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.

21 comments:

  1. I'M GIDDY ALREADY from reading the name of the authors in this anthology! Gee I need this so badly. Gayle Forman is one of my favorites and I'm glad to hear that Stephanie Perkins' story is true love kind! YIPPEEEE. :DDD

    Rainbow Rowell omg. If this is anywhere near Fangirl, then I'm a happy fangirl! I can't wait to read all the five-stars stories, Keertana! Awesome review! Thanks for reviewing this! <3

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  3. Such fabulous authors, and I haven't even heard of this! How is that even possible? Anthologies aren't really my thing, or short stories in general. It takes more for me to get really emotionally invested, but with names like these, who could possibly resist? I'll look into this further and try to get a copy asap. I'm really excited about Kiersten White's story. I adore her.

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  4. Most of the five and four star ratings are quite predictable considering the authors. :) I'm dying to get my hands on this anthology!

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  5. Anthologies can be so hit and miss but I really think I would like this as much as you did.
    Great review! It would be hard passing up a collection of so many great authors in one go.

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  6. I'm not typically an anthology fan, but ever since I heard about this book, I knew I had to read a copy. My copy actually arrived last week, and although it sounds perfect to cosy up with over Christmas, I know for a fact that I'll be reading it a lot sooner. The stories that you loved sound so adorable! Fab review Keertana! :)

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  7. Wow what an amazing list of authors!!! I cannot believe that I haven't heard of this yet and it seems so amazing. I'm not surprised that Perkins is on your 5 star list as yeah she is truly an amazing author and Rowell too. I need to get myself a copy of this. Great review, Keertana :)

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  8. I'm happy to hear that certain authors wrote really good tales, like Stephanie Perkins. Anthologies tend to be hit and miss though.

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  9. This sounds lovely but it's always a hit an miss with anthologies. Usually I only end up liking a third of the stories. I'm interested in Stephanie Perkins' story. Great review, Keertana! :)

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  10. Wow it's like someone answered my wish and brought all these awesome authors and mashed them into one book. I am very happy about this. So glad you enjoyed this book anthology overall, Keertana!

    Fabulous review <33

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  11. Anthologies are always tricky because of course you love some stories and not others, but I would pick this one up just for the authors you singled out. Can't wait to read Stephanie Perkins and Rainbow Rowell's stories!!!! Oh, and Laini Taylor's too. I adore her writing:)

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  12. Oh I do like anthologies but rarely read holiday books. I could remedy that with just this one book. :) I so need to read Laini Taylor and Rainbow Rowell's stories. Oh at least none were below a 3!

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  13. I been debating of looking at this one, but I have done short christmas stories before and they always left me wanting more ;| glad you really loved some of them!

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  14. I have to agree with some of the above comments - anthologies / short stories aren't usually my cup of tea, but this sounds too wonderful to overlook. I'll definitely consider giving it a try (maybe closer to Christmas perhaps?), but I think I'll take your advice and stick strictly to Rowell, Perkins, Taylor, and Forman's pieces. Thank you for the lovely detailed review Keertana! :D

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  15. I hate to say it but I'm not a fan of David Levithan, despite his popularity as an author. I'm pretty excited to read the 5-star stories! (and 4-star!)

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  16. I love love love that you broke it down into your 5 star reads etc. I'm super excited for this one because SO MANY OF MY FAVE AUTHORS ARE IN IT. As with most anthologies I'm bracing myself for the sad reality that all won't be winners :(

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  17. I love these authors! Especially Perkins and Rowell. Can't wait for more cute holiday reads. :)

    Great review!
    Cindy @ In This World of Books..

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  19. I'm keeping these stories for myself but I might get this book for a college aged niece. It's a good book to share with friends, if your friends enjoy YA and/or love stories.

    Marlene
    Info site for Garibaldi House Inn Rockaway Beach Oregon Hotel

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