Release Date: 9th October 2014
Edition: UK hardback, review copy
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays.
I have been waiting for this book to be in my hands ever since I heard the author list and I haven’t been disappointed.
This book is beautiful inside and out. I love hardbacks that don’t have jackets, that have gorgeous endpapers, ribbon bookmarks and illustrations and My True Love Gave to Me has all of those. It really is a book for your shelf, and not just for the host of twelve wonderful stories inside. These are my favourites:
Midnights, Rainbow Rowell
What a way to start the collection! Midnights tells the story of Noel and Mags on their first meeting on New Year’s Eve in 2011 and checks in on them in the next three New Year’s Eves – the anniversary of their friendship. It’s an incredibly sweet look at the evolution of a friendship and the bubbling hope every year that they’ll get to be the other’s New Year kiss. And, who knows, maybe they will this time... So cute and gave me butterflies!
Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me, Jenny Han
I was completely surprised by this little story. It tells the tale of Natty, a fifteen year old girl who was adopted by Santa. Living among Santa’s elves in the North Pole, Natty doesn’t fit in at all and she’s desperate for a friend who understands her. It’s a sweet and heart-achey story that was magical in a way I didn’t expect. Gorgeous.
It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown, Stephanie Perkins
This is by far my favourite story in the collection. North and Marigold are so perfect together that it was almost sickening! I loved the banter and spark between them; it should promise of a real relationship between them, one that extended beyond the 30-odd pages of the story. There was also more of a depth that I would ever expect from something so short. North and Marigold hinted at money struggles, family pressures, serious illness and parental separation – they had a life before this story and they will afterwards. God, that Stephanie Perkins is good.
Welcome to Christmas, CA, Kiersten White
I went into Welcome to Christmas, CA with absolutely no expectations having never read Kiersten White before, but I loved it. The idea of year-round Christmas-themed diner in a town called Christmas should be twee and cutesy, but it wasn’t at all. It had a grittier edge that the other stories didn’t. Maria hated everything about her town and her position in it, but the arrival of a new chef at Christmas Cafe changed all that. I loved the message of your loved ones loving and supporting you silently. I loved the focus on home and family at the Christmas as well as on the romance. Also, so much amazing sounding food in this story that my mouth was watering...
My True Love Gave to Me is a truly diverse collection that covers a range of ethnicities, religions, lifestyles and sexual orientations. Despite all being roughly the same length – around 30 pages – they were all unique and reflections of each contributing author. Fans of YA, of Christmas, of short stories and of having their heart warmed will be overjoyed at seeing this under their tree.
Thanks to Macmillan for the review copy!