After reading Stephanie Perkins’ novels (Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and Isla and the Happily Ever After) last year, I knew I HAD to read more of her work. So like a good little Millennial – wait…Generation X? What am I??? (Cue existential crisis) – I Googled it. And I found these gems! Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories (SDASN) and My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories (MTLGTM), both edited by Stephanie Perkins! But wait – it gets better! The short stories in these anthologies were written by Jenny Han, Rainbow Rowell, Leigh Bardugo, Cassandra Clare, (and Perkins herself) and other powerhouse authors.
P.S. Thank you to my friends who got me these books for Christmas! ☺️🎄🎁
Read on for a spoiler-free review of both books! (Note: the books as a whole, not the individual stories within).
YA Romance, Fiction ☺️💕 (Fantasy and Contemporary included)
Anyone who enjoys YA romance and/or short stories and/or are fans of the following authors, all of whom have contributed to these collections:
SDASN: Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina Lacour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, Jennifer E. Smith
MTLGTM: Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt De La Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White
Overview (from book jacket)
SDASN: Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom.
Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young-adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.
MTLGTM: 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 the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s, there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.
NOTE: you should read MTLGTM first because there’s a story in there that is continued in SDASN.
Various settings around the globe 🌏 But most stories are set in the U.S.
I loved the characters in each story! Admittedly, some more than others, but such is life.
What I Liked
SO many things! I can now say that I am officially a fan of anthologies and it’s because of these two books.
For starters, SDASN and MTLGTM introduced me to the writing styles of 1) authors that I had heard of, but never got the chance to read (yet), as well as 2) authors I had NOT heard of, and as a result, will now most definitely be reading more of. Basically, it’s a great way to get your feet wet if you’re still deciding whether or not you wanna go swimming. Or if you just didn’t know you wanted to go swimming in the first place, but now that your feet are wet, you’re like “I’ve been missing out on life!”
Another thing I liked – but I guess can be a pro or a con, depending – is that they’re, well, SHORT stories. (“But, D,” you ask. “Depending on what?”) Depending on how much you’ve fallen in love with the story and its characters! I, for the most part, loved that the stories were short, because they were quick reads and I could do without the typical intense, nerve-racking cliffhangers. (Can I get a “huzzah!!!”? 🙌) HUZZAH! BUT! There were a few stories that I wish were actual novels, because I wanted more of the characters, their lives, and the enthralling plot(s). Maybe one day their authors will decide to give us a bit more. Or, ya know, maybe not. A girl can dream.
I also liked that while romance was the focus of the stories (for the most part), each also included additional elements relevant to the YA genre and readership (coming-of-age, familial hardships, identity, etc.)
What I Liked A Little Less
See potential con above.
Also, there were one or two stories that I felt were pretty out of place. They either felt too dark or way too gloomy, given the general ambiance of all the other stories and the books as a whole. But that’s just my personal opinion and it’s quite possible that I’m the only one (or at least one of a handful of people) in the entire ‘verse that felt this way.
Each book gets 4.5/5 stars! They were great collections of unique stories and showcased some fantastic authors. I highly recommend them, especially if you see an author whose work you haven’t had the chance to read yet 👍 I also LOVE how each of the characters is featured on the cover! 😍
P.P.S. I also googled Generation X vs Millennials and, according to Wikipedia, I’m a millennial. Whew – identity crisis averted.