Blame It on the Mistletoe

Beth Garrod. Sourcebooks Fire, $10.99 paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-72824-897-4
Two 16-year-olds swap homes for Christmas in this slightly contrived but entertaining rom-com. Enrolling in an Instagram challenge to gain 15,000 followers first, American influencer Noëlle “Elle” Miller wants to fly to the U.K. to build her following, suggesting a switch with one of her lucky followers. British, plan-loving Holly Judd, one of Elle’s devotees, is usually a Christmas fanatic, but this year, everything’s changing: her older sister is in Thailand, she’s not over her ex-boyfriend, and her mother is selling their house in the charming village where Elle’s mother grew up. In alternating chapters studded with texts and Elle’s Instagram captions, the teens navigate new terrain post-switch: in Alpine Peaks, N.J., Holly explores Christmas excitement with Elle’s enigmatic, handsome twin, Nick; in Little Marsh, England, Elle gets to know Holly’s friends while fighting memories of trolls and betrayal from her defunct Instagram account. Garrod provides holiday festivities galore—pantomime, costume parties, Christmas jumpers, snow—as well as social media skullduggery, surprises, and secrets. If the characterization of the implied all-white cast isn’t as deft as the plotting, the bow-wrapped ending will still appeal. Ages 13–up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/09/2021
Release date: 11/01/2021
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-1-7282-4898-1
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