The Snow In The Summer or So-So

Book reviews for 2019

My True Love Gave to Me - Stephanie PERKINS (ed)

Twelve sweet stories about wintertime love. All have happy(-ish) endings for the lead characters, some endings are happier than others. There's not a weak tale amongst the twelve, a couple were flat, but we'll come back to at least three in coming years.

Content notes: marketed as "young adult", we'd shelve it in "teen fiction", suitable for 10-13s. No-one does anything more than kiss or hug. No heavy petting, no taking advantage, no consent problems. These stories were written in 2013-14, so there are same-sex couples in the background of most stories, no trans kids.

In detail...

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell - Mags and Noah only meet on consecutive New Year's Eves, and grow up in between. Sweet, almost sickly.

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link - a ghost story, where Miranda is taken under the wing of a super rich woman. The Brit-references seem to go over other reviewers' heads.

Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Pena - Shy is flat-sitting in Manhattan without any food, Hayley upstairs finds her shower is blocked. Gentle Hispanic motifs.

Polaris is Where Youíll Find Me by Jenny Han - Santa Claus's adopted human daughter Natalie feels out of place amongst the elves. Needed something more; this story's less romance and more crush.

Itís a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins - The Pagan story, where Marigold buys a tree just to talk to a boy.

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan - The gay story, where Levi tries to deceive his boyf's kid sister.

Krampuslauf by Holly Black - setting up and holding a boozy new year's party, where the trailer trash invite the rich kids. Less romance and more revenge, somewhat darker than the rest.

What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman - The Jewish story, where Sophie goofs off in the middle of Dullsville with fellow outsider Russell. Less romance and more (non-Christian) religious.

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire - The Christian story, Vaughn finds salvation through good works and the grace of Gracie.

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White - the Latino story, where schoolgirl-waitress Maria eats new cook Ben's comfort food and finds out some truths about herself and fellow waitress Candy.

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter - a wonderful mystery, the narrator is in the middle of Nowheresville having swapped her plane ticket with Hulda. The ending was a massive surprise.

The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor - magical and mysterious, and - uniquely - the narrator is not the protagonist. We'd love to see an animated version of this story, the ending scene would be awesome.

Permanent link

Reviewed this year

PERKINS, Stephanie (ed) My True Love Gave to Me, London: Macmillan Children's Books, 2014, pp321, ISBN 978-1-447-27281-6