Book Review: My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories Edited by Stephanie Perkins

MTLGTMTitle: My True Love Gave To Me

Authors: Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt De La Pena, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, and Kiersten White

Publication date: October 14, 2014

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Pages: 321

Source: Review copy from publisher (Thank you, Macmillan!)

Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository / Fully Booked / National Book Store

Synopsis: 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.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

Christmas is my favorite holiday ever and to get in a festive mood early, I read My True Love Gave To Me, an anthology composed of twelve holiday stories written by highly acclaimed authors in the YA world. Dear readers, this book is a sweet Christmas treat as it infuses you with the excitement and joy that the holiday season brings. I haven’t reviewed a short story collection before so I have no idea how to go about it. I thought of breaking down my thoughts into twelve points according to the order of stories for a perceptive review, instead of a general one for the whole book.

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell: A story that is simple, witty, and filled with love! Reading it was like eating the yummiest Chex mix in the world. Rainbow Rowell writes simple realities with a bang, making little moments big, magical, and ever so swoon-worthy. Infinite hearts for Midnights! 🙂

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link: Personally, this one is a bit weird and dragging. I didn’t understand its concept nor identify with the characters. Also, there was a strange paranormal or fantasy thing going on that made the story confusing. It’s unfortunate to say that this story didn’t impress me. I’m sorry!

Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Pena: Feel-good with a little emotional punch. I like how it talked about family, being brave to face your problems, and being true to yourself. It’s a story that you’d want to read more of.

Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han: An unusual yet amusing story that has a cute concept! Although I found the ending bittersweet, I’d say it is really something that readers would enjoy.

It’s A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: This story charmed its way to my heart! It made me feel the extreme happy flutters and the spark that flickers inside you when you’ve made a connection with someone special. I swooned and smiled the whole time I was reading! If this story were a full-length novel, it would definitely receive a 5-star rating from me. 🙂

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan: A bit introspective, raw, emotional, and funny at times. Surprisingly, for a David Levithan fan like me, it’s not the type of story that I’d like to read during the holidays because of its melancholic ambience. Nevertheless, it’s an honest tale and the writing is beautiful.

Krampuslauf by Holly Black: I like how this story is about believing in greater things. However, what didn’t work for me was the fantasy element. It’s bizarre to the point that it made the story vague, without clues as to why some events happened. I guess I’m really not that of a huge fantasy reader.  

What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman: Authentic and really interesting. I love the humor and diversity of characters!

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire: I have never read a Myra McEntire book and this story won my interest to check out the author’s novels. I enjoyed this a lot. It’s light, fun, and such a delight to read!

Welcome To Christmas, CA by Kiersten White: Fantastic, touching, and very memorable. This story is full of hope, love, and swoon-worthy moments that are sweeter than candy canes! Kiersten White brilliantly captured the true spirit of Christmas, which is HAPPINESS—the warm, genuine kind that makes you glow from the inside. It’s the happiness you’d want to infect other people with. Welcome To Christmas, CA is a story that you’ll read over and over again until it’s engraved in your memory. 

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter: I loved this story! It’s about finding home at a time when things are complicated, finding one’s self, and discovering the true meaning of happiness. Heartwarming and worth reading! 

The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor: An enchanting, otherworldly story with remarkable writing and creative execution. Although there are some parts where I got lost and couldn’t understand the story, it still drew me in because of its bewitching and mysterious element.

My True Love Gave To Me is a wonderful holiday anthology! Truly, a must-have on your bookshelf!



4/5 stars

ARC Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever AfterTitle: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Publication date: August 14, 2014

Publisher: Dutton

Pages: 339

Source: ARC from publisher (Thank you, Penguin Teen!)

Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository / Fully Booked / National Book Store


From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review: 

Isla and the Happily Ever After is the final book in Stephanie Perkins’ companion series. Fans of the first two books, Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door have been waiting for this and now that it’s here, I’m sure everyone’s rushing to the bookstore to grab a copy!

Oozing with heart-warming moments, deep affection, and passion, Isla and the Happily Ever After is one spectacular read! I was smitten with how it is to fall in love and appreciated the sweet little things that happen in between the process. My heart exploded with extreme feelings of happiness that words couldn’t describe enough. Isla and Josh are wonderfully flawed and entertaining characters that readers would instantly adore and connect with. Their chemistry is so believable and downright heart melting! The authenticity and natural spark of Isla and Josh’s romance made them a couple worth remembering. I truly enjoyed being a witness of their love affair from the beginning to the much awaited happily ever after.

Author Stephanie Perkins’ thoughtful, uplifting, and charming writing style impressed me a lot. I’m a fan! What I like most about her books is that readers get so much more than a love story. Beneath the romance element is an inspiring message that could change how people view life and the things around them. The depth and truthfulness of the stories pierce through the soul in extraordinary ways. Anna, Lola, and Isla take readers to an amazing journey of self-discovery, and that’s what makes Stephanie Perkins’ books remarkable.

Sweet and undeniably romantic, Isla and the Happily Ever After marvelously encapsulates the spellbinding magic of falling in love. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is fond of a beautifully written contemporary YA brimming with unlimited possibilities and long-lasting bliss.



5/5 stars



A Very Perky Sunday: Stephanie Perkins in Manila!

Bright and euphoric is how I would describe July 6, 2014. Why is that so? It’s because International Bestselling Author Stephanie Perkins was in Manila for a book signing event!  For those of you who don’t know the author, she wrote the popular contemporary YA novels, Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. Both books are beautifully written, uplifting, and swoon-worthy! I absolutely adore them!

My book blogger friends and I attended a Q & A with Stephanie Perkins where she answered questions from bloggers. I had a question for her, which I unfortunately wasn’t able to ask because of limited time. But it’s okay! I had a great time listening to Stephanie talk about her books, Etienne St. Clair (SWOON!), inspiration for her stories, she and her husband’s love story (*happy sigh*), travel experiences, and more. Stephanie’s supportive and super cool husband, Jarrod, was also present at the Q & A. He and Stephanie were so adorable! Definitely a OTP! ❤

Here are a few details I gathered from the Q & A:

*Stephanie’s new novel is under the horror genre. Hopefully, it will be coming out next year!

*Stephanie will definitely write more romance again. The horror novel was for her soul. She said, “Yeah, I’m writing something terrible and gross for my soul.”

*Someone asked Stephanie if one of her characters were to walk into the Q&A, who will it be and what will that character say, Stephanie answered, “Isla and Josh are both very big readers so it’s gonna be them who will probably be coming here together and keep to themselves. They’re pretty private people so you have to kind of get close to them. And they would be hanging out in the graphic novel section.”

*Etienne St. Clair was patterned after two actors. One was height and confidence based and the other one was facial, looks-wise. And then a lot of it was her husband, whom Stephanie put into all of the boys in her books. 🙂

*Stephanie draws inspiration from her own life, movies, and books that makes her swoon and fall in love again. It’s all about trying to capture that moment. She said, “When I write these things, I get to live them. I get to live in that moment and so I try to get that onto the page the best that I can.” It’s a combination of her husband and inspiration all around her and wanting to keep feeling that repeatedly as well as getting that in fresh ways.

*Stephanie is a people watcher. “If I see like a sweet moment between a couple with one tiny thing, I like to blow that tiny little moment like a huge thing,” she shared.

The public signing was held at National Book Store Glorietta 1 but I had to leave early so I was unable to attend. From what I have heard, the public signing was a huge success. 664 people showed up at the event and everyone had fun! Hooray!

Thank you very much National Book Store for making this perky event possible! All of us experienced the best kind of happiness. 🙂



The Stephanie Perkins book display


The NBS author throne, eagerly waiting for its “queen” to arrive

Stephanie Perkins Q&A

Q & A with Stephanie Perkins

SP5Stephanie Perkins and National Book Store surprised us with a very special gift:

An ARC of Isla and the Happily Ever After! *FLAILS*

Stephanie signing books

Stephanie signing books

With Stephanie Perkins

Stephanie is like a ball of radiant sunshine! Her warm, charming, and optimistic personality dazzled the whole room. Just looking at her put a smile on everyone’s faces! 🙂

SP14PH YA Book Bloggers with Stephanie!

Blogger selfies with Chad and JBSelfies with a few blogger friends & Chad and JB of National Book Store

Signed books

Thanks Stephanie and Jarrod Perkins for signing my books! You are both AWESOME!


Anna, Lola, and Isla all look so pretty together, don’t you think? 🙂

Stephanie has a message to her Filipino readers! Watch the video below:




2 Awesome Bookish Events in June and July!

National Book Store’s bringing two YA authors to the Philippines in June and July— JENNY HAN AND STEPHANIE PERKINS! AMAZING, right? I hope to see you guys at both events and let’s fangirl together! 🙂

Poster - Jenny Han

For information on the Jenny Han Book Signing Tour, please click on the links below:

Event Page


Poster - Stephanie Perkins

For more information on the Stephanie Perkins Book Signing Tour, please click on the links below:

Event Page 


New books this week!


What I got in the mail: 

Transparent by Natalie Whipple (for review)

Shiloh by Helena Sorensen (for review)

*Thank you Hot Key Books and author Helena Sorensen! 🙂


Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (Power Books)

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (Power Books)

Thanks to a family friend’s birthday gift to me last month (Power Books gift cards!), I was able to buy books without spending any cash. Although I haven’t read Anna and the French Kiss, I bought Lola and the Boy Next Door because I feel that I would need it right away. I’ve been hearing lots of good things about Stephanie Perkins’ novels! In fact, author Kara Taylor told me in a Twitter chat the other day: “Your next mission: Read a @naturallysteph book as soon as possible.” So yeah, I’m going to read Stephanie Perkins’ books soon! Then there’s Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi which I’ve been eyeing since last year. I’m glad I finally have a copy now. 🙂

Happy Saturday, everyone!


Jesselle xx