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review 2018-12-20 20:27
Ehhhhh Okay Stories for the Most Part-24 Tasks
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories - Rainbow Rowell,Holly Black,Laini Taylor,Myra McEntire,Kiersten White,Stephanie Perkins,Gayle Forman,Matt de la Pena,Jenny Han,Ally Carter,Kelly Link,David Levithan

Per usual, some stories were delightful, some were good, and some were just okay.

 

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell (5 stars)-Wow. This one was a great set-up for the anthology. We get to read about two teens New Year's Eve through the years. You get to see their friendship turn to something more. 

 

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link (2 stars)-This felt endless. I liked the idea of a curse keeping a man from being part of our world unless it snowed on Christmas every year. But did anyone else get squicked out that the main love interest met this dude when she was a kid and he sees her grow up? I just could not. 

 

Angels in the Snow by Matt De Le Pena (2 stars)-I just didn't like the writing style in this one. Sorry. It felt broken up and I like I was missing something.This story actually caused me to put this down for a while since it just totally took me out of the wanting to finish anything.

 

Polaris is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han (5 stars)-Teen elves getting ready for the Snow Ball at the North Pole and a human called Natalie who has an interesting relation. I maybe laughed with delight with this story. It was so cute. And I could picture it in my head. I also thought it was super cute that elves don't really like to receive gifts, they by nature like to give things to other people. 

 

It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins (3 stars)-We follow a character named Marigold Moon Ling (that's a mouthful) who is staking out a Christmas tree lot over a boy. Look, unless this guy looked like Chris Hemsworth I don't see it myself, but to each their own. This story dragged for me after reading the one prior to this.

 

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan (3 stars)-Ehh, okay, didn't really thrill me. A Jewish guy pretends to be Santa to help out his boyfriend. It just....it made zero sense to me. I maybe felt uncomfortable for this fictional character. It just....no. I did laugh at him explaining how his parents told him that yes Santa did exist, but he had too much to do and couldn't stop at their house. This just didn't really seem realistic with this character dressing up as Santa for her boyfriend's younger siblings. Levithan can spin a tale though so I did laugh a few times while reading this. 

 

Krampuslauf by Holly Black (2 stars)-People dressing up like Krampus. The author also gives us some info dumps on Kraumpus. I get it, you have to explain it since this is a short story and many people may not know who this is. That just took up a lot of time setting the story though. This book also deals with ugliness among teens too. There is slut shaming (not by the main character) and she is dealing with things trying to help a friend. Just not very joyous in my mind. 

 

What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman (2 stars)-Story dealing with a main character, Sophie Roth, and her freshmen year of college. This one is actually fairly short and I just didn't care about Sophie and her love interest. 

 

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire-(1 star) I can't even recall this one. And I refuse to look it up.

 

Welcome to Christmas, CA, by Kiersten White- (2 stars)-I just recall thinking it was hilarious there are many towns in the U.S. called Christmas. Other than that, didn't feel engaged with this one either.

 

 

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter (1 star) A girl switches tickets with someone called Hulda because she doesn't want to go and meet her boyfriend (Hulda doesn't) and then she pops up and meets Ethan (Hulda's boyfriend) and he kisses her and my brain went wait did they switch bodies? He should know it's not her? And then I stopped caring. Believe me the why behind this mess is so dumb. 

 

The Little Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (3 stars)-Apparently it's custom for young men to leave gifts for their sweethearts for the 24 days of Advent on the Isle of Feathers. Shrug, yeah, I don't know why either. This story follows a character named Neve who doesn't have a sweetheart so she doesn't expect gifts. Just an okay story. Not a strong finish to the anthology I thought. 

 


Epiphany

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review 2018-01-09 02:53
Book Review: A Very Wilde Christmas by Sam Burns
A Very Wilde Christmas (Wilde Love) - Sam Burns

This book cannot be read as a standalone. If you haven't read the 4 books in this series, this will spoil things for you, so don't do that.

4 short stories comprise this Christmas book, and we get to visit with all 4 couples. 

 

Possible spoilers below...

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-01-05 01:45
Book Review: All I Want by Stella Starling
All I Want - Stella Starling

Utterly adorable Christmas story that I snagged when it was offered for free on Amazon. Excellent story-telling, and such a sweet romance. I adored Elliott - he was such a sweetheart, and so very kind to everyone, always believing only the best of people. And I loved watching Ash grow throughout this book and believe that he could be more than what he had been.

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review 2017-12-23 00:18
Kisses, Cute Boys and Cliché - A 'Meh' Christmas Short Stories Book
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories - Rainbow Rowell,Holly Black,Laini Taylor,Myra McEntire,Kiersten White,Stephanie Perkins,Gayle Forman,Matt de la Pena,Jenny Han,Ally Carter,Kelly Link,David Levithan

Its Christmas soon and what better way to be in the festive mood than to read a book about the season of giving? So far, I had two and I pick them up one year after the other but I never read them and they were on my shelve for until last Friday I read one of them and I pick this one. So I started to read this last week Friday and managed to finished it early morning today. Here's the thing - I love short stories. They are precise, simple and short. Can be fun, dramatic, romantic and whatever that was meant to be in a genre. So when I read My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, I was looking forward to 'TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES'. As it turns out - it should be change to 'Twelve ROMANTICHoliday stories' instead. And as I know, its under young adult and although I do want to read Christmas stories, I should have bought 'A Christmas Carol' instead. My fault because I should have known what I am getting myself into.

 

The question is - is this book worth reading? As you can see the rating above from this review... mehhh.

 

There are a total of twelve short stories here from today's known young adult authors and so far, all twelve of these stories has the same kind of formulate story you must have read or even watch on television. I mean, there are some nice funny ones and I do enjoy Holly BlackKiersten White and Ally Carter ones but the rest, I just didn't feel it. The worst one was Laini Taylor because to tell you the truth - at the beginning of the story I had no idea what was going on. Its cheesy, its cliché and it gives no reason why the girls want to kiss the boys first. Although The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer and Polaris is Where You'll Find Me stays out of its modern themes, every single one of these stories must have 'a kiss with a guy' in any way it has to be written. Seriously, I felt it is forced upon. Why? Because... the guy is cute. That's the reason. Whether the guy is a figment of imagination, a God, an elf... the male counterpart is cute. For me, that's what I remember most.

 

Did I hate it? Not really. Did I love it? Not really. Its just not really the kind of holiday stories I was expecting to be cliché about. Would I recommend this? To teen readers (girls) who love cute guys. Other than that, no.

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review 2017-12-22 02:32
ARC Review: Sometimes The Best Presents Can't Be Wrapped by B.G. Thomas
Sometimes the Best Presents Can’t Be Wrapped - B.G. Thomas

This story is a rather different take on A Christmas Carol. It's adorable, really, and I had a fabulous time reading it. The author, one of my favorites, also deviated from his usual style in this story - which I also quite enjoyed.

Ned Balding is a bit of a Scrooge. After his father died, he's been running the family's company, which allows no time for anything else. Stressed, overworked, Ned no longer resembles the decent guy he used to be. In fact, he's gone as far as considering firing a long-time employee right before Christmas, because the poor guy took a couple of days off after losing his dog. Listen, Ned - dogs are members of the family, and people naturally grieve, and your piss-poor attitude made me mad. Especially since the man in question, Jake Carrara, is still grieving the death of his mother, and the loss of his boyfriend - all in the same year. So Ned needed to cut Jake some slack. 

Thankfully, Ned is prevented from firing Jake when a friend and co-worker steps in and halts Ned's tirade. 

On the way home, still raging mad, Ned attempts to kick a dog, which is witnessed by a Salvation Army Santa - who issues a stern warning, and tells Ned that enough is enough.

Come morning, Ned wakes up in his apartment, but the world looks very different than it did the night before. For one, Ned seems to be closer to the floor. And covered in fur. Colors aren't the same either. 

I really liked how well the author must have done his research to let us experience life as a dog. Some of it was fascinating, like the colors dogs apparently see, and some of it was hilarious, like lifting a leg to tinkle. I giggled quite a bit, watching Ned figure out how to be a dog.

Long story short, Ned is shocked, howls and barks, and ends up at the pound - well, almost. He's super lucky that the guy from the pound knows HD (he from Hounddog and Bean), so Ned, fortuitously, is put into foster care, being taken care of by none other than the guy he almost fired - Jake.

As Ned spends his days in Jake's apartment, and his nights sleeping on the bed with Jake, he starts to realize what an utter ass he's been, not only to the people he works with, but also to his remaining family. And he realizes that he has to make some drastic changes - if only he was able to figure out how to turn back into a human. On top of that, he sees Jake in a wholly new light, and can't for the life of him figure out why he would have been such a jackass to the man. 

And then Ned has to make a choice, one that could cost him dearly - but he does what he does out of love, and by then he realizes that love is worth anything and everything.

Due to the plot here, we actually don't really see the romance fully developing, as Ned spends most of the book as a dog, and Jake obviously doesn't realize that the dog he's fostering is in reality his boss, but we do get a very happy ending, and a lovely epilogue that takes place a year later and showcases the changes Ned has made. 

I thought it utterly adorable, with a good sprinkle of Christmas magic, humorous moments, and a massive act of selflessness that really shows the reader how much Ned has grown from the start of the book.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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