This is a wonderful little book. Okay, at 320 pages it's not so little, but individually each of the stories is short, so my 12 days of Christmas suggestion is totally valid. Reviewing anthologies is hard. I'm not going to go through and rate each one, and each person will have a different favorite. Some, like Stephanie Perkins, Laini Taylor, Ally Carter, and Kiersten White I knew I would love. They're the reason I bought this anthology and they didn't disappoint. They are some of my favorites of the collection. The stories were unique (especially Laini Taylor's The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer) and varied, and they did exactly what I wanted them to do. They captured the spirit of the season.
The nice thing with anthologies is you get surprises. Of all the authors I've either never read or wasn't expecting a ton from, Rainbow Rowell and Myra McEntire's stories really stood out. It's not that the other stories weren't good, because a lot of them were. (For example, I'd never heard of Kelly Link before, and now I'm totally going to check out other things she's written.) These were just the standout unexpected discoveries.
What else is great about this anthology is it's diversity, and I'm not just talking about the regular kinds of diversity such as race and religion (great job Gayle Forman, by the way) but these stories really just felt different. I know they're holiday stories and with the lovely number 12 they really do lend themselves to a Christmas Countdown, but they don't have to. I mean, we start off with new years and end up in a fantasy.
Basically this is a fun, cute read. Did I love all the stories the same? Of course not. That's the beauty of so many options. Some clearly aren't going to appeal to every reader, but I guarantee there are some you are going to love.
I'm going to give this book a strong 4 stars. Not all the stories deserve the rating, but on some I could even go higher. Check this book out. It's perfect for this time of year, and even if you don't love all of them, there's a good chance that there are a few you will fall absolutely in love with.