Book Review: The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily

The Twelve Days of Dash and LilyThe Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think it’s safe to say that I absolutely loved Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares so I was really, really excited to get my hands on this, the sequel. Dash and Lily made such a cute couple and I loved the funny adventures they had as they raced around New York carrying out a series of tasks and meeting the most eccentric cast of characters along the way.

The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily had a lot to live up to, possibly too much, but while it doesn’t quite reach the dizzying heights of the first book it’s still a really good read. It takes place a year later and is a very different type of book. Dash and Lily have both grown up a bit and are now in a steady long term relationship. Lily in particular, has had some shocks which have shaken her up and left her without her usual joy and Christmas spirit. It’s up to Dash, with some help from Lily’s brother Langston and their friends, to help Lily find her happy again but is it too late.

Given the depression that Lily seems to have fallen into at the beginning of this story it’s unsurprising that the book is missing a lot of the fun and laughs from Book of Dares. There’s not much in the way of holiday cheer despite the best efforts of Dash and I think that’s why I didn’t love it as much as I hoped. There is the odd moment which made me laugh but a lot of it left me feeling a little bit down. It doesn’t help that Dash and Lily seem to be having problems in their relationship. They’ve lost the spark and a series of misunderstandings and lack of communication is making it look like they may not have a future.

While there is quite a bit of angst in this story there is still the odd funny moment. Dash’s best friend Boomer steals pretty much every scene he’s in and the arguments between Dash and Lily’s brother Langston were a definite highlight.

The writing, as you would expect, remains brilliant and the characters are very real. While most of the story is not that happy, it’s probably more believable than the first book. Bad things do happen, people don’t always cope well and relationships hit rocky patches.

If you’re looking for a book that will fill you with happiness and holiday cheer this may not be for you but if you’re looking for something real I’d definitely recommend.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy. As always all views are my own.


The Blurb (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.

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Book Review: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1)Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

My rating: 5 big fat santa stars

Where has this book been all my life? Why did no one tell me how good it was? I loved this book sooo much. I think it could be my all time favorite Christmas read

It’s very, very cute and innocent and extremely funny. I don’t think I’ve ever highlighted so many sentences in a story before or had such a difficult time trying not to laugh when reading on the train (scene when Dash goes to visit Santa, that’s all I’m saying). If you’re looking for the perfect book to get you in the festive spirit or even just a book to make you smile I’d definitely recommend Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares.Read More »

ARC Review: Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

Miracle On 5th Avenue (From Manhattan with Love, Book 3)Miracle On 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s Christmas!!!

OK it’s not yet (please don’t hate me) but having read Sarah Morgan’s latest Christmas themed book, Miracle on 5th Avenue it’s definitely put me in the festive spirit.

It’s a light and funny, opposites attract romance that left me with a huge smile on my face and an overwhelming desire to book a flight to New York. The main characters are very likeable and the chemistry between them is electric. Ms Morgan definitely knows how to write the perfect holiday read.Read More »

Book Review: My True Love Gave to Me

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Winter RomancesMy True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Winter Romances by Stephanie Perkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yep, it’s safe to say that I’m very, very behind on my Christmas reading. It’s the middle of January and I’m only now getting round to finishing and posting my review of this book.

My True Love Gave to Me is a collection of twelve short stories by YA authors all themed around the holiday period. It’s quite difficult to rate this collection as it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Some stories I absolutely loved, some were ok and some I just wasn’t too keen on.

I have to admit before I start that I’m generally not a fan of short stories. They’re never quite long enough (I know they aren’t supposed to be) to really draw you in and let you connect with the characters. When they do draw you in, the ending always comes too soon. I want more.

Despite my general dislike of short stories I couldn’t resist this book as it included stories from two of my favourite authors, Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl, Carry On) and Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss) and I have to admit I love Christmassy themed stories.

For the most part this collection didn’t disappoint. I won’t go through story by story but I will say that Stephanie Perkins and Rainbow Rowell did not let me down. Their stories, It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown and Midnights were most definitely the highlights for me. They had very likeable characters and managed to suck me into the story and the emotion from the start. While I would like more (please) the length actually worked.

As well as discovering unsurprisingly that my favourite authors are fabulous I have to say that I was also impressed with some of the other stories. I particularly enjoyed Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntyre as it made me laugh quite a lot and What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman. I’ve never read anything by these authors but I’ll definitely be looking out for them.

The remainder were more of the ok level rather than anything particularly special. I felt that in certain stories things were a little bit too complicated and convoluted for a short story which put me off. Slightly worryingly there are also a couple I don’t remember (Jenny Han and Ally Carter) so I guess they weren’t great or terrible.

Regardless, it’s definitely given me a taste of a lot of new authors and my TBR list has grown exponentially.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a review copy and apologies for taking so long to post the thing.

Book Review: Meet Me in Manhattan by Claudia Carroll

Meet Me In ManhattanMeet Me In Manhattan by Claudia Carroll
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the perfect book if you’re looking for something sweet, romantic and Christmassy.

Despite her holiday themed name, Holly Johnson doesn’t do Christmas. She’d much rather hide at home alone and just wait for the whole thing to be over. This year however things may be different. Her career seems to be heading in the right direction and she’s met someone who could be the man of her dreams. He could also be the distraction she needs to get through the holiday period. The only problem, she hasn’t actually met him in person. They met online and hit it off immediately but live on opposite sides of the Atlantic.

When their few attempts to meet up don’t go to plan Holly suspects there is something not right about her dream man and heads off to New York to confront him. What she gets is a big shock but it also presents her with a one off opportunity to realise her dreams. Will she take it or will the past hold her back?


My Thoughts on the Book

When I first started reading this book I have to admit I wasn’t too sure. I’ve read a few Claudia Carroll books in the past and enjoyed them but as I read the first few chapters of this I was a little concerned as I couldn’t relate to Holly and couldn’t face another story about the perils of internet dating. However I found that as the story progressed it shifted in a direction that I really didn’t expect and it drew me in so much that I couldn’t put it down (and I didn’t).

Despite not being able to understand Holly’s actions and beliefs at the start I did grow to like her over the course of the book. Being single, I can totally relate to the aversion to Christmas. What I found difficult to accept was the lying on her dating profile and seemingly desperate need to meet someone. She lies about everything from her height and age to her hobbies and job and seems to think that is normal and acceptable. I’m afraid I was with her friend and flatmate Joy in not believing you can have a healthy and lasting relationship based on so much deceit. I also thought her obsession with the guy she meets seemed a bit too much and at one point she almost jeopardises her career for him. She accepts everything he tells her even when there are definite warning signs. More incredible is the fact that she’s supposedly a researcher for a radio phone in show.

My opinion of her switched however when she finally realises there could be something wrong. Whatever faults she has she’s someone who takes action and stands up for herself. Travelling to New York alone to confront someone who’s really a stranger takes some guts (or possibly a lack of self preservation). Her joy at seeing New York for the first time is kind of adorable and the descriptions of the places she visits made me so jealous. She ends up having to make some difficult decisions but she follows her heart while still being conscious of the consequences.

The writing and pacing of the story are pretty good although I found some of the devices used to keep you hooked a little frustrating (secrets are dragged on a little too long for me). There were parts where I laughed and I cried but most of the time I just had a really big smile on my face.

My main criticism however and the reason for 4 stars rather than 5 is that I found some of the supporting characters a little stereotyped. I also thought the male lead was a little bit too good to be believable. Although I can’t say much on that without giving away the plot.

Overall though I would recommend it to anyone who loves a nice romantic, Christmas story. It’s perfect for a lazy day.

Big thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins (Avon) for providing me with an advance copy