Tag Archives: Christmas

Fast Five Friday | Christmas Vibes

fast five friday

I love blogging and writing and recommending books… but I know that I tend to get a little long-winded in my blog posts! FAST FIVE FRIDAY is a means for me to recognize some favorite books and round them up for recommendations without talking your ear off.

FAST FIVE FRIDAY | CHRISTMAS VIBES

I don’t do a lot of seasonal reading for winter or Christmas and going through my list on Goodreads, I’ve read surprisingly few books that involve the Christmas season or holiday! I did find a good few to compile into a Fast Five Friday list to quickly share some books with Christmas vibes!

Top Ten Clues You're Clueless Liz Czukasmy true love gave to me book coverLandline - Rainbow Rowell

What: Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless
Who: Liz Czukas
Why: A very cute romance that takes place in a grocery store on Christmas Eve!
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: My True Love Gave To Me
Who: Stephanie Perkins (editor) and various authors
Why: An anthology of Christmas/holiday-themed stories, varying from contemporary to magical realism to fantasy!
Where: Goodreads| Review

What: Landline
Who: Rainbow Rowell
Why: A fun and yet serious adult novel about a woman who is seeing a different side of her marriage that takes place around Christmas.
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Who: J.K. Rowling
Why: I think every Harry Potter book has a Christmas scene but I love this one for the inclusion of The Yule Ball and a whole Christmas party!
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: A Minor Raven Boys Holiday Drabble
Who:  Maggie Stiefvater
Why: This is a little extra that Maggie Stiefvater wrote and I LOVE seeing the holidays at Monmouth! Totally worth the quick read for the Raven Boys holiday feel. There’s also a 300 Fox Way piece!
Where: Goodreads | Review


That’s my fast five for today! Do you do any seasonal or holiday reading during the winter/Christmas season? Happy holidays, everyone!!

My True Love Gave to Me – Various Authors

My True Love Gave to Me – Various AuthorsTitle: My True Love Gave To Me by Stephanie Perkins
Publishing Info: October 14, 2014 by St. Martin's Press
Source: Netgalley
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 16, 2014
Related Posts: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Anna and the French Kiss, Isla and the Happily Ever After

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 (Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de La Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Tayler and Kiersten White), edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins.  Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, 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. 

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I love that these authors got together to put MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME out into the world. There are definitely some of my favorite authors’ works in here (Rainbow! Gayle! Stephanie!)  and I had soooo much fun reading all of these short stories (although some I wished would go on forever)! It’s hard to review a collection of short stories so I’ll just say a few things on each one of them!

MIDNIGHTS BY RAINBOW ROWELL

Sigghhhhh. Dreamy sighhhh. I just love Rainbow Rowell’s writing. Something about it just stirs up all of the butterflies in me and just feels so wonderful and comfortable and makes me feel like I’m coming home. MIDNIGHTS was a story about the New Years Eves that Mags and Noel share and their story just hit all the right places for me. I wished there could have been SO much more of this short story. It was truly perfection.
Rating: 5/5

THE LADY AND THE FOX BY KELLY LINK

I’ve never read anything by Kelly Link before so I had no idea what to expect, plus I think it’s REALLY hard to follow Rainbow’s beautiful story. THE LADY AND THE FOX was interesting but it had a weird feel for me… Like it was almost old and new all at once. I think this story could have been better (for me) if it was longer because I needed to really bury myself in some of the details and backstories a bit. Rainbow’s I wished could go on forever because I loved it and this I wished could go on longer because I just needed a bit more story to make that connection!
Rating: 2/5

ANGELS IN THE SNOW BY MATT DE LA PENA

I really, really liked this story! It was very different from the first two and I loved how the two characters — Shy and Haley — came together. I really liked Shy and really felt for him being away from his family and everything that was going on with his family during this holiday season. I really connected with this one (another one I wish there was more of!) and it was really interesting to get to know his character. I loved the male voice and I just really enjoyed this one a lot. And fresh snow! Sigh. It always gets me.
Rating: 4/5

POLARIS IS WHERE YOU’LL FIND ME BY JENNY HAN

This story was really cute. It definitely had a feel between Elf and The Santa Clause! The main character Natalie was adopted by Santa, lives at the North Pole with the elves, and has a crush on one of them. They don’t believe her when she says she’s kissed a real human boy before. The story is just sweet, very fun, and I love how it captures the spirit of Christmas and makes a YA story out of elves & Santa!
Rating: 3.5/5

IT’S A YULTIDE MIRACLE, CHARLIE BROWN BY STEPHANIE PERKINS

Oh, Stephanie. How does she alway write such wonderful and poignant stories? I just loved this one and everything it was about. The little romance was adorable and I loved how everything came together. It’s so funny because I never expect to find such deeper meaning in such short stories but yep, sure enough. Steph has it in there. Loved this one! Loved how it ended too.
Rating: 4.5/5

YOUR TEMPORARY SANTA BY DAVID LEVITHAN

This was definitely a little bittersweet but I loved the sentiment behind it. It was really interesting to see the family dynamic unfold in such a short story and I really would have loved to read more of this one too. Each person is not without their flaws and it was really great to see this cross-section of characters come together to keep a little girl’s dream of Santa alive, all the while trying to hold together their own dreams.
Rating: 4/5

KRAMPUSLAUF BY HOLLY BLACK

Man, I loved this one. I personally haven’t read KRAMPUS but my besties Alyssa & Amy have (and love it) so I was happy to read a little piece of Krampus through this short story. Krampuslauf was all about friendship, loyalty, and honor – including a little traditional Krampus justice. I loved the touch of magic and the feeling that there really can be magic in the world if you’re open to believing.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE, SOPHIE ROTH? BY GAYLE FORMAN

How very Gayle. I just love how she brings so many things together in one story so effortlessly (or maybe it just seems effortless). Gayle’s stories always seem to follow the vein of finding your true self and being happy with what you are, who you have, and where you want to go. So many times I’ve related to these things and I love the college setting for Sophie Roth. It’s such a big starting point for so many people to go and truly start becoming who they really are.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

BEER BUCKETS AND BABY JESUS BY MYRA MCENTIRE

A cute little story with Southern charm about a troublemaker and a pastor’s daughter. I really enjoyed this one (though always thrown off by a female author writing a male POV when I don’t expect it! Still love) and it was a riot to see Vaughn the perpetual mischief-maker try to bring together a Christmas pageant. I also love that not everything is what it seems in this story… Lots of ideas that your assumptions about people or what you see on the surface is not quite what a person’s character is truly about.
Rating: 4/5 stars

CHRISTMAS, CA BY KIERSTEN WHITE

Oh, I loved this story. I half-expected this to have another hidden magical meaning (like real elves or a real Santa) but it was definitely more just a story of the characters making the magic for themselves. I really loved seeing these small-town characters start to find their way, and somehow all of these Christmas stories end up being the main character finding out that what he/she thought ran far deeper than they thought. It was so heart warming and really very dynamic for me. I could just picture myself in Christmas, CA.
Rating: 4.5/5

STAR OF BETHLEHEM BY ALLY CARTER

That was such a sweet story. I love the Ally Carter feel to it and how much fun! The concept was great and I loved the way it ended. The setting was wonderful (I love books set in the middle of nowhere) and I absolutely loved the characters – from “Hulda” to Ethan to Aunt Mary. I think this was one of my favorites! I just wanted to read an entire book and I was even already picturing it as a movie haha!
Rating: 4.25/5

THE GIRL WHO WOKE THE DREAMER BY LAINI TAYLOR

Wow, this was wonderful. It actually took just a little bit to get into but I really, REALLY ended up loving it. It had a bit of a Daughter of Smoke and Bone feel (well, that’s all I’ve read by Laini Taylor) and yet still very much original. I loved Laini’s writing and I absolutely adored where this story went. It was such a beautiful tale and I really just dreamily sighed at the end of it. Outstanding.
Rating: 4.5/5

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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Anthologies. I actually haven’t read many anthologies! Usually the novellas or short stories I read are part of a series and that’s why I pick them up. I love that these were all bound up together and even more so, that the authors took the time to team up for this.
Left Me Wanting More: Flow. Some of the stories didn’t really flow well from one to the next. I mean, of course that has to do with personal taste as well, but it was really hard to go from kicking it off with Rainbow Rowell (LOVED that one) into Kelly Link (sorry Kelly) which had a very, very different feel and totally different focus all together. I think they could have been arranged a bit differently to give the overall collection a better flow.

Addiction Rating
Buy it!

This collection was so much fun. I really loved getting twelve different Christmas stories and I wished some of them could have gone on for much longer! It’s the perfect book to read bit by bit during the holidays.

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BOOKS LIKE MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        top ten clues you're clueless       stardust

Secret Santas, Thanksmas, and Holiday Cheer!

Hi, friends! Happy holidays from The Book Addict’s Guide!

It’s been another fun season of holiday plans, gifts, and Secret Santas! I had an absolute blast this year shopping for people and I was also totally spoiled with so many of my gifts! I wanted to share with you not only the gifts that I got this year but also some of my own personal Christmas stories this year!

IMG_2029This year — like the past two years — Shane and I went to go cut down our own tree. Both of our families have transitioned from cutting down a tree to buying a pre-cut tree to owning a fake tree. I have nothing against fake trees at all, but we both really missed having a real tree and there’s just something special for us about picking our own and cutting it down! This year we actually chose a different Christmas tree farm and it was the first year that we didn’t have the use of Shane’s mom’s minivan so that meant… Squishing a tree into my Hyundai Elantra. The space between the trunk and the folded wasn’t quite IMG_2037big enough to fit our tree even with netting so we actually were able to put it in the backseat with the edge sticking out the window! It was an interesting experience but a lot of fun. We stuck with a smaller tree even though we have a nice, big house to put it in this year instead of my (former) apartment since we still had to squish it into my car! This year’s tree is named Rudolph (see his antlers?). I still miss Short Round (aptly named for his general shape) who was our tree the first year. How bad am I that I can’t even remember the name of our tree last year? He just wasn’t Short Round, that’s all I know haha! We still have very few Christmas decorations (including a lack of star for the top of our tree) but hey, there’s always next year! And the year after that and the year after that…

Keeping in my family’s new tradition (as of… wow, two years ago, already?), Shane and I went up to my sister and brother-in-law’s house in Milwaukee for Thanksmas: a combination of Thanksgiving and Christmas all rolled into one so we don’t have to split up our holidays and scramble trying to accommodate several families and extended families and in laws all in one day! We had a spending limit this year of $25 per person (which really most people didn’t follow, my parents especially considering Shane got an electric drill, sets of tools, and I got lots of things for the kitchen). We had a really, really nice time and I was so happy to see my niece again who is now nine months old and standing on her own! Only for a few seconds, but she’s going to be walking soon and it was so exciting to see her growing into such a little person!

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SECRET SANTA

Okay, now onto the presents!!!! I got SPOILED this year. Last year for The Broke and the Bookish Secret Santa, despite many attempts my Jamie… my present never showed up. I actually still have no idea who was Secret Santa was supposed to be and wanted to know but didn’t want to know all at the same time. Anyway, that’s besides the point! Because of my unfortunate experience last year (through no fault of Jamie or The Broke and the Bookish girls!), Jamie promised to pair me up with someone spectacular this year and boy did she!!! Jamie paired me up with Estelle from Rather Be Reading (who is also one of my good friends and I absolutely adore) so I was THRILLED when my Secret Santa box came in and found out it was from Estelle! She got me the most amazing presents!

EstellePressies

Firstly, HI. That card? Flipping fantastic! (And in case you missed it, she had a whole post on her fabulous YA Book themed holiday cards) She MADE ME A MIX TAPE of Christmas songs! How lovely is that?! That’s one of my favorite parts, honestly. I love mix CDs and I love personal gifts like that. See those tree coasters up there? ALSO LOVE. Disney postcards, Minnie Mouse nail file, “Beer Me” napkins (since we both love beer), and so many more cute things. She also got me some books I’ve been meaning to read! I’ve been dying to read Past Perfect for like, YEARS. Also super looking forward to finally reading This Is What Happy Looks Like and she surprised me with The Catastrophic History of You and Me because she loved it so much! So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU again, Estelle! I had such a present hangover. I absolutely loved everything!

I also got a wonderful gift from my Secret Santa exchange that we do with The Selective Collective! My present came in the very next day after Estelle’s and I was excited all over again! Daphne from Gone Pecan got me some wonderful gifts!!!

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I’ve been dying for a travel mug and MMMMM Reece’s! (Honestly devoured those instantly.) I was so excited for the lovely personalized ornament (immediately stuck it on my tree) and Cracked Up to Be and When You Were Here!  

PRESENTS FROM FRIENDS

I also got some AMAZING presents from the best friends in the world, Alyssa and Amy! They totally spoiled me ROTTEN. I got part one of Alyssa’s present first (box #2 is still on the way… somewhere! Hopefully should turn up even if it is after Christmas!) and it was A BOX FULL OF BOOKS. The best part? They were all of her favorites!

IMG_2162LOVE THE DISNEY PAPER!!!!

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OMG OMGGGG some of Alyssa’s favorite books that I’ve been meaning and dying to read <3

Another BIG thank you to Alyssa!!!!! I LOVE the books and I’m also excited to see what’s in box number two! 

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Then just this past SUNDAY (yes, SUNDAY I got mail! Special delivery!) I got my present from Ame! I was elated and immediately tore into the box and was so excited for so many cute things!

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Cutie little snowman (which I loved!!!) and a SNUGGLY SCARF! (That’s me snuggling in it immediately after opening it.) 

IMG_2151LOOK AT ALL THESE BOOKS!!!!

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Amy also bought me the Hogwarts Library!! I’ve been meaning to read these forever AND they’re helping me complete my Goodreads challenge (hopefully)! 

I totally and completely got spoiled this year. THANK YOU THANK YOU for all of the fantastic gifts! This Christmas has been pretty wonderful and even more so than the presents, I’m so thankful for the wonderful friends that I have! They mean so much to me and I’m so happy to have made such wonderful friends this year and grown closer to the friends I already had <3 I can’t wait to see what 2014 holds!