No, this isn’t another update post. 🙂 It’s a Christmas novel! For those of you who really want to get into the cutesy, Christmas mood, I think this is perfect for you. And as an anthology, I’ll break down each story to give you a quick rundown. But first, I’m going to talk about the collection as a whole.
Just as a heads up, before I forget, these stories are clearly meant for older YA readers. Lots of language. Now, carry on.
First of all, I thought it was really cute. All of the stories together were sweet and funny. Some were sadder, some were hilarious, some were fantastical. It just depended on the story.
And I thought they were ordered in a really cool way. I mean, while 85% of them were schmaltzy romances, there were a few that were very different. And those were sprinkled in in good places to break the monotony. (We’ll get to those in a minute.) There were different genres and a lot of diversity in the characters. The best part? While I definitely know which ones I liked best, none of them were bad stories. They were all interesting and entertaining. I went into each one not knowing what to expect and coming out with a smile on my face.
So here’s the story breakdown! I want to avoid spoilers, so I’ll just say a few words about each story.
Midnights – Rainbow Rowell
A very typical Rainbow Rowell story. And less Christmasy, more New Years-y. It wasn’t the greatest story, but it wasn’t bad.
The Lady and the Fox – Kelly Link
Definitely one of the more fantastical stories. It’s something of a ghost story, which definitely had my interest. Having never read anything by Kelly Link, I was intrigued.
Angels in the Snow – Matt de la Pena
This was really cute and had great themes about social class and race. The main character is a Latino college student who is spending Christmas away from his family when he meets a cute girl he likes. I liked the way the romance built in this one.
Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me – Jenny Han
This was cute and another diverse story. Natalie is a Korean girl who was adopted by Santa and lives at the North Pole. So…like a female Buddy the Elf. Actually, now that I think about it, that actually sums up the story really well. It’s the female version of Elf.
It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown – Stephanie Perkins
One of the cuter/funnier ones. Marigold doesn’t celebrate Christmas, but she still gets wrapped up in it all the same. I was a fan of how this story unfolded. It was just the right mix of strange (as in, the characters) and cute (the plot).
Your Temporary Santa – David Levithan
I think this was pretty much David Levithan to a T. It’s a gay romance between two boys, but it was more about one of them trying to impress the other boy’s family more than it was a romance of any kind. It was nice. Just not what I would normally read.
Krampuslauf – Holly Black
And this was Holly Black in spades. It was fantastical and weird and yet still awesome. It mixes Norse (I think) legend with New Years in a way that was super strange. I kept reading it going, “What is this?” But it all came together. I really liked this one.
What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? – Gayle Forman
Oh, Gayle Forman. This was one of the cutest stories of the bunch. Sophie is a Jewish girl stuck on her college campus for a few more days after everyone’s left and she bumps into someone who seems to understand her better than everyone else.
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus – Myra McEntire
This one definitely made me laugh with its comedy of errors. Vaughn is a prankster who nearly ruined Christmas. Think the Christmasy version of A Walk To Remember.
Welcome To Christmas, CA – Kiersten White
My favorite, but that isn’t surprising considering I’m a big fan of Kiersten White. This had a slightly warped sense of humor while still being cute and romantic. So, apparently, that’s my thing. (What I mean by “warped” is that Maria lives in Christmas, California, and she takes it out on the Christmas memorabilia around the diner she works at. Also, this story had a lot of heart. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Star of Bethlehem – Ally Carter
This was different, in a good way. It was less about the romance and more about figuring out who you are. It was funny and awkward and a huge mystery as to what was going on. I’m not going to ruin the fun!
The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer – Laini Taylor
And this was the last super-fantastical one. Taking place in its own world (where Christmas apparently still exists), Neve is a young girl alone in the world. It was a strange story, but it eventually starts to fall into a pattern. Or maybe that’s just me, since I haven’t read a whole lot of Laini Taylor’s writing. I’m still trying to figure out her brand of fantasy!