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I Belong

Review: My True Love Gave to Me Anthology

My True Love Gave to MeTitle: My True Love Gave to Me

AuthorsHolly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de La Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Tayler & Kiersten White

Genre: YA Anthology

Series: N/A

Publication Date: October 14, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 321 Pages

ISBN-10: 1250059305 (Macmillan)

ISBN-13: 978-1250059307 (Macmillan)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin


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 (Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de La Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Tayler and Kiersten White), edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, 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.

Quick & Dirty: A cute collection of stories that didn’t completely satisfy my high expectations, although it still delivered a good amount of adorable romances and plenty of Christmas spirit.

Opening Sentence: It was cold out on the patio, under the deck.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

When I first received this novel for review, I was excited. Who wouldn’t be? After all, these are some of the biggest names in young adult novels – Holly Black, Rainbow Rowell, Gayle Forman, Stephanie Perkins . . . the list goes on and on. And so I dove into it with high expectations and an open mind. However, this was not what I had been expecting. It was good, yes. Cute. Fun. But I found it a little underwhelming considering the incredible authors that I have revered my whole reading career.

There were quite a few different stories going on here, quite a variety of subjects, but all of them had a central theme: the holidays. Some were contemporaries, some were magical realism, The funny thing was that my favorites were from the authors I’d never really heard of, such as Matt De La Pena’s. It was about a poor Mexican boy barely making it by, feeling like he’s letting down his family, and how an unexpected romance blossoms with a girl that seems completely his opposite. It was super sweet.

David Levianthon is pretty well known. I’ve never read anything of his beforehand, but now I think I definitely want to after reading his contribution to the novel. He had a diverse set of characters, including a gay couple that was oh so cute together. In it one of the characters dresses up as Santa in order to trick his boyfriend’s sister into believing for another year. Although it was a shorter one, it was still adorable. This might have been my favorite, to be completely honest, even among the other amazing ones.

Jenny Han wrote a popular series that I have yet to read, but I’ve heard such good things that when I started her story I was intrigued. Unfortunately, that feeling didn’t last long. The idea behind her contribution was a good one. In it, a girl had been adopted by Santa and was living as the only human among elves. She’s in love with one of them, but the species barrier just might be too much. I couldn’t connect to the main character, for some reason, although the it was well-written.

The final story I’ll talk about is Laini Taylor. Now, I’ve only read the first of her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, and it was a little slow. However, her writing is absolutely lovely, with a breathtaking, ethereal, evocative quality that lures you in. This story was no exception. On it, Neve lives on an island where men shower their women with gifts during December with the hope of wooing them to wed. When she gets attention from an unwelcome suitor she tries the fantastical approach to escape him. In typical Taylor fashion, it is odd and strange in all the best ways.

Altogether this story had a few really cute ones. Unfortunately, I was let down by a couple of them as well – although it’s still worth a read!

Notable Scene:

Something is not right. I still feel that, in some way, I should not be here.

“I’m an imposter,” I whisper.

“Yes,” he whispers back, “but you’re the right imposter.”


FTC Advisory: St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan provided me with a copy of My True Love Gave to Me. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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