My True Love Gave to Me collects twelve romantic Christmas short stories by a variety of YA authors. Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Kiersten White, David Levithan, Matt de la Peña, Gayle Foreman, Myra McEntire, and Ally Carter wrote the realistic fiction stories, while Laini Taylor, Kelly Link, Holly Black, and Jenny Han wrote the more fantastical stories. My personal favorites were “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown” by Stephanie Perkins, the bittersweet “Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me” by Jenny Han, “Welcome to Christmas, CA” by Kiersten White, and “Angels in the Snow” by Matt de la Peña.
Here is a taste of what’s contained in the collection: In “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown,” Marigold has finally worked up the courage to ask Christmas tree salesman, North, if he will do some voice acting in one of her YouTube videos. North convinces Marigold to buy a Christmas tree and helps Marigold fix up the sad apartment where she and her mother moved following a personal tragedy.
In “The Lady and the Fox,” a young girl named Miranda meets a strange boy named Fenny when she visits her godmother’s house for Christmas. Since Miranda was recovering from the shock of her mother being sent to prison, Miranda thinks maybe Fenny was a figment of her imagination. Fenny, however, returns again for Christmas in the years that follow, but only if it snows.
In “Angels in the Snow,” Shy, a college student, bonds with a neighbor named Haley during a snowstorm. Shy is broke and starving, but can’t bring himself to admit it to Haley, who has a few secrets of her own.
I don’t usually enjoy reading short stories, but I really enjoyed this collection. I did think Laini Taylor’s “The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer” was an odd way to end the collection; however, this collection is worth reading if only for those stories by popular authors such as Rowell, Perkins, Foreman and Levithan. I’d never read anything by Link, McEntire, or Carter, but I enjoyed those stories too. Keep in mind that each author who contributed to this collection stuck to her or his usual genre, so don’t expect Holly Black to write a realistic story just because it’s New Year’s Day – her story features fairy folk.
I did enjoy the collection overall. If you love Christmas (or New Year’s Day, or Hanukkah, or the winter solstice), this collection is a great way to relax after all of your exams are over for the year. Have a great holiday!