My True Love Gave To Me – Book Review!

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I’ve gotta be honest. The only reason I bought this book (aside from Rainbow Rowell’s story), was because of the pretty UK cover. Yeah, I’m not ashamed. The book is beautiful on the outside. On the inside, well, there’s a variety of quality.

Everyone has been rating each story individually, and I think I will follow the trend. So, here we go.

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell – 5/5 stars
I love Rainbow Rowell’s writing. I love it so much. I think there’s something so genuine and sweet about her characters. She is just brilliant. This story was excellent. It follows two best friends, Mags and Noel, who met one New Year’s Eve at a party. The story jumps from New Year’s Eve for about four years, told in past and present povs. This story was too short, but it still managed to tear me up. It made me giddy. It made me feel things that I never thought I could feel again. This story was everything. I asked Rowell if she would ever write more, and she gave me a “maybe someday” so I guess that’ll do for now.

The Lady and The Fox by Kelly Link – 2/5 stars
I’m not sure what this story was about. The writing style was often really nice, but at other times it just annoyed me. The characters confused me. The story confused me. And near the end, the love story really made me uneasy. It had a good premise, but it wasn’t executed well. It made me hate Christmas more than I already do.

Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Pena – 4.5/5 stars
I think my favorite thing about this story was the writing style. It felt so true to the character. I loved that the MC was so honest with himself, even if he wasn’t honest with the other characters in the story. Also, there was a cat. It was all very well-done. I didn’t love the romance, but I think it went deeper than the romance. It touched with social and family issues. I enjoyed it.

Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han – 3/5 stars
Elves, am I right? Who wants to read about them? I didn’t. Not until I read this story and I found that hey, elves aren’t that bad. I thought the story was interesting. Santa adopts a girl and she’s raised by him in the North Pole, surrounded by elves. Isn’t that just the premise to the movie “Elf”? Yeah, but this one has a twist. There’s a love square. So, not a love triangle, but a square. I think my favorite thing about this story was the elf the MC falls for.

It’s A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins – 4/5 stars
My first Perkins read, and it was not bad. This story managed to really capture my interest, although it was only set in a few hours in the same day. There was character development, and that was impressive. I liked the quirky, witty characters. I liked the writing style. It was all really lovely. But it didn’t really grip me completely. I kind of didn’t buy into the whole passionate almost-love in the end. I don’t think it works that fast. Other than that, great story.

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan – 3.5/5 stars
Why am I giving a David Levithan story less than 5 stars? Granted, I’ve only ever read one of his books, but it was an amazing book. But this story wasn’t really interesting. It had a gay couple, which was very nice, but the couple wasn’t a part of this story. In fact, they didn’t even mention the name of the MC, which pissed me off. I wanted more details. I wanted more insight into this relationship that sounded so lovely. Why didn’t you give me that, Levithan? I believed in you. You could have made this so awesome.

Krampuslauf by Holly Black – 1/5 stars
One word to describe this story: bizarre. There was magic. Random, senseless magic. Stupid MC. A plot that was all over the place, which was also senseless. A fucking strange love story. And the characters never reacted appropriately. It also bored the shit out of me. I am so sorry, Holly Black, for being such a bitch about your story. I’m sure your other stuff is better.

What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman – 3/5 stars
I had high hopes for this. And part of me expected this story to be told in flashbacks. Classic Forman style. But it wasn’t. And although there were some really cool parts to the story and the characters, mostly I was confused and bored. And I’m not really sure what kind of point Forman was trying to make. Something about religion and money? Hmm.

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire – 2.5/5 stars
Why did I feel like I was being preached to during this entire story? Religious girl who can’t even say the word “Hell”? Um, not really my thing. Or the trouble guy who decides to be good for his church girl? Not my thing either. It’s nothing against religion on being a generally “good” person. It’s about feeling like I’m being preached to. That being said, I liked some parts of the story. It was well-written.

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White – 5/5 stars
After so many not-great stories in a row, I was so relieved to find something so incredibly perfect! This story warmed my heart, and that’s not easy to do. The characters were rounded and incredibly real. The magical realism in this story was done so beautifully. It was subtle but it was wonderful. And Ben? What can I say about Ben? That boy was exactly as Maria said–a cup of hot cocoa. On a rainy day. With nothing to do but read a good book. Also, this story made me hungry.

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter – 3/5 stars
This story was really unbelievable at times, but it also drew my interest. The ending really threw me off. I didn’t find that believable either. I liked the big reveal and the romance somewhat. I liked the message of finding your home, which I’ve found to be a common theme in these stories. Also, the “I must get away” theme. Other stories did it better. Like the previous one, for example.

The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – 1.5/5 stars
I mostly skimmed this story. It was too whimsical for my liking. I didn’t understand its point or message or anything. The characters annoyed me. All of them. The writing was nice at times. Mostly it made me roll my eyes. Maybe it’s me not liking fantasy. I never have. I almost didn’t finish this book because it was painful having to read this absurdity.

So, there it is. I found some really good stories amongst some really not so good ones. I think it was worth reading just for those few amazing stories.

-Isis

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