Tuesday, September 30, 2014
ARC Anthology Review: My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins
Title: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
Author(s): Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Matt de la Pena, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Release Date: October 14th, 2014
5 Star Reads --> "Midnight" by Rainbow Rowell and "It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown" by Stephanie Perkins were solid 5 Star reads from me. "Midnight" charts a best friend romance on the night of New Year's Eve over the span of a few years and Rowell's prose, perfectly highlighting the depth of subtleties in this relationship, is utterly perfect in this instance. I almost wish this were longer. Almost. "It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown" is, conversely, a love story which takes place over the course of just a few hours. Yet, Perkins possesses a talent for crafting true love romances; capturing the essence of love within a span of just minutes. I completely fell for the couple outlined in this tale and their chemistry was simply off-the-charts.
4 Star Reads --> Laini Taylor's "The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer" was lovely, obviously, and Gayle Forman's "What the Hell Have you Done, Sophie Roth?" was a far cry from the typical Forman read but no less thought-provoking. I found "The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer" to contain a dreamy atmosphere, which I enjoyed but didn't completely fall for. Still, Taylor's imagination knows no bounds and the creativity with which she created a fantasy winter tale was truly stunning. "What the Hell Have you Done, Sophie Roth?" is a novel that focuses on the stark differences between a couple rather than their similarities as most love stories tend to do. Sophie Roth is Jewish, living on a small campus in the Mid-West where her religion isn't as common, and she winds up spending the day with an African American boy who isn't a scholarship student, even though she is. I really enjoyed how their initial misconceptions of one another grew to shift as the story progressed but I didn't feel their chemistry as acutely as I would have liked, perhaps, and the tale itself was very focused on their religious/economic/ethnic differences more than any personality traits. Still, definitely one of the better editions to this anthology.
3 Star Reads--> David Levithan's story was interesting and memorable, primarily because it features an LGBTQ couple and additionally because it seemed to contain many undertones--most of which I feel went over my head, hence the lower rating. I felt thrown into this tale and desperately needed a larger backstory to thoroughly comprehend the layers to Levithan's characterization. Carter's story, too, proves to be intriguing as it features a protagonist who switches plane tickets with another young girl and winds up in the middle-of-nowhere, pretending to be a native from Iceland. It isn't as much romantic as it is sweet but the tale takes on a turn for the strange when we discover the true reasons for our protagonist's decision to abandon her original flight. Ultimately, these two stories felt as if they needed more development, sadly, and didn't work as well--for me--as short stories.
I did briefly read a few more tales in this anthology but I didn't find them to be as memorable as I'd have liked. You must read Rowell, Perkins, Taylor, and Forman's pieces from this. As for the rest, I'd be comfortable skipping them--you aren't missing much at all.