Thursday 4 January 2018

Review on The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily

It has been a year since Dash found a mysterious red notebook in his favourite book shop. A year since he started dating Lily, who changed his views on Christmas forever. However, as Christmas approaches once more, Lily is not in her usual festive spirit. Lily's grandfather is still recovering from a heart attack, and even though there are only twelve days left until Christmas Day, Lily still doesn't have a Christmas tree. Dash decides to try to get Lily's excitement for Christmas back by doing a kind gesture for her every day in the twelve days leading up to Christmas, but will it be enough to regain Lily's Christmas spirit?

It's no secret that I adored Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, so I was excited to dive right into the sequel! The book starts a year after the events of Dash and Lily's Book of dares, with Christmas fast approaching. However, Lily is far too worried about her Grandfather's ill health to throw herself into the holiday spirit this year. Dash puts it upon himself to change this, and make this the best Christmas ever.

I was so happy to get back into the festive world of Dash and Lily! I loved these characters in the first book, and was looking forward to seeing what Christmassy adventures they would get up to in this one. I did say in my review on Dash and Lily's Book of Dares that Dash hadn't gone through much character development, but in this book it is clear that he has. A year of being Lily's boyfriend has taught him to not only tolerate, but actually enjoy Christmas. The tables have turned in this book, as this time it is Dash trying to get Lily into a festive mood, something he definitely hadn't had to do in the previous year. I found Dash more likeable in this book, as he wasn't as stuck up and selfish as he used to be.

Something that I usually hate is miscommunication as a plot device to create drama between characters, but it worked surprisingly well. Although Dash does what he thinks is right, Lily often takes Dash's good intentions the wrong way and jumps to conclusions. I think it's natural to have doubts in a new relationship, and I think plenty of people have worried if their romantic partner really does love them. With the stress she was already going through with family issues, I could see why she was seeing everything negatively. It almost feels like David Levithan is taking all the tropes I usually hate and proving they're not always awful if they're written well.

I loved that Langston had a bigger role in this book, and that he had to put his grudge against Dash aside for Lily's sake. I love when characters who dislike each other have to unwillingly team up, and I loved that Dash and Langston slowly got to know each other, and were able to reach a point where they could be allies. I felt as if Langston grew up a lot in the space of a year, as he seemed quite immature in the first book, but this time he stepped up to help Lily, and had plans to move out.

I continued to adore Dash's friendship with Boomer. I remember one of the big dramas in my school was that a boy had broken up with his girlfriend only for his best friend to start dating her a while later. The boys stopped being friends, and although they still had to sit with each other in class, they refused to even talk to each other. Even though this does seem childish, these boys were actually not much younger than Dash. I loved that there was absolutely no drama between Dash and Boomer, and Dash handled the situation well. I loved how supportive he was, and seemed to be genuinely happy for his friend. Boomer's one liners continued to make me laugh out loud, and I particularly loved the addition of Oscar the Christmas tree.

Like the first book, this one had an important message, this time on the subject of change. I loved that this subject was brought up, as it is something we all go through. Nothing ever stays exactly the same. Things are changing constantly, and often these things are something that we have no control over. We can't stop the cherry blossom from blowing off the branches as Spring slips into Summer, or stop our loved ones from ageing. Lily is surrounded by changes she doesn't want to happen, from her brother planning on moving out, to her grandfathers health not being what it once was, and her parents wanting to move out of the one home she has lived in her whole life. Lily has no control over these changes, and although she initially tries to stop them, she eventually realises that these changes are inevitable, and although she may be able to stall them for a little while, they will happen eventually, and she will have to accept them. Change can be scary, but it can also be exciting and give us something to look forward to. I loved that Lily eventually realised that things changing is just a part of life, and something we often have no control over. Sometimes we have no choice but to adapt to change, even if we would prefer for things to stay the same.

There were so many brilliant and funny moments packed into this short book, but the one that really stood out for me was the ice skating scene, as it really couldn't have gone more wrong! It was both hilarious and relatable, as although non of us have landed several librarians in A&E (I hope!) I think we have all tried to do something nice for someone only for it to backfire horribly. I also loved that despite being injured, Dash kept his positivity and didn't blame Lily for what had happened.

This was a fantastic sequel to Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, and I thought it was just as good, if not better. Reading these two books in December really put me in a Christmassy mood! Even though I usually avoid sappy romance stories, there's just something about sappy Christmas romance stories that makes me occasionally make an exception. David Levithan and Rachel Cohn make the perfect writing duo, and I hope they continue to work together in the future!

1 comment:

  1. I read this last year, it’s such a lovely Christmas read!