Wednesday, 30 December 2015

My True Love Gave to Me - Book Review

My True Love Gave to Me is a collection of twelve short romance stories set in the winter season and around Christmas time. The collection was put together and edited by Stephanie Perkins, the amazing author of the Anna and the French Kiss series, and featured writing from eleven other incredible authors, including Rainbow Rowell, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, Laini Taylor, David Levithan and a whole bunch of other amazing people!!

I actually really enjoyed this collection. Although I started this book after Christmas, each of the stories gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling you get at this time of year! They were all really fun and quirky and gave me a great excuse to stay snuggled in bed in my pyjamas, reading for half the day!!

I gave this book 4 stars altogether but some of the stories individually were rated differently. There were some I absolutely loved and then others that I thought a little differently of...
But as a story collection, this has been one of my favourites and I loved pretty much every page!
Right, let's discuss some of the stories!

Midnights - Rainbow Rowell
5 Stars!

Midnights was the very first story we were given in this collection and I thought it opened the book up perfectly.
This story was told in separate parts, each of them told from a different year, a few minutes before midnight, and gave us the cute and heart-warming details of what happened at the beginning of each New Year. Like all of Rainbow Rowell's writing, this was just a really cute story with such beautiful writing! Before reading this book I didn't think it would be possible to tell a complete story in under 30 pages, but Rainbow somehow managed it! In just 24 pages, I had fallen in love with all of the characters - even though we'd only known them for a few pages, they gave me the familiar feeling that I'd known them all of my life. It was just lovely. This was also one of the only books for which I felt happy with how it ended, and didn't feel cheated out of a proper ending due to the short length of the story. Loved this one so much!! Definitely a must read!

The Lady and the Fox - Kelly Link
2 Stars

I wasn't actually a huge fan of this one. Throughout the whole of it, I never really understood what was going on, who anybody was or what the significance of it all was. The writing was alright but not fantastic and I found the plot to be quite misleading and confusing. It's not the worst story I've ever read but it certainly wasn't the best! I hadn't actually read anything by the author, Kelly Link, before this, but to be honest, from this, I'm not in a hurry to do so! 

Angels in the Snow - Matt de la Peña
4.5 Stars!

This one surprised me. I wasn't expecting a lot from it, after the disappointment of the previous story, but I actually really enjoyed it. It was certainly a different kind of story, but I found it to be really well written and a pleasure to read. The story was just warm and cute and fuzzy and was just everything I wanted! I haven't read anything else by this author but this story has definitely made me want to read more from him. I will be looking out for his other books in the future! Highly recommend reading this one!

Polaris is Where You'll Find Me - Jenny Han
4 Stars!

I found this story really quirky and brilliant, however I just couldn't justify giving it a full 5 stars because it was just too short! I mean, I know that these are supposed to be short stories, but this one was about 10 pages shorter than the others, and I thought at least another 10 pages should have been used!
As always, Jenny Han's writing was just fab and every line of it was beautiful. I loved the plot, too! It was a bit of a strange plot, but I did think it was the most Christmassy story of them all (probably because it included Santa and his elves!). So overall, I thought the story was fantastic but I could have done with a lot more of it, and I thought it cut off in a strange place. I would highly recommend this one, still, though!

It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown - Stephanie Perkins
5 Stars!

Awwhhh! Now wasn't this one just charming? *swoons*
Stephanie Perkins could write the most gruesome horror story and it would still be cute and fluffy. She's just a wonderful writer! And this story was fantabulous! It wasn't what I was expecting but I loved it all the while. It gave me the fuzzy, warm, wintery feelings that I was hoping for from this book. The characters were great, the writing was super, so overall it was an amazing story! I'd recommend it to anyone!

Your Temporary Santa - David Levithan
3.5 Stars

This story was another one that I found to be quite short, however I don't think it really needed to be much longer. While I loved the concept and the story in this piece of writing, I don't actually think it was pulled off very well. I mean, the writing was great and the whole thing seemed to be well thought out, but I still thought that more detail needed to be put into some areas. There were parts that felt brushed over and rushed, and I don't know, maybe I was just reading this way too late and was falling asleep while reading it, but I felt that there seemed to be a further hidden message in this story that wasn't properly revealed. A lot of it was left for the reader to interpret for themselves, which is alright to a point, but I found it to be a little frustrating in this story. However, despite this, I still thought it was a cosy and heart-warming story and I liked it a lot!

Krampuslauf - Holly Black
2 Stars

Hmmm... I wasn't too sure what to make of this story. I hadn't read anything by Holly Black before but I had heard that she was a great writer so I got my hopes up a little. I mean, the writing itself wasn't bad, I will say that! However, this story was just weird! I don't have much else to say! I don't know how that was thought up and to be honest, I'm not sure that I want to know. I just didn't really see the point in this story at all. I wasn't a huge fan of the characters; they seemed quite weak and stupid, and the story just took a mental turn! This one definitely wasn't my favourite!

What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? - Gayle Forman
5 Stars!

Ahh, I just love Gayle Forman's writing and stories! I loved her characters and her writing and her story here as a whole. Actually, this one kind of reminded me of Just One Day, when Allyson is in college.
This story was just really funny, as all of Gayle's books are at times, and it made me feel warm and cosy. There's not really a lot more to say! I just really loved it and would highly recommend it!!

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus - Mara McEntire
3 Stars

This was another story that I can't say I was too impressed with. I just didn't really see the point in it, which sounds really horrible, but I kind of don't feel like it belonged in this collection. I actually liked the whole thing though. The writing was alright and the characters were interesting. My main problem was that it just felt far too short. I mean, it didn't feel rushed and I don't feel that parts were just brushed over. The story just felt like the beginning. As if the middle and the end just didn't exist yet, but I felt that they needed to be written. The story felt like it needed to end up somewhere, and it didn't, really. I did like this one, but I think it would have benefited being a story of its own as opposed to a story in this collection.

Welcome to Christmas, CA - Kiersten White
4 Stars

I actually enjoyed this story far more than I expected to. It was just so cute and fluffy! It was one of those stories that you just want to hug and squeeze by the end. I was really pleased and satisfied with it. It did take a little while for me to be able to get into it, but when I did, I absolutely loved it! I will admit that some of the parts were a little strange, the psychic cooking powers, for example! But I loved the characters and found this story to be really quite enjoyable! It has definitely made me want to read more of Kiersten White's books!

Star of Bethlehem - Ally Carter
3 Stars

Well, this was a bit of a weird story! I'm not sure I was a huge fan of this novella simply down to its story. It just didn't feel very believable or realistic to me. And I know what you're thinking - this is a fiction book! Get over yourself! - But it was supposed to be a realistic fiction book. I mean, in stories like this, you're supposed to write about things that haven't happened, but could realistically occur. This one just seemed quite silly! The writing was decent and the characters were okay, but I just didn't really understand where it was going and it just seemed to end up in an unrealistic place. It probably only seemed unrealistic due to it being so short. It might have been okay if it were longer. I don't know. I just wasn't a huge fan.

The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer - Laini Taylor
4 Stars

I think this book felt like it took the longest to read, but I'm not complaining about that! It took me a while to get into it, but it was definitely worth it when I did! I actually really enjoyed this story. It was so magical in a really unique way, and was different to everything else in this collection. The writing was entrancing in a magical way and I just really loved it! It would have been nice to find out a little more about the characters, but I suppose Laini Taylor got a lot into the small number of pages she wrote! A really lovely and wondrous story!

So, that's all of the stories!
Overall, I'm so glad I got around to finally reading this book as I really enjoyed it as a whole. I would recommend it to any fan of romance novels, but suggest that you go into it with an open mind and expecting the unexpected, since I think that's the way you'd get the most out of this book!
I gave My True Love Gave to Me four stars in total, simply because that was the closed to what the individual ratings averaged out to, however I enjoyed this more than a lot of 4 star books!
It's definitely worth reading!!

Well, that's all for now but I'll be back soon for more reviews and other fun things!
Hope to see you then!

Charlotte xxx

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