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Saturday, December 24, 2016

My Christmas book: The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily

Hello, Christmas! We've been waiting for you all year and today you're finally here! Then maybe it is time to really introduce a book you NEED to read to get into this Christmas-y day. Remember early December? When I posted my review about a boy and a girl chasing each other because of a red notebook? Well guess what turned up for Christmas: The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan! It's a Christmas miracle, there's a second part to this book! Who would have ever thought...

Note: If you haven't read Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, then I highly recommend not reading on in this review. It's not that you need to have read this book before reading this one but it would really ruin everything if you would be interested in reading the first book afterward. So if you're interested in the first book, don't read on! Please! I also have a review on the first book if you're interested in knowing how that one is: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares HERE! 

It's been a rough year for Lily and Dash. After Lily's grandpa has been hospitalized, the two find no or hardly any time to spend together. Lily is trying to find her way out of her maze filled with thoughts while Dash does everything to reach out for her. With Lily being so distant and Christmas coming so close the only question everyone asks is if Lily will be herself when Christmas comes. Being afraid she won't be, Dash comes up with a plan, trying to get the old Lily-loving-Christmas back.

Honestly, this book has such a contrast in comparison to its first book in the series. And really it's almost all because of the characters! As we know from book 1, Lily loves Christmas. There isn't a year where she hasn't been running around with Christmas sweaters while baking cookies but this year everything is so different. Readers will be shocked when they read about the huge change Lily has been through. She's very distant and closed, not really into going anywhere with Dash or the most important really: getting into the Christmas spirit!

It's such a downer for every reader that has seen Lily in the first book to see her so empty and sad right now. It really makes sure that we'll feel with this character. It's not that this book is bad or anything, it just shows a big contrast and I didn't mind it but more about that later. What I really loved with Lily is that she's so us. I'm sure almost all of us has had a period where they actually just wanted someone to help out and get them back to being themselves but not really asking. Lily is so relatable and so real it's hard not to still love her and hope she'll get back to being all happy and amazing. I was really surprised to see this change in her and that made this character absolutely stunningly written. She'll also be challenging herself during this book and show how breakable yet determined and strong she really is.

As for Dashiell... Please, Santa. I need a boyfriend like him under my tree this year. It's all I ask for! I've been a good girl this year! Really. Dash has been nothing but good in this book, what I did notice is that he's less snarly as he's described in book 1 which wasn't all too bad because he was still a boy that made a girl (me) laugh. Also Dash is going through a rough year, he's suffering from Lily not being alright and that really shows some true devotion on his part. 

Dash will go to great lengths in this book, trying to reach out for her and help her getting her happy-Lily self back and I really loved to see this part in Dash. Although I already saw in the first book that he'd be a true guy, very helpful and sweet, we see this part being played out even more. I was absolutely loving it!

Now the plot! There's a bumpy road behind us but also ahead of us. Lily's grandpa hasn't been doing well in the past year and it really weighs down hard on Lily. She's really trying her best to make it easy on her grandpa and tries to take care of him. The result of this is that it's just getting too much for this character. Yet she doesn't seem to see it. Also Dashiell doesn't seem to see it right away but when Christmas is arriving this all changes!

In Dash and Lily's Book of Dares we see that Lily is the most Christmas-y person there probably exists but with 12 days 'till Christmas, there still no Lily jumping up and down in a Christmas sweater and baking cookies. This means that Dash finally sees the alarm bells and will start taking action. This will lead to a very heartwarming as well as funny at times moments. 

The red notebook from last year will come off it shelf again and it's great to see really! There's always this link between the two books and I really appreciated that in the plot. Also because it's for another cause makes it so much better. But Lily doesn't bite immediately, she gets lost (literally and mentally) and it means that everyone starts working together to get it better immediately.

Readers will appreciate it that the plot zooms in on the whole family and friends. It shows us that you sometimes need more than one person to help out and also represents the Christmas spirit of being together. I wouldn't say the plot is as cute and romantic as book 1 but it does really show that there can get things in the way of living a happy life and that it's okay. The plot concentrates on the friendships, the family bonds and sorting out life and it gives a good and amazing spin-off and contrast to the first book. 

By the way, talking about family bonding, we'll get a closer look to that dad of Dash and I was so happy we could see a close-up of him. I've never had so many feels (for better or for worse will be seen if you read the book yourself) for a parent in a book before! Also, the plot makes room for feels too and as you know I greatly appreciate feels in books any time possible! The feels are also really well written and it's hard for you not to get into it and really feel everything the characters feel!

And it might be filled with sad parts where I almost thought my ship was going to be wrecked to bits, but it'll change! As in the first book I have laughed, not as much as I did the first time around but really enough to not make me feel as bad as Lily was. Readers will be able to enjoy the hard parts in life that's alternated with funny parts about being a savior in someone else's life and getting that Christmas spirit back! 

Talking about Christmas spirit, Lily not being herself and being really sad and all will cause the first part of the book to be a bit down and not Christmas-y at all but I can say there'll be a change at some point that really makes that spirit come to life as if nothing has happened before. 

If you're looking for a Christmas read, let this one be your Twelve Days after Christmas! In contrast with Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, the characters go through a hard and dark period that can't sparkle the Christmas Spirit. That's the great thing about this book! It shows the contrast with book 1 but it also shows how real life is, and it isn't always happy and Christmas-y and that's okay. The characters will show differences with book one and will act differently but when it all comes down to it, they'll go through great lengths to make sure the other one is alright and that's amazingly represented in this book. Christmas is about being together and helping each other back to being alright and this book absolutely shows you how to. Not only do you get your most beloved characters Lily and Dash back but you'll also get that red notebook but with a new and more daring adventure! If all, this book is filled with good life lessons and an amazing Christmas party.

“What an idiot Santa is for flying around alone. Because who would want to travel the world without another person's heartbeat beside him?” 

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