by Matt de la Peña: 3.5 stars This was cute and a little sad, there was a part when I wanted to cry.
"Polaris is where you'll find me" by Jenny Han: 4.5 stars I loved this one! It was cute and really original! When I finished reading it I was like: NO. I WANT MORE.
"Your Temporary Santa" by David Levithan: 3.5 stars Another cute story, I really liked how the main character cared for his boyfriend! The ending made me kind of uneasy, but it was still lovely.
"It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown" by Stephanie Perkins: 5 stars This is my favorite story of the whole book! I fell in love with the characters and their relationship development, and that's not an easy task with a story this short! I was smiling the whole time while I was reading it! A lovely, lovely story.
"Krampuslauf" by Holly Black: 3.5 stars This one was fine, I really enjoyed it! It was original and interesting! Also, I identified a little with the narrator.
"What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?" by Gayle Forman: 2.5 stars I love Gayle Forman but I don't know, this story just wasn't for me. The writing was beautiful, but I couldn't connect with the characters.
"Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus" by Myra Mcentire: 3 stars It was okay, somewhat funny and cute. I really liked Gracie's dad, the pastor, he was too sweet!
"Star of Bethlehem" por Ally Carter: 3 stars I think this one didn't work quite well as a short story, the characters needed more background explanation, but nevertheless, it was a nice read! Heartwarming and original.
"Welcome to Christmas, CA" by Kiersten White: 5 stars A beautiful story! I loved everything about it. It was so, so heartwarming and lovely. I almost cried because I was in awe, with a big smile on my face. I wish I could read more about these characters.
"The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer" by Laini Taylor: 3 stars. This one disappointed me a little, I was eager to read it because it was from Laini and I didn't enjoyed it as much as I thought I would. Maybe it was because there was almost NO dialogue! Just paragraphs and paragraphs and paragraphs and NO interaction with anyone! It was a tedious read for me :(. I liked that it was REALLY magical and whimsical.
“But people don't need to remember how it felt to be happy and safe in the past. They need to have hope that they can get there again in the future.”
3,6/5 stars (average rating of all 12 short stories)
So while Laini Taylor's short story was stunningly beautiful and magical, there were others that really surprised me as well. I've never read anything by Matt de la Pena and I must say I really loved Angels in the Snow. Same thing applies to Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White. Of course, as always, it was a pleasure to read something new by Rainbow Rowell once again. I expected more of David Levithan, was kind of weirded out by Krampuslauf by Holly Black, and Kelly Link couldn't satisfy me at all. To say the least, it was a nice collection of stories by awesome authors, but I still prefer whole novels to short stories.
I really enjoyed this book overall! I don't read lots of books like this though... I don't know if I ever have before actually... but it WAS really strange to be reading a story that you LOVE then go on to read a mediocre story. Below I've listed my individual star ratings:
*****Midnights by Rainbow Rowell: 5/5 LOVED this! *The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link: 1/5 This was so weird and random. Especially after reading Midnights. **** Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Pena: 4/5 KITTY! This was good. I really enjoyed the writing. I felt so bad for Shy... *****Polaris is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han: 5/5 Wish this one would have been longer! ***** It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: 5/5 MY FAVORITE OF THE BOOK! Loved the characters, the setting, EVERYTHING. Can I have this full book now Stephanie Perkins??? ***Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan: 3/5 It was okay. Not too memorable. **Krampuslauf by Holly Black: 2/5 Didn't care for this story. I was honestly just skimming by the end of it... ****What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman: 4/5 Enjoyed this one! But really... apple pie and cheese? yuck. ***Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire: 3.5/5 This was an okay story. A little cheesy. Enjoyed some of the pranks! *****Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White: 5/5 LOVED this. Ben was such a fun character! I loved the plot and was so pleasantly surprised I started to tear up! *****Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter: 5/5 Definitely wish this was longer! I would read a whole book about Lydia! **The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor 2/5 What did I just read? Did this story really belong in this book?
I've read a story from this anthology every night up to Christmas Eve! It was just a fun little treat to myself and something that helped me get even more into the holiday season (along with The Sorcerer's Stone Illustrated Edition). I was very surprised, because I absolutely adored a few stories by authors I've never read before. Then, in turn, a few of the bigger named authors I've read and loved were disappointments. Overall, this really is a heartwarming book filled with lots of holiday cheer. I definitely recommend this book to be read in December, by your fireplace, with lots of hot chocolate on hand!
The cover of this book needs to be talked about. It's obviously a perfect fit for a holiday collection book, but upon further inspection you'll realized that all the couples ice skating are from the twelve stories! Like, how perfect is that? Seriously, wonderfully done!
The Twelve Nights of Christmas Reading Challenge:
Night One.) "Midnights" by Rainbow Rowell: Two Stars ★★ This was really well written, but it just didn't hook me the way I thought it would. It was a flash back through the past four New Years Eves, and what happened as the clock struck midnight. This starts sophomore year of high school and ends freshman year of college. The story did do a wonderful job making the reader reminiscent about growing up and feeling like everyone around you was changing. Especially when coming home from college and seeing your old high school friends. Rainbow Rowell can string together such beautiful stories, but this one seemed a little boring to me (kudos to her for mentioning the University of Michigan though). This also seemed a little awkward for me, because it was placed as the first story in a holiday anthology, when it's a story all about New Year Eves.
Night Two.) "The Lady and the Fox" by Kelly Link: Four Stars ★★★★ Miranda is a young girl whose mother is in prison for life. She spends every Christmas with her Godmother and her Godmother's son. They always throw big and elaborate parties, but one year Miranda notices a man outside looking in on the party, and has to go investigate. I didn't love the ending, because I'm not familiar with this particular folk-tale, but I loved this story so much. It was so beautiful and very engaging, and really showcases unconditional love. Miranda's devotion completely captivated me, and had me wishing for snow right alongside her. While reading most of my friend's reviews, I see they didn't like this one very much. In fact, it seems like most gave it one star. I'm just so shocked, because this was so wonderfully written and put me in such a holiday mood. Maybe they didn't understand it? Or maybe they just couldn't connect? But I legitimately had so much empathy for Miranda, and even after I finished I was thinking about this story the rest of the night. So much emotion packed inside thirty pages.
Night Three.) "Angels in the Snow" by Matt de la Peña: Three Stars ★★★ This story was so flippin' sad, and had no real closure! It's about a boy that's away at college in New York, and came from a very poor family back in California. He's cat sitting for his friend during the holidays, and he meets a girl in his friend's apartment complex. Oh, and they're snowed in. It was hard for me to connect with the main character, but I had a lot of empathy for him. I couldn't help but shed a few tears when I read the meaning of the title for this story. I just hope and pray that he doesn't throw everything away after his cat sitting job is over.
Night Four.) "Polaris is where you'll find me" by Jenny Han: Four Stars ★★★★ This was so original, and I just ate this story all up! I was so happy that not only did it have elves, it was actually set in the North Pole as well! And I couldn't have been the only person to loved picturing elves going to a mini prom! Yes, it did remind me of Elf with the whole "Santa brought a human home" storyline, but I love Elf, so it didn't even bother me. I know this one wasn't as romantic as the others, and I know that it ended with a terrible cliffhanger, but I think this story embodied Christmas with Santa the best. I honestly would read more of this story if the author ever releases it.
Night Five.) "It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown" by Stephanie Perkins: Two Stars ★★ I know, I feel horrible giving this two stars. I thought since this author put this collaboration together, that her story would be one of the best. Unfortunately, I couldn't connect with this story at all. Another sad thing is that North is one of my all time favorite boy names, but not even that could redeem this story for me. I think this might have worked much better as a full length novel. That way we could get to know both of their situations and backgrounds better and, in greater detail, the need of North's voice.
Night Six.) "Your Temporary Santa" by David Levithan: One Star ★ This was by far the worst story of the twelve. It was very awkward, and the ending made me really uneasy. Basically, a boy dresses up as Santa for his boyfriend's little sister, which sounds sweet, but felt so forced. He then has a confrontation with their older sister when he tries to leave. I'm extra disappointed, because I would have loved to have a good LGBT holiday story, instead of this awkward and forced one.
Night Seven.) "What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?" by Gayle Forman: Three Stars ★★★ This was sweet story about two people trying to find themselves while finding each other. This was also a nice change of pace, because this is a Hanukkah story! I think this story does do a nice job of describing how people can feel so alone, even surrounded by others constantly. It was a little hard for me to connect, just because some of the things that they liked, I didn't like. I probably wouldn't be caught quoting The Simpsons to start off a winter romance. And am I the only one that has never heard of eating cheese on apple pie?
Night Eight.) "Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus" by Myra McEntire: Two Stars ★★ I liked this more than I thought I would from the title name. This story was surprisingly heartwarming, but it was still so cheesy. I seriously expect this to be a longer made for TV movie on ABC Family or The Hallmark Channel. Gracie is the reserved daughter of a pastor, and Vaughn is a trouble maker with a good heart, but a bad home life. Even though they seem like opposites, they connect and see the good in one another.
Night Nine.) "Welcome to Christmas, CA" by Kiersten White: Five Stars ★★★★★ This is the epitome of what a holiday story should be. This was perfection. It had everything you'd look for in a good holiday tale; it was heartwarming, emotional, had a happy ending, wonderfully written, and was filled with magic. This is a story about a girl that is trapped in a small town. Her mom runs a Christmas themed diner, which she begrudgingly works at, and they just got a new cook! I don't really want to say much more, because I think going into this story expecting nothing, but receiving everything, is part of the magic. This was my first time reading anything by Kiersten White, but it most certainly will not be my last.
Night Ten.) "Star of Bethlehem" por Ally Carter: Four Stars ★★★★ This was another very unexpectedly good holiday story! I was so confused why a girl would trade plane tickets with a random girl at the airport, but the realization (on Lydia's end) was really cute at the end. Sadly, this story really needed to be longer, because we never find out what the deal with Ethan and Hulda's relationship was. This was very original and very unique, and was a very good installment for this anthology. I think this story will surprise quite a few readers, and most will enjoy this novella immensely. Especially if you like the "cowboy" thing.
Night Eleven.) "The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer" by Laini Taylor: One Star ★ This had a cool premise, but overall was just really disappointing to me. Basically, if you're a single lady on this island (where it's almost impossible to leave), on December 1st though December 24th a suitor can leave you a gift on your porch. After the last day, the island has a ball, where you find your betrothed, and seal the marriage with a dance. I have not read anything by Laini Taylor, but I know many of her books have a lot of hype surrounding them, so I just expected better. This novella was so unclear and rushed. It felt so weak, even in the fantasy department, where I think this book was supposed to shine. Even with a happy ending, this story didn't make me feel good, it didn't fill me with holiday cheer, it really didn't do anything for me. I'm very thankful that I didn't save this story for last like intended, because I would have been very letdown.
Night Twelve.) "Krampuslauf" by Holly Black: Four Stars ★★★★ I chose to read this story last, because I'm in love with anything Holly Black writes, so I was banking on her for being an amazing Christmas Eve read. Little did I know, this story was very far from a Christmas read! I still loved it, just because Holly Black's writing style is completely for me, and her story was so different that it would be really hard for me not to appreciate it. There were also a few really good quotes nestled in this really short story. The writing of this novella was better than the other eleven novellas combined. If this story wasn't for a Holiday Season Anthology I'd give it five stars.
I gave this anthology three stars overall, because out of a possible 60 stars (5 stars possible for each of the 12 stories) this anthology accumulated 35 stars (58%).
I hope all of my GoodReads friends and family have a very merry Christmas, filled with love, health, happiness, and lots of good books.
week 1 - What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman. Rating: ★★★★☆ 4 stars. week 2 - Midnights, by Rainbow Rowell. Rating: ★★★★★ 4.5 stars. week 3 - Welcome To Christmas, CA, by Kiersten White. Rating: ★★★★★ 4.8 stars. week 4 - The Lady and The Fox, by Kelly Link. Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ 1 star. week 5 - Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus, by Myra McIntyre. Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3.5 stars. week 6 - Angels in The Snow, by Matt de la Pena. Rating: ★★★★☆ 4 stars. week 7 - Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me, by Jenny Han. Rating: ★★★★☆ 4 stars. week 8 - Star of Bethlehem, by Ally Carter. Rating: ★★★★☆ 4.25 stars. week 9 - The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor. Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 1.5 stars. week 10+11 - Your Temporary Santa, by David Levithan. Rating: ★★★★★ 5 stars. Krampuslauf, by Holly Black. Rating: ★★★★☆ 4 stars. week 12 - It’s A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown, by Stephanie Perkins. Rating: ★★★★☆ 4.5 stars.
#1: Midnights by Rainbow Rowell - 3⭐️ This was a cute story, nothing special but I definitely enjoyed it!
#2: The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link - 1 ⭐️ I only read a few pages of this story but I just can’t get myself to even read another page of it. I don’t really understand what’s going on and I don’t like the writing style.
#3: Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Peña - 4⭐️ This was such a cute and quick read. I really enjoyed it!
#4: Polaris Is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han - 2.5⭐️ I really liked the setting of the story but it was just way too short.
#5: It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins - 5⭐️ I really, really enjoyed this story. Definitely my favorite one so far! ❤️
#6: Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan - 2⭐️ Unfortunately, I didn’t really like this story. I feel like nothing really happened which made it quite a boring read!
#7: Krampuslauf by Holly Bourne - 2⭐️ This one just wasn’t really for me.
#8: What the hell have you done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman - 5 ⭐️ I really, really loved this story! Sophie and Russell were great characters and I really liked how this story revolves around Hanukkah and is set in college.
#9: Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire - 3⭐️ This wasn't a bad story but it wasn't a particularly good one either 🤷🏻♀️
#10: Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White - 4.5 ⭐️ It took me a few pages to get into the story but I ended up really enjoying it!
#11: Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter - 4⭐️ A very cute story that I really enjoyed reading!
#12: The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor - 4⭐️ I really liked Laini Taylor's writing style and the plot of the story was very creative and interesting!
Ratings: 1. Midnight by Rainbow Rowell: 4/5 2. The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link: 3/5 3. Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Pena: 1/5 4. Polaris is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han: 3.5/5 5. It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: 3/5 6. Your Temporary Santa by David Leviathan: 2.5/5 7. Krampuslauf by Holly Black: 2/5 8. What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman: 2/5 9. Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire: 3/5 10. Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White: 3.5/5 11. Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter: 4/5 12. The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: DNF (1/5)
AVERAGE RATING: 2.7 STARS
I'm really disappointed in this collection of short stories. :/ I only really liked one or two short stories and the rest were all pretty dull or lacked any holiday cheer. I expected much more from these great selection of authors. I also expected to feel all giddy and happy after reading these Christmas stories but that didn't really happen either.
One thing I did enjoy was the diversity among the characters. We definitely need more of that!
My True Love Gave to Me is a super cutesy, mostly contemporary holiday inspired anthology. I don’t usually like anthology collections but somehow I liked this. All of the stories were great, some were better than others, but none were terrible. This book is pretty famous in the book community, and for a good reason, it’s a classic holiday read that I suggest to anyone looking to get into the holiday spirit.
❄️Midnights – Rainbow Rowell – 4 stars❄️
I love Rainbow Rowell, and as much as I hate on romance and the friends to lovers trope, I still think this story was super cute.
❄️The Lady and the Fox – Kelly Link – 3.75 stars❄️
I loved the ambience and aura of mystery in this story. I wish we got more answers in the end, but I think I also like the open-ended-ness.
❄️Angels in the Snow – Matt De La Pena – 3 stars❄️
Solid enough story but it made me much sadder than I ever want to be when reading a holiday book.
❄️Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me – Jenny Han – 2.5 stars❄️
Giving Jenny Han a low rating feels almost sacrilegious to me, but geez I didn’t like this story at all. The main character was immature and annoying, and a lot of the dialogue was super cringey.
❄️It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown – Stephanie Perkins – 5 stars❄️
This may just be my favourite of the entire collection. I have zero complaints. This was so cute, and the chemistry between the two characters was unreal.
❄️Your Temporary Santa – David Leviathan – 3 stars❄️
This underwhelmed me so much which is super sad because it’s the one non-straight romance in this entire book, but sadly it was too uneventful for my tastes.
❄️Krampuslauf – Holly Black – 5 stars❄️
Another one of my favourites. I loved the magical and whimsical vibes. It was so dreamlike and precisely what I needed in the middle of this contemporary collection.
❄️What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? – Gayle Forman – 3.5 stars❄️
I thought this was pretty cute. I liked everything apart from the ending which was just a little too superficially for me.
❄️Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus – Myra McEntire – 3 stars❄️
Probably my least favourite of the entire collection. I’m sorry, but there’s precisely nothing interesting about this story.
❄️Welcome to Christmas, CA – Kristen White – 3.5 stars❄️
I’ll admit at times this story was boring and cliché, but it was just so damn heartwarming I couldn’t help but like it. I really enjoyed that there was a lot more going on throughout it other than just a romance plot.
❄️Star of Bethlehem – Ally Carter – 3.5 stars❄️
The romance in this didn’t make much sense to me, but I loved the family aspect, and overall this story was intriguing
❄️The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer – Laini Taylor – 4 stars❄️
I love Laini Taylor's writing, and this story was super captivating. I feel like I would have enjoyed this more if it were closer to the beginning of the book because after 11 stories I was sick of following the same theme over and over again but other than that this was great.
Isn’t just fantastic when your computer shuts down and you lose your entire review???? Yeah, same.
I seem to never get tired of this book, some of these stories I LOVE and some were poop but all in all it’s a great anthology.
Midnights: by Rainbow Rowell - I absolutely adored this one, all three times I’ve read it. It’s really one of the perfect ones to start the anthology off with bc it’s short and cute and gahhhh - It’s written by Rainbow Rowell, so it’s like an automatic fav - I loved how it took place over a few years, showing how the dynamics of the friendship between noel and mags grew - Also noel is a little adorable baby, I love his nerdy, outgoing character so much - And rowell also makes the characters so distinct an unique in literally less than 30 pages like amazing - 4.5 stars!!
The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link - It’s not often that upon a reread I will raise my rating of a book but honestly idk why earlier version me was so bitter towards this story - Initially, I gave it 1 star but rereading it for the 3rd time, I can really see that its REALLY not all that bad - Yes it’s looonnnnggg, yes it feels underdeveloped, yes its weird - But it wasn’t TERRIBLE - I liked the resolution, I like the quirky characters, I like the little trick Miranda played - But I did feel like the fantasy aspect wasn’t developed enough to make much //sense// and that’s where it lacked mainly - 2.5 stars!!
Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Pena - So this one was great. I really really liked the uniqueness of this one - It was fun and realistic and cute and funny too - But I do have to point out this bc for some REASON I MISSED IT?? the first two times and that’s THE CHEATING ASPECT LIKE DUDE WHAT NO - It just sucks because despite how //short// the necessary cheating part lasted for, it still was CHEATING and I can’t overlook that - And so…imma drop one star for that - 3 star!!
Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han - I feel like Jenny Han’s writing just doesn’t appeal to me - Idk if this is just me, but her characters act so juvenile for their age theyre just throwing tantrums all the time errghghghgh - I think I would have liked it if we got to see more of Lars rather than whats-his-name-irrelevant-flynn - Interesting concept tho, it’s pretty cool, probably something every kid has dreamed of - Just didn’t work for maymay - 2 stars!!
It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins - Stephanie Perkins my queen is back writing these cute as hell stories damn - Her characters are so different like we got a hulking lumberjack boy, aka my son North, and this cute petite Marigold awwwwwweeee - Her stories just work so well and her ideas are so unique and just golden man - I need this turned into a full length novel bc my hearttttt - 4.5 stars!!
Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan - Me and David Levithan don’t seem to get along - There’s just something about his writing that makes me feel so detached from the characters - I quite liked the concept but it felt so frivolous - Like the mc just kept talking about all these deep issues he has and thoughts and insecurities and they just NEVER GET ANYWHERE WITH IT - It felt so unresolved to me bleh - 1.5 stars!!
Krampuslauf by Holly Black - I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this one - I mean it was pretty bad, I didn’t see any point to the story nor did I see any reason for this krampuslauf dude’s existence - Idk it just didn’t sit well with me but a lot of other readers liked it - It was just really long and boring and lacked ??idk a plot ?? - This has probably been a consistent nope for me these past 3 rereads - 1 star!
What the Hell have you Done Sophie Roth by Gayle Forman - This one was sweet. - It delved a little into racial and financial issues without being in your face, it was very smooth and I liked that - Very charming, pleasant read - The mc was super bitter tho omg she was like so negative I was like girl, just take a chill pill once in a while - But it made me have an intense craving for pie and that is truly not acceptable since I don’t have some with me rn :( - 4 stars!!
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire - I didn’t HATE this one but I didn’t like it either - It was kind of weird in a I don’t know whats going on sort of way - Like the kids are doing this play thing and somehow they become all smoldery eyed for each other in a matter of seconds and im like mmmemehhhhhhh - I think it was trying to be funny too but I missed that clearly - So I guess it was kind of boring - 2 stars!!
Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White - Who is TRASH FOR THIS STORY??? ME THAT’S WHO - Kiersten white gosh dammit can you try and not ruin my life for once??? - I loved this one sm, idk why but it just stuck with me since the first read and I just adored it - I love bennn so much oh my sweet chef darling child - And the family dynamics and friendship and the whole happy spirit about it (even tho it starts off pretty bitter) - I just L O V E this one - Also #food is featured for a good 90% and it the sole reason why people are happy and can I just say, thank you for proper representation bc that is the absolute truth - 5 stars!
Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter - I like this. It was fun and reckless and wild but it was entertaining - I felt like the romance was really rushed and that put it off a bit for me but it has a nice family aspect to it that warmed my cold heart - And switching identities with a person sounds terrifying yet oddly thrilling - And it didn’t hurt that it had it’s funny bits too - 3 stars!!
The Girl who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor - It’s funny bc I feel so much loyalty towards laini but for some reason this story just didn’t do it for me - The idea is good, the resolution is good but but but but but but - I just disliked how it was built and the lack of worldbuilding it just felt so superficial idk - I really tried to push through this but it was so long and gahhhahghah - But the message was beautiful so, silver linings - 1.5 stars!!
And here are the couples with their respective authors which I thought was super cool:
Well this book was such an ideal festive read with an adorable combination of 12 short romantic stories. I shall give each story its own individual rating as to me, some of them are heart-warming while some are jusst meh!
4/5* Midnight by Rainbow Rowell: This is legitally the definition of cuteness. Honestly, Rainbow Rowell has done it again!
2/5* The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link: Umm... This is an example of meh! This story may not be a nicely convenient read for me. The characters are confusing, especially the main one which left me in shock with her strange attitudes, and the plot of the story is just... What?!!
4/5* Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Pena: This one was so cute it made me swoon, and what was more awesome was that it was told from the point of view of a boy. Easy and descriptive writing style, Matt could find a way to get to the readers' hearts!
3,5/5* Polaris is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han: This is pretty nice, but to be honest it didn't leave a strong impression on me as I'm not really a Jenny Han's fan (please don't bite my head off people :P )
4,5/5* It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: This story was my 3nd favorite in the whole book as it left me in awe. The characters are well developed, and their personalities are just brilliant! Highly recommended :)
3/5* Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan: This one is so so, not really my cup of tea.
2,5/5* Krampuslauf by Holly Black: I'm still not certain about this. It was just... WEIRD! Boo!
4/5* What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth by Gayle Forman: Super duper lovely! The plot was amazing and so were the characters :)
3,5/5* Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire: Nahhh...really interesting to my taste but it was okay.
5/5* Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White: This is one is PERFECTION!! I loved this one the most of all as the two main characters are way too SWEET and there was food! Lots of food which made me drool. Dang! ^^
4,5/5* Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter: I really, really, really, really, really, really enjoyed this story!! It was my 2nd favorite and to me this story really had some potential! If the author is willing to spend more time on the detail in order to write the whole book I shall make sure to grab myself a copy ASAP :D
3,6/5* The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: Many people (my friend included) loved this story but honestly, I just couldn't work out the whole thing which happened in this one. I knew it was something pretty special and meaningful but I. JUST. COULDN'T. FIGURE. IT. OUT. Well there are probably reasons for this situation: Maybe I'm retarded or something LOL or this story was not my type!
A lovely Christmas confection, and refreshing in that I didn't hate any of the stories. With most short story collections I find that there's at least one story that I outright hate, and probably one or two others that I am indifferent to. But these were all fun. Some were a bit bittersweet, and some were funny, and all were romantic in some way or another, and they were a perfect start to the Christmas season.
Laini Taylor's story, The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer, was hands down the best, but Kelly Link and Kiersten White's stories were also highlights. A few were almost disappointing in that I would have liked to have seen an entire book, not just a short story. Ally Carter's delightful Star of Bethlehem, for instance, would make a fantastic novel, though that's not to say it wasn't a great short story as well. Really an "even" collection, not a dud to be found!
Reread 2016: Forgotten how great Laini Taylor's story is. Reread 2017: The references to The Best Christmas Pageant Ever in Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus have got to be intentional. Also appreciating how strong most of the stories are. In an anthology that's really pretty rare. (For me, anyway.) I dislike one of the stories, one of them is slightly 'meh.' But I absolutely LOVE most of them. Reread 2018: Just upgraded this to five stars. This year I was just in such a mood for these stories that I absolutely whipped through them! Teared up at the endings of all of them!
Sadly I couldn't enjoy the stories, most of them were extremely boring and to be honest I only enjoyed 3 of 12 stories and it's sad but I couldn't feel any winter, less Christmas time? It was so "yeah, ok, cool" so it's a no from me.
My True Love Gave To me, es un libro muy tierno con 12 historias muy lindas, que aunque no todas me gustaron, fue un libro muy bueno para leer, ya que conocí a nuevos autores. Todas transcurren en el invierno, mi época favorita del año, por lo que lo disfrute aun más.
A Medianoche (de Rainbow Rowell) - 4,5/5 ⭐️ La historia de Rainbow tenia muchas ansias de leerla y definitivamente no me decepciono, una historia que tiene algunos saltos en el pasado, hace que sea más dulce, sin duda una de las historias más románticas del libro, ame a los personajes, sin duda Rainbow es una reina del romance. Fue la historia perfecta para empezar el libro.
La dama y la zorra; Kelly Link: 1/5 ⭐️ Esta historia empezó bien, pero luego que la trama se le fue de las manos, fue la peor historia en todo el libro. No me gusto en absoluto. Una historia que se volvió patética por lo plana, aburrida, escenas poco creíbles, sucesos demasiado ridículos y el final a mi parecer es muy horrible.
Ángeles en la nieve; Matt de la Peña: 4,5/5 ⭐️ Este libro fue maravilloso me encanto, primeramente porque habla de algunas raíces mexicanas (Soy Mexicana) y me fascino como se pinta la vida de familias mexicanas que aunque viven en EUA, su raíces nunca las olvidan, ame a los personajes, sentí una fuerte conexión. MARAVILLOSO.
Me encontrarás en Polaris; Jenny Han: 3,5/5 ⭐️ Amo a Jenny Han pero definitivamente esta historia no ha sido lo mejor que he leído de ella, la historia fue muy dulce, pero hubo algo que hizo que no me fascinara como todos sus libros, un final abierto que hace que me imagine muchas historias!!!
Es un milagro de Navidad, Charlie Brown; Stephanie Perkins: 4/5 ⭐️ Esta historia fue demasiado dulce, muy encantadora, me enamore de North, es como un príncipe azul de Disney, todo fue encajando perfectamente, los personajes bien construidos, lo que hace que en la relación amorosa se sienta la conexión. La pluma de Stephanie Perkins es tan delicada y sencilla, me hace querer leer más sobre ella.
Tu Santa provisional; David Levithan: 4/5 ⭐️ Aunque fue una historia bastante corta, morí de risa al leerla, me hubiera gustado más saber sobre el novio del protagonista, me encantaron las sobrinas de los protagonistas jajajaja tanto Riley como su hermana, leer la ilusión de Riley me conmovió, aunque su hermana es una desgraciada jajaja, pero el final me dejo algo triste.
Krampuslauf; Holly Black: 4/5 ⭐️ Esta es otra historia que empezó muy bien pero tiene un final muy WTF?!!! Me gustaron los personajes pero de verdad que ese final no me convence en absoluto, siento que en lugar de ponerle magia a la trama se la quita completamente. El poco romance (aunque pensándolo bien creo que no hay romance) fue muy feo, no son doce historias de amor?.
Maldita sea, Sophie Roth, ¿en qué estabas pensando?; Gayle Forman: 4/5 ⭐️ Me estaba encantando esta historia pero lamentamente Maldita sea, Sophie Roth, ¿en qué estabas pensando? fue lo que hizo que no me terminara de encantar, aunque es el titulo, el repetir la frase en todas las hojas hizo que me desesperara, tampoco Sophie fue mucho de mi agrado. Aunque es de las historias que te dejan con un hermoso mensaje.
Cubetas de cerveza y el niño Jesús; Myra McEntire: 4,5/5 ⭐️ Fue de mis historias favoritas obviamente, me encanto el romance en esta novela, fue muy tierno, muy inocente, un protagonista bien construido, todo ese rollo de la obra de teatro me mantenía enganchada. Además les he dicho que tengo un tipo insta-love con los chicos malos?
Bienvenidos a Christmas, California; Kiersten White: 5/5 ⭐️ Las historias buenas están hasta el final, cuando creía que Rainbow Rowell había echo su magia, esta autora decidió no quedarse atrás y nos dio una historia muy completa de amistad, de familia, de amor. Lo cual agradecí muchísimo, todo estuvo muy bien conectado, también agradecí que María como su madre tuviera trascendencia Mexicana, una historia que sin duda se quedara en mi corazón.
Estrella de Belén; Ally Carter: 5/5 ⭐️ Una historia básicamente original aunque pareciera película Navideña de Disney jajajaja ame a Ethan, no paraba de reírme con él, aunque lamentablemente el romance se me hizo poco creíble, sentí poca conexión, pero todo lo demás fue muy bueno, me conmovió muchísimo la tía Mary, sufrí en el final, pero me encantaría leer más sobre los personajes en especial que hará Derek.
La chica que despertó al Soñador; Laini Taylor: 1/5 ⭐️ La segunda peor historia del libro, no me gusto en absoluto, fue en algún momento repugnante (lo del reverendo se me hizo asqueroso) y el final no llegue a entenderlo. Y pensándolo bien no era una historia navideña.
It’s Christmas book time! This had some really cute Christmas and holiday stories. My favorites were the ones that really went all out with the holiday cheer, drowning us in snowmen and peppermint latte goodness, like “Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me” by Jenny Han where the main character Natalie is the daughter of Santa Claus (I just love the sweetness of Jenny Han stories, and this was such a North Pole treat), and Stephanie Perkins’ “It’s A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown” which takes place on a Christmas tree lot.
David Levithan’s “Your Temporary Santa”, where a boy dresses as Santa to surprise his boyfriend’s little sister, was delightful and had an amazingly funny voice. “Christmas, California” just had such a sweet vibe and a great message. Warm snuggly feels all around. Ally Carter’s story was so sad and hopeful at the same time. Just a delightful collection.
Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.
Reread and buddy read #3 with the my favourite and the most fabulous Bicycle in the world
Give me the cheese, give me ALL the cheese!!!
This is my second time reading the adorable twelve story anthology and I really did love it (even if some of the stories lacked.
Let’s run through them quickly:
Midnights: 5/5 - It’s written by Rainbow Rowell, so I’m already trash - It’s fricken adorable - I loved it then, I loved it now
The Lady and the Fox 1/5 - Goodness this one was looooooooong - Hella boring - Lost my attention a million times and I just couldn’t - Didn’t care about the plot or the characters or the conflict - nexxxxttttt
Angels in the Snow - 4/5 - surprisingly, I liked this one the first time and I really really liked this one the second time - cute - hilarious - super cute
It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown -5/5 - I mean it’s Stephanie Perkins - P E R F E C T I O N - North, my sweet child - I need this story turned into a full sides novel
Your Temporary Santa - 2/5 - Meh - It was meh at best - Didn’t see the point of it - Not really a HUGE fan of David Levithan anyways soooooo
Krampuslauf - 1/5 - This one was BAD - I couldn’t even finish it - Skip it, it’ll be better for you - Soznotsoz
What the Hell have you Done Sophie Roth - 3/5 - I actually liked this one - It was sweet and funny and charming - A pleasant read
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus - 1/5 - Nope!! - Didn’t even stick around long enough to finish this one - It was boring, man, just v boring
Welcome to Christmas, CA - 5/5 - I LOVED THIS ONE - Idk what it is, but I just LOVED Ben, what a darling - Also #food
Star of Bethlehem - 3/5 - This one was good - Kinda fast paced but pleasant
The Girl who Woke the Dreamer - 1/5 - I feel LIKE I’M BETRAYING MYSELF - But this one couldn’t do it for me - I’M SORRY LAINI TAYLOR - I’M SORRY
Here’s all the adorable couples with their respective authors:
Pretty darn cute.
Kay, that’s about a summary of all my thoughts and feelings for this cute collection, I need more of these cute-puke-inducing things!!!
“We all love and we all lose and we go on loving just the same.”
What an enjoyable collection! Puts you right into a Christmas mood.
I think the only negative aspect of this anthology is that the subject matter of it (winter holiday romances) is too narrow, or maybe most of the authors decided not to strain themselves and stuck to the most straight-forward interpretation of this theme. What I mean is, almost ALL of the stories in this book follow a very predictable pattern – contemporary, Christmas/New Year, someone’s parent is dead/sick/emotionally unavailable, meeting of someone cute, and voila LOVE! Frankly, by the end, the stories blended together so much, I couldn’t recall the plots very well.
Of course, there is an exemption. As you can guess, Laini Taylor once again proved herself to be the most skilled writer. Her “The Girls Who Woke the Dreamer” takes place during Christmas, but set in a different world, in a different time and is written, as always, beautifully. I would buy this collection just for this story.
Some other writers at least tried to do something different – Rainbow Rowell (“Midnights”) played with the structure, moving in time from one New Year celebration to another, from past into future. Kelly Link (“A Lady and a Fox”) added a little bit of folk/mystical to hers. Holly Black (“Krampulslauf”) introduced me to a holiday I’d never heard of before. And Gayle Forman (“What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth”) gets her 4 stars just for the strength of her writing, plot-wise her bratty Jewish student story wasn’t unique.
The weakest in the bunch, IMO, were Jenny Han’s (“Polaris is Where You Find Me”) – kind of banal and uninventive (of course, except its Asian MC!) and David Levithan’s (“Your Temporary Santa”) – it felt unfinished and not particularly romantic (but of course, gay couple!).
The rest of the stories were fine. Surprisingly, I neither cringed not struggled through them. Which is the best thing about this collection – it was easy to read and I wasn’t tempted to skim and skip.
I WILL BE UPDATING THIS REVIEW WITH RATINGS FOR EACH SHORT STORY AS I READ IT.
"Midnights" by Rainbow Rowell Rating: ★★★★★ Short, sweet, and super adorable! I also really loved the story structure. It was a really good way to establish the history between these characters in such a short story. Really, really liked it, but then again this is Rainbow Rowell so I'm not too surprised.
"Polaris is Where You'll Find Me" by Jenny Han Rating: ★★ Way too short and open-ended. I know that it's a short story, but I still didn't connect with any of the characters and it just felt rather pointless to be honest. I really wish that it was a little bit longer and more developed.
First off this book is gorgeous! I had to get the UK Edition and I love it so much!
1. Midnights ~ Rainbow Rowell ~ 5/5
I wasn't sure I would like this story as it only takes place on New Years Eve from 2011 - 2014. Mags first met Noel on New Year's Eve 2011 where she saved him an allergic reaction from not eating snacks with nuts in them. And they became best friends. But every New's Years Eve from there on she wants to be the one to kiss Noel but he's always kissing another girl.... until 2014 - her dream finally came true. There are more revelations and I'm not going to say what led up to anything, but this story was so good. I just loved it. I loved both of the characters and their chemistry together! And this wasn't even a long story as opposed to some of the other ones.
2. The Lady and the Fox ~ Kelly Link ~ 3/5
This story was a bit bizarre but I still give it three stars. Every year for a bit of time when it snows, Miranda meets this boy named Fenny in the gardens. He only has until the snow stops falling to be with her. He is apparently trapped by some snow witch or something. And no, they don't really explain why he is trapped. Needless to say Miranda saves him and I guess they have a happily ever after.
3. Angels In The Snow ~ Matte de la pena ~ 5/5
This is a sweet story about a boy named Shy who is watching his bosses apartment for Christmas. Well, rather he's watching the cat. But this boss didn't give him any money before he left and there is no food but maybe a few yogurts and random small things. Shy is starving but he won't try to go out and get help.
Haley is a girl in another apartment that needs to use his shower. They become friends but he doesn't tell her he's starving. I mean I wanted to smack him several times. But I digress. Haley finds out on her own that he has no food and she starts packing it on. She makes him all kinds of food and they form as sweet little romance.
4. Polaris Is Where You'll Find Me ~ Jenny Han - 4/5
This one is cute because Natty is a human that lives at the North Pole with Santa and the Elves. But when she went on a Christmas run with Santa one year she meets a little human boy. She has thought about him ever since and now that she is older she wants to find him. Especially since humans and elves can't be together and the crush she has on Flynn the elf isn't going to work out. I thought the ending was sweet and cute.
5. It's A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown ~ Stephanie Perkins ~ 5/5
This is a wonderful story about Marigold and North. Marigold wants to use North's voice on her Youtube channel. She does animations and that's what she wants to do for a living with one of the big companies.
North works for his parents tree farm and he's always outside her window selling trees. She doesn't have the money to get a tree but she wants to try to get one so she can talk to him. She asks for a Charlie Brown tree, it's so sweet ♥
North ends up taking the tree to her apartment and then helps her clear a space since there is so much clutter. This ends up taking so many hours and they talk and talk. Marigold finally admits her scheme and other nice things happen. That's all I'm saying ♥
6. Your Temporary Santa ~ David Levithan ~ 2/5
7. Krampuslauf ~ Holly Black ~ 2/5
8. What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? ~ Gayle Forman ~ 2/5
9. Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus ~ Myra McEntire ~ 3/5
This one was okay. You have Vaughn who is the town prankster.
I was the guy who taught other kids how to egg houses, roll yards, and glue mailboxes shut. And the older I got, the more elaborate my pranks became. In middle school, I filled the clinic with Styrofoam peanuts. Last year, my junior year of high school, I decorated the town Christmas tree with neon thong underwear.
But one of his little pranks turns bad and he ends up catching the Church on fire. So he's in trouble for all of that and helping to fix it back up and work on the pageant. He starts talking to Gracie Robinson and they seem to click and she finds out he's not such a bad guy after all.
10. Welcome To Christmas, Ca ~ Kiersten White ~ 5/5
Maria lives in this small town and works at the diner for her mother and her mother's boyfriend Rick. Maria hates it and wants to get out of town as soon as she can. She's not sure how since she can't afford college and she can't afford much of anything else.
Then when they replace the old cook that passed with the new cook Ben... things become sort of magical. Ben has a way of know what to feed people no matter what they order and it's awesome. They find a little magic together as well and the ending is sweet with Maria's dreams coming true. Even dreams she didn't know she had.
11. Star of Bethlehem ~ Ally Carter ~ 2/5
12. The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer ~ Laini Taylor ~ 2/5
Overall I enjoyed the book and some really sweet stories!
How cute was this book? Like seriously, so adorable!
Over all I think this book is really a fantastic Holiday read, I'm a huge fan of how it incorporated different Holidays and traditions, not just focusing solely on Christmas. I generally really enjoyed the stories, I found the contemporaries to be more enjoyable than any of the fantastical stories. With each story being only around 30 pages it was difficult to understand and get into any of the concepts that weren't straight contemporary. I had some I liked more than others and I've rated each story individually.
Midnights - Rainbow Rowell : 5/5 - This started off the book with a bang, Rainbow Rowell does it again! I did not want this story to end, it was only 30 pages and I was so invested in the story and loved the characters, this was by far my favourite part of the book!
The Lady and the Fox - Kelly Link : 2/5 - This was not a good follow up to the first story, I was really quite disappointed in this one. I found it kind of boring and a bit confusing. there was a magical aspect that was pretty cool, but at the same time it wasn't explained very well and I couldn't connect with the characters at all.
Angels in the Snow - Matt De La Pena : 3/5 - This was a pretty cute story, I liked the characters and found an easy connection with Haley. That being said the story was a little slow and not my favourite, but still pretty cute!
Polaris is Where You'll Find Me - Jenny Han : 4/5 - Now this was a Christmasy read! Full of elves and love and Christmas magic, I thought this was very enjoyable! Even though it was set in a different type world, it worked and it didn't need much explanation, so adorable!
It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown - Stephanie Perkins : 5/5 - I loved this story! The characters were too cute and their little romance warmed my heart! I loved North, he was one of my favourite guys from all the stories, such a sweetheart!
Your Temporary Santa - David Levithan : 3/5 - This story was pretty meh for me, I felt no connection with the characters. I thought it was a cute concept but nothing was really explained. The two main characters were so separated throughout most of the story that I couldn't feel a connection between them. The story was cute, but I wanted more.
Krampuslauf - Holly Black : 3/5 - This was a fun story that started off promising but kind of slacked nearing the end. I thought the traditions were really interesting and I loved reading about them, and even the party planning aspect as neat. However, I wasn't a fan of the magical elements because I just felt like it wasn't explained very well and the characters were kind of annoying. Still, not a bad read.
What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? - Gayle Forman : 5/5 - Oh I loved this story, I loved loved loved it!! The characters were just so adorable and their relationship and interactions were really fun to read! This one left me wanting more and I wish this was a whole book by itself!
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus - Myra McEntire : 3/5 - This was a fun story, I think it wasn't my overall favourite because I'm really not into the "bad boy" type characters. But Vaughn grew on me by the end and I thought this was a nice fast paced save the day type of story.
Welcome to Christmas, CA - Kiersten White : 4/5 - I really enjoyed this story! I wish there was a bit more connection between the characters but overall I thought it was super cute and fun to read. I also feel like this would make the cutest Christmas movie! I'd watch that!!
Star of Bethlehem - Ally Carter : 5/5 - SO CUTE. I loved this story start to finish. I even found the twist/secret reveal at the end to be really surprising. Another favourite, how cute was Ethan's family? Loved them!
The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer - Laini Taylor : 2/5 - This one was another disappointment for me. I think I just need more time and detail to get into stories like this with more magical elements, etc.
Overall, I definitely recommend this book for a nice holiday read! I like how the stories don't intertwine so really you can just pick this up and read one or two stories a year if you wanted! LOVED IT!
If you had asked me last year what kind of story I wanted to see more of, I'd have said Christmas YA. In my opinion, there just isn't enough, so when I saw Stephanie Perkins' announcement that she would be editing a collection of twelve festive YA stories published this year, I couldn't have been more excited. I pre-ordered a copy and somehow resisted reading straight away. As soon as it turned 1st December, I put up the Christmas tree, bought a festive mug (for festive hot chocolate, obviously) and got stuck in to My True Love Gave to Me.
I loved the collection as a whole, even if I didn't enjoy every story equally (because that rarely happens with me and short story anthologies), but here's a little bit about a few of my favourites: I am guilty of following the crowd because the stories by Rainbow Rowell – about the brewing relationship between two friends over four New Year's Eves – and Stephanie Perkins' – about a girl who's building the courage to ask the boy with a beautiful voice for help (buying a Christmas tree from his family in the process!) – were my favourites. I love really cute contemporary Christmas YA the most, so it's unsurprising that I enjoyed these two. I loved that both of these stories were about a girl and a boy (a little quirky and comfortably witty) getting to know each other, from two best friends to two strangers. I'd quite happy read full length versions of both!
I hadn't read anything else by Matt De La Peña before, but I loved Angels in the Snow, a contemporary story about a cat-sitting student and the girl next door. I even enjoyed the fantasy/magical realism stories, in particular Holly Black's Krampuslauf, although that might be because I was rooting for the main character and a little bit of revenge… It's a brilliantly diverse selection, so you're sure to find one you'll love.
My True Love Gave to Me is a completely adorable and wonderfully festive collection of Christmas YA for everyone who loves wintertime romance. I'm sure it will become a book I keep coming back to each year – bring on Christmas 2015!
At first, I was thrilled with this book. I loved all the cute stories, and I loved how they got me in the mood for Christmas. Especially Matt de la Pena's and Stephanie Perkins' stories put a smile on my face (despite the fact that Perkins' characters didn't act like a 19-year-olds!). Yes, some of the stories were a little bit too unrealistic, or too simple, but I still enjoyed them. Then came Ally Carter's story and that's when things started falling apart. This story was highly unrealistic in my opinion, and it made me realise how all of the other stories are basically about unrealistic insta-love. I stand by my first impression: That they are cute and get you in the mood for Christmas. They all leave an impression on you, whether it's a good, lasting one or a rather bad one. But the thing is that most of these stories are shallow. It seems like Stephanie Perkins asked for everyone to write a romance story with a happy ending, because apparently that's all people want to read for Christmas? I at least missed some more depth to them. Nevertheless, this was definitely CUTE, and my frustrations aside it did get me in the mood for Christmas.