Book review by
Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media
Mistletoe Book Poster Image
Heartwarming holiday fluff for teens.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

At their heart, these stories have warm messages about the tranformative power of the holidays.


Some kissing; a vague reference to having sex.


iPod, Starbucks, Jimmy Choo, Manolos

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters eat pot-laced brownies and drink coffee and spiked egg nog.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that characters eat marijuana-laced brownies, drink spiked egg nog, and smooch (the characters in one story have sex, but the details are vague). There's some product name-dropping, but for the most part there isn't a materialistic tone. At their heart, these stories have warm messages about the transformative power of the holidays.

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What's the story?

This book is really four short stories with holiday magic at their heart. The characters have different struggles (one realizes she's fallen for her best friend's boyfriend, while another, in a twist on The Gift of the Magi, wishes she could afford a real gift for her guy). In the end, all the characters learn a lesson -- and get kissed.

Is it any good?

There's nothing too earth-shattering here, but MISTLETOE is a sweet collection of holiday stories. Each of the four tales -- written by a pack of teen series writers -- plays upon similar themes but is distinct enough to keep readers engaged. In the end, these stories may not be particularly literary, but there are enough heartwarming moments -- and smooches -- to keep teen readers sighing happily.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about some of the common themes in holiday stories: redemption, selflessness, and even finding true love. Can you think of other holiday movies and books that play upon these themes? We tend to think of this as a powerful time of year -- is this the truth or just a nice myth?

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