Review: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Title: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
Authors: Multiple Authors, Edited by Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Anthology, Holiday, Young Adult
Publisher: St. Martin's Press, October 2014

Summary from Goodreads:
If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.
I was very excited to get this book at the end of November. I waited until the first day of December to read it and I planned on reading one story a day (for twelve days... obviously). That plan didn't work out so well. I think I discovered that I may not be a big "short story" person... I had a hard time wanting to go back to this book everyday and my attention kept getting stolen by actual novels. It took me the entire month of December to get through all the stories. It wasn't that this book wasn't enjoyable, it was, I just had a craving for full-length books.

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell (5 Stars)
This one I thought was very cute. I am a definite fan of her writing and the way she portrays relationships. This story followed two people through past New Year's Eves together and I was rooting for them the entire time. I connected with the characters immediately and a full-length novel of their lives past NYE would probably we really good. Very sweet and a good start to the book.

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link (4 Stars)
I feel like I am in a minority here where I actually really liked this one! I though the writing style and prose was really pretty and I was super interested in this family and how all the weird magical realism stuff was coming about. My problem was that the ending felt super rushed and my questions didn't really get answered.

 Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Pena (3 Stars)
I felt bored by this one. I was flipping pages to see how much longer until the next story. I just couldn't connect with the characters. Cute, but kind of ehhh...

Polaris is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han (4 Stars)
Cute and unique. Instead of an Elf in the "real world" we get to see a teenage girl in the North Pole. One of the shorter stories and I enjoyed it. A "fun" one.

It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins (5 Stars)
I really liked this one a lot. The romance was super sweet and I really connected with the main character. This is another character who'd be great in a full-length novel. The funny and witty dialogue between the "couple" was the best part.

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan (3 Stars)
I thought the writing style of this was great and it came across as really sweet at times, but there were moments where I was SO lost. Like I had no idea what the main character was having a internal monologue about. And none of my questions even got answered. A lot of angst for a Christmas story.

Krumpuslauf by Holly Black (4 Stars)
I enjoyed this one. I liked the dynamic of these friends and characters and I liked reading about them planning this fancy NYE party in a trailer park. But overall it was still a little odd. Like these human people just accepted this fantasy stuff going on like it was completely normal... I just didn't buy it. But still one of the more entertaining stories.

What the Hell have you done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman (5 Stars)
Really liked this one. Again, a great main character for a full-length novel. I'd love to read more about Sophie's college life and more of the romance. So sweet.

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire (3 Stars)
Liked this one. It was fast-paced and entertaining. Cute romance, etc, etc... Worked good as a short story.

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White (4 Stars)
Really liked! The setting was fun and I connected with the characters. Huge turn around in the end that I wasn't expecting. Romance was not the focus of the story, IMO. But still cute and definitely has a holiday spirit feel.

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter (5 Stars)
This was probably my favorite of the book. If there was one that needed a full-length book the most it'd be this one. I LOVED the whole premise of switching plane tickets and all of that. I wanted to know way more about BOTH girls stories and the guy's family and everything. Wanted more, more, more of this story!

The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (3 Stars)
Beautiful writing, but I was feeling kind of lost. I couldn't connect and just... I don't know... not one of the better ones for me.

I guess this gets 4 stars when average out!

Plus, I had a lot of fun matching up the couples in the story to the skaters on the cover! :)

2015 Prequel and Sequel Challenge Sign-Up

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It is so sad how many series I have started but haven't finished yet. Maybe a challenge will force me to get some of those last books over will. The Summer Garden, I am looking at you!

10-25 points: Newbie
25-50 points: Amateur
51-75 points: Advanced
76-100 points: Professional
101+ points: Veteran

I think I will shoot for at least 51 points and get to Advanced.

Some series I need to work on:
Tudors- Phillipa Gregory
Chesapeake Shores- Sherryl Woods
Chemical Garden - Lauren DeStefano
Lakeshore Chronicles- Susan Wiggs
Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Travises  - Lisa Kleypas

Top Ten Tuesday: 2015 Goals

1.) Read 80 books. The last three years I have averaged in the 60's, so this is a pretty good increase for me.

2.) Very limited book buying! I already have a list of 100 books ready for 2015 and I can only choose my reads this year from that list! 85% of that list is made of books I already own. I can only buy books on that list!

3.) Read a few hours a week... at the gym. My Nook conveniently fits at the top of the tread mill. So I may as well take advantage of that.

4.) Buy a new car. Because, you know, it's just time!

5.) Enjoy my wedding. It's in May. And I resolve to NOT stress of weather, centerpieces, what other people think, etc and just LOVE my wedding day and what it represents!

6.) Don't read it unless I really want to. I am so over wasting time on books I don't love. I am so over not loving reading! I only gave 9 of 66 books a five star rating last year. And maybe only two blew me away to the point I'd re-read. That is SO disappointing.

7.) Keep up with this blog. Find a consistent schedule that works. And find my voice!

8.) Clear out shelf space! Read mostly books I already own then pack up and donate the ones I know I will never really read again! If all goes to plan, in 2016 I will let myself fill those shelves again. :)

9.) Comment on at least three other blogs a day. Every day I read my blog list, I want to engage with at least three other bloggers.

10.) Take care of myself. As in, eat healthier! Take my make-up off every single night. Moisturize. Drink more water. Maybe drop a pant size (but don't stress about it.) Take time for facials. Don't let ALL my nail polish chip off before re-painting. Etc, etc, etc.

2014 End of the Year Book Survey

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Perpetual Page-Turner

Number of Books Read: 66
Number of Re-Reads: A big, fat ZERO
Most Read Genre: Contemporary

1. Best Book You Read in 2014: Tatiana and Alexander by Paullina Simons; Sadly, nothing really blew me away this year except that one. I read some really good books, but nothing SUPER-DUPER SPECIAL. That was disappointing.

2. Book You Were Excited About and Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn't: A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier

3. Most Surprising (in a good or bad way) book you read in 2014: The Last Camilla by Sarah Jio. I didn't realize I would love a mystery so much!

4. Book You "Pushed" the Most People to Read in 2014: I gave Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas to all my in-real-life friends after I read it this year.

5. Best Series You Started in 2014: The Luxe by Anna Godberson Best Sequel of 2014: Just One Year by Gayle Foreman Best Series Ender of 2014: N/A Didn't read one!

6. Favorite New Author You Discovered in 2014? This is hard! I discovered A LOT of great new-to-me authors, but... I am going to go with RAINBOW ROWELL.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? I didn't really read any thrilling or action-packed by my unputdownable books where The Summer Series books by Jenny Han.

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? My most likely re-read would probably be.... The whole Summer series by Jenny Han... lol

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014? All the books in The Luxe series by Anna Godberson had gorgeous covers.

11. Most memorable character of 2014? Tatiana and Alexander from Tatiana and Alexander by Paullina Simon

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014? The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014? Don't think I read one of these but I get I can choose The Duke and I by Julia Quinn for setting in motion and obsession with historical romances.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? The Luxe series by Anna Godberson

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014? “You don't know when you're twenty-three. You don't know what it really means to crawl into someone else's life and stay there. You can't see all the ways you're going to get tangled, how you're going to bond skin to skin. How the idea of separating will feel in five years, in ten - in fifteen."   - Landline by Rainbow Rowell

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013? Shortest- Whisper of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn (50 pages)  Longest- Tatiana and Alexander by Paullina Simons (559 pages)

17. Book That Shocked You The Most  Dirty Red  by Tarryn Fisher - This whole series actually was just so crazy to me. In an awesome way. But crazy "revelations" everywhere!

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!) Caleb and Oliva from the Love Me with Lies series by Tarryn Fisher

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year Reagan and Lilah from Open Road Summer by Emory Lord

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014? Matt Finch from Open Road Summer

23. Best 2014 debut you read? Haha sorry for mentioning it again by Open Road Summer by Emory Lord

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? Isla and the Happily Ever After 

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014? Just One Year by Gayle Foreman

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? The Last Camilla by Sarah Jio

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? Tatiana and Alexander by Paullina Simons

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014? The Body Electric by Beth Revis

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? Hmm... Don't think I have one of these actually...

Looking Ahead

 1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015? To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)? The Start of Me and You by Emory Lord

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015? The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson 

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015? Read 80 books! More than I've ever read in one year before.

Stacking the Shelves [1]

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Gifted for Christmas and bought:

E-Books gifted and bought:

My Susanna Kearsley and Sarah Jio collections are now complete! xoxo

Bout of Books 12 Sign-up

Friday, December 26, 2014

Quick post to declare that I am going to start my reading in 2015 with a bang!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

The Outlander Series 2015 Reading Challenge

This is the perfect thing considering I have 6 out of the 8 books just sitting on my shelf staring at me!

The Reading Schedule (The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon in Order)
February - Outlander 
March - Dragonfly in Ember
April - Voyager
May - Drums of Autumn
June -The Fiery Cross
July - A Breathe of Snow and Ashes
August - An Echo in the Bone
September - Written in My Own Hearts Blood
** If you get behind or ahead in the reading schedule that is totally fine. The goal is just to read all eight books by the end of September

Very excited for this one!!

Top Ten Tuesday: Please, Santa, bring me these!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Ten Books I wouldn't mind Santa Bringing me this year!

(1) and (2) Anything that I don't already own by Sophie Kinsella and Lisa Kleypas
(3) Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

(4) Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
(5) and (6) Anything that I don't already own by Sarah Jio and Jojo Moyes

(7) Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
(8) and (9) Anything that I don't already own by Susanna Kearsley and Sherryl Woods

(10) I Was Here by Gayle Foreman

The Re-Read Challenge 2015 Sign-Up

The 2015 Re-Read Challenge

Since 2015 is MY year, I am finally going to allow myself time to go back and re-read some of my all-time favorites! I couldn't be happy about this! And this challenge is perfect for me.

You can sign yourself up here.

My planned re-reads:
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • On Leaving Charleston by Alexandra Ripley
  • Jewels by Danielle Steel
  • Lone Eagle by Danielle Steel
  • Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
  • And Harry Potter if there is time!

2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge Sign-up Post


This is a brand new blog for me, but not my first blog. In 2015, I want to start over FRESH! A new and new reading habits. In 2015, I am blogging for ME and I am reading for ME. No stressing over the latest and greatest reads. I am going to be reading all the books I've been wanting to read for years. I already have my 2015 reading list set and I am so excited about it! And that is what makes this challenge SO perfect! So here we go!

The level I am choosing to aim for: 31-40 Sweet Summer Fling 

Some TBR-Pile books I am very excited to finally read: 
  • The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
  • A bunch of books by Phillipa Gregory
  • Backlists of Sarah Jio and Susanna Kearsley
You can sign yourself up here.

I am ready to make 2015 my best reading year yet!