Author: Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White
Published by: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication date: 9th October 2014
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance/Festive
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
First thing's first
It would take forever to thoroughly review each short story, so instead I'm just going to give you a list of the titles and my rating out of five. Luckily, there was only one story which I really, really disliked, and only a couple which were 'meh', but you'll see what they were in a second.
Midnights by Rainbow Rowell - 5/5
Favourite quote: "You're a kaleidoscope. You change every time I look away."
Polaris Is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han - 5/5
Favourite quote: "Elves in motion are otherworldly. They are long and lovely and lean; when they dance they are whirling dervishes that sparkle and gleam like sun shining on snow."
It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins - 5/5
Favourite quote: "Fires crackled inside metal drums. Strings of bare bulbs crisscrossed overhead. She loved the husky green scent of the Fraser firs and the crinkle crunch of their shavings underfoot."
Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White - 5/5
Favourite quote: "Every surface not reserved for eating is covered in holiday kitsch. As if that weren't freak show enough, from the ledge above the kitchen door, a sinister elf gazes malevolently down, its head cocked at a horror-movie angle. A year ago, I stuck a tiny knife in its hand. No one has noticed."
What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman - 4/5
Favourite quote: "Sophie had had to say I'm kidding at least half dozen times, a trend that continued well into the term until Sophie finally realised that sarcasm was like a separate dialect, not one universally understood."
The Lady and The Fox by Kelly Link - 4/5
Favourite quote: "Inside is a scrap of rose damask, the embroidered fox, snarling; the mangled leg, the bloodied trap."
Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Peña - 4/5
Favourite quote: "When we woke up on the morning on the fourth day, it happened. Thick beautiful snowflakes were falling from the sky."
Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan - 3/5
Krampuslauf by Holly Black - 2/5
Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter - 2/5
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire - 1/5
*takes deep breath* *waits for army of fangirls to kill me*
The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor - 0/5
Yes, I gave 0/5 to the story by Laini Taylor; I was surprised too. I've only ever seen positive reviews of her books and everyone always seems to be praising her writing, so I was really sad when I had to drag myself through her drag of a story. The only other bad thing about this book: it caused me to keep singing "On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me..." I wouldn't stop. It was awful for everyone involved. It was the beginning of October.
Anyway, it was a shame the book had to end on that note, but the rest of the book, apart from the few stories which I wasn't overly keen on, was beautiful. Not many books can make me happy. They can make me sad, they can make me laugh, and they can make me think, but this book actually put me in a really good mood for the rest of the day. I don't know if it's the same with anyone else, but I hardly ever experience that solely from reading a book. Thanks to this one, and much to the dismay of my parents, I am now fully ready for Christmas. I almost wish I hadn't read this yet so I could have the experience of receiving this and reading it for the first time on Christmas day. I think I'll stop there, because now I'm just making myself sound weird... good books do that to me.
Despite the few stories I wasn't too keen on, I absolutely loved this book as a whole, and it introduced me to some new YA authors. It includes such a good and varied collection of writers, and there really is something for everyone. It's truly gorgeous.