Book Review: THE TWELVE DAYS OF DASH & LILY

Christmas capers reach a new level in THE TWELVE DAYS OF DASH & LILY!

Tis the season for adorable Christmas stories! Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined once again for their fourth novel (and their first sequel,) The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily.  It’s full of the quirk, cheer, and mishaps fans have come to love over the years!

We’ll start by saying that you don’t have to read Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares in order to understand or enjoy their Twelve Days, as the story references the early events when needed but doesn’t focus on them too heavily. As a contemporary, there isn’t too much wild backstory to follow; it’s the characters and their current adventures you’ll cheer for.

It’s been a year since Dash and Lily first got together, but it hasn’t always been an easy one. Earlier in the year, Lily’s grandfather suffered a major heart attack. Lily has basically taken sole responsibility for his caretaking duties when she’s not in school, leaving her with little time to worry about anything else. But with Christmas just around the corner, the situation is so dire that Lily’s brother, Langston, is willing to call up his maybe-archnemesis Dash to help his sister reconnect with her favorite time of year. In the twelve days leading up to Christmas, Dash, Langston, and their friends do everything they can to make Lily rediscover the holiday magic she loves so much. Naturally, chaos ensues.

If you’re a fan of the antics in Cohn and Levithan’s other novels– some of which aren’t particularly realistic for a teen, but hey, it’s so fun we’ll let them slide,– then you’ll have quite a bit of fun. We’re talking duels, saucy librarians, and pornographic gingerbread men levels of fun!

But before we get to the fun, there’s a downside. Because it deals heavily in Lily’s grandfather’s death failing health, family issues, and the rocky state of a once-happy relationship, things are much, much heavier than you’d expect from this pairing. The first book was about discovering first love. The second is about falling into a bad place and fighting your way out. When we first meet Dash and Lily again, they seem to be on the verge of breaking up despite caring for each other deeply. It’s a tough place to pick up a story and it takes its toll on you as Dash and Lily flounder at their first attempts at reconciliation. Let’s just say they’re very realistically teenage, in that sense. Their commitment to each other and slow reconnection is very sweet, but with all the hard feelings dumped on you headlong, it took us a little longer than the characters to lift ourselves out of the fog of it all.

A major help in the fog dissipating is the secondary characters, who totally rock this novel. Langston is trying to protect Lily, but also needs to carve his own path. Boomer is as clueless and uproarious as ever, and hey, we’ve even got a little love left over for Edgar. That’s saying something!

Though the novel has its moment where you want to cuddle these characters and hide them away from the cruel world, you still ultimately end up feeling warm inside. It’s all a reminder that there’s no such thing as a perfect relationship, you will not always be on the same page as a couple, but the special things in our lives are worth fighting for. You’ll also get some laughs and happy sighs along the way to lift your holiday spirits!

RATING: 3.75/5 STARS

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily is out now. You can order it via Amazon!

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.

By Molly

Molly is a proud Canadian who is currently attending university in Scotland. She loves to read, write, watch films, and talk about Sarah J. Maas books. If not snuggled up with a book, Molly can usually be found tapping at the dance studio, or writing yet another essay.

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