As the stress of the holidays creep ever closer, the short story collection My True Love Gave to Me is the perfect respite. Edited by Stephanie Perkins (who also contributes a story), it features 12 tasty tales written by heavy-hitting young adult fiction authors Gayle Forman, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, David Levithan, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Pena, Jenny Han, Myra McIntire, Kelly Link, and Kiersten White.
Each story centers on a romance that unfolds around the holidays, often with surprising twists and turns. One tale shows a series of New Year’s Eve countdowns, another throws a party in a trailer with the Krampus in attendance. One has a character dressing up as Santa Claus to surprise his boyfriend’s little sister, another has a character dressing up as Joseph to impress the minister’s daughter. One is set in New York City, another in a town called Christmas, another in the North Pole itself. One has two outcasts coming together for Hanukkah, another shows two strangers bonding over a “Charlie Brown” tree. Several have magical elements and fantasy worlds at play, while others are firmly rooted in reality.
The stories can be savored one at a time or gobbled down all at once—either way, they’re a lot of fun and show off a lot of different writing styles. The diversity highlighted throughout the collection is a big strength: there are characters of different races, genders, sexuality, social class, education level, and even species. Of course, some stories will resonate with readers more than others, as tends to be the case with story collections, but they are generally all strong offerings that manage to come together into a wholly satisfying read. Best of all: older readers might discover a new author. 336 pages 978-1250059307 Ages 13 and up
Recommended by Molly Crumbley, Librarian, Maryland, USA.