Review: Blame It on the Mistletoe by Beth Garrod

Posted December 16, 2022 by Lillian in Reviews / 2 Comments

I received this book via Amazon. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Review: Blame It on the Mistletoe by Beth GarrodBlame It on the Mistletoe by Beth Garrod
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on 2021-11-02
Length: 290 pages
Reviewing Kindle from Amazon
Rating:
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2022, 2022 Beat the Backlist

Jenny Han meets The Holiday in this holiday rom-com where two very different girls swap lives for a Christmas adventure!

Elle is a social medial star with the #DreamLife...or so it seems. Determined to shake up her content and gain new followers, she's on a mission: can she find a British fan to swap with for Christmas?

Holly loves everything about Christmas. But after a mortifying mistletoe disaster with her ex, her perfect plans unravel like a bad Christmas sweater. Can Holly save the holidays when she switches places with favorite social media influencer?

Elle gets more than she bargained for when she meets the cute boy from across the street. And Holly wasn't expecting Elle to have a handsome twin brother. This holiday is full of surprises.

If made-for-TV Disney movies of the 90s were made into a book, this would be it! Blame It on the Mistletoe by Beth Garrod is a YA contemporary set during the Christmas season about two very different girls swapping lives to spice up their holiday season. Elle is a social media star trying to build her channel, and Holly is a Christmas-loving girl in small town UK. When Elle joins a challenge with several other influencers, she has to do something drastic to get the followers she needs or risk losing her account and starting over. That’s when she decides to swap lives with one of her followers, and the story begins.

I liked Holly. Holly is what every teen girl is at one point in their life. I love her enthusiasm for Christmas, her love of lists, and how dedicated a friend she is to her two best mates. However, Holly like a lot of people lives with blinders on. What she sees on social media she believes as truth. The perfection of her favorite content creator’s life leaves Holly wanting more for her own. When her mom announces that they are moving in with her boyfriend and selling her childhood home, her sister won’t be home in time for Christmas, and her ex-boyfriend has seemingly moved on, Holly needs an escape. So she does the most un-Holly-like thing she can think of: messages @oneelleofatime and offers to swap places with her.

Elle is a little harder to like, at least she was for me. She is a content creator who has spent the last year rebuilding her brand on a new account after internet bullying caused her to close her previous one. She is so focused on what she puts on this account that her real life suffers. No one knows the real Elle, not even Elle herself. She posts what she thinks her followers will like instead of what she likes. When one of the most popular girls at her school invites her to a social media competition, Elle reluctantly agrees. The winner of the competition will get to keep their account and become a member of @whatthepeakgirlsdo, run by a couple of girls in the area. It’s what Elle thinks she wants, but with her real life feeling so far out of reach she doesn’t know anymore. So she takes Holly up on her offer.

I really enjoyed the swap aspect of the story though as a 30-something woman I had a hard time buying that a parent would let their teen fly solo to another country, even if they were switching places and staying with a childhood friend. After I suspended my own belief a bit, I found the story really enjoyable. The writing style is what drew me in more than anything. It’s conversational, like Elle or Holly is speaking directly to the reader pulling you into the story and keeping you engaged and invested in their adventure. There are many laugh out loud moments and moments that will make you remember what it is like to be a teen in love ๐Ÿ˜‰

Overall, I really enjoyed Blame It on the Mistletoe. While it was more YA than I care for my own tastes, this would appeal to older tweens and young teens. Elle and Holly are fun, different, and easy to relate to. The story itself, their Christmas adventures, and yes even their swoony romances will appeal to younger audiences. Highly recommend!

About Beth Garrod

Beth Garrod is the author of the best-selling SUPER AWKWARD trilogy published by Scholastic, with SUPER AWKWARD published in 2016, TRULY MADLY AWKWARD in 2017, and ACCESS ALL AWKWARD in 2018. Standalone summery rom-com TAKE A CHANCE ON ME and Christmas rom-com ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS are also available.

Beth grew up in Worcester, before heading to Leeds University to study Biologyโ€”-which she put to excellent use by accidentally starting a career in TV. Since then sheโ€™s worked in London, New York and Toronto for broadcasters including Radio 1, CBBC (Blue Peter), and MTV, launching everything from mental health campaigns and international youth unemployment initiatives to the Radio 1 Teen Awards.

She now lives in East London and concentrates on social impact campaigns, working with charities and broadcasters around the world. In 2018/9 she wrote an AR childrenโ€™s storybook (Wonderscope/A Brief History of Amazing Stunts) which won Bologna Ragazzi Digital Award: AR (2019) and a Childrenโ€™s BAFTA (2019), and also produced a SAFTA nominated documentary about sexual health in South Africa (MTV Shuga: In Real Life).

Sheโ€™s been writing for teenagers ever since her career started, and has been being awkward in her own life for even longer.

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