Book Review – My True Love Gave to Me

I have been eyeing this book since I heard about it way before its release date, and now that I’ve read it, I’ve come to 2 main conclusions:

1. There’s nothing like a festive themed story to put you in the spirit of whatever it is you’re trying to feel. That didnt make much sense but you know what I mean, reading a bunch of Christmas/New Year cutesy love stories just made me giddy for the season, which I needed because my family’s not big on traditions and Christmas isn’t really magical in my reality so, yeah, kudos for that.

2. I don’t particularily enjoy reading short stories. Now I did enjoy the book and most of the stories in it, as you’ll see with my brief reviews, but what usually makes a book stand out for me is the world building and character development, which, let’s face it, is kind of impossible to achieve in a 20-page story. Either everything happens too fast, or you just want more of it and you can’t. So although I did enjoy my read very much, I’m just not big on short stories in general.

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Fun fact, the 12 couples you see on the cover are actually the 12 couples you read about in the book. I had a lot of fun trying to guess who’s who, some are easy but others are a little less obvious. Also, every story has its own little illustration at the beginning so I thought why not give you my thoughts on each while showing you the title page? (I actually updated Goodreads after each story to keep track so I’ll mainly copy/paste my comments here.) You’ll see that I have a lot of favorites! So in order:

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22 pages // “Just read Midnight by Rainbow Rowell. I’m not used to reading short stories and that one was so quick to get through! But I loved the structure of it. It takes place on New Year’s eve from 2011 to 2014. It feels weird giving a star rating to a 20-page story but on the top of my head I’d give this one a 4.”

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27 pages // “Finished The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link. That one was something like magical realism which isn’t a genre that I’m very used to. Is the man in the jacket supposed to be a ghost? What is the lady who controls him supposed to represent? I hate when I feel like there’s a big metaphor but I don’t get the meaning of it. I would give 2.5 stars. Didn’t dislike it, just didn’t get it.”

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33 pages // “Just read Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Peña and I really loved that one. 5 stars” <– wow, that’s really all I wrote, but it’s the first to get a 5 so I guess it was my first favorite! Loved the main character and loved the premise, and the story has section-titles, which adds something nice.

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14 pages // “A short one! I just read Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han. That one was a true Christmas story in the sense that it takes place in the North Pole and features Santa Claus, his adoptive human daugther and a bunch of very tall elves. It was very cute, 4 stars.”

20141204_225002_resized33 pages // “I finished the awaited “It’s a Yuletide miracle, Charlie Brown” by Stephanie Perkins and I loooved this one! I want a North for myself. I prefer these 30ish-page ones because you get to know the characters a little better and, well, I’m not usually into insta-love and you kinda have to deal with short time-frames with short stories, so it’s good when there’s a little meat around the bone. 5 stars”

20141204_225018_resized15 pages // “I just read Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan. I liked it, but I don’t think I understood well. Who is Connor boyfriend replacing in the Santa costume? Seems like a big deal but I don’t think it was mentionned in the story, or maybe I just missed it. I’m guessing a father that left or died or something? Because of that, I felt like the story was incomplete. 3 stars.”

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27 pages // “Krampuslauf by Holly Black was a weird one, as you don’t often read about Satan in a “Christmas” story (it takes place around New Year and that weird holiday Krampuslauf that I’m not sure really exists) I somewhat liked it but the characters weren’t that relatable or lovable for me. I’d say 3 stars, I think.”

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25 pages // “What the Hell Have you Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman might be my favorite so far. I really enjoyed it. I liked the dialogue in this one. (Kinda sad about the typo I saw at the end, but whatevs) 5 stars!”

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27 pages // “Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire was great too! I just don’t really get the title relevance with the story but it was a cute one. 4.5 stars”

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33 pages // “Ugh I don’t know which is my favorite anymore, because “Welcome to Christmas, CA” by Kiersten White was also so so good! It even made me cry twice. 5 stars”

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29 pages // “Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter was another very cute story! 4 stars”

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29 pages // The last story by Laini Taylor was kind of eerie but still beautiful and poetic. Probably the less “Christmassy” of the bunch though, so I don’t know why they chose to end the book with that one. Still, 3.5? It was another kind of magical realism thing which I know is something most people like.

On a last note, I loved the diversity in this collection of stories. Asian, Mexican, Spanish, African-American, Catholics, Jewish, rich, poor, lgbt; a lot of different ethnicities and religions were  represented which made it even more interesting.

If you have read it, comment and tell me which stories were your faves!

Happy Reading 🙂

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. lipsyy says:

    I feel the same as you about short stories. But I’m tempted by this collection. I love a festive read, and some of these are really intriguing. Great review!

    1. I feel like since they all have a common theme, (which also happens to be a joyful subject matter) it’s easier to enjoy them than it would be with random short stories. And thanks!!

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