Edited and with a story by Stephanie Perkins
Stories by Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, and Kiersten White
Available now from St. Martin's Griffin
For her first anthology, Stephanie Perkins did not play fair. She gathered up a veritable who's who of YA authors to deliver a nearly perfect anthology with something to offer for everybody. Some of the stories are speculative fiction; some are contemporary. All have at least a touch of a romantic edge. There's also a smattering of diversity.
For me, the weakest link was Jenny Han's "Polaris Is Where You'll Find Me," the story of a human girl adopted by Santa. There were hints of an interesting elf world and two potential love interests, and it was all a bit much for one of the book's shorter stories. It felt like the beginning to something longer. My favorite was Kelly Link's "The Lady and the Fox," a sort of Christmas retelling of Tam Lin with a young girl who loves costumes and an old family with lots of stories.
David Levithan, Rainbow Rowell, Matt de la Peña, and Gayle Forman and more deliver solid contemporary Christmas and New Year's stories. I liked that Levithan's brought in some Jewish heritage to the proceedings. Holly Black did what Holly Black does. So did Laini Taylor to deliver a memorable closing story. I found Kiersten White's "Welcome to Christmas, CA" took longer to charm me than the others, but by the end I was under its delicious spell.
I appreciated that MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME skewed a little older. Almost all of the characters are in their first year of college. It united the anthology in a way, and gave it a bit of a different vibe from similar YA holiday anthologies.
This is a charming collection and an excellent choice for anyone who likes at least one or more of the twelve authors. It's rare to come across an anthology this solid. And with so much winter cheer, it's hard for me to be a Grinch.