Book Review: The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan

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The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily (Dash & Lily #2) by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan cover

The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily
by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan
Goodreads | Amazon  | Audible
Series: Dash and Lily  #2
Release date: October 18th 2016
Rating: Second book slump
Times read: 1

A sequel to Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares! First of all this book was SUPER sweet. Almost, dare I say it, too sweet.  It is like the different between a cupcake and a cup of sugar.  One is sweet but has nuance and the other is just sweet.  This book ends up on the cup of sugar side of things

There were some very funny parts to this book. What I think held it back was the fact that there isn’t really a new adventure.  It is a rehash of the old adventure.  It is possible that the head cannon that I had for what happens after the end of the first book is too strong and now anything that isn’t that head cannon displeases me. This is a legitimate thing to have happen to you.

Lily needed to grow in this book.  Unfortunately, what happened is that her character was changed fundamentally from the first book and then she spends the whole book becoming the girl she had been.  I get that she has had a difficult year and has been depressed but her POV is very negative.  I would have liked her development to be more authentic feeling. Also, communicate godammit.  Come on Lily, you never shut up.  How is it possible that you aren’t telling people how you feel?  

Sometimes you make plans. Sometimes plans make themselves.

I found Lily’s rigidity interesting.  She is a bundle of contradictions.  She is a free-spirited sprite but she also cannot handle change.  At all.  To the point where I wanted her parents to get her some counseling because it was unhealthy.  I do think that she was able to become more flexible by the end of the story.  

I far preferred Dash in this book.  I like me some crabby teenage boy who really love books.  I wish there had been more closure with his parents.  But I like how into her family and especially her Great Aunt he becomes.  His real family has let him down and now he is choosing his own family.  It bodes well for their future.

I wish Dash and Lily had been together more.  They are hardly together in the first book and again in the second book they are hardly together. Come on!  Give me what I want!  They have been dating for a year it isn’t as they shouldn’t be spending time together.  Stop with the separate adventuring!

There is a pretty heavy undertone to this book.  Which would be fine.  However, the funny parts of this book are pretty farcical so the tones don’t really match.  Like, I don’t know, pumpkin spice on a pork chop.  You can do it but holy crap do you ever have to know what you are doing. 

The writing here is still strong.  Levithan in particular has a wonderful way with words.  It just didn’t seem as fresh. I guess that I am just missing the whimsy and warmth of the first book. So, while not my favorite still a good book to get you in the spirit (if you have read Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares because reading a sequel first is soul destroying).

From Goodreads:

Dash and Lily have had a tough year since they first fell in love among the shelves of their favorite bookstore. Lily’s beloved grandfather suffered a heart attack, and his difficult road to recovery has taken a major toll on her typically sunny disposition.

With only twelve days left until Christmas—Lily’s favorite time of the year—Dash, Lily’s brother Langston, and their closest friends must take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the unique holiday magic of a glittering, snow-covered New York City in December.

Book Review: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

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Dash and Liliy cover

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares
 by Rachel Cohn and  David Levithan
Goodreads | Amazon  | Audible
Series: There is a second book OMG
Release date: October 26th 2010
Rating: le cute
 Times read: 3

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by by Rachel Cohn and  David Levithan is the story of Dash and Lily as they fall in love by exchanging a red notebook back and forth.  I have read this in December for the last three years and I think that I am going to continue with that tradition.  Chapter alternate between being told from Dash and Lily’s perspective.  Each character was written by one of the authors which gives them voice very distant voices and personalities.  Sometimes their voices clashed.  You could tell that two different people were writing this book and it worked perfectly. 

Dash is crabby, too smart for his own good, and I love him. He needs a hug from Lily. I love Lily’s zest for life.  I love that she is quirky and living her life her own way. Lily struggles to make friends with kids her own age.   

“Sorry to be so cynical, but this is New York”

I love how New York centered this story is.  I love it when a book really explores it’s setting.  Where you are in the world makes a huge difference to how you experience the world.  This would have been a much different story if it had been set in Berlin, Jakarta, or Lima.  Or even just in suburbia.  This book is a love letter to New York at Christmas. 

“I feel like you may be a special and kind person. And I would like to make it my business to know special and kind people. Especially if they are boys my age.”

It is amazing how hard I ship these two even though they are NEVER together.  Their completely opposite worldviews cause both sparks and personal growth in one another.  This makes me think that they will bring out great things in one another as a couple.  There is a whole discussion about the idea of someone vs. the reality of someone that I absolutely loved.  I am a sucker that sort of thing. 

“I gotta go. The gingerbread men are on fire.”

I love their different feelings about Christmas.  I think that in some ways most of North America is either a Lily or a Dash.  I am definitely a Lily.  I LOVE me some Christmas.  Maybe it is because I only go “home” for Christmas every four years but it is definitely my favorite holiday. It may also have to do with the fact that I live abroad and so do not have any expectations or stress (aside from travel) associated with it.  One thing that I liked was how their feelings about Christmas sort of met in the middle.  Lily’s enthusiasm for the glitter shine of the holiday is tamped down and Dash starts to accept that Christmas might not be the worst thing ever.

I noticed that the plot was sometimes laggy.  I think that the authors were sending the book back and forth between them and making things up as they went rather than having the novel plotted out.  I like it because it helps the book feel spontaneous and disliked it because it leads to some of the more over the top moments of the book.

This is a sweet, funny, Christmassy tale. Read bay the tree while drinking hot coco. You know you want to.

PS: There is a sequel!

From Goodreads:

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.